Design in the Atom
Once the answer is found, this question is the key to a gate that leads one to a completely different world. It is, at the same time, a slim line that separates those who know from those who don't.
In the world in which we live, mankind is caught up in a continuous search for the answers to many questions like "what?", "how?" and "in what way?", and can make but little headway in answering them. It is unlikely for man to make his way to the truth unless he asks himself the question "why?" about the extraordinary order and balance with which he interacts.
In this book, we will deal with the subject of "the atom", the groundwork of every animate and inanimate thing. After seeing what occurs and in what way it occurs with regards to the atom, we will seek the answers to the question "why?" The answer to this question will take us to the truth we pursue. We will find the answers to this question in the Qur'an, the divine guide that contains the explanation for everything.
Since the first half of the 19th century, hundreds of scientists worked day and night to reveal the secrets of the atom. These studies that uncovered the form, motion, structure and other properties of the atom shattered the very grounds of classical physics that assumed matter to be an entity without any beginning or end, and laid the foundation for modern physics. They also produced many questions.
Many physicists, looking for answers to these questions, finally agreed that there is perfect order, unerring balance and conscious design in the atom, as in everything else in the universe.
This truth is revealed in the Qur'an sent down by Allah fourteen centuries ago. As made clear in the verses of the Qur'an, the whole universe works in perfect order because the earth, the sky and everything in between is created by Allah, Who has infinite power and wisdom.
It is certainly no wonder that everything created by Allah has extraordinary excellence and runs within a flawless order. What comes as a real surprise is man's unrelenting insensitivity towards the numerous miracles he encounters, sees, hears, and knows - including his own body - and his negligence about the reason "why" these extraordinary details are presented to him.
Though dwelling on a scientific subject, the purpose of "The Miracle in the Atom" is different from that of conventional scientific books. This book deals with the "atom", unique in being the building block of both animate and inanimate objects, with the questions "what?", "how?" and "in what way?", thereby opening the door to the answer of the question "why?" Once beyond this door, the superiority of the wisdom and knowledge of Allah, and His creation will be revealed for all to see:
Allah, there is no god but Him, the Living, the Self-Sustaining. He is not subject to drowsiness or sleep. Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him. Who can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them but they cannot grasp any of His knowledge save what He wills. His Footstool encompasses the heavens and the earth and their preservation does not tire Him. (Surat al-Baqara: 255)
The Formation Adventure of the Atom
The universe, whose vast dimension pushes the limits of the human's comprehension, functions without fail, resting on sensitive balances and within a great order and has done so since the first moment of its formation. How this enormous universe has come into being, where it leads to and how the laws that maintain the order and balance within it work, have always been matters of interest to people in all ages, and still are. Scientists made countless researches into these subjects and produced various arguments and theories. For scientists who measured the order and design in the universe by using their reason and conscience, it has not been difficult at all to explain this perfection. This is because Allah, the Almighty, Who rules over the entire universe, created this perfect design and this is obvious and clear to all people who can think and reason. Allah proclaims this evident truth in the verses of the Qur'an:
In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, there are Signs for people with intelligence. (Surat Al 'Imran: 190)
Those scientists who ignore the evidence of creation, however, have great difficulty in answering these never-ending questions. They do not hesitate to take recourse to demagoguery, false theories without any scientific basis, and, if forced into a corner, even deceptions to defend theories that are entirely opposed to reality. Yet, all developments that have taken place in science recently, up until the outset of the 21st century, lead us to a single fact: the universe was created from nothing by Allah, Who possesses superior might and infinite wisdom.
The Creation of the Universe
For centuries, people searched for an answer to the question of "how the universe came into being". Thousands of models of the universe have been put forward and thousands of theories have been produced throughout history. However, a review of these theories reveals that they all have at their core one of two different models. The first is the concept of an infinite universe without beginning, which no longer has any scientific basis. The second is that the universe was created from nothing, which is currently recognized by the scientific community as "the standard model".
The first model, which has proven not to be viable, defended the proposition that the universe has existed for an infinite time and will exist endlessly in its current state. This idea of an infinite universe was developed in ancient Greece, and made its way to the western world as a product of the materialistic philosophy that was revived with Renaissance. At the core of the Renaissance lay a re-examination of the works of ancient Greek thinkers. Thus, materialist philosophy and the concept of an infinite universe defended by this philosophy were taken off the dusty shelves of history by philosophical and ideological concerns and presented to people as if they were scientific facts.
Materialists like Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels vigorously embraced this idea, which prepared an apparently solid ground for their materialist ideologies, thereby playing an important role in introducing this model to the 20th century.
