Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Computer (Part 6) - Atoms

He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible.  Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers- everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything and holds everything together. (Colossians 1:16-17 GW)

Let's go from the very large to the very small.  Let's go so small that no one has ever seen it.  Let's "look" at the building block of matter itself: the atom.

The study of atoms are at the "theory" stage  of our scientific endeavor. (It hasn't become a law yet.)  In this theory, three basic elements form an atom.  Protons and Neutrons hold together in the core of the structure, forming the nucleus.  Electrons orbit the nucleus in patterns which are being theorized now.  Protons are positively charged and hold the negatively charged electrons close at hand in their orbit.  The number of Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons determine the atom's type, atomic mass, and electrical charge.  Atoms interact with other atoms in ways that are predictable, making the whole science of chemistry (and biology, and even physics) possible.

The question I'm left with is this:  "What holds the atoms together?"  I understand that scientists will tell me it's the negative charge and relatively small mass of the electron that is held in orbit by the relatively large mass and positive charge of the proton.  But that doesn't answer my question.  What gives the proton the positive charge?  How does it keep a charge?  For that matter, what keeps the electron negatively charged?  Why don't we put that stuff in my cell phone battery?  What keeps the atomic mass of each atom at a constant rate?  What keeps the orbit exact for every atom of the same kind and what makes it so the atoms interact in such a predictable way that we can build entire scientific endeavors around these interactions?

The atom is the simplest structure science has to study.  It is the most basic building block for all other scientific studies.  It leaves us with more questions than answers.  All we know is that things work this way.  We don't know why.  I'm glad atoms hold together the way they do.  If they didn't, life as we know it would cease to exist.

Protons...Neutrons...Electrons...Electrical Charges...Orbits...Constant Atomic Mass...Predictable Interaction...Click...Click...Click...Click...