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You are currently reading a thread in /sci/ - Science & Math

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I've had this thought in my head for such a long time now, what would happen if you were to be shot by a bullet that was the size of an atom? Don't bring up the story with the guy who had the same thing happen to him through his head, that had lethal doses of radiation. Imagine the bullet has no radiation and is the size of an atom, what would happen theoretically?
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>>7853706
Nothing because you cannot pack a complex molecular structure into an atom.
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>>7853706
Well, you would be shooting an atom at someone since you couldn't make a bullet out of atoms if it is on the scale of atoms. So nothing would happen(with just one bullet).
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>>7853706
Nothing. It would kill a few cells and the body wouldn't even notice. It could pass all the way through you and you wouldn't even feel it.
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>>7853706
You wouldn't even feel it.

But if you want something epic to happen, if you accelerate even a single atom close enough to the speed of light, upon impact with a person the person would explode from the sheer dispersion of kinetic energy.

It would be impossible by any conceivable technology to do that, but theoretically you could cause a hiroshima-sized explosion with a single proton traveling close enough to the speed of light.
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>>7853732
Amazing
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>>7853732
we smash atoms together all the time and it doesn't cause explosions that big
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>>7853832
As stated,

>It would be impossible by any conceivable technology to [accelerate atoms to velocities sufficient to do this]
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>>7853732
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoli_Bugorski
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>>7853832
Energy is also conserved inside a particle accelerator, and much of the energy put in is lost in plasmonic radiation, so it would take much more energy than Hiroshima to accelerate a particle to Hiroshima inducing speeds.

In other words, you'd have to blow something bigger up just to get enough energy to do such an experiment.

Also, confinement technology couldn't handle those speeds, there's no way you could contain a particle for a long enough time for it to achieve near light speed.
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>>7853706
Then it would basically be like a neutron passing through you. Probably wont interact with you, but with enough will give you cancer.
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>>7853854
>>7853706
btw, there are a bunch of "science" articles about this incident. from wired: http://www.wired.com/1997/12/science-2/
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>>7853855
It's not really a case of confinement technology, it's more to do with practicality. The technology in making a LINAC a gazillion miles long is no different than making one 10 miles long- but good luck in getting funding for it.
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>>7853854
That was an entire proton beam, not a single proton.

A single atom would do nothing.
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>>7853864
which is what I meant by posting the link. if a beam doesn't really cause much harm, it's doubtful that a single atom will do much harm, and my guess is that higher speeds wouldn't really affect much in this case, but I'm not knowledgeable.
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>>7853706
I don't know how fast bullets are, but you are being hit constantly by molecules with a speed of [math]\approx 300[/math] m/s. Some are even a lot faster than that.

It's the air around you. The speed of sound is just the mean velocity with which air molecules are moving.

So yes, nothing at all would happen.
Thread replies: 16
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