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  • Writer's pictureMr. B

Me = Space!

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

Hey, I saw this scientific fact and it made me question ... everything, including "who I am," my own identity. Join me, as I share this astounding tidbit and begin to ask the questions that naturally follow... After you've given yourself some time and space for reflection, join the conversation in the Forum of this website!!

Here's Ella Frances Sanders...

"Humans have a tendency to think that we're all that, when in fact, we're not much of anything at all.

While the mass of an atom comes from its nucleus, that doesn't exactly take up much room, and the 7 billion billion billion atoms making up our bodies, alone with all the other atoms in the universe, are actually 99.9999999 percent space. This space isn't exactly empty, at least not in the way that you might suppose, but instead it is filled with electrons refusing to get overly close to one another, as well as wave functions and invisible quantum fields and ideas too huge to fit on a single side of paper. If you were to take away this "space," you would be able to fit the rest of you into a cube less than 1/500th of a centimeter in width.

The nucleus within an atom is about 100,000 times smaller than the whole structure, so much smaller that it would be like a single fly inside of a cathedral. Surrounding the nucleus is a cloud of electrons, which are often depicted in science textbooks as small orbs circling the nucleus in a very orderly and matter-of-fact way. In reality, these electrons are more like a giant swarm of birds -- it isn't possible to observe the exact movements of an individual but you can see the entire flock in motion.

There is really no better word to describe what electrons do than dancing, and it's not embarrassing or random dancing either; they follow a beautiful series of patterns and steps that were laid out by a single mathematical equation, one named after the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger, who did extraordinary work in the field of quantum theory. These dance steps vary, and the electrons never tire, and no two will follow exactly the same steps, something known as the 'exclusion principle.'

You appear, at a subatomic level, to be dancing all the time, which might provide food for thought next time you feel unable to do more than just a little self-conscious swaying, or an eyes-on-the-floor foot shuffle. Although, saying that, your body replaces 98 percent of your atoms every year, so maybe don't get too attached."

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