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michael crowe

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Could a galaxy be an atom?

I've been toying with this idea for some time, I'm no physicist but I think there's some validity in it. Its nothing original but I've found a lack of true discussion on the subject, even though recent advances seem to be pointing toward it.
Basically the idea is simple. As I understand, it is currently believed that matter and energy is on a fixed band, starting with sub-atomic particles and quantum mechanics, working up through atoms and molecules, to galaxies and associated physics. Instead, think of this band as merely our perception of an infinite spectrum of matter, energy, and time.

A few points to be discussed;
-If matter is infinite, as it seems to be, then it would stand to reason that it would look something like a fractal, self similar, repeating through infinity.
- An atom consists of a dense nucleus at its core, surrounded by a probability cloud of positively charged electron(s), inbetween which is space, vast distances of space. Similarly, a galaxy is believed to consist of a dense nucleus at its core (super massive black hole), surrounded by a cloud of energy emitting stars. Of course, separated by vast distances of space.
-Time is relative. If you took a galaxy and scaled it down to the size of an atom, you would proportionately speed up time as you reached the self similar "band-width". The stars that were once traveling slow enough to be observed, are now traveling much faster than the speed of light (which would also be scaled down beyond what we can observe) and running the course of their lives in a fraction of the time it takes this post to reach its destination when i hit submit. This may be why we can only predict where an electron could be at any given time.
-When we split an atom, we are releasing the energy of a miniscule, SMBH.
-Sub atomic particles seem to have widely varying properties and sizes, and so do the components of galaxies.
-Anyone notice that a map of the known universe seems to have a similar structure as a molecule?

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    Feb 5 2012: Its important to remember that an atom is bound by the same laws of gravity as everything else, this includes solar systems and galaxies, so there would ofcourse be a similarity (largest and dense mass at its core with lesser masses trapped in its gravitational field orbiting it). But the similarities to a large extent end there.

    Its also important to note that the micro and macro realms of matter also behave differently (Which is why electrons have a 3-dimensional unfixed orbit, where as a galaxy has a somewhat fixed 2-dimensional orbit) and that is quite a significant difference.

    So in essence, you're *kind* of making an interesting observation (that matter behaves similarly despite its size, due to universal forces) but the observations are largely just cosmetic and tend to break down with more observation.
    • Feb 5 2012: Unfortunately I was running out of room, I have a possible explation for the 2d vs 3d issue. Do galaxies have more than one axis of rotation? I know that the stars rotate around the center, but if the galactic plane itself rotates, when its sped up a billion fold, wouldn't it have the same effect as a disc on a wound string spinning to look like a sphere?
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        Feb 5 2012: A galaxy tends to just have one axis of rotation (aslong as we're not including the actions within individual solar systems), I don't believe there are any known galaxies that have any significant variation on that. Once again the method for galaxies are quite similar to solar systems --Gravity simply exerts a force that favors a plane of existence for matter above the atomic level.

        'when its sped up a billion fold, wouldn't it have the same effect as a disc on a wound string spinning to look like a sphere?'
        No, there are two slight flaws in that analogy:

        1) The string begins to look like a sphere due to your hand forming a pivot that tilts the string slightly on each rotation, its practically an optical illusion (a better example is a disk spinning in a cd-drive, notice how it maintains its 2D shape) and the only way to actually cause a distortion would be with a gigantic gravitational field to warp space itself, but thats not caused by this mechanism.

        2) With such speeds the equilibrium between Gravity and Inertia would alter and the galaxy would immediately pull itself a part.

        The idea of some form of perpendicular orbit amongst other orbits isn't inconceivable *on paper*, but it only exists within extraordinary and elaborate situations, its not a natural order and therefore atoms and galaxies cannot be compared beyond cosmetic observations.