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So Wikipedia tells me there`s no matter in pure vacuum, but is there vacuum inside matter? Between the atoms. If so, or if not, can it be proven? If so, how?
20 months ago

Astronomy Question asked by

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An atom consists of a nucleus (made up of protons and neutrons) and surrounded by orbiting electrons. if you think of it as the Sun being the nucleus and the orbiting planets being the electrons.
The space between the electrons and the nucleus consists of no matter and is therefore a vaccuum.
A classical experiment to prove this is Rutherfords gold foil experiment in which he fired an alpha particle (postively charged molecule) at a thin piece of foil.
What he observed was that most of the time alpha particle went straight through the foil without being deflected
Some however deflected slightly , while fewer still hit the foil and bounced straight back.

the first obeservation (most of the time the alpha particle went straight through) shows that most of the atom consists of empty space.


hope that helps.
Answered by Sultan | 19 months ago
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as there is said to be "dust" occupying the space between the sun and the planets, how do you know there is no dust-like matter, smaller than electrons, filling the space inside the atom while being not big enough to obstruct the alpha particle?
12/05/2016 17:03:50 | comment by
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This brings us back to the matter energy relationship, Einstein famous equation. Matter and energy are equivalent according to Einstein equation, so it really hard to understand how there is vaccum between atoms or within atoms or an absolute vaccum anywhere in space (since it`s filled with radiations). Gravity can actually pull on those radiations (like the bending of lights around massive stars).

In atoms we have electrostatic forces, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. With all these forces playing significant roles at very small scales, I do not imagine the space between atomic or nuclear constituents to be a vaccum.
Answered by Emmanuel | 20 months ago
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It must be remembered that an atom is a theoretical particle made up of other theoretical particles. It is amodel which corresponds to reality but is not reality itself. It might correspond to an actual particle but it does not need to.

You cannot make something real out of the number 2. Atoms are in the same realm of discourse as the number 2.
Models are made up so your question does not have meaning.

A vacuum is by definition the absence of solid, liquid or gas matter. As to what exists between the planets etc., something does otherwise all of the planets would be joined in a big lump.

I hope this helps you.
Answered by David | 20 months ago
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You may want to look up a little about the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. This is what tells use that a perfect vacuum cannot exist in our universe (which to the best of our knowledge obeys the laws of quantum mechanics). Even the space within atoms is writhing with particles and their anti-particles being created then annihilated a very short time later. To prove this is rather difficult, so physicists tend to try to prove the principle itself. For example one consequence of the uncertainty principle in quantum tunnelling, which is very well known to facilitate alpha decay in nuclei which would not otherwise be able to decay in this manner
Answered by Andy | 20 months ago
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