According to this "infinite universe" model which was popular during the first half of the 20th century, the universe had no beginning or end. The universe had not been created from nothing, nor would it ever be destroyed. According to this theory, which also laid the basis for materialist philosophy, the universe had a static structure. Yet, later scientific findings revealed that this theory is totally wrong and unscientific. The universe has not existed without beginning; it had a beginning and was created from nothing. The idea that the universe is infinite, that is that it had no beginning, has always been the starting point of irreligiousness and ideologies that make the mistake of denying Allah. This is because in their view, if the universe had no beginning, then there was no creator either. Yet, science soon revealed with conclusive evidence that these arguments of the materialists are invalid and that the universe started with an explosion called the Big Bang. Coming into being from nothing had only one meaning: "Creation". Allah, the Almighty created the whole universe.
The renowned British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle was among those who were disturbed by this fact. With his "steady-state" theory, Hoyle accepted that the universe was expanding and argued that the universe was infinite in scale and without beginning or end. According to this model, as the universe expanded, matter originated spontaneously and in quantities as large as required. This theory, which was based on extremely unworkable premises, and advanced by the sole concern of supporting the idea of an "infinite universe without beginning or end" was in direct opposition to the Big Bang theory, which was scientifically proven closer to a great number of observations. Hoyle and others continued to resist this but all scientific development worked against them.
The Expansion of the Universe and the Big Bang
In the 20th century, great strides were made in the field of astronomy. First, the Russian physicist Alexandre Friedmann discovered in 1922 that the universe did not have a static structure. Starting out from Einstein's theory of relativity, Friedmann calculated that even a tiny impulse might cause the universe to expand or contract.
Georges Lemaître, one of the most famous astronomers of Belgium, was the first to recognise the importance of this calculation. These calculations led him to conclude that the universe had a beginning and that it was continuously expanding right from the outset. There was another very important point Lemaître raised: according to him, there should be a radiation surplus left over from the big bang and this could be traced. Lemaître was confident that his explanations were true although they initially did not find much support in the scientific community. Meanwhile, further evidence that the universe was expanding began to pile up. At that time, observing a number of stars through his huge telescope, the American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the stars emitted a red shifted light depending on their distances. With this discovery, which he made at the California Mount Wilson Observatory, Hubble challenged all scientists who put forward and defended the steady state theory, and shook the very basis of the model of the universe held until then.
Hubble's findings depended on the physical rule that the spectra of light beams travelling towards the point of observation tend towards violet while the spectra of light beams moving away from the point of observation tend towards red. This showed that the celestial bodies observed from the Californian Mount Wilson Observatory were moving away from the earth. Further observation revealed that the stars and galaxies weren't just racing away from us; they were racing away from each other as well. This movement of celestial bodies proved once more that the universe is expanding. In Stephen Hawking's Universe, David Filkin relates an interesting point about these developments:
…Within two years, Lemaître heard the news he had scarcely dared hope for. Hubble had observed that the light from galaxies was red shifted, and, according to Doppler effect, this had to mean the universe was expanding. Now it was only a matter of time. Einstein was interested in Hubble's work anyway and resolved to visit him at the Mount Wilson Observatory. Lemaître arranged to give a lecture at the California Institute of Technology at the same time, and managed to corner Einstein and Hubble together. He argued his "primeval atom" theory carefully, step by step, suggesting that the whole universe had been created "on a day which had no yesterday." Painstakingly he worked through all the mathematics. When he had finished he could not believe his ears. Einstein stood up and announced that what he had just heard was "the most beautiful and satisfying interpretation I have listened to" and went on to confess that creating the "cosmological constant" was "the biggest blunder" of his life.
The truth that made Einstein, who is considered one of the most important scientists in history, jump to his feet was the fact that the universe has a beginning.
Further observations on the expansion of the universe gave way to new arguments. Starting from this point, scientists ended up with a model of a universe that became smaller as one went back in time, eventually contracting and converging at a single point, as Lemaître had argued. The conclusion to be derived from this model is that at some point in time, all matter in the universe was crushed together in a single point-mass that had "zero volume" because of its immense gravitational force. Our universe came into being as the result of the explosion of this point-mass that had zero volume and this explosion has come to be called the "Big Bang".
The Big Bang pointed to another matter. To say that something has zero volume is tantamount to saying that it is "nothing". The whole universe is created from this "nothing". Furthermore, this universe has a beginning, contrary to the view of materialism, which holds that "the universe has existed from eternity".
ALLAH Created the World From Nothing
With ample evidence discovered by science, the thesis of an "infinite universe" was tossed onto the scrap-heap of the history of scientific ideas. Yet, more important questions were forthcoming: what existed before the Big Bang? What force could have caused the great explosion that resulted in a universe that did not exist before?
