TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Where did atoms originally form?

I am studying the Big Bang and trying to make sense of it. Is there research or ideas on how atoms initially formed? Has there been experiments done starting with basic subatomic particles to create a Hydrogen atom, for example? I know we can take existing atoms and smash them together to form higher-order atoms. The question is: Is there an existing level of research addressing (new) Atomic Synthesis?


Closing Statement from Gary Post

I have asked this question or a form of it on TED and across multiple sites. I have yet to hear a good answer that does not involve deux ex machina (a ghost in the machine) type answer. For example, I read about references to Chaos Theory and plasma and etc. I'm beginning to think some of the Intelligent Design proponents have a better handle on this than mainstream science. At some point, the line between we don't know and the far-reaching fantastical musings screams for the questioner to just have faith that it was a naturally occurring process. Atomic synthesis might happen once or twice by chance, but how could something like this happen in exactly the same way in such a repeated, perfect fashion? It defies logic and believabilty.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Oct 28 2013: Bumping my previous reply to the top as it expounds on my question..

    6 days ago: Stars form heavier atoms by smashing together EXISTING atoms. The (new) in my question obviously refers to the simplest atom, hydrogen. My understanding is that the protons and neutrons make up the nucleus, with the electron currently thought to exist not in a planed orbit, but in a cloud. The electron is moving very fast in it's orbit, and it's angular momentum is what stops it from falling into the nucleus. My question relates more to how the atom forms.

    Let's say the universe is cooling down and the quarks form the protons and the neutrons, electrons materialize, etc..,,, At this point, there is a real problem, at least in my mind. There is no angular momentum to stop the electron from ramming into the proton at this point, and there is no reason that the electron should prefer to organize versus follow the easy path of electromagnetism. I cannot rationalize this step from particles to atoms. Everything I've read just says the atoms formed once the particles came together.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.