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  • Hey There! Welcome To Life Noggin!

  • Everything in the universe is made up of atoms.

  • Atoms are 99.9999999% empty space.

  • So that means you humans, the walls you want to walk through, and everything around you is mostly empty space.

  • It's mind boggling, but if that's true, why can't we pass through that empty space?

  • Atoms are made of electrons and a nucleus containing protons and neutrons.

  • We usually see atoms drawn like this, but these sketches are nowhere near to scale.

  • Let's say an atom is the size of a melon.

  • If that's the case, then the nucleus and the electrons would be too small to even see!

  • So yeah, there's lots of empty space.

  • But it's not entirely empty.

  • In those basic sketches of atoms, it's usually illustrated that electrons orbit around the nucleus just like our planet orbits the sun.

  • But in actuality, electrons swarm around that empty space in cloud formations.

  • Think about it like a fan.

  • It may seem like there's lots of empty space, but when it's turned on, you can see that the blades are basically everywhere all at once.

  • Now, theoretically, if you tried to stick your hand into that fan, you'd see that your hand

  • and the fan blades can't exist in the same place at once

  • No, Triangle Bob, don't! I said theoretically!

  • Anyway, two things cannot exist in the same place at once and the same goes for electrons.

  • This theory is called the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

  • No two electrons can be in the same state or configuration.

  • On a basic level, this is why you can't walk through walls.

  • So, you can't pass through an object, but did you know you actually can't even touch them either?

  • If you did stick your hand in that fan, you'd probably feel the blades hitting your hand, but you wouldn't actually be feeling the blades.

  • You've never truly felt an object ever!

  • Yes, i know this sounds pretty wacky, but bear with us.

  • You know how the negative end of a magnet repels other negative magnets?

  • That's what's happening when you try to touch anything.

  • It's like there's a little invisible force field between you and everything you touch.

  • It's poked and prodded, but never broken.

  • It's the same with everything else in the universe too.

  • Now, you obviously can't, but if you were to actually walk through a wall, it would basically break science.

  • Electrons are fermions and have to obey the Pauli Exclusion Principle.

  • But bosons, another type of subatomic particle, don't.

  • And if fermions started acting like bosons, the Universe would be a very weird place.

  • My head hurts just thinking about it.

  • But we aren't completely hopeless!

  • There's still quantum tunneling, which is where a very tiny particle can make its way

  • across a barrier even though, according to classical mechanics, it doesn't have the energy to do so.

  • And this isn't just some wacky idea -- tunneling is used in scanning tunneling microscopes.

  • Basically, electrons have a small probability of tunneling between the surface of the solid and a tiny tip on the microscope.

  • If you wanted to use phenomenon to walk through walls, you'd need every single particle

  • in your body to tunnel through the barrier. And sadly, the probability of that happening is very, very small.

  • Thanks to my animator though, I can pass through whatever I like. See?

  • Although it does kinda make me feel funny right after.

  • If you could choose one super power, what would it be?

  • Let us know in the comment section below!

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  • As always, my name is Blocko, this has been Life Noggin, don't forget to keep on thinking.

Hey There! Welcome To Life Noggin!

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How Could You Walk Through Walls?

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/02/20
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