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Atoms: Structure And Behavior

Atoms are composed of protons and electrons, and, except for hydrogen atoms, neutrons.

An electron is an aggregate of neg bits. It can be pictured as a sphere. Within the radius of that sphere, neg bits are strongly attracted to each other. Beyond that sphere, neg bits are repelled. If another neg bit arrives when the electron core is fully occupied, that excess bit is rejected. On the other hand, a neg-pos pair can attach itself to the electron, because its net effect is to move the electron. Since all electrons are moving, they are all carrying a number of neg-pos pairs proportional to their velocity.

We are permitted to ignore Einstein's theories in this presentation, because this is an alternative theory, whose purpose is to make science understandable. According to neg-pos theory, motion is relative to a fixed frame of reference.

The fixed frame of reference is a supposed set of material things in which all of them contain the minimum possible quantity of bits, because they are motionless.

As a practical matter, the quantity of matter in an electron has been measured in the laboratory. The quantity of excess baggage on a slow-moving electron is too small to measure. Evidently, the laboratory is in slow motion, although it is moving along with the earth, that is moving along with the sun, that is moving along with the galaxy. Compared with the motion of a photon, the motion of the heavenly bodies is negligible.

It is true that ordinary motion can be measured finely by means of the doppler effect, but in this discussion we are concerned with the extremely small alteration of mass at common speeds.

The mass of an electron, when its speed is not negligible, has been measured in a cyclotron, and it does vary according to the rate of motion of the electron. In the interiors of the sun and the earth, electrons move so fast that they carry thousands of times as many neg-pos bits as their core carries neg bits. For some strange reason , when that figure is 1840, the combined neg and neg-pos form a stable particle, an antiproton.

At the same time, positrons combine with neg-pos and become protons. In the same furnace that produces these heavy particles, the reverse process occurs, and they decompose. At the border between the hottest region and its neighbor, the disintegration stops. If a proton encounters an antiproton, there is a reaction that breaks both of them down to smaller arrangements of their bits. For some unknown reason, at ordinary temperatures, matter is free of antiprotons.

Likewise, positrons are scarce. There are a few known nuclear reactions that yield positrons and antiprotons. Atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons, all of which are made of bits. Therefore it is no surprise that other kinds of aggregates of bits result from nuclear reactions. Most of the product particles disintegrate in a small fraction of a second. Positrons and antiprotons are stable, but they soon interact with other particles and cease to exist in their original form.

Before we build atoms, let us consider the neutron. It behaves like a proton to which an electron has been added, and it has a mass that is equal to the sum of the masses of a proton, and an electon. It is hard to imagine its internal architecture, but its behavior in nuclear reactions is well known.

If an atom consists of one proton and one electron, it is stable. It is a hydrogen atom. An atom that has one proton, one neutron, and one electron is stable. It is a deuterium atom. Any atom that has one proton and more than one neutron is unstable.

When we say unstable, we mean that the atom may possibly disintegrate sooner or later. It may take a fraction of a second or a thousand years. In either case it can be triggered to disintegrate by less force than the forces present in the in the resulting fragments.

As the number of protons increases, the number of neutrons per proton increases. The number of protons in the nucleus is the feature that determines the group of atoms that will bear the same name. For example oxygen atoms may have 16, 17, or 18 neutrons, but they all are called oxygen, as long as they have 8 protons.

Each element has atoms with a fixed number of protons, but a variable number of neutrons. Each variation in neutron number is an isotope of that element. Some isotopes are stable, and some isotopes of the same element are unstable.

At room temperature, individual atoms of hydrogen are extremely rare. Whatever hydrogen is found in the atmosphere is either molecules of hydrogen consisting of two hydrogen atoms, or molecules of compounds like water in which two hydrogen atoms are joined to one oxygen atom.

To break a hydrogen molecule into two separate atoms, one method is to bombard the molecule with speedy molecules. Although the encounter between molecules is called collision, there is no real touching. When one particle approches another too closely, the repulsive force between them becomes extremely great, causing both particles to rebound.

It would appear that I have introduced a new thing in the universe after I have said that everything in the universe is made of bits. I mean "force". However force is not a thing. It is merely a name given to the behavior of bits. There is no way to explain the what, how, and why of the attractive and repulsive pulls and pushes of bits, or for that matter, the existence of bits.

There is another word that I use, which also is merely an idea. That word is energy. In the case of colliding molecules, there is potential energy which is the measure of the motions that will follow the instant of closest approach, and there is kinetic energy, which is the same thing from another point of view. In any case, the total energy of the system is constant.

We can be sure that energy did not cause the collision and the results. The cause was neg-pos bits. Consider the attacker, the one with the motion. It was originally caused to move by a previous collision in which it received extra neg-pos in proportion with its increase in motion. We call the motion kinetic energy, and we call the extra neg-pos mass. What it amounts to is two different ways of measuring the same thing.

Let me remind you that the hydrogen atom, at rest, also has mass; but it does not have kinetic energy. To be exact, a distinction is made between the kinetic energy of the entire atom and the internal kinetic energy of the nucleus and the electrons as they oscillate. The energy that it does have is potential energy. Potential enegy is kinetic energy that can appear, but is not in progress. The core of the proton and the core of the electron are bits with like charges which, under other circumstances would fly apart explosively. The kinetic energy of that possible event is part of the potential energy of the atom.

As a matter of fact, such core explosions have been observed. That is how a positron interacts with an electron, causing all of their matter to take the form of a gamma photon, and their motion to be at the speed of light.


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