There is a single answer to be given to the question of what existed before the Big Bang: Allah, the All-powerful and the Almighty, Who created the earth and the heavens in great order. Many scientists, be they believers or not, are obliged to admit this truth. Although they may decline to admit this fact on scientific platforms, their confessions in between the lines give them away. Renowned atheist philosopher Anthony Flew says:
Notoriously, confession is good for the soul. I will therefore begin by confessing that the Stratonician atheist has to be embarrassed by the contemporary cosmological consensus. For it seems that the cosmologists are providing a scientific proof of what St. Thomas contended could not be proved philosophically; namely, that the universe had a beginning. So long as the universe can be comfortably thought of as being not only without end but also beginning, it remains easy to urge that its brute existence, and whatever are found to be its most fundamental features, should be accepted as the explanatory ultimates. Although I believe that it remains still correct, it certainly is neither easy nor comfortable to maintain this position in the face of the Big Bang story.
Some scientists like the British materialist physicist H. P. Lipson confess that they have to accept the Big Bang theory whether they want it or not:
If living matter is not, then, caused by the interplay of atoms, natural forces, and radiation, how has it come into being?… I think, however, that we must…admit that the only acceptable explanation is creation. I know that this is anathema to physicists, as indeed it is to me, but we must not reject that we do not like if the experimental evidence supports it.
In conclusion, science points to a single reality whether materialist scientists like it or not. Matter and time have been created by a Creator, Who is All-Powerful and Who created the heavens, the earth and all that is in between:
Almighty Allah. It is Allah who created the seven heavens and of the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that Allah has power over all things and that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Surat at-Talaq: 12)
The Structure of the Atom
Air, water, mountains, animals, plants, your body, the chair on which you sit, in short, everything you see, touch, and feel, from the heaviest to the lightest is formed of atoms. Each page of the book you hold in your hand comprises billions of atoms. Atoms are particles so minute that it is impossible to view one even with the most powerful microscopes. The diameter of an atom is only of the order of one millionth of a millimetre.
It is not possible for a human being to visualize this size. Therefore, let us try to explain it with an example:
Think that you have a key in your hand. No doubt, it is impossible for you to see the atoms in this key. If you say you must see the atoms, then you have to magnify the key in your hand to the proportions of the world. Once the key in your hand becomes as large as the earth, then each atom inside the key is the size of a cherry.
Let us give another example to comprehend this minuteness and how everywhere and everything is full of atoms:
Let us suppose that we want to count all the atoms in a single grain of salt and let us assume that we are able to count one billion (1,000,000,000) atoms per second. Despite our considerable deftness, we would need over five hundred years to count the number of atoms inside this tiny grain of salt.
What, then, is there inside such a small structure?
Despite its exceedingly small size, there is a flawless, unique and complex system inside the atom comparable in sophistication to the system we see in the universe at large.
Each atom is made up of a nucleus and a number of electrons moving in orbital shells at great distances from the nucleus. Inside the nucleus are other particles called protons and neutrons.
In this chapter, we will look at the extraordinary structure of the atom that constitutes the basis of everything animate and inanimate, and see how the atoms combine to form molecules and ultimately, matter.
The Power in the Nucleus
The nucleus is located right at the centre of the atom and is made up of a certain number of protons and neutrons depending on the properties of that atom. The radius of the nucleus is about ten thousandth of the radius of the atom. To express that in numbers, the radius of the atom is 10-8 (0.00000001) cm, the radius of the nucleus is 10-12 (0.000000000001) cm. Therefore, the volume of the nucleus is equal to a ten billionth of the volume of the atom.
Since we cannot visualize this vastness (better to say, minuteness), let us take our example of the cherry. Let us look for the nucleus inside the atoms that we had visualised as the size of cherries when the key in your hand was magnified to be the size of the earth. But such a search would be inconclusive because even at that scale, it is absolutely impossible for us to view the nucleus, which is still exceedingly small. If we really want to see it, then we would have to change the scale again. The cherry representing our atom must again expand and become a large ball two hundred metres in diameter. Even at this unbelievable scale, the nucleus of our atom would not become any bigger than a very tiny grain of dust.
So much so that when we compare the diameter of the nucleus that is 10-13 cm and the diameter of the atom that is 10-8 cm, we come to the following result: if we assume the atom to be a sphere, if we wished to fill this sphere totally with nuclei, then we would need 1015 (1,000,000,000,000,000) nuclei to fill it.
Yet there is one thing even more surprising than that: although its size is one ten billionth of an atom's size, the nucleus' mass comprises 99.95% of the mass of the atom. How is it that something constitutes almost all of a given mass, while, on the other hand, occupying almost no space?
