Related to this question and this one also as both mention stopping time, I'd like to be a little more direct with my question, and ask about a smaller subset of time and change related to Time Stops. Freezing time seems to have inherent problems with not only its executability, but with it's building in general. With the question about photons and stopping time, I thought it would be interesting to localize this, and specify exactly what I wanted time to "freeze" for, so here goes.

Provided the ability to stop time exclusively for the electrons in specific chosen atoms, what would this affect?

How would this scale up another level to the ability to selectively freeze entire atoms?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you actually need a physics based rationale for freezing time? In 100% of freezing-time systems I have seen, the effect is treated as magic. This is very helpful because our physics has no reason to function in these extremes... it fails spectacularly instead. Alternatively, consider slowing time, rather than freezing time. Slowing time permits the laws of physics to continue working, and Relativity provides a very reasonable framework for exploring what "slowing time" might actually mean (even if the slowing is not actually caused by relativity). $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Sep 26 '16 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @CortAmmon No I learned that anything doing with "Stop Time" doesn't really work, so a generic answer to it would be perfect! Also, if someone could explain their downvote? $\endgroup$ – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Sep 27 '16 at 14:16
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    $\begingroup$ This one is difficult if you are trying to maintain some level of 'realism'. Electrons consume the majority of free energy in an atom. If the electrons possess no kinetic energy, it is unlikley the rest of the atom will possess any. You would need some sort of 'force' very outside the box to cause this. $\endgroup$ – Starrdaark Jul 27 '17 at 10:25

Our current understanding of electrons is governed by quantum mechanics, so the only physics based answers that I can see giving are based on quantum mechanics.

If we stop time for the electrons, they will appear to hold still. Now if we do this by introducing a discontinuity in the laws of physics, where most of the world is governed by real physics, and the electrons are being governed by some new laws completely unrelated to real physics, then the answer can be anything we want. This means it's not really a good fit for Stack Exchange, so let's take the other answer.

Let's consider that electrons are actually holding still, in real physics. If this is the case, then their momentum is also exactly 0. Due to the uncertainty principle we can state that, if we know their momentum exactly, then we cannot possibly know anything about their position. Their waveform will change such that the electrons could be anywhere in the universe with a relatively uniform distribution (I don't know enough QM to exactly state the limits as momentum approaches 0, it might be uniform, it might be gaussian, it might be another distribution).

Once time resumes, the electrons would be all dispersed to unknown parts of the universe, leaving behind a positively charged object which tears itself apart under electrostatic forces.

Some of these effects can be minimized if you are willing to allow some motion in the slowed area. Then you can calculate how much dispersion of electrons you'll experience based on how tightly you fix their momentum -- the more exacting your limits on their momentum, the larger the uncertainty in their position.

If you scaled it up to atoms, similar effects would occur, except all of the parts of the atom would be dispersed. This makes it far less likely to be followed by a powerful explosion of positively charged matter outwards.

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 well explained, and now I'm thinking that spontaneous exploding power (via "time stop") is bad. $\endgroup$ – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Sep 27 '16 at 14:14

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