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Name: Sam
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 


Question:
To the question "What is between the parts of an atom" (The electrons and the nucleus) you once answered "nothing". Given the vast relative spaces involved, and the sheer numbers of atoms, this makes for a lot of nothing. Can you elaborate on that answer a little? What is between the electrons and nucleus of an atom?


Replies:
A lot of nothing.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D.


How can one elaborate on 'Nothing'?

Remember that the electrons have a probability of being found at just about any location in the atom -- the atomic orbitals are pictures of the the probability density function for the electrons. The atomic orbitals have nodes where the electrons will never be found. Otherwise the electrons can be found pretty much anywhere. However, if the electron is not there (and neither is the nucleus) then 'NOTHING' is there, i.e., vacuum. And yes, that is a LOT of 'NOTHING'.

Dr. Bradburn



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