It just occurred to me while considering how permanent God's qualities are as opposed to creation that impermanence ought to be ranked by degree instead of just permanent or impermanent. Thinking about this more, I suppose it makes sense, as I had researched Islam and Buddhism before that these two different concepts, Names of God and impermanence, as well as a monistic metaphysical hierarchy.

Quantum Physics

I'll start at the smallest level with observable temporal phenomena: virtual particles. Due to quantum fluctuations, virtual particles pop in and out of existence. Because they appear as opposite pairs, they then quickly annihilate each other. Virtual particles are more plentiful, if something so transient can even be described as plentiful, in a vacuum, as there's less mass present that can interfere. They're called virtual, as they aren't particles. They are caused by force disturbances, such as when two electrons repel each other, or during matter-antimatter annihilations.

The fundamental particles; that is, quarks, electrons, and others are capable of decay, thanks to what's called the weak force. For example, during beta decay, when a neutron changes into a proton, for on the quark level, a down quark changes into an up quark, increasing the charge from 0 to +1. To conserve charge, an electron is emitted, and to conserve momentum, an antineutrino is emitted. However, some atomic nuclei don't decay, or at least have never been observed to decay. To get past this, smaller nuclei can fuse into larger ones, and massive nuclei tend to be easier to break into less massive nuclei, if not through natural decay, then neutron bombardment. This is because the binding energy tends to decreases sharply with less mass, and decrease gently as nuclear mass increases. The nucleus with the highest binding energy is Iron-56. When massive stars fuse heavier and heavier nuclei together, Iron-56 products are a dead end, causing the star to go supernova. Supernovae are powerful enough to fuse Iron-56 nuclei, therefore leading to the formation of heavy and superheavy elements.

Because supernova explosions are rare, so too are the aforementioned fusion products heavier than iron. This can be seen in the Earth's crust:

The most common elements on Earth have their atomic numbers ≥ Iron [26Fe]. The most abundant element heavier than iron is barium [56Ba], with strontium [38Sr] at a similar rarity. Interestingly, Ba and Sr are both alkaline-earth metals.


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