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Topic: atoms move even in absolute 0 temp?  (Read 7577 times)

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Offline arlaness

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atoms move even in absolute 0 temp?
« on: August 27, 2007, 08:00:33 AM »
i know electrons are always moving forever and cannot stop as it is a standing wave but do atoms in molecules moving relative to each other, even at absolute zero temperature? 

Offline Borek

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Re: atoms move even in absolute 0 temp?
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2007, 08:31:30 AM »
They are always oscillating around their equilibrium position.
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Offline arlaness

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Re: atoms move even in absolute 0 temp?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2007, 11:41:13 AM »
hmmm i see.. but how do you justify that answer?

thanks a lot for the reply :) appreciated it

Offline Borek

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Re: atoms move even in absolute 0 temp?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2007, 02:25:02 PM »
Uncertainty principle. Once they stop their position and speed will be both known exactly - they can't.
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Offline Yggdrasil

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Re: atoms move even in absolute 0 temp?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2007, 06:02:28 PM »
The laws of quantum mechanics don't just apply to electrons, but to all particles.  The effects of quantum mechanics, however, are just more noticeable with electrons because of their small mass.

The fact that atoms oscillate around their equilibrium positions at absolute zero gives rise to the concept of zero-point energy which you may have heard of.

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