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I know, by nature, normally atoms are stable. But I wonder, if it is possible to compress an atom, say the Hydrogen atom, to infinite density by applying external force? After all, electrons and protons would attract each other by electrostatic forces and nuclear forces are also there at least up-to a certain distance...

Has it been done?

The reason I thought of it, was because I was trying to find the ratio of the amount vacuum to the amount of matter in the whole universe...

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closed as off-topic by Mithoron, airhuff, Tyberius, Todd Minehardt, Jan Dec 21 '17 at 2:02

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    $\begingroup$ I would suggest you ask this question in the physics.sx $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Apr 1 '14 at 10:41
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    $\begingroup$ @AwalGarg Black hole. :) Prior to this, the nuclear reaction $\ce{Proton + Electron -> Neutron + Neutrino}$ occurs. As you keep applying pressure, electron degeneracy takes place. If you keep applying more pressure, you observe the phenomenon neutron drip where neutrons are expelled freely. This phenomena can be observed in neutron stars. If you keep continuing, you go through neutron degeneracy and finally create a black hole. $\endgroup$ – Jun-Goo Kwak Apr 1 '14 at 12:04
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not really about chemistry. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Dec 20 '17 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Jun-Goo Kwak don't we get electron degeneracy first, before proton-electron coalescence? Thought that was what white dwarf stars are made of. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Dec 20 '17 at 19:06
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We do not know. Physicists THINK that there ought to be a fundamental limit in scale for space-time that occurs near $10^{-33}$ centimeters and $10^{-43}$ seconds; often called the Planck Scale. There is also a unit of mass associated with this scale which is about $10^{-5}$ GRAMS or $10^{19}$ Billion Electron Volts (BeV or GeV). It is a simple matter to construct a 'Planck density' by computing $10^{-5}$ grams / $\text{(} 10^{-33} \text{centimeters)}^{3} = 10^{94}$ grams/cc. Many physicists think that this represents the highest density for any natural compression mechanism, because at higher densities, space-time itself transmutes into some type of quantum mechanical system for which 'density' is not a meaningful concept. So, if fundamental particles are truly without any structure larger than the Planck scale, then they can be packed together into a 'system' with a density of $10^{94}$ grams; the highest achievable density for energy/mass in this physical universe. Even within black holes, the famous 'Singularity' may not have infinite density, but merely a finite density near the Planck value. This is how 'quantum gravity' is thought to regulate, or eliminate real physical singularities; something which ordinary general relativity is not able to do.

I read it in a book Elegant Universe, by Brian Greene. This book has a whole seperate chapter for this.

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No, because under enough compression atoms stop being atoms.

After a certain point, a proton will - under enough pressure - react with an electron and become a neutron and an electron-neutrino. This happens in the formation of a neutron star; the atoms are compressed so much by gravity that all the protons absorb all the electrons leaving an extremely dense ball consisting of only neutrons.*

*The electron-neutrinos can fly straight through most matter, so they just escape into space.

There is, however a bigger problem with your question.

In asking about the 'vacuum/matter ratio' you make the implicit assumption that matter has a set volume, when in reality no such value can be set. "Matter" isn't even that well defined a term in the first place, but taking it to mean 'stuff that has rest mass' doesn't get you very far. Even for relatively "normal" atomic/molecular matter, gasses don't have a set volume.

However you may think that when we get into the super-dense matter of neutron stars (called neutron degenerate matter) there is a set density; all that's left is neutrons and they can't be compressed further, right? Wrong. Two neutrons can occupy the same position if they have different momenta - a good-ish way to think of this is that in addition to normal "position space" particles also occupy a kind of "momentum space" - and if pressure increases they can just use more momentum space and less position space.

So does this ever stop? Is there something that happens when you compress neutron degenerate matter more and more? Well yes, but it still doesn't help. Eventually, after a lot of compression, the neutron degenerate matter will collapse into a black hole. What density does that happen at? The answer - as you probably expect at this point - is that there is no set density for a black hole to form.

