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Name: Robert C. J.
Status: other
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000


Question:
Sirs:

I see the H electron is .000048 micron from the nucleus. I have no appreciation for the micron [how many in a cm?]. I am trying to get a feel for the relative sizes. For example, if the hydrogen electron were magnified to the size of the earth, how far away would the nucleus be? Like the distance of the sun? Is there a lot of "space" in the atom? Has any one found a further divison or smaller particles than the electron?


Replies:
You have asked several questions let us go at them one at a time:

MICRON: 1 micron = 1 micrometer The prefix "micro" means one millionth or 10^-6

So 1 micrometer is 1/1000 of a millimeter.

PROTON vs. H-ATOM SIZE: The diameter of a single proton has been measured and is found to be 10^-15 meters. The diameter of a single hydrogen atom in its ground state is 10^-10 meters. So the RATIO of the size of the hydrogen atom to the size of the proton is 10^5.

Given that ratio, you can set the size of the proton to be any size sphere you choose -- a marble, a baseball, the earth,... and the size of the hydrogen atom will be 100,000 time larger. PICK YOUR PROTON!!

It is an oversimplification, but atoms and molecules are made up mostly of empty space.

Vince Calder



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