Are Atoms Mostly Empty?

The emptiness of the universe: This is the kind of stuff that the early pioneers of quantum mechanics believed in. In the 1920s, researchers thought that emptiness–an absence of stuff–is what quantum mechanics was talking about. Arthur Eddington’s “The Two Tables” is a really nice treatment of the subject. In this piece, Eddington essentially argues that there are two tables: First, there is the table of everyday experience. It is comparatively permanent, it is coloured, and (above all) it is substantial. Second, there is the table of science: it is mostly emptiness with numerous, sparsely-scattered electric charges rushing about with great speed.

Is this really the way of things? The is universe that we see and interact with made of a great emptiness? Find out at: