Why, in an atom, does the negatively charged electron not collapse into the positively charged nucleus?
If the nucleus of an atom is positively charged then why doesn’t the negatively charged electron collapse into it? To answer this we’re going to have to delve into the history of how our understanding of the atomic world has evolved, because the very nature of this question is based on a very old view of the atom. In the Beginning … When Ernest Rutherford, the New Zealand-born founder of nuclear physics, first...
How have our ideas about atoms changed over the years? In this article we look at how our atomic models have developed over time. It is entirely probable that we aren’t there yet and our understanding of the strange world, that is the realm of sub-atomic particle, will change again at some time in the future. Although our article starts in the 1800s, the idea of atoms was around long before that. It is in Ancient Greece that we...
The idea that all war is forever over and that swords will be put to a more peaceful use is appealing, but seemingly ever beyond our grasp. The literal forging of weapons into a better purpose seems far fetched, so it will surprise you to know that today we literally are doing this! Medical Scanners are being made from old WW2 and pre-WW2 Battleships. But why ?
Magnetism is a manifestation of some very fundamental physics, ultimately linked to the orbital motion and spin of the electrons in atoms.
It seems simple enough – you flip a switch, and in the blink of an eye the room has gone completely dark. But where exactly did all of the light go ? What actually makes the room dark?
E=MC2 must be one of the most well known equations. But what does it mean? What is E amd why is it equal to MC2 ?
How Did Something Come From Nothing? : Questions do not come much deeper than this and until the 1970s only theologians and philosophers felt able to take it on (plus physics students still in the bar at closing time)
Why Can’t We Travel Faster than the Speed of Light? – This might be news to some of you but if you’re familiar with Einsteins theory of relativity, and that most famous of equations E=mc2, you’ll understand the limitations imposed by the equation. But exactly why should it be like this ?
Fire – one of the most primitive and yet intriguing of the ‘fundamental elements in our world. Indeed one of the things that differentiates mankind from the rest of the animal kingdom is his ability to make and control fire. but : What is fire made of ? What is its atomic structure? What causes things to burst into flame in the first place and why can’t all materials be made to produce flame ?
That matter is composed of atoms we take for granted … but can we hope to unravel what they actually look like ?
Burning, technically known as combustion, is a chemical reaction where a substance combines with oxygen and releases energy in the form of heat and light, which we see as flames. The substance starts off in a higher energy state, and by combining with oxygen ends up in a lower energy state.
The simplest of experiences can hatch eureka moments. Legend has it that despite all his inherited wealth and global travels, the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus hit upon one of the most fundamental of ideas in physics while sitting in the comfort of his own home.
One of the most common and baffling science questions is “how does gravity work?”. If you too find yourself confused then rest assured you’re in good company … even Sir Isaac Newton admitted he was baffled by gravity. In this article we look at Einsteins solution to this conundrum.
Geologist often trot out some incredible facts without a second thought – “This rock is 4.4 billion years old…” said geologist Simon Wilde in 2001 as he introduced the oldest known piece of the Earth, but how did he know?
What would you say if we said that you were able to see Neutrinos – small sub-atomic particles – with the naked eye.I don’t think you’d believe us. So it will come as a surprise that one of the smallest and lightest of particles can be observed by anyone with a pair of eyes.