In the last rate of science Friday we disputed how all issue is make of an ext than 99% empty space. We finished the blog post by posing this question: If all issue is comprised of largely of empty space, why can not my hand pass through the weld I simply made?

Every time i think about this topic, ns think of the opening to the Cohen brothers movie, The men Who rigid at Goats. If friend haven’t seen the movie, right here is the opening scene:

As funny as it is to watch a grown male run complete speed into a wall and end up ~ above his backside, this clip does show a an excellent scientific concept. If that wall surface is greatly empty space, why can’t he run v it? Why go it feel solid? Why go it leave him v a evil headache, a black eye, and also no dignity?

The price is the electrostatic force.

You are watching: What does the electrostatic force do inside the nucleus

The electrostatic force holds electrons and also protons together in atom and allows the atoms of different facets to bond together to form new substances. That is additionally responsible because that the solidity of hard objects. The electrostatic pressure is summed up in the law of charges: opposite fees attract and also like charges repel, just choose the opposite ends of a magnet.

Here’s just how it works:

The inconceivably tiny atoms that integrate to make every one of the living and also non-living things roughly us space made of the very same three particles: protons, neutrons and also electrons. Protons have actually a optimistic charge and also electrons have actually a an unfavorable charge. Neutrons, together their surname suggests, have actually no charge. The protons and also neutrons space tightly pack in a main nucleus. Electrons, i m sorry are nearly 2,000 times smaller than protons and also neutrons, are found whizzing around outside the nucleus in areas that scientists contact shells or orbitals. If the nucleus to be the size of a golf ball then the nearest electron would certainly be about a mile away. The room in in between is mostly empty space!


The negatively fee electrons are held in orbit approximately the nucleus because they are attracted to the positively charged protons. Electron play an electrical balancing act; trying to obtain as close together they can to the nucleus while keeping as far away native each other as possible. The liked-charged proton in the nucleus don’t repel every other since protons themselves space made of even smaller particles referred to as quarks. This quarks develop a strong nuclear pressure that stop the cell core together.


The actions of magnets gives us a feeling of the attractive and also repulsive electrostatic forces at play inside atoms. If you host the phibìc pole of one magnet near the south pole of another magnet, an invisible but very real magnetic pressure will pull every of castle together. If you upper and lower reversal the magnet about and shot to push the south poles of each magnet together, the same magnetic force will reason them come repel every other. Unlike poles attract and also like poles repel the means that opposite dues attract and like charges repel.


This is a fun small experiment, yet what walk it have to do with walking with a wall? after ~ all, how many of united state wouldn’t love to have the ability to walk v any wall or door? Well, atoms may be make of mostly empty space, however their external edges—the component of the atom the you come in contact with when you touch a wall, a door, or any type of other heavy object—is a repertoire of electrons. Of course, human being are likewise made that atoms, so once the male in the movie tries to run v the wall, the electron on the outside edges the his atoms are repelled through the electrons on the outside edges the the atom that consist of the wall. It doesn’t really issue that atom are largely empty space between the nucleus and also the electrons due to the fact that when it pertains to everyday objects we’re yes, really only taking care of electrons!


If girlfriend head has actually not exploded yet, it will…

This is why you never really touch anything. Take 2 fingers and also push them together. That feels together though they room touching, right? every finger feeling solid. You have the right to feel the fingers pushing against each other. However, if you to be to look at her fingers in ~ the atomic level friend would see that they never come into contact with one another! your fingers room actually feeling the electron in the atoms of one finger pushing against the electrons in the atom of the various other finger. This is comparable to the repulsive habits of a magnet when you try to carry like poles together. You feel the resistance of the magnetic force yet the magnets never actually touch. This is the illusion the solidity!

When you choose up a welding torch, the feels solid, it has mass and weight. However, you room not in physical contact with the torch. Instead, the electrons in the atom of the torch room repelled—at an infinitesimally close distance—by the electrons in the atoms of your hand.

Thus the electromagnetic force explains why you don’t fall through the floor also though the floor is comprised of much more than 99% empty space. This is additionally the factor why we can’t run through walls… which kind of sucks because I’d choose to be able to scare my mam in the kitchen by just popping in through the wall.

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If you feel like you let go something below is a quick tiny video I uncovered that sums this every up:

David Hernandez


Happy date of birth Cell Phones!

This week the mobile turned 40 year old. The DynaTac 8000X, the very first commercially available cell phone expense a very reasonable $4,000. Since we have the right to put the indistinguishable of a supercomputer in our pockets for a just $200 these days, I would say the an innovation has come quite a long way.