Atom Self Contructs

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My fantasy atom assembles itself in this animation. First the nucleus appears. Then one-by-one electrons arrive. They are free particles until they are snatched up by a ravenous nuclear electrical field and transformed into circular atomic orbits. They instantly become matter waves (Louis de Broglie) keyed to an energy level or shell. The electrons have entered with only a small mass, their negative electrical charge and a top-like spin. Within their orbit, revolving at one percent of the speed of light, the negative electrical charge is smeared throughout the matter-wave ring and provides an orbital magnetic field. Unlike light waves matter-waves are impenetrable to one another (Pauli principle) enabling the electrons to pack the atom’s shells like eggs in a box. With these sets of forces the electrons interact with one another and build shells. Larger shells admit more electrons. When a shell is filled new members begin another shell until finally all energy states are filled and the whole atom becomes electrically neutral.

Energy Shift

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This animation represents a hydrogen atom’s single electron undergoing energy transformations. In this sequence light (energy) enters the atom from outside and transfers the electron’s matter-wave orbit to a higher energy state, moving it from shell to shell. The light is again expelled and the electron falls to a lower energy level. Incoming light expands the atom. Outgoing energy contracts the atom, a process analogous to breathing in and breathing out.

The Birth of C60 Soccer Ball Molecule

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An imaginary view of the birth of C60Soccer Ball Molecule (Bucky Ball) from a sheet of Graphene.

Voice of Nobel Laureate Sir Harold Kroto
Music by Richard Wagner

Leonardo Da Vinci Atom Model

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Leonardo da Vinci in 1474, after studying the Roman poet Lucretius (50 B.C.), invented a model of the atom, its parts represented as meshing gears. The work was lost along with pages from his Codex Atlanticus. Pope Alexander VI condemned Leonardo’s model as heretical. The lost drawings were only recently discovered.

Graphene

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Graphene, a single plane of graphite, is composed of hexagonal rings of carbon atoms. Here the camera travels through a fragment of graphene.

Atom Traffic Jam

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The Atom’s electrons represented as circular matter-waves.

Digital Stone Atom Sculptures

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Show of large granite sculptures of atoms being constructed in China from digitally produced rapid-prototype models.