Is Our Concept of Matter Merely an Incorrect Perception?

philosophy, Physics
Picture a large polished stainless steel bearing. Now visualize dropping it onto a concrete floor from a height of, say, h. It impacts the concrete and bounces back to a somewhat lesser height h′. What actually was the physics at the time of collision? Our concept of matter provides one answer. Our Concept of Matter The rock-solid steel bearing is not thrown, but “dropped”. It falls with a force equal to its mass times its acceleration due to gravity. That is, F = mg. Upon striking the concrete floor, the bearing experiences an equal yet opposite reaction forcing it to bounce back. Even so, due to internal and external factors, the bearing does not attain its original elevation. Is the Bearing Truly Solid? If the bearing were of solid and…
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What Is the Difference Between an Orbit and an Orbital?

Astronomy, Physics
[caption id="attachment_15523" align="alignright" width="440"] A 5-D atomic orbital, m=5[/caption] Although words can have multiple meanings, we will consider only the difference between an orbit and an orbital, the path of planets and that of electrons in atoms. Planets (and other astronomy objects) travel in orbits. Jupiter and Haley’s Comet orbit the Sun. Electrostatic forces and selection rules hold electrons in specific atomic orbitals. What is an Orbit? Orbits are generally elliptical in shape. Ellipses are circles that are stretched out along one axis. The degree of stretching is termed eccentricity.  The greater the stretch, the greater the eccentricity. Consider the figure below for comparison. The object doing the orbiting travels strictly in the path of the orbit. It does not deviate. In this respect, orbits of astronomical objects are different…
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Factors that Complicate Atomic Mass Determination

[caption id="attachment_8319" align="alignright" width="440"] Nucleus - CC-SA-3.0 by Marekich[/caption] Modern chemistry depends a good deal upon accurately knowing the atomic mass of each of the elements. What factors complicate determining those values? Each of the approximately 90 different natural-occurring elements possesses a nucleus or central core of protons and neutrons, in addition to electrons that orbit around the nucleus. It is important to the chemist or physicist to know the total mass of each element. Can correct values be obtained simply by summing the weight of individual particles in an atom? After all, each of these particles has a precisely known mass. The answer is, No! Such calculations disagree with experimental measurement. An example illustrates the point. Consider Helium-3 An atom of helium-3 has two protons, one neutron, and two…
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