The reason is that the density comprising the mass of the atom is not distributed evenly throughout the whole atom. That is, almost the entire mass of the atom is accumulated in the nucleus. Say, you have a house of 10 billion square metres and you have to put all the furniture in the house in a room of one square metre. Can you do this? Of course you cannot. Yet, the atomic nucleus is able to do this thanks to a tremendous force unlike any other force in the universe. This force is the "strong nuclear force", one of the four fundamental forces in the universe we mentioned in the previous chapter.
We had noted that this force, the most powerful of the forces in nature, keeps the nucleus of an atom intact and keeps it from fragmenting. All the protons in the nucleus have positive charges and they repel each other because of the electro-magnetic force. However, due to the strong nuclear force, which is 100 times stronger than the repulsive force of the protons, the electro-magnetic force becomes ineffective, and thus the protons are held together.
To sum up, there are two great forces interacting with each other inside an atom so small as to be unseen to us. The nucleus is able to stay together as a whole owing to the precise values of these forces.
When we consider the size of the atom and the number of atoms in the universe, it is impossible to fail to notice that there is tremendous equilibrium and design at work. It is crystal clear that the fundamental forces in the universe have been created in a very special way with great wisdom and power. The only thing those who reject faith resort to is nothing other than claiming that all of these came into being as a result of "coincidences". Probabilistic calculations, however, scientifically put the probability of the equilibriums in the universe being formed "coincidentally" at "0". All these are clear evidence of the existence of Allah and the perfection of His creation.
…My Lord encompasses all things in His knowledge so will you not pay heed? (Surat al-An'am: 80)
The Space in the Atom
As mentioned previously, the greater part of an atom consists of space. This makes everyone think of the same question: why is there such space? Let us think. In simple terms, the atom consists of a nucleus, around which electrons revolve. There is nothing else between the nucleus and the electrons. This microscopic distance "in which nothing exists" is in fact a very large one on the atomic scale. We can exemplify this scale as follows: if a small marble of one centimetre in diameter represents the electron closest to the nucleus, the nucleus would be one kilometre away from this marble. We can cite the following example to make this magnitude clearer in our mind:
There is a great space lying between the basic particles. If I think of the proton of an oxygen nucleus as the head of a pin lying on the table in front of me, then the electron revolving around it draws a circle passing through Holland, Germany and Spain (The writer of these lines lives in France). Therefore, if all atoms forming my body came together so close as to touch each other, you would not be able to see me any more. You would actually never be able to see me with the naked eye. I would be as small as a tiny dust particle of the size of a several thousandth of a millimetre.6
At this point, we realise that there is a similarity between the largest and the smallest spaces known in the universe. When we turn our eyes to the stars, there again we see a void similar to that in the atoms. There are voids of billions of kilometres both between the stars and between the galaxies. Yet, in both of these voids, an order that is beyond the understanding of human mind prevails.
Inside the Nucleus: Protons and Neutrons
Until 1932, it was thought that the nucleus only consisted of protons and electrons. It was discovered then that there are not electrons but neutrons in the nucleus besides the protons. (The renowned scientist Chadwick proved in 1932 the existence of neutrons in the nucleus and he was awarded a Noble Prize for his discovery). Mankind was introduced to the real structure of the atom only at such a recent date.
We had mentioned before how small is the nucleus of the atom. The size of a proton that is able to fit in the atomic nucleus is 10-15 metres.
You may think that such a small particle would not have any meaning in one's life. However, these particles that are so small as to be incomprehensible by the human mind form the basis of everything you see around you.
The Borderline of Physical Existence: Quarks
Until 20 years ago, it was believed that the smallest particles making up the atoms were protons and neutrons. Yet, most recently, it has been discovered that there are much smaller particles in the atom that form the abovementioned particles.
This discovery led to the development of a branch of physics called "Particle Physics" investigating the "sub-particles" within the atom and their particular movements. Research conducted by particle physics revealed that the protons and neutrons making up the atom are actually formed of sub-particles called "quarks".
The dimension of the quarks that form the proton, which is so small as to exceed the capabilities of human imagination, is much more astounding: 10-18 (0.000000000000000001) metres.
The quarks inside a proton can never be pulled apart from each other very much because the "strong nuclear force" that is responsible for keeping the particles inside the nucleus together operates here as well. This force serves as a rubber band between the quarks. As the distance between the quarks increases, so does this force and two quarks cannot become more distant from each other than a quadrillionth of a metre. These rubber bands between the quarks are formed by gluons that possess the strong nuclear force. The quarks and the gluons have a very strong interaction. However, scientists have not yet been able to discover how this interaction takes place.
Research is underway in the field of "Particle Physics" to unravel the world of sub-atomic particles. Yet, despite all the intellect, consciousness and knowledge mankind possesses, we have only recently been able to discover the very basic particles forming everything, including ourselves. Further, the more we delve into these particles, the more detailed the subject becomes, leaving us in the lurch at the limit of the 10-18 m dimension of the quark. So, what lies beyond this limit?
