Originally posted by Taoman
Things don't fall through other things because they are levitating on an electrostatic field! I am not kidding! When you sit on a chair, you are not really touching it. You see, every atom is surrounded by a shell of electrons. This electron cloud presents a rather negative face to the world. Remember that like charges repel each other. When two atoms approac try. It's all about the electrons!
I have been biting my tongue every time I read Buddhist threads and posts on here lately. My main problem is that I don't seem to speak the language of today's Buddhists. I am hesitant to respond because I'm not even sure what the posts are actually saying
But this thread brings it into my realm of interest. I am far from an expert on physics. But it doesn't take an expert to see that this paragraph is misleading.
Things don't fall through other things because they are levitating on an electrostatic field!Levitate
is the wrong word. The definition is
to rise or float in or as if in the air especially in seeming defiance of gravitation (my emphasis)
This is obviously not what is happening when I sit down on a chair. The chair surface compresses under my weight (or at least it does if it's a comfortable chair 🙂), due to the force he left out - there is no 'seeming defiance of gravitation'.
You see, every atom is surrounded by a shell of electrons.
Oops...he should say 'every atomic nucleus
is surrounded by a shell of at least one electron'. This is probably an honest mistake, but definitely should be corrected so as not to give a learner the wrong idea.
When two atoms approach each other, their electron shells push back at each other, despite the fact that each atom's net charge is 0.
I'm going to be nice and call this too simplistic. None of us, our clothes, or our chairs are made up of mere atoms. They're made up of molecules. And when we consider things in light of molecules, we find that they have distinct polarities and are not always repulsive. One obvious example is a water molecule: http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/tutorials/chemistry/page3.html. The hydrogen bonding between water molecules is responsible for many of the unique properties of water.
Once both atoms' outer shells are full due to this electron sharing, they go back to their usual repulsive behavior.
Once again, the water polarity example shows that this is false. The positive polarities of water are at the hydrogen atoms, which have their only electron shared.