1. Joined
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    20 Apr '13 14:16
    how small is the smallest thing before it's nothing.
    That is the question can anyone answer it.
    is there a answer to this? it's been driving me crazy lately
  2. Cape Town
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    20 Apr '13 15:05
    Originally posted by tim88
    how small is the smallest thing before it's nothing.
    That is the question can anyone answer it.
    is there a answer to this? it's been driving me crazy lately
    I believe electrons and photons are not known to have a size. In other words, it may be the case that you can have something with zero width and still not be nothing.
    Of course, at the same time, the uncertainty principle suggests that even though it may be pointlike, you cannot actually know exactly where it is.
  3. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
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    20 Apr '13 15:56
    Originally posted by tim88
    how small is the smallest thing before it's nothing.
    That is the question can anyone answer it.
    is there a answer to this? it's been driving me crazy lately
    It is all in the mind of the beholder.
  4. Standard memberKepler
    Demon Duck
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    20 Apr '13 18:05
    Originally posted by tim88
    how small is the smallest thing before it's nothing.
    That is the question can anyone answer it.
    is there a answer to this? it's been driving me crazy lately
    The Planck length should put a limit on that.

    1.61619926 × 10^-35 metres
  5. Standard memberwolfgang59
    invigorated
    Dunedin
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    21 Apr '13 05:17
    Plank length
    http://bostontimber.eu/scaffold-boards
  6. Standard memberKepler
    Demon Duck
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    21 Apr '13 06:11
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Plank length
    http://bostontimber.eu/scaffold-boards
    What a difference a "c" makes.
  7. Germany
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    21 Apr '13 07:00
    Originally posted by tim88
    how small is the smallest thing before it's nothing.
    That is the question can anyone answer it.
    is there a answer to this? it's been driving me crazy lately
    The simple answer is we don't know. In quantum theory, the smallest length scale is the Planck scale, but we don't have anything that comes close to being able to measure such spatial resolutions.

    It should also be noted that the "size" of an object on such scales is no longer as well-defined as it is for macroscopic objects.
  8. Joined
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    21 Apr '13 09:13
    So we don't know then. ok thanks fellas
  9. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    21 Apr '13 13:051 edit
    Originally posted by tim88
    So we don't know then. ok thanks fellas
    So far the smallest actual particle is the quark, it takes three of them just to make up even ONE of the particles we formerly thought of as elementary particles like electrons, neutrons, protons and so forth.

    There are newer theories that say even the quark is made up of nothing but even smaller vibrating strings of one sort or another.

    And below that level there is the Quantum soup underlying the whole shmere of our world, where a quantum soup is like a boiling pot of water and off the surface comes other particles that did not exist the moment before, flashing in and out of existence in a tiny fraction of a billionth of a second.

    One already measured effect of that is the Coriolis effect or force which was postulated by a scientists, strangely enough named Coriolis, that the quantum underpinnings will make for particles flashing in and out of existence like flecks of water thrown up and down on the surface of a wave on the ocean. This makes a measurable force which tends to drive two surfaces together if they are close enough and smooth enough to actually get close enough without touching. This force has actually been measured in the lab and is not electrical, magnetic or gravitation, strong force, weak force, none of that. A totally different ball of wax having ONLY to do with the quantum underpinnings of our universe where there is a universal sea of chaotic quantum fluctuations that makes particles come and go on an incredibly small time scale and the particles produced can be matter, antimatter, quarks, strings, all the underlying stuff of our normal universe.

    A quick explanation of that force: as two very smooth plates, could be plastic, could be metal, could be rock, the main thing is it is ordinary matter, extremely smooth and very thin, two sheets like thin shim stock placed close enough together without touching, something happens in between the sheets that lowers the amount of flash particles coming into existence and so there is more force on the other side of the sheets where particles are coming and going at its normal rate.

    So on one side of the sheet less particles come about and the result is a real force pushing the two plates together. It is the result of a kind of quantum vacuum happening between the plates while the normal pressure on the other side makes a differential force causing the plates to move together, like they say, nature abhors a vacuum and will do anything it can to get rid of it๐Ÿ™‚.
  10. Cape Town
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    21 Apr '13 13:14
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So far the smallest actual particle is the quark, it takes three of them just to make up even ONE of the particles we formerly thought of as elementary particles like electrons, neutrons, protons and so forth.
    Actually electrons are currently as 'fundamental' as quarks in that they too are not currently known to be made up of smaller constituents. It is protons and neutrons that are made up of 3 quarks each. And don't forget neutrinos, photons, and of course the recently discovered, Higgs boson, and if you want a full chart:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model
  11. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    slatington, pa, usa
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    21 Apr '13 13:21
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Actually electrons are currently as 'fundamental' as quarks in that they too are not currently known to be made up of smaller constituents. It is protons and neutrons that are made up of 3 quarks each. And don't forget neutrinos, photons, and of course the recently discovered, Higgs boson, and if you want a full chart:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Model
    Thanks for the link. I thought all particles were made of quarks. Interesting electrons are in the class known as leptons which apparently are not made up of quarks. So I guess it is still a mystery exactly what is an electron or other leptons.
  12. Cape Town
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    21 Apr '13 13:43
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So I guess it is still a mystery exactly what is an electron or other leptons.
    Quarks are no less mysterious. If anything, the quantum mechanics of electrons and photons is very exact, whereas that of quarks is less so, mostly because the maths is easier for electrons and photons.
  13. Joined
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    21 Apr '13 14:52
    Originally posted by tim88
    So we don't know then. ok thanks fellas
    have a look at this, the largest thing to the smallest thing and everything in between -

    http://htwins.net/scale/
  14. Subscriberjoe shmo
    Strange Egg
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    21 Apr '13 16:02
    Originally posted by tim88
    how small is the smallest thing before it's nothing.
    That is the question can anyone answer it.
    is there a answer to this? it's been driving me crazy lately
    As far as mathematics, I would venture to guess (although you may not like the answer) and say, infinitesimal!
  15. Standard memberKepler
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    21 Apr '13 17:27
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    As far as mathematics, I would venture to guess (although you may not like the answer) and say, infinitesimal!
    Ssshhhh! Mathematicians often get their underwear in a turmoil over that word. That's why we have to trudge through all the epsilon-delta rubbish in mathematical analysis.
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