Is reality an illusion?

The atoms that our bodies are made from are composed of a tiny dense and heavy nucleus that is surrounded by shells of electrons if you are a chemist or probability density clouds if you are a physicist.

It is widely understood that most of the atom is in fact empty space. The heavy dense nucleus accounts for way over 99.999% of the atom’s mass. The nucleus is tiny and in terms of its diameter is approximately 10,000 times smaller than the atom as a whole.

This is a crazy idea as when we punch our fist into the palm of our hand it feels like we are solid. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Luckily for us electrons make matter hard, but the reality is we are mostly empty space over 99.999% empty space in fact!

Another illusion is sometimes on the Earth we refer to being at rest. When we say ‘I wasn’t moving when I sat reading my book’. We were actually on a piece of rock called the Earth that is orbiting the Sun at approximately 67 thousand mph…… We are not stationary!

I suppose we could say but what about the Sun, isn’t that stationary? Regrettably no, the Sun and the entire solar system is orbiting the centre of the milky way at 500 million mph.

Could we say that at least the milky way is stationary relative to its background? Sorry no, the universe’s rate of expansion is now believed to be faster than the speed of light. This for reference is approximately 670 million mph!!

Science often challenges our misconceptions and views of the universe. The next time you refer to something being solid or not moving are you really sure about that?