How do we know atoms exist?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    If the question is how can we verify by a science, it is because directly and indirectly, in some ways, we can actually see the atoms.

    (Source 1)

    For some people, the simple (well, not-so-simple) invention of the atomic bomb is more than enough proof that atoms exist.

    (Source 2)

    Furthermore, scientists can even prove the existence of some even smaller particles, which make up the atom. Some of these particles are known as the "lepton" family: the electron, neutrino, muon, muon neutrino, tau, and tau neutrino.

    (Sources 3)

    Another likewise smaller particle is known as the "hadron" family, starting with what is most likely familiar to you:

    protons, neutrons, anti-protons, lambda, and omega

    (Source 4)

    Even more, scientists can prove some of and others they cannot prove, of the following theoretical particles known as "quarks" (these particles are what make up the "hadrons" [like a proton or neutron]):

    (in order of size, the largest first):

    up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom.

    (Sources 5)

    The "charm" and the "strange" quarks are not yet proven, but the other quarks are proven.

    (Source 6)

    There are a large number of other very small particles, especially according to a theory called the "String Theory", but most of them were "invented" to help solve equations, but are actually believed to exist even though current technology does not allow these extremely small particles to be seen.

    (Source 7)

    Some of the smallest particles do not actually exist on Earth except when created by what is called a "particle accelerator" (which speeds individual particles towards each other, sometimes as fast as close to light speed, and 'steer' them to collide into each other to break them apart and sometimes create new particles.

    (Source 8)

    Source(s): I only regret that some of these may be too difficult to understand without advanced scientific knowledge; if so, just skip to the next source I provided for you. Also, some topics are only available in protected sources unless you buy them; unless you are trying to support them don't bother because it might not help your understanding any. I have full access here at my university, but you have to log in, and I am not posting my university login on here. I wrote the answer out of my knowledge and tried to find the best sources I could using Google. I hope this helps! It only allows me to post 10 links, so I separated the last six at the "http" and pressed enter in between each line so you can copy and paste and put it all together. you also may find it very useful to check out Source 7; there is three hours of great videos on String theory (and everything leading up to it, so even if you don't believe the theory, you can get some great knowledge) ____________________ Source 1 http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/askasci/1993/... Source 2 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/dp45a... Sources 3 http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-lepton.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepton http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/NSD-SN... http://www.pnas.org/content/80/1/178.abstract Sources 4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadron http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleUR... http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~cchieh/cact/nucte... Sources 5 http://www.physik.uni-giessen.de/dueren/publicatio... http ://books.google.com/books?id= K4jcfCguj8YC&pg=PA229&lpg=PA2 29&dq=charm+strange+quark+unpro ven&source=web&ots=FzcmRi_Wcp &sig=Hm7IYAgGNsaKldMtDvI-daepV 4I&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resn um=8&ct=result http ://arxiv.org/PS_cache/hep-th /pdf/0605/0605158v3.pdf Source 6 http ://physicsworld.com/cws /article/news/21297 Source 7 http ://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova /elegant/program.html Source 8 http ://www.wisegeek.com /what-is-the-large-hadron- collider.htm A GOOD GLOSSARY OF TERMS: http ://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova /teachers/activities/3012_elegant_07 .html
  • 4 years ago

    interior the 5th cent. B.C. the Greek philosophers Democritus and Leucippus proposed that remember become created from tiny, indivisible debris they referred to as atom, or in Greek "a-tomos". the clarification why they assumed it particularly is because of the fact not something can come from not something. around 1803, John Dalton (1766-1844) progressed the 1st functional atomic thought of remember. He imagined the atom as a sphere full of an electrically valuable substance mixed with destructive electron. Then in 1897, Thompson stumbled on the 1st factor area of the atom: the electron, a particle with a destructive electric powered cost. by making use of the nineteenth century, technologies had progressed a great deal and a great number of factors were stumbled directly to artwork with. making use of the accessible factors scientist including John Dalton and Amedeo Avogadro forced them to have interplay with one yet another. From those interactions they have been able to instruct the existence of the atom.

  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, we are questioning that right now. Some believe that everything in the universe is not composed of atoms, but of tiny, vibrating strings. This is called String Theory. A Hadron Particle Collider in Switzerland will soon test this theory. Nothing in the universe can be certain.

  • 1 decade ago

    We don't. The standard model just works and is suggesting that.

    But there is a lot more to discover.

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