Instead of depending on the mass per volume (A.K.A. density) of an object, black hole formation depends on the mass per radius of an object. For something with the mass of the earth to become a black hole it needs to be compressed down to about 1.8 centimeters in diameter - which is extremely dense. Something the mass of a whole galaxy on the other hand will become a black hole if compressed into a space about half a lightyear wide, giving a density significantly less than that of air!

And all of this is to say nothing of dark matter, which outmasses all "normal" matter in the universe by almost an order of magnitude. All in all, there's no meaningful way to define the volume of most things in the universe - so "trying to find the ratio of the amount vacuum to the amount of matter in the whole universe" is a bit like trying to find the amount of blue in the time 3:15. The problem itself doesn't make sense.

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But we know Nuetron stars can be compressed down to extreme Densities,and extreme spherical radius diameters, caused by the extreme compression,via Gravitational collapse,we know that any Mass therefore can be compressed to these extremes, because these very compressed masses already exist in the partial vacum of space,don't they, so some force has compressed there mass,into an extreme density. I suggest (E=MC2) has a new meaning, and that is, ("That Energy is equal to Mass Compressed Squared,or Spherically compressed"). You must Spherically compress, as you do when Bubble Collapse accurs,during implosion, with it's extreme tempatures, and extreme pressures created,one would expect that extreme density ocurred momentarially,before explosion or rebound ocurred then the transfer of energy,takes place via Photon emission, which ocurrs during implosion.So one would expect a chandresaker limit exists for a mass compressed or a Proton's Nuclei, to be Compressed,the BEC of the meson behavior is a Super Critical Fluid, at these extreme Pressures and Tempatures which is BOTH a Gas and a Liquid behavior, so it is Compressable,one only needs to read the work of the scientist/inventor who has discovered Hydrinos,which are below the normal energy level's,and are entirely new what i call Negative energy levels, only they are an absorbent only, or energy sink energy level's, all 9 of them,which at the last Jump from the lowest energy level, one would have to assume the Chandresaker limit would take over. So Implosion and the Centripedal compression of the Vortice,or mini Black Hole compressession, compresses mass,and compresse's the Nuclie. Just as it does in a super massive black hole,only this on the micrpscopic level,the mini black hole on the Atoms Shell, allows for the Phonon resonance,to cavitate the Nucleons into Resonace,and if one Cavitates with Coherent optical metals like Tantalum, to resupply back onto itself the resonace in a loppback circuit,a closed loop,totally reflective/Optical properties of reflection, one creates a Laser Waveguide tube, with an end Mirror which momentarily PIN'S charge, zero time, zero mass time/Zero spacetime.Zero energy amplification, no loss of time, no loss of energy,Pure Potential only,this is why Resonance amplify's,is because of NO Time Loss Zero Time Loss,the evanescent wave, is transductive only, in one direction, down into,and the Phonon resonance does exacltly this,then couples to the evanescant field,resonates with the evanescent field, it Pins, and collimates, or lenses optically, to be re- supplied back onto itself,to create a coherent beam, of extreme energy which is coherently tuned, to spacetime/masstime,and also Compressed Nuclei,which is now a new energy level in the case of a Hydrino, it's tuned,and Amplified, or coherent resonant energy,Created by (MASS COMPRESSION) via cavitation, and Implosion,the Vortice centripedal compression. So (E=MC2) Really always Meant this, and that was what Einstein Always meant, by this equation. That (Energy is equal to Mass Compressed Squared,or Spherically compressed Mass) just like the Atomic shape charge used to compress a Nucler Bomb first,before the other reactions take place, the Direct Mass to energy conversion,or (the Missing Mass) is Simply the Compressed Mass, the new Radius,and the new Density, the Loss was because it was compressed,then converted to Photon energy, and sent away and Photon emitted the excess, as Highly energized,extreme energy of those extreme emitted Photon energies, as electron Volts Ev, extreme energy Photon emission, created by the MassTime Spacetime conversion compression/Pinning of, which then gets converted to, the the new compressed energy Level.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is nearly impossible to read at this point. There's a lot of extra info here and no paragraphs in sight. $\endgroup$ – jonsca Dec 20 '17 at 20:57

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