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 Be the first pioneers to continue the Astronomy Discussions at our new Astronomy meeting place...The Space and Astronomy Agora Re: I Have Always Heard That Matter Can Neither Be Created Nor Destroyed Forum List | Follow Ups | Post Message | Back to Thread Topics | In Response ToPosted by greg padilla on September 17, 1998 16:25:44 UTC

: : : I have always heard that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. This theory may be relevant to my question. First let me set the hypothetical situation. If I had a ball or a box, or any three-dimensional object that at some point in time started getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller, would this object it in some point reduce itself to nothing? Gone? Nada? Or would it forever continue to reduce in size for infinity? I was under the assumption that the object would continue to reduce itself for infinity. If my theory is correct I want to apply that same question to space or distance. If two trains were headed for a head on collision, would the space between the two trains reduce itself to nothing? Or would the space forever continue to shrink and reduce itself? Obviously not because there are numerous incidents of train collisions. What I want to know is how do we define the space or distance between the two trains the instance before contact? If we could measure the minimum distance between the two trains before they collided what would that be? And if that "minimum distance" exist, then there must be empty space between the two trains. And if there is empty space between the two trains, then obviously we can reduce or shrink that space by half of that so called "minimum distance". Do we forever keep reducing this space between the two trains……..Or at what point do they make contact. Please help me. : : : Thanks in advance

: : I am not an expert but I will give my opinion. First I'll start out with the train. Lets look at the point of "collision" there would be atoms hitting each other, but would anything really "touch"? I don't think so. The electrons may get close to each other, but they won't touch. It's hard to make negitive particals touch each other that are going close to light speed. Now you mentioned "minimum distance" .. well lets assume we make those electrons "touch". How large is an electron? Do electrons consist of smaller particals? If they do how small? : : It olny makes sense that electrons do constist of smaller particals. Or you can call them "waves", or "energy". I like to think of them as points of force. And how close do you have to get two points before they touch? We'll you have to get them right on top of each other. That would mean that two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. : : Now to the question of what happens when things get infinatly dense. We'll I'm not sure, but it makes sense to me, that you could compact any object into a point of space, but the forces affecting it would be so strong as you got close to that state, because of the amount of matter in such a small space, that I do not know what would happen. Maybe "big-bang". When you get huge objects compact to the subatomic level, things like gravity don't work the same. You have to apply strong, weak forces and a lot of relitivity. Things start acting more like waves then particals. Things are moving at near light speeds .. who knows.

: jhbjh

sorry, I was just seeing if I was posting correctly I see a problem with your line of reasoning. You, and most astrophysicists in general, assume that a black hole is a singularity, and that infinite density is possible. For the sake of reasoning, let us assume that there are no such things as singularities. Because a singularity is actually nothing but an imaginary coordinate. Electrons, therefore would not be "points of force" as one gentleman put it, but measurable forces- having mass, density, etc. Since things actually do collide we are forced to assume that attoms can in fact bump into each other. You are correct in thinking that you could always cut the distance between the trains, or anything in half. The interesting value is the limit which the fraction of space approaches. Zero. I suppose that at an atomic level magnetic fields and other undiscovered forces play a great deal in collision physics, but an object, or atomic response is based on fact that the objects actually collided, or inter- acted with each other in some way. So I pose this to you. The "minimum distance" that can exist between any two objects, or atoms is zero. That is to say, they DO NOT occupy the same space, but physically touch one another. Other factors like, momentum and mass determine how hey will react. The basic underlying thought is that there are no singularities. There are only things so small we cannot understand them with our current theories of gravitation, and physics.