Okay back to the atom so we saw in the link above we are missing a pile of energy that is somehow binding the nucleus together but they never discussed how.

I am sure you know the nucleus is made up of neutrons and protons and at school you probably dealt with the protons because they carry charge and largely ignored the neutrons.

The neutrons being in the nucleus is not an accident smile

So the quick version the neutrons and the protons are themselves made up of sub atomic particles called GLUONS and QUARKS. Those subatomic particles have reactions of attraction like magnetism and charge but different to either and they have 3 different types we call them colors

Here is what the interaction looks like

This is the force that holds the atom together and you will note it isn't a steady force it requires things to change states all the time for it to work.

You can read more of the background here:

You are probably now seeing why the universe is quantum in it's nature and matter isn't quite as solid as it seems smile

All matter as far as we have ever been able to determine is built on this rather continually changing process. The missing energy is that energy that is in the constantly changing process above it never stands still so it took quite a bit of science to work it out ... but that's another story.

If you want to take it to electrical analogy the above is very similar to 3 phase AC power as opposed to DC power for the electron - proton interaction.

Edited by Orac (11/05/13 03:09 PM)
I believe in "Evil, Bad, Ungodly fantasy science and maths", so I am undoubtedly wrong to you.