anonymous
  • anonymous
What is the size of the nucleus of an atom compared to its atomic radius?
Physics
katieb
  • katieb
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JamesJ
  • JamesJ
On an order of magnitude, an atom has a diameter of \[ d_{atom} = 10^{-10} \ m \] and the nucleus \[ d_{nucleus} = 10^{-14} \ m \] The ratio of the two is \[ \frac{d_{atom}}{ d_{nucleus}} = \frac{10^{-10}}{10^{-14}} = 10^4 = 10,000 \] Hence a nucleus is 10,000 wider than the nucleus. In terms of volume, this means the atom has \[ (10,000)^3 = 1,000,000,000 \] times more volume than a nucleus. You might also enjoy the first five minutes of this lecture: http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-02-electricity-and-magnetism-spring-2002/video-lectures/lecture-1-what-holds-our-world-together/
JamesJ
  • JamesJ
**correction \[ (10,000)^3 = 1,000,000,000,000 \] !!

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