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After watching Grand Designs the one with Stepehn Hawkings not the one about house :wink: He stated that all things have to equate back to zero ie make a mound of soil you had to remove this from somewhere else to create it etc. So my question is this, do atoms within the earths atmosphere decay and recreate?? or are we using the same ones over and over again? I was wanting to know this because upon a woman becoming pregnant where do the atoms come to create the baby in her womb? Do these atoms come from the death of people or other living organisms?? Hope this makes some sort of sense and someone with a far superior IQ than me can help me out :wink:

Mike

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Pretty much atoms are stable, outside of nuclear reactions, so we just recycle them over and over. We take them in from the environment as food and air, use them to build our bodies and then die to recycle them (pauses to sing "Circle of life" from the lion king).

Apparently if you take a deep breath, you will fill your lungs with air, including at least one or two atoms that Julius Ceasar breathed with his dying breath. Feels a little unhygenic somehow :)

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So the old "life after death" thing is in theory true?? Not getting in to God or anything just in the case of we re use and recycle atoms that were here from the start of the planet?

Can further atoms from elsewhere in the universe though come through are atmosphere and become more building blocks on earth?

I have read a book not sure who by it was a while ago and the scientist believed that atoms could retain information????? Bit far fetched if you ask me but he was the scientist not me :grin:

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So the old "life after death" thing is in theory true?? Not getting in to God or anything just in the case of we re use and recycle atoms that were here from the start of the planet?

Well it's similar to the metal used in cars. When they are scrapped it's melted down and made into other cars, but its still metal. It doesn't really retain any of it's Vauxhall Vectra-ness when it becomes a Ford Mondeo :)

Can further atoms from elsewhere in the universe though come through are atmosphere and become more building blocks on earth?

Some do come into earth, quite a lot of dust for instance. Also some atmosphere is lost to outer space, but its not far wrong to consider the Earth a fairly closed system.

I have read a book not sure who by it was a while ago and the scientist believed that atoms could retain information????? Bit far fetched if you ask me but he was the scientist not me :grin:

Sounds very far fetched to me. Depends what you mean by information, but apart from their basic elemental states, they don't retain much other information. Of course those who believe in homeopathy and it's "memory" of the molecule might disagree ;-)

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Food/Water/Air is our atomic input, that's where we get our atoms from ;)

Edited by Cath
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There's a great book by Marcus Chown called The Magic Furnace, the story of atoms.

Olly

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Mikey you might want to watch BBC 4 at 9p.m on Tuesday the 23rd. There is a programme dedicated to the very subject of how information is retained within the universe. Might be a bit of a brain bender though ;)

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Apparently if you take a deep breath, you will fill your lungs with air, including at least one or two atoms that Julius Ceasar breathed with his dying breath.

There are about as many atoms in a single lungful of air as there are lungfuls of air in the entire atmosphere, hence the result. It was apparently first suggested by Enrico Fermi.

http://www.hk-phy.org/articles/caesar/caesar_e.html

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E=mc2

Energy = mass x 'the speed of light' squared (ie a very large number)

Energy and mass are interchangeable.....

eg 1 = if we take a large unstable atom like plutonium it is like this.....

'large unstable atom' = 'smaller atom which might be stable or not' + energy

eg 2 = if we take two small atoms under immense pressure and heat then squash them we get..

'small stable atom' + 'small stable atom' = 'larger atom which weight slightly less than the other two' + energy

or

H + H = He + energy .............. You might be interested in this one being a member on here :)

So if we ignore radioactive fission, fusion and radioactive decay etc. then we all the atoms simply flow around in a cycle much like the water cycle. It might take eons but the atoms in your body will eventually become part of something else.......

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