How Small is an Atom?

The Big Bang Theory is a cosmological model expressing the earliest known period of subsequent evolution. The theory explains the origin of the universe that led to its natural state projected as matter. The emittance from this theory essentially radiates the nascent beginning of cosmological matter, also known as atoms. As we are all aware, all matter in the universe is made up of atoms. Atoms are very small, to be precise an atom is around 0.1 to 0.5 nanometers in diameter. Each atom co-exists containing a nucleus (proton and neutron) in most cases and an orbiting electron. 
                              What are atoms

To roughly scale these up it would be like placing a pea, representing the nucleus of the atom, in the centre of a football. Here the orbiting electrons would be racing around the edges of the football stadium. To elaborate on this a little further there are some estimates regarding objects and an estimated atom containment. For example, in just one grain of sand, there are thoughts to be around 43 quintillion atoms. Does this mean there could possibly be more atoms in a grain of sand than stars in our universe?

Some big numbers to refer to:

 Million 1,000,000
 Billion 1,000,000,000
 Trillion 1,000,000,000,000
 Quadrillion 1,000,000,000,000,000
 Quintillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,
 Sextillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
 Septillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
 Octillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
 Nonillion 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
 Centillion 1 followed by 303 0's

If atoms are mostly empty space then why do objects look and feel solid?

John Dalton a chemist proposed two decades ago that all mater and object are made up of atoms, which is still accepted today. However, as mentioned before objects upon touch have some sort of rigidity and texture, but atoms are mostly comprised of empty space. The common assumption to this question is the attractive and repulsive forces between the atoms that create a sense of matter, but this does not stand up to scientific research. The accepted theory is that the feel of solidness is caused by the dancing electrons. 

Do atoms actually touch

To elaborate further, when your hand becomes let's say close to a wooden table your hand becomes in closer proximity to the electrons that make up the table. The closer in togetherness between the hand and the table leads to a change in the dance pattern emitted by the electrons. Essentially, this is because an electron in low energy level around one nucleus struggles to do the same around the other nucleus purely because that electron slot is already occupied by one of its own electrons.  

This then causes the hand to step into an unoccupied, higher-energy role, this is explained by the Exclusion Principle. Therefore, the supplied energy that must adherent, in this case, are projected from the forces of the hand.

To push two atoms together requires an immense amount of energy this is because all of the atoms electrons need to go into unoccupied, high energy states. To push all atoms making up the hand and the table together requires energy, an energy that is not expressed deep enough from a human muscle. Therefore, as a result, you feel that resisted tension upon contact of your skin.

This then highlights another question, do actually go through our whole lives and not really come into contact with anything? The concepts of touch at the boundaries project at the atomic level is essentially a non-existent trait. At the atomic level, hard boundaries do not really exist, atoms are not solid spheres. If you shrunk to the size of an atom you would just see a fuzzy quantum probability clouds filled with electrons spread out into an array of waving cloud-like shapes known as 'orbitals'. Clouds offer a great example, they have shape and a location without a hard surface or boundary. More importantly, this occurs because the atom has regions of high density and low density. Therefore, at the atomic level touch never happens.


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