atomic physical properties

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Jerromy

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I'm curious if there are any known (or even theoretical) relationships of atomic structure to physical properties. What I mean, more specifically, are there any characteristics of normal matter which can be attributed to atomic structure or even any studies indicating that no concievable pattern can be determined?

I know that the right side of the periodic table are the noble gases which don't like to interact and the rest of the table has valance of preferable interactions with other elements but what I am more curious about is tangible physical characteristics of ordinary matter and how their atomic structure causes them to behave as they do. Why are some elements gaseous, some solid and others liquid, like mercury? Why are some elements conducive of electricity and others are insulative, or semi-conductive? With all the technology and amazing theoretical understanding of how everything works it seems rather bizarre that I can't find anything conclusive as to why things are the way they are. Knowing how things are is never enough for me, I need to know WHY things are the way they are.
 
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emperor_of_localgroup

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Jerromy":2ud0d8j5 said:
Why are some elements gaseous, some solid and others liquid, like mercury? Why are some elements conducive of electricity and others are insulative, or semi-conductive? With all the technology and amazing theoretical understanding of how everything works it seems rather bizarre that I can't find anything conclusive as to why things are the way they are. Knowing how things are is never enough for me, I need to know WHY things are the way they are.
Finally here is a thread with real questions in real world. My guess is most of the 'whys' you presented are currently unanswerable. Even though soneone will try to make a post with superficial answers, underlying deep meaning 'why' will not be answered.

I can throw a little light on the conductor question. I think certain elements have electrons which can be easily knocked off their orbits around the nucleus making them 'free electrons'. Depending on the degree of difficulties (required force) to release an electron from its orbit, we get conductors, insulators, and in-between. Why it is easier with some elements but not others? I think the answer lies in the formation of the element, which I am sure no one knows the correct answer.

Answer to your other questions IMHO are as hard as the question, "Why do we have so many (100+) elements, not just one or a few?". yes, I know someone will bring in 'repulsive forces' between nucleons, etc. My guess is in a baby universe the nuclei are formed first and then electrons got attached to them producing various elemental properties.

I love to hear more realistic answers.
 
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Shpaget

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Jerromy":dl4jw6e2 said:
are there any characteristics of normal matter which can be attributed to atomic structure or even any studies indicating that no concievable pattern can be determined?
Considering the fact that structure of atoms is on a subatomic level, and "normal matter" which we normally observe is not, there are no similarities. It's completely new world down in sub nano scale.

As to why the thins are the way they are, the answer lies pretty much in the electron shells. Since the architecture of those shells is fairly complicated, I will not pretend I know all about it, but it is the electron configuration that determines how an element behaves.
 
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origin

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Jerromy":3ka1r5kv said:
I'm curious if there are any known (or even theoretical) relationships of atomic structure to physical properties. What I mean, more specifically, are there any characteristics of normal matter which can be attributed to atomic structure or even any studies indicating that no concievable pattern can be determined?
Sure. The first most obvious is that the atomic structure indicates what mass of the element. Others include things such as radioactivity. Carbon 14 is radioactive and carbon 12 is not. Some heavier elements such as U235 can be induced to fission with the addition of a neutron while U238 will not undergo fission it will however decay to PU239 which will undergo fission. Also an atoms ability to undergo fusion and the amount of energy produced or required is dictated only by it's atomic structure.

I know that the right side of the periodic table are the noble gases which don't like to interact and the rest of the table has valance of preferable interactions with other elements but what I am more curious about is tangible physical characteristics of ordinary matter and how their atomic structure causes them to behave as they do. Why are some elements gaseous, some solid and others liquid, like mercury? Why are some elements conducive of electricity and others are insulative, or semi-conductive? With all the technology and amazing theoretical understanding of how everything works it seems rather bizarre that I can't find anything conclusive as to why things are the way they are. Knowing how things are is never enough for me, I need to know WHY things are the way they are.
All of the items in this paragraph are chemical in nature not atomic. Whether a materal is conductive, liguid, or reactive can be determined from it's chemical properties which are determined by in large by the valence electrons.
 
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centsworth_II

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emperor_of_localgroup":jsz2vdca said:
...My guess is in a baby universe the nuclei are formed first and then electrons got attached to them producing various elemental properties.
According to the Big Bang theory, the first elements formed were hydrogen, helium, and lithium. All others had to wait for the growth and death of stars to form them.
 
