If two atoms were to touch, what would happen?

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helpmeplease!!!
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#1
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#1
I know that atoms physically cannot touch, but what would happen if they did? I'm not sure where i got it from, but somewhere along the line I picked up the info that the atoms would make an explosion of some sort - is this true? Or just bull?
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SHOO
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#2
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#2
(Original post by helpmeplease!!!)
I know that atoms physically cannot touch, but what would happen if they did? I'm not sure where i got it from, but somewhere along the line I picked up the info that the atoms would make an explosion of some sort - is this true? Or just bull?
I've not heard of such a phenomena, atoms can't really touch because of the repulsion from the electrons in each atom.

If they did come into contact, I'd only imagine it to be via bonding

Edit: In the strange world of quantum physics however, bizzare & unexplainable things happen lol
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helpmeplease!!!
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(Original post by SHOO)
I've not heard of such a phenomena, atoms can't really touch because of the repulsion from the electrons in each atom.

If they did come into contact, I'd only imagine it to be via bonding
I understand that and all 100%, but I clearly remember receiving information that an explosion would take place IF the atoms, that couldn't bond or form a chemical reaction, touched. Only problem is, I can't remember where I heard this or if its even true. But by your response I'm doubting it.
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SHOO
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(Original post by helpmeplease!!!)
I understand that and all 100%, but I clearly remember receiving information that an explosion would take place IF the atoms, that couldn't bond or form a chemical reaction, touched. Only problem is, I can't remember where I heard this or if its even true. But by your response I'm doubting it.
Yes, but I answered it from a chemistry prospective. I saw later on that you posted this in the physics section, so here I wouldn't be as confident with my answer. I edited my post above & said that in the strange world of quantum physics, bizzare things happens that there arnt explanations for yet!

My answers arnt helping I know, but it's 6am & I can't sleep so hey
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helpmeplease!!!
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#5
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(Original post by SHOO)
Yes, but I answered it from a chemistry prospective. I saw later on that you posted this in the physics section, so here I wouldn't be as confident with my answer. I edited my post above & said that in the strange world of quantum physics, bizzare things happens that there arnt explanations for yet!

My answers arnt helping I know, but it's 6am & I can't sleep so hey
lol, its 3pm where I am And trust me, you're helping me a lot more than anyone I know could - considering I'm a high school student who had to create an account just to ask this question.
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SHOO
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(Original post by helpmeplease!!!)
lol, its 3pm where I am And trust me, you're helping me a lot more than anyone I know could - considering I'm a high school student who had to create an account just to ask this question.
Oh I see.. Ok so, if it interests you, read up on Partical physics or quantum physics.. It may not answer your question but it's likely to interest you.
You can find good documentaries on YouTube too
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helpmeplease!!!
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(Original post by SHOO)
Oh I see.. Ok so, if it interests you, read up on Partical physics or quantum physics.. It may not answer your question but it's likely to interest you.
You can find good documentaries on YouTube too
will do, thanks for the help!
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rubyp97
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If your thinking about collision if an electron and positron collide they annihilate each other producing two gamma rays that move in opposite direction, they would also then cancel each other out because they carry equal but opposite charges ( momentum and charge is conserved)
Not sure if this is what your talking about but hey ! aha
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karmacrunch
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(Original post by rubyp97)
If your thinking about collision if an electron and positron collide they annihilate each other producing two gamma rays that move in opposite direction, they would also then cancel each other out because they carry equal but opposite charges ( momentum and charge is conserved)
Not sure if this is what your talking about but hey ! aha
:eek:

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rubyp97
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you alright? ! aha
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karmacrunch
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#11
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(Original post by rubyp97)
you alright? ! aha
Yeah I don't know if was more shocked by the effects or its complexity!!

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username878045
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#12
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#12
(Original post by helpmeplease!!!)
I know that atoms physically cannot touch, but what would happen if they did? I'm not sure where i got it from, but somewhere along the line I picked up the info that the atoms would make an explosion of some sort - is this true? Or just bull?
If two nuclei touch, they would fuse (they'd do this long before they 'touched' actually if you had the energy). This is the principle that nuclear fusion in the Sun and reactors works. They would probably decay almost instantly unless the atom produced from fusion was luckily stable.
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2^1/2
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#13
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At very low temperatures (~absolute zero) atoms can "touch" and they become one (single quantum mechanical entity) - Bose-Einstein condensate. Here I mean atoms in the same physical place = "touching".
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jjmichaeljadson
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#14
(Original post by helpmeplease!!!)
I know that atoms physically cannot touch, but what would happen if they did? I'm not sure where i got it from, but somewhere along the line I picked up the info that the atoms would make an explosion of some sort - is this true? Or just bull?
Surprise butt seks
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uberteknik
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#15
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#15
(Original post by helpmeplease!!!)
I know that atoms physically cannot touch, but what would happen if they did? I'm not sure where i got it from, but somewhere along the line I picked up the info that the atoms would make an explosion of some sort - is this true? Or just bull?
Yes, it is true.

If the kinetic energy (motion) of the atoms was enough to overcome the nuclear forces or electrostatic repulsion between the nuclei of the two atoms, then nuclear FUSION will occur.

The two independent atoms (elements) would combine to form a new element of higher atomic number but would also convert the difference between the mass before and after fusion of the atoms to energy released as photons.

This is the same process that happens in the sun and all other stars and is also responsible for the energy release of a thermonuclear detonation (hydrogen bomb):

Hydrogen atoms are forced together under gravitational attraction and pressure. Two hydrogen nuclei fuse together to form a single helium nucleus and a small part of the mass is converted and released as energy in the process.

Einstein produced his most famous E=mc2 equation which shows that energy and mass are equivalent and inextricably linked with one converting to the other and vice versa.

To give an indication of how much energy is bound up in an atom, if all the mass in 1 kg worth of atoms (say 1 litre of sea water) could be converted to energy, it would release 9x1016 joules of energy.

The equivalent of burning 4 million tons of coal !!!!!

Which is why scientists and engineers are working all over the world to try and create nuclear fusion power stations because if even a small percentage of mass can be converted to energy, that still means a massive amount of energy in comparison to any and all other methods of producing energy.
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