I'm having a hard time conceptualizing something. Here is the situation: say there is a soft rubber ball that has a hollow center, not solid. A normal hand-sized bouncy ball that works fine as long as it maintains its integrity. Say that it is lying on the floor. Now say a kid comes into the room, bends down and picks the ball up between his index finger and thumb, and in the process squeezes the ball, deforming it at the point of contact.
I want to relate what is going on here in terms of atoms. As best I can conceptualize this, we have, at first, a collection of atoms lying on the floor. This collection of atoms is what we call the ball, and the collection is taking up coordinates in space. Okay. Now another collection of atoms comes into the room (the room is also a collection of atoms, but ignore that, to keep this "simple"). This newly arrived collection of atoms is the kid. The atoms comprising the kid's index finger and thumb undergo an interaction with the collection of atoms comprising the ball, such that the entire collection of atoms of the ball feels an attraction to the finger atoms and in the process moves to a different coordinate space.
What is the explanation for what is going on here?
Conceptually (and generally), I see an attraction between the two collections (the ball atoms moving with the finger atoms), and I also see a repulsion (some of the ball atoms moving away from the finger atoms even as the overall collection of ball atoms is moving with the fingers, which causes the appearance of deformation).
How can this concept be expressed in terms of electrons? For the attraction, I think that the electrons in the fingers are repulsing electrons in the ball, which sets up an attractive force between the ball and fingers. But what is driving the atoms of the ball away at the point of interaction, to produce the deformation? The best I can figure out is that first there is the initial attraction caused by the electrons in the ball leaving the area in great quantities, creating positive ions, and then a follow up interaction caused by these positive ions leaving the area (causing the deformation). I'm not sure what is causing the positive ions to leave the area. And I'm not sure if this is even what's happening. Nothing like this is addressed in any of the books that I have. (Actually, I'm still studying classical physics, and began wondering about how to at least conceptualize what is happening at the atomic scale)