If atoms are mostly made up of empty space, why do things feel solid?
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
Well, scientists don't actually know that they are made of empty space. They just haven't discovered anything in that space yet. They know of several forces that work there, and they think there are some particles, but they haven't discovered them yet.
- Billy ButtheadLv 79 years ago
The strong force prevents you from falling through the floor or the earth.
- MorningfoxLv 79 years ago
Things feel solid because the atoms have shells of electrons around them. The electrons in one atom repel the electrons in other atoms. For example, the electrons in a table repel the electrons in your hand. This repelling force can get VERY strong if the atoms come too close.
Luckily, there is also a force that attracts atoms to each other. Otherwise the table would fall apart from the repulsive force of the electrons. But atoms are attracted to other atoms only in limited ways. Once a carbon atom (for example) has attracted and linked up to four other atoms, it has practically used up all it's attraction force; but the electronic repulsion force still works.
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- 9 years ago
Solid matter is made up of condensed atoms. Air feels like empty space because atoms are more spaced apart and flow and bounce around. In solid material, the atoms hardly move because they are so attracted to each other which is why they feel solid. There is empty space between them but it is so small that even microscopes can't tell.
- 9 years ago
Electrostatic interaction between the electrons in the object and those in the atoms of your skin. Since they are both negative they repel! Hence you feel solid things.
In more detail:
The atom is made up of a cloud of negatively charged electrons flying around a positively charged nucleus. As you bring atom near to another, the electrons repel each other. the cloud of electrons will move to one side, this makes one side of the atom more negative and one more positive; like a bar magnet! As you are aware, two bar magnets place N-N or S-S repel, so the atoms will also repel. It is this repulsion that "feels solid".