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Does gravity affect atoms?

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(Parts and weights of atoms?)

Parts and weights of atoms?

Can you crush atoms?

Not normally, but there are certain types of stars, called neutron stars, that are made from 'crushed' atoms. The gravitational field is high enough in a neutron star that the electrons around an atom are forced to combine with the protons in the nucleus, creating neutrons. Imagine the sun squeezed into a sphere a few miles across. A teaspoon full of neutron star material would weigh several tons.

Also, black holes are the ultimate example of crushed atoms. According to the math, the matter which makes a black hole takes up no space at all...


Steve Gagnon, Science Education Specialist (Other answers by Steve Gagnon)