ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What if the Earth was the Size of an Apple?

Updated on September 9, 2016
Being able to fit the entirety of Earth in the palm of your hands.
Being able to fit the entirety of Earth in the palm of your hands. | Source

You most likely read the title and thought it mad. However if the title itself is what brought you to this article, then you are clearly intrigued as to how the statement proposed is actually possible -and it is. Its all to do with the structure of atoms.

To get our head around this principle, we need to first have a basic understanding of the atom. Here's what they contain:

Not to scale artist impression of the nucleus of an atom surrounded by electrons.
Not to scale artist impression of the nucleus of an atom surrounded by electrons. | Source

Protons and Neutrons

Protons and Neutrons are both subatomic particles found in the nucleus of an atom. The proton, with the symbol 'p', has a positive electric charge. Whereas the neutron, symbol 'n' has no net electric charge (hence the 'neut' also found in 'neutral'). The neutron has a mass a little bit larger than the proton, but that doesn't really matter for what we are trying to understand for now.

When looking at atoms in a periodic table, the proton number will tell you the amount of protons in the atoms nuclei, and the mass number will tell you the number of protons and neutrons in the atoms nuclei. Therefore you can work out the number of neutrons in the atom from these numbers. This is not really relevant to what we are trying to understand here, but is good to know.

The protons and neutrons sit in a cluster held together by the strong force in the centre of the atom. They are orbited by electrons.

Electrons

Electrons, also subatomic particles, orbit the nucleus of the atom. In case you were wondering, the symbol for an electron is e-, and from this you can probably guess that the electron has a negative charge.

The electrons are somewhat smaller than the protons and neutrons, being approximately 1/1836th the size of a proton.

The important part to remember about the electron when understanding the title of this hub, is that the electron is not right next to the nucleus. It's far from it in fact.

An easy way to understand it is if you were to imagine a football stadium. Inside that football stadium in the dead centre lies a fly, squashed if you will. Outside of the stadium are a few free roaming woodlice, that walk around the stadium in a circular orbit. The distance between the dead fly and the woodlice is somewhat approximate to the relative distance between the nucleus and the electrons (though of course on a minute scale).

Distance and size difference between a proton and an electron
Distance and size difference between a proton and an electron | Source

So basically from this we've learned that atoms are mostly just empty space. In fact, atoms are 99.9999999% nothingness. This poses some rather deep philosophical questions, for example, are we just nothing? if 99.9999999% of us is an empty vacuum, then what actually are we?

However, things get even more interesting when we start to imagine what it would be like if all that space wasn't there.

What if the electrons slid over the protons and neutrons as they orbited, and had no space at all in between?

- and this my friends, is where we arrive at the explanation to the title of this Hub.

Source

Removing the Space

If we were to remove the space between all the atoms in the average male humans body, we could shrink them down to a size smaller than a grain of sand. However, say the man at his normal size weighed around 120lbs, when shrunk down to this size, he would still weigh the same.

This is because all the mass of the protons and neutrons would still be the same, except all the useless space would be gone. The remaining 'grain' would be extremely dense.

Now imagine taking all the space out of everything on earth. All the empty space out of the paper-clips and cars and juggling balls and Paris Hilton's head. All gone.
The Earth would now exist at the size of no more than an apple. The apple would still weigh the same as the Earth does now, but in a much smaller, much denser size.

This kind of mass in such a small space could possibly cause a black hole. This is one of the reasons why neutron stars cause such phenomena in space time, gravity and magnetic fields.

I might add that this information is purely theoretical. We do not know how exactly electrons move inside the atom, and could fill it with waves etc.

However, despite the apparent uselessness of this hub, its rather interesting to know that we are 99.9999999% nothing, and the consequences of what could happen if the universe didn't work in the way it does.

I hope you have found this mildly interesting and if you liked it, feel free to check out some other hubs that may interest you:


Are you currently clicking the mouse?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cuttler profile image

      Cuttler 

      5 years ago from HubPages

      Interesting hub...who knew we are just empty spaces...voted up as awesome and interesting and shared.

    • itsmejohnsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      George Lancaster 

      5 years ago from London

      Thank you very much for reading and your generous comment! I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

    • Unabridged profile image

      Nicholas Nelson 

      5 years ago from Park Fores, ILLINOIS

      Brilliant, clever, intelligent and humorous, referring of course to the line about Paris Hilton's head. I never knew that we had so much negative space. Truly a well written Hub that does evoke intropspective thought. Thank you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)