Today, scientists propound various hypotheses on this subject, but as mentioned above, this limit is the furthest point hitherto reached in the material universe. Everything beyond that point can only be expressed as energy, not as matter. The really important point is that man finds, in a location that he has only just been able to discover with all the technological means at his disposal, enormous balances and the laws of physics already running like a clock. Furthermore, this location is inside the atom, which constitutes the building block of all matter in the universe, as well as of human beings.
Man has just started to become aware of the perfect mechanism functioning without fail in the organs and systems in his own body. His discovery of the mechanisms of the cells forming these structures goes back only a few decades. The supreme creation evident in the atoms lying at the basis of cells, the protons and neutrons in the atoms, and the quarks in these particle is so perfect as to stagger everyone, be him believer or not. The basic point to be pondered here is that all of these perfect mechanisms run in an orderly fashion every second throughout man's life, without any intervention by him, and totally outside his control. It is very self-evident fact to everyone who uses his conscience and wisdom that all of these have been created by Allah, Owner of superior power and knowledge, and are governed by Him.
Everyone in the heavens and earth requests His aid. Every day He is engaged in some affair. So which of your Lord's blessings do you then deny? (Surat ar-Rahman: 29-30)
The Other Aspect of the Atoms: Electrons
Electrons are particles spinning and revolving around the nucleus of the atom similar to the earth rotating on its own axis as it also revolves around the sun. This rotation, like that of the planets, is realised ceaselessly and in perfect order on paths we call orbits. Yet, the proportion of the size of the earth and the sun is very different from the atomic scale. To make a comparison between the size of electrons and the size of the earth, if we enlarge an atom as big as the earth, the electron would be in the size of an apple.7
Tens of electrons revolving in an area so small as to be invisible even to the most powerful microscopes create a very complex traffic inside the atom. The most remarkable point here is that these electrons surrounding the nucleus like an armour of electrical charge do not have even a small accident. In fact, any small accident inside the atom would cause a disaster for the atom. However, such an accident never takes place. The whole operation runs flawlessly. The electrons revolving around the nucleus at the mind-boggling speed of 1,000 km/second never collide with each other. It is extremely amazing that these electrons, which are no different from each other, follow separate orbits, and it is obviously the result of a "conscious creation". If they had different masses and velocities, it might be natural for them to settle in different orbits around the nucleus. For instance, the order of the planets in our solar system follows this logic. Planets that have totally different masses and velocities are naturally settled in different orbits around the sun. But the case with the electrons in the atom is totally different from that of these planets. The electrons are exactly alike but have different orbits around the nucleus: how do they follow these paths unerringly, how do they not collide though they have incredibly small dimensions and move at incredible speeds? These questions lead us to a single point: the only truth we face in this unique order and delicate equilibrium is the perfect creation of Allah.
He is Allah - the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr: 24)
Electrons are small particles, almost two thousandth the size of neutrons and protons. An atom has the same number of electrons as protons and each electron bears a negative (-) charge equal to the positive (+) charge borne by each proton. The total positive (+) charge in the nucleus and the total negative (-) charge of the electrons cancel each other and the atom becomes neutral.
The electric charge they carry obliges electrons to obey certain laws of physics. One of these laws of physics is that "same electrical charges repel each other and opposite charges attract each other".
First, under normal circumstances, the electrons, all negatively charged, would be expected to repel each other by obeying this rule and shoot away from the nucleus. Yet, this does not happen. If the electrons were scattered from the nucleus, then the universe would consist of idle protons, neutrons and electrons wandering in the void. Second, the positively charged nucleus would be expected to attract the negative charged electrons and the electrons would stick to the nucleus. In that case, the nucleus would attract all the electrons and the atom would implode.
However, none of these things occur. The abovementioned extraordinary escape velocities of the electrons (1,000 km/sec), the repelling force they exert on each other and the force of attraction the nucleus exerts on the electrons are based on such precise values that these three contradicting factors perfectly balance each other. As a result, this outstanding system inside the atom runs without falling apart. Even if a single one of these forces impinging on the atom were a little bit more or less than it has to be, the atom would never exist.
In addition to these factors, if the nuclear forces binding protons and neutrons in the nucleus to each other did not exist, protons having equal charges could not even come close to each other, much less bond together in a nucleus. In the same manner, the neutrons would never be able to stick to the nucleus. As a result, there would be no nucleus and therefore, no atom.
