The stability of matter: From atoms to stars

Elliott Lieb

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Why is ordinary matter (e.g., atoms, molecules, people, planets, stars) as stable as it is? Why is it the case, if an atom is thought to be a miniature solar system, that bringing very large numbers of atoms together (say 10 30) does not produce a violent explosion? Sometimes explosions do occur, as when stars collapse to form supernovae, but normally matter is well behaved. In short, what is the peculiar mechanics of the elementary particles (electrons and nuclei) that constitute ordinary matter so that the material world can have both rich variety and stability?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Stability of Matter
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Atoms to Stars: Fourth Edition
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Pages11-59
Number of pages49
ISBN (Print)3540420835, 9783540222125
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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