September 25, 2020, 12:03:59 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: Intermolecular space  (Read 1257 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Beanyboy

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Intermolecular space
« on: April 13, 2018, 07:35:08 AM »
In matter, what occupies the intermolecular space?
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Offline Corribus

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2942
  • Mole Snacks: +452/-22
  • Gender: Male
  • A lover of spectroscopy and chocolate.
Re: Intermolecular space
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 09:00:48 AM »
Bearing in mind the fact that molecules/atoms have no discrete boundaries, and, strictly speaking, electronic wavefunctions extend to infinity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Beanyboy

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 11
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
Re: Intermolecular space
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 12:42:12 PM »
I had a feeling that it was probably "quantum fields", or at least something of that nature. Thanks so much for taking time out to reply!
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3579
  • Mole Snacks: +295/-57
Re: Intermolecular space
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2018, 05:27:39 AM »
In solids and liquids, the distances are short, so "electrons" are the most striking observable thing there, as Corribus put.

Farther from the molecules, for instance in a gas, you may observe electric and magnetic fields, dropping quickly with the distance.

"Quantum fields" if you wish... But what are the concrete consequences? As far as I know, observation was made within atoms, where the electric field is big. For usual life, "vacuum is empty" is quite accurate.

Sponsored Links