Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Expansion of Space and Atomic Size
Name: Stuart
Status: student
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
If space is expanding (due to a time dependant metric), then presumably the space inside of an atom is also expanding? Also, what is the effect of the expansion of time?



Replies:
While "space" is expanding on a cosmic scale, the effect on the atomic scale is far too small to be observable I would estimate. In addition, even the hydrogen atom, the simplest of all atoms, has many "minor" corrections due to various quantum effects that isolating the effect of the expansion of the Universe would be "swamped" by much larger "small" effects. And of course there is that pesky Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to be accounted for.

Vince Calder



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory