What if the electromagnetic force in the universe suddenly vanishes?
We are taught about the electromagnetic force in the universe and you may already know the equation of the force. We learn about it as a matter of fact and move on to other things to learn. Nothing wrong with that.
But have you ever wondered what would happen if the electromagnetic force in the universe suddenly vanished right now? (It probably won’t, but it is fascinating to wonder).
Electromagnetic force = electronics?
Think about the force. You are probably reading this on a laptop or computer or mobile device. And you may correctly think that your device will stop working if the electromagnetic force disappears. You may realise that everything that runs on “electricity” will stop working. Right? But is that it? Is the domain of the electromagnetic force limited to make our electronics work?
We have discussed in another blog post that you are able to sit or stand or do anything on earth because of the electromagnetic force. The electrons and atoms repel each other after a certain point of attraction due to gravity and this repulsion is billion billion billion billion times stronger than the attraction of gravity.
Let’s go down to atomic scales and imagine what’s going on there.
Down to the core!
Everything in our universe consists of atoms. And those atoms from protons, electrons and neutrons, right? The nucleus has the neutrons and protons and is thus “positively charged” and the electrons chill around the positively charged nucleus. The electrons stay around the nucleus because of the electromagnetic force of attraction between the electrons and the protons.
Now we are right at the basic level. We have asked what will happen if the electromagnetic force disappears.
At this atomic level, imagine the electromagnetic force has now disappeared. Gravity takes over instantly. The protons in the nucleus don’t need to repel each other now and gravity and strong nuclear force will clump the protons and neutrons together even closer. Perhaps they will merge into something. The electrons around the nucleus will fly away in any direction depending on their velocity and they will neither have anything attracting them nor other electrons repelling them. As nothing is repelling anything else, the gravity will slowly bring everything closer and larger clumps of fundamental particles will form.
These clumps will grow in turn and attract more of other protons, electrons and neutrons and other particles.
Matter is mostly empty space. But this empty space is due to the electromagnetic force. In its absence, there is nothing to allow any space. Matter will fall into itself and create black holes which then will consume even more matter. There will be nano, micro, mini black holes everywhere. The universe will become a black hole only universe.
As for you and I? We will never even feel anything. We will cease existing instantly and become black holes ourselves that will soon combine with the black hole formed from earth. and all of this discussed above will happen after we are gone.
Mind blowing right?
If you have any more ideas in our fun little thought experiment, then please let us know in the comments.