Al3 how many protons and electrons
So far we have dealt with the forces that have an influence on the atomic nucleus. There is another important state of equilibrium in the atom that we need to consider - the equilibrium between its nucleus and the electrons.
Put simply, the electrons orbit the nucleus. The reason for this is an electrical charge. Electrons are negatively charged and protons are positive. Opposite charges attract each other, and so the electrons of the atom are attracted to the atomic nucleus. But the electrons also move at an enormous speed, which under normal conditions would throw them away from the atomic nucleus. These two forces (attraction and displacement) are balanced in such a way that the electrons move in a circle around the atomic nucleus.
Both the mass and volume of a proton are incomparably larger than those of an electron, but strangely enough, these two particles have opposite but equally strong electrical charges. Because of this, atoms are electrically neutral.
Atoms are also in equilibrium in terms of their electrical charges; the number of electrons orbiting is the same as the number of protons in the atomic nucleus. (For example, oxygen has eight protons and eight electrons.) In this way, the electrical energy of the atom is balanced and it is electrically neutral.
All of this is basic chemical knowledge. However, there is a point in this seemingly simple structure that is overlooked by many. A proton is much larger than an electron, both in terms of size and weight. If an electron were the size of a hazelnut, a proton would be the same size as a person. In terms of shape, they are very unequal.
But their respective electrical charge is quantitatively the same!
Although they are electrically charged in opposite directions (negative electrons, positive protons), the charges are the same. There is no obvious reason why that should be the case. One would think (and that would be “logical”) that an electron would carry a much smaller charge because it is so much smaller.
But what would happen if it did?
The result would be that every atom in the universe would be positively charged instead of being electrically neutral. And since the same charges repel each other, every atom in the universe would try to repel every other. Matter as we know it could not exist.
What would happen if this suddenly happened? What would happen if every atom started repelling every other?
Very extraordinary things would take place. We want to start with what changes would occur in our body. The moment these changes occurred, the hand and arms with which you are holding this book would suddenly shatter and scatter. And not just your hand and arms, but your whole body, your legs, your eyes, your teeth - every part of your body would explode in a split second.
The room you sit in and the whole world that surrounds you would explode in an instant. All the seas and mountains, the planets of the solar system and all the stars and galaxies in the universe would be scattered in atomic dust and there would never be anything to observe in the universe again. The cosmos would become a mass of disordered atoms clashing against each other.
How much would the magnitude of the electrical charges on protons and electrons have to differ from their actual values to cause these terrible things? One percent? A tenth of a percent? George Greenstein addresses this question in his book The Symbiotic Universe:
Small things like stones, people and the like would fly apart if these two charges were even as little as a hundred billionths (10-11) would deviate from their respective values. Larger structures, such as the earth and the sun, require a far more complete equilibrium in order to exist, namely an accuracy of one trillionth (10th century)-18).1
Here is another finely tuned balance that proves that the universe was arbitrarily planned and created for a specific purpose. As John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler point out in their book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, "there is a great design in the universe that encourages the development of intelligent life."
Of course, every design proves the presence of a conscious “designer”. This is one and only Allah, "the Lord of all worlds", who, as described in the Qur'an, has only the power to create the universe out of nothing and to have planned and designed it as He pleased. The Qur'an declares: "... the heavens that He built, and He raised its vault and completed it."
Because of the extraordinary states of equilibrium that we have discussed in this chapter, matter is kept in a stable state, and this stability is evidence of the perfection of Allah's creation as revealed in the Qur'an:
And under His signs it is that heaven and earth stand stable at His command ... (Sura 30:25 - ar-Rum)
|1 George Greenstein, The Symbiotic Universe, p. 64 f.|
2 W. Press, "A Place for Teleology?" Nature, Vol. 320, 1986, p. 315
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