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MrNobleGas t1_jc9qv70 wrote

As far as I'm aware, "arbitrarily many"

If this one introductory thermodynamics course I did last semester is any indication


hydroxypcp t1_jc9tx6k wrote

(orgchemist not physics one here) that sounds about right. If you start adding atoms, going 2, 3 etc there is no clear number when it suddenly behaves like a macroscopic solid. As with everything in science, "solid" is just a concept/model and there is no one 100% clear way to define when a set of particles switches from non-solid to solid

my thought process is: if we add Pb atoms and they stick together, then at what number do we consider it a solid particle? You wouldn't count alkane vapour where the molecules consist of dozens of atoms a solid (or liquid), right? In essence they are chemically bonded and stay together, so why would 20 or 30 Pb atoms together be considered differently? So what is it, 100, 200? It is pretty arbitrary

and it's not like if it's, say, 200 then at 199 it's not a solid and at 200 suddenly it is and behaves totally differently