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 Air Molecules
Name: N/A
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
Are there spaces in between air molecules? If yes what is in those spaces?



Replies:
Not only is there empty space in between molecules, there is empty space INSIDE molecules and atoms!

John Hawley


This question is actually a very old one - the greeks debated "atomism", with the objection to "atoms" being that if you have atoms, then you must have empty space between atoms, and this did not seem to make sense. Well, it turns out to be true - space has a structure all by itself, and atoms and molecules just move around in it. Of course, there are electromagnetic fields and other similar things that penetrate space everywhere, so even empty space is not really quite empty. So maybe both sides were right.

Arthur Smith



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