All these fine calculations are indications that even a single atom is not idle but acts under the perfect control of Allah. Otherwise, it would be inevitable that the universe we live in would end before it started. This process would backfire at the outset and the universe would not form. However, Allah, the Creator of everything, the Omnipotent and the Almighty, established extremely precise equilibriums inside the atom just as He established all the balances in the universe, thanks to which the atom continues to exist in perfect order.
Scientists have spent their best efforts over the years to unravel the secret of this balance established by Allah, and have ended up with merely appointing certain names to observed phenomena such as "the electromagnetic force", "the strong nuclear force", "the weak nuclear force", and "the mass attraction force"… Yet, as mentioned in the introductory part of the book, no one has given a thought to the question "Why?" Why do these forces act at certain intensities under certain rules? Why do the domains that are governed by these forces, the rules they obey, and the intensity of these forces have such great harmony?
Scientists were desperate in the face of all these questions because all they can do is guess at the order in which the events take place. Their research, however, gave rise to an indisputable reality. Every point in the universe reveals the intervention of an Owner of intellect and will Who does not leave even a single atom idle. There is a single power that holds all forces together in harmony, and that is Allah, Who holds all the power and might. Allah manifests His might wherever He wills whenever He wills. The entire universe from the smallest atom to the endless galaxies is able to continue its existence only by Allah's will and preservation.
In the Qur'an, Allah states that there is no power but Him and He announces the punishment of those who, unaware of this, assume that the powerless beings (animate or inanimate) He created have power and strength independently of Him, and attribute divine characteristics to them.
Oh, that those who do evil had but known, (on the day) when they see the punishment, that power belongs wholly to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment! (Surat al-Baqara: 165)
So far no scientist has yet been able to explain the cause and source of the forces in the atom and therefore in the universe, and why certain forces come into play on certain occasions. What science does is only to make observations, take measurements and designate "names" for them.
Such "namings" are regarded as great discoveries in the world of science. In fact, what scientists do is not an attempt to form a new equilibrium in the universe or build a new system but just an effort to comprehend and unravel the secret of the evident equilibrium in the cosmos. What they mostly do is simply observe one of the countless wonders of Allah's creation in the universe and assigning a name to it. Scientists detecting a superior system or structure created by Allah are awarded various scientific prizes, honoured and admired by other people. In this case, the one who really should be honoured is, without doubt, Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, Who brought that system into being when it was not, furnished it with exceedingly delicate balances, and endlessly creates extraordinary miracles the like of them.
Orbits of Electrons
Tens of electrons, which spin and orbit in an area unobservable even by the most powerful microscopes, create an extremely complex traffic inside the atom as we mentioned earlier. This traffic, however, is so orderly as to be incomparably more orderly than the most systematic city traffic. Electrons never collide with each other, because each electron has a separate orbit and these orbits never coincide.
There are 7 electron shells around the nucleus of the atom. The numbers of electrons in these seven electron shells that never change have been specified by a mathematical formula: 2n2. The maximum numbers of electrons that can be present in each electron shell around the atom have been fixed by this formula. (The letter n in the formula shows the electron shell number).
That the endless number of electron shells of atoms making up the universe precisely stick to the same number by obeying the 2n2 formula indicates order. That no chaos occurs inside the atom although the electrons move about at incredible speeds is a further indication of this unique order. This is an order that can by no means be attributed to coincidence. The only explanation for the existence of this order is that Allah created everything as a manifestation of His power in an order and harmony as told in the Qur'an. Allah refers to this order He created in the verses of the Qur'an:
...Allah has appointed a measure for all things. (Surat at-Talaq: 3)
…He created everything and determined it most exactly. (Surat al-Furqan: 2)
Everything has its measure with Him, the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible, the Most Great, the High-Exalted. (Surat ar-R'ad: 8-9)
As for the earth, We stretched it out and cast firmly embedded mountains in it and made everything grow in due proportion on it. (Surat al-Hijr: 19)
The sun and the moon both run with precision. (Surat ar-Rahman: 5)
He erected heaven and established the balance. (Surat ar-Rahman: 7)
As the verses reveal, Allah, the Lord of all the worlds, is He Who creates everything in perfect proportion, measure and order. This proportion and measure cover the entire realm of beings from the smallest sub-atomic particle to the gigantic celestial bodies in space: solar systems, galaxies and everything between them. This is the outcome of the endless and infinite might, knowledge, artistry and wisdom of Allah. Allah introduces His attributes to human beings in the perfect measure, order, and equilibrium in the beings and systems He creates. He displays His endless power before our very eyes. This is the truth to which all scientific research and calculations must lead man.
Wave or Particle?
When electrons were first discovered, they were thought to be particles like the protons and neutrons found in the nucleus. In the experiments that followed, however, it was discovered that they display wave characteristics like light particles, that is, photons. Subsequently, quantum physicists came to the conclusion that every particle is simultaneously a wave form with its own distinct frequency.