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Jerromy

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I keep thinking about it like this: It is similar to the DNA in every cell in our bodies. A simple set of blocks encodes the mechanisms which on a larger scale create the diverse characteristics of cells and the properties they employ towards maintaining a physical existence. I know it is a weak analogy because proteins "read" the DNA and construct the encoded mechanical components but what if spacetime is like the proteins and the atomic structure is somehow manifested as the physical properties we see in ordinary compounds. I can't help but think there is a key to a grand unified theory of physics lying in the transition from atomic scale to molecular scale.
 
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michaelmozina

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Jerromy":k8vtluk1 said:
I keep thinking about it like this: It is similar to the DNA in every cell in our bodies. A simple set of blocks encodes the mechanisms which on a larger scale create the diverse characteristics of cells and the properties they employ towards maintaining a physical existence. I know it is a weak analogy because proteins "read" the DNA and construct the encoded mechanical components but what if spacetime is like the proteins and the atomic structure is somehow manifested as the physical properties we see in ordinary compounds. I can't help but think there is a key to a grand unified theory of physics lying in the transition from atomic scale to molecular scale.
The notion of a GUT of physics is the "holy grail" of science.

Nuclear chemistry is at least a little like DNA in that just three basic building blocks (protons, neutrons and electrons) are able to create the wide range of different elements and molecules in our universe. Their temperature and their internal configurations determine the state of the material (plasma, gas, liquid, solid).

There have also been high speed collision events suggesting that some subatomic "building block" particles may be composed of electrons and positrons, or at least they can be created from them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Elec ... n_Collider
 
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tallat

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Hello to all especially Gerromy and emperor_of_localgroup,
guys I am simply so grateful to chance and then exited by expectation of fresh thoughts, questions, suggestions,and ideas here on this page.

I would here like to introduce myself, my name is Tallat Mahmud I live in London. for the past 8 years I have been exploring learning analysing understanding knowledge that is available to us and then discarding, eliminating rejecting all that my intelligence cannot accept , and my intelligence is only equip t with logic and common sense.
Exactly the same sort of thing that you guys has demonstrated that you too are practising I will learn a lot from you two.
I will await your next posts.
Nice to meet you.
 
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Fallingstar1971

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(might not be what your looking for, but I couldnt resist)

Yes, conductors allow electrons to hop from atom to atom to atom all the way down the conductor. HOWEVER, this is NOT the natural state. You must apply a potential (voltage) either from a power source or through electro-magnetism in order to get them moving. Not only that, in order for an electron flow you also need a complete circuit, from source to load to ground, either by linking back to the source or by running a rod into the earth.

And yes, not all elements make good conductors, but most metals are. Good conductors can be used for small wires, (ie copper, gold) Lesser, but still moderately good conductors (such as Aluminum) require a larger voltage. In fact, you will find that the substances that conduct electricity the best ALSO conduct heat the best (heat sink in your computer, Aluminum block with a copper panel, The radiator in your car has copper coils.)

And yes, Aluminum is a conductor of electricity, but it has this annoying little habit of expanding under load and causes its electrical connections to loosen creating a fire hazard, which is why Aluminum can NOT be used in residential wiring. (30 years ago it was legal, then houses started burning down so they stopped that) Once you get into the bigger wire sizes (6 and 8 gauge) the connectors are so big that the fittings do not loosen as easily. These wire sizes are used in commercial and industrial applications. However, if you have an antenna with a lightning rod on it, I believe thats 8 gauge wire (just to get an idea of the thickness) Like bullets, the lower the gauge the bigger the bullet.

Star
 
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centsworth_II

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emperor_of_localgroup":2f9x6qt9 said:
Finally here is a thread with real questions in real world. My guess is most of the 'whys' you presented are currently unanswerable....
"Why are some elements gaseous, some solid and others liquid, like mercury? Why are some elements conducive of electricity and others are insulative, or semi-conductive?"

The questions he is asking should be answered in any good high school chemistry class. Each type of atom has a specific number of electrons arranged in a specific way. This arrangement determines how that element's atoms will react with other atoms. This determines the properties of the element.
 
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babea

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centsworth_II":2b4gfezh said:
emperor_of_localgroup":2b4gfezh said:
...My guess is in a baby universe the nuclei are formed first and then electrons got attached to them producing various elemental properties.
According to the Big Bang theory, the first elements formed were hydrogen, helium, and lithium. All others had to wait for the growth and death of stars to form them.
Yes, the heavy elements from the heavy stars.
 
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