General, Research, Technology

Why are scientists concerned about the atomic problem?

No one really knows which onesprocesses occur inside the atom. The only thing that remains reliably known is that the electrons rush around the orbitals in the outer shell of the atom, forming a large amount of empty space, in the center of which there is a nucleus of protons and neutrons. Gathering together, protons and neutrons give the atom unique properties that subsequently determine certain qualities of a substance, which can be either oxygen or hydrogen, or iron or xenon. According to an article published on livescience.com, it is still unknown how exactly protons and neutrons behave inside an atom. In addition, the experiments showed that the protons and neutrons located inside the nucleus seem much larger than they actually are. What are these properties associated with and how can they be applied in practice?

The mystery of the work of the atom is still unsolved

How is an atom made?

As you may know, protons and neutrons,located inside the atom, are composed of tiny particles called quarks, the interactions between which are so strong that no external force can deform them. Gerald Miller, a nuclear physicist at the University of Washington, believes that the nucleons that are produced by the fusion of protons and neutrons have very little energy inside them. When physicists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) noticed in 1983 that electron beams repelled from iron in a manner different from free protons, they concluded that the size problem causes protons and neutrons inside heavy nuclei to act as if they have much big sizes. This phenomenon was called the EMC effect in honor of the group that accidentally discovered it.

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Quarks are the smallest particles found in the universe.

While quarks are special particles,the constituent nucleons interact with each other inside a single proton and neutron; quarks located in different protons and neutrons cannot equally actively interact with each other. However, due to the fact that about 20% of the nucleons in the nucleus are actually outside their orbitals, the interaction between them occurs much more vigorously than usual. This phenomenon occurs because quarks are able to penetrate the walls of nucleons, causing the destruction of the walls inside individual protons and neutrons.

Despite the fact that this theory of interactionsit sounds very believable, experts believe that the hypothesis does not completely solve the problem of the atomic nucleus, proposing to replace it with the so-called quantum chromodynamics or a system of rules governing the behavior of quarks. The difficulty in solving this problem lies in the low level of modern technologies that do not allow the extremely complex chromodynamic calculations necessary to confirm the theory.

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However, the EMC effect can help now.while clarifying some important issues of modern quantum physics. Will the introduction of supercomputers help solve the atomic problem? Perhaps time will tell.