It is known that light is spread in a way similar to the ripples created on the surface of water when a stone is throne into a lake. However, light sometimes bears the characteristic of a particle of matter and is observed in the form of sporadic, intermittent pulses like rain drops falling on a window-pane. This same dichotomy was experienced in the electron as well, which led to great confusion in the world of science. The following words of Richard P. Feynman, the renowned Professor of Theoretical Physics, was to lay the whole confusion to rest:
Now we know how the electrons and light behave. But what can I call it? If I say they behave like particles I give the wrong impression; also if I say they behave like waves. They behave in their own inimitable way, which technically could be called a quantum mechanical way. They behave in a way that is like nothing that you have ever seen before… An atom does not behave like a weight hanging on a spring and oscillating. Nor does it behave like a miniature representation of the solar system with little planets going around in orbits. Nor does it appear to be somewhat like a cloud or fog of some sort surrounding the nucleus. It behaves like nothing you have ever seen before. There is one simplification at least. Electrons behave in this respect in exactly the same way as photons; they are both screwy, but in exactly the same way. How they behave, therefore, takes a great deal of imagination to appreciate, because we are going to describe something that is different from anything you know about.
Because scientists were never able to explain the behaviour of electrons, as a solution they gave a new name to it: "Quantum Mechanical Motion". Let us again quote from Professor Feynman who in the following words states the exceptional nature of that and the awe he feels:
Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' because you will get 'down the drain', into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.9
Yet, the blind alley Feynman refers to here is actually not so. The reason why some people can never figure a way out of this dilemma is that despite substantial evidence, they cannot accept that these incredible systems and equilibriums have been brought into existence by the sublime Creator. The situation is extremely clear: Allah created the universe when it was not, furnished it with extraordinary balances and brought it into being without any preceding example. The answer to the scientists' question "How can it be like that?" that can never be solved, nor understood, lies in the fact that Allah is the Creator of everything and that everything exists only by His command "Be!"
The World Full of Colour Whose Gates Are Opened By Electrons
Have you ever thought what it would be like to live in a world without colour? Try to visualise your body, the people around you, the seas, the sky, trees, flowers, in short, everything in black. You would never want to live in such a world, would you? What makes the earth colourful? How do the colours, which make our world so extraordinarily beautiful, come into being? Certain characteristics present in the nature of matter allow us perceive objects in colour. Colours are formed as a natural result of certain motions of the electrons inside the atom. You may think "What do the motions of electrons have to do with colours?" Let's briefly explain this relationship:
Electrons revolve only in electron shells. We just mentioned that there are 7 electron shells. Each electron shell has a specific level of energy, which varies depending on the distance of the shell from the nucleus. The closer an electron shell is to the nucleus, the less energy its electrons have, and the farther it is to the nucleus, the more energy its electrons have.
Each electron shell has "sub-shells", among which the electrons of that shell continuously move.
An electron needs to receive external energy to be able to travel outwards between the shells. The source of this energy is the "photon".
An electron needs to receive external energy to be able to travel outwards between the shells. The source of this energy is the "photon".
In its simplest terms, the photon is a "light particle". Every star in the universe is a source of photons. The most important source of photons for our world is, of course, the sun. Photons are diffused throughout space from the sun at a speed of 300,000 km a second. When these photons, arriving on earth from the sun, strike the atoms of objects on earth, the electrons of atoms sometimes begin their travel. If the electrons that are able to travel by the help of this energy rise to a higher energy shell and then return to their own shell, they emit a photon that is to form the colour that will meet our eye. Each one of these processes summarized in the few sentences above has been continuing since the outset of creation without fail. Every step runs under a great plan and to order. If only one part of this interaction between electrons and photons had not worked, this would cause a colourless, dark universe.
Let us again list these steps that have to work according to plan and in order for the formation of a universe with colours instead of a dark one.
Light coming from the sun to the earth diffuses in the form of photon particles. These photon particles scattered around the earth strike atoms of matters.
Photons cannot travel a long way inside the atoms. They strike the electrons circling the nucleus.
Electrons absorb these photons that strike them.
When the electrons take in the energy of the photons they absorb, they jump to another shell having a higher level of energy.
These electrons try to return to their original states.
As they return to their own shells, they emit an energy charged photon.
These photons emitted by the electrons determine the colour of that object.
To sum up, the colour of an object in fact consists of a mixture of these light particles that are absorbed, then emitted by this object, and reach our eyes. The colour of an object that does not emit light itself but reflects the light it receives from the sun depends both on the light it receives and the change it makes on this light. If the object illuminated with white light appears "red", this is because it absorbs a large portion of the mixture that arrives to it from the sunrays and emits only red. By saying "it absorbs", we mean the following:
As mentioned before, every shell has sub-shells and electrons travel between these sub-shells. Each shell corresponds to a specific level of energy, and electrons carry as much energy as allowed by the energy level of the shell on which they circle. Shells that are more distant from the nucleus, have higher energy. When a space for one electron becomes available in an upper shell, the electron suddenly disappears, and then re-appears again in that sub-shell with higher energy level. Yet, in order for the electron to perform this, it has to raise its energy level to the level required by the shell to which it jumps. The electron increases its energy level by absorbing (swallowing) photon particles coming from the sun.
We can make the situation clearer with a few examples. Let us consider the Morpho Butterfly. The pigments on the butterfly absorb the entire sunlight re-emitting only the colour blue. When the light particles for that reflected colour reach the retina in the eye, they are converted to electrical signals by the cone cells in the retina in such a way to be perceived as blue and sent to the brain. Eventually, the colour blue is formed in the brain.
This means that the colour of an object depends on the character of the light emitted from the light source and how much of this light is re-emitted by the object in question. For instance, the colour of a dress is not the same under sunlight and in a store. If an object is perceived as black by our brain, it means that this object absorbs all the light coming from the sun reflecting none to the outside. In the same manner, if the object reflects all light coming from the sun and does not absorb any of it, then it is perceived as white by our brain. In this case, the points that need careful consideration are the following:
1. The colour of an object depends on the properties of the light emitted by the light source.
2. The colour of an object depends on the reaction of the electrons of the molecules in its structure, as to which light these electrons will absorb and which they will not.
3. The colour of an object depends on how our brain will perceive the photon striking the retina.
Here, let us stop and think once more.
The electrons that revolve at incredible speed around the nucleus of the atom, which is a matter too small to be seen with the eye, suddenly disappear from their own shells and jump to another place called a sub-shell. There also needs to be a space available on the sub-shell for this leap. They are supplied the energy they require during the process by absorbing photons. They then go back to their original orbits. During this action, colours perceivable by the human eye are formed. What's more, atoms in number expressible in trillions keep doing this every moment, thanks to which we are able to view an uninterrupted "image".
This magnificent mechanism is not comparable to the operation of any man-made machine. A clock, for instance, has a highly complex mechanism in itself, and all the parts of a clock (gears, discs, screws, nuts, etc.) must be located in the right places in the right way for a clock to work properly. The smallest problem in this mechanism would impede the mechanism of the clock. Yet, when we think of the structure of an atom and how the abovementioned mechanism of the electrons works, the simplicity of the structure of a clock is better understood. As we said, the mechanism of the electrons is too complex, perfect and flawless to be compared to any man-made system. Definitely, a system that has such mind-boggling complexity and runs so perfectly could not have come about spontaneously, as a result of coincidence, as claimed by materialist scientists. Let us now ask the following question: if you saw a working clock on the ground while walking in a desert, would you think that this had formed out of dust, sand, soil and stones by chance? Nobody would think that, because the design and wisdom in the clock are all too obvious. However the design and wisdom in a single atom are, as we mentioned above, incomparably superior to those in any man-made mechanism. The owner of this wisdom is Allah, Who has supreme knowledge, Who knows, sees and creates everything.
Allah created every 'where' both that which we are able to see and that which we cannot, with boundless artistry and He gave innumerable favours to be at our service, whether we are aware of them or not. The subject of colours about which we previously knew nothing, and felt no need to learn, has been brought to our attention in all its details and complexity as science advanced. It is undeniable that scientific development and progress ought to cause everyone who uses his wisdom and conscience to believe in the existence of Allah. Nonetheless, people still exist who ignore the superior artistry and wisdom observable at every point in the universe. The acclaimed scientist, Louis Pasteur made an interesting remark on this subject saying "Little science takes you away from God but more of it takes you to Him".
As a person learns more about the examples of creation surrounding him, he grasps much better that Allah encompasses him from every direction, He directs all affairs in heaven and earth, and holds everything under control. He understands that his life will certainly be taken and he will be answerable for everything he has done on earth. As a believer becomes more acquainted with the innumerable phenomena taking place around him, his admiration for Allah's knowledge increasingly grows. This admiration is a very important step on the way to perceiving the infinite power and might of Allah as much as possible and fearing Him as required. This is stated in the Qur'an:
Do you not see that Allah sends down water from the sky and by it We bring forth fruits of varying colours? And in the mountains there are streaks of white and red, of varying shades, and rocks of deep jet black. And mankind and beasts and livestock are likewise of varying colours. Only those of His slaves with knowledge have fear of Allah. Allah is Almighty, Ever-Forgiving. (Surah Fatir: 27-28)