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Atoms are everywhere!

  1. Jun 21, 2011 #1
    Hi I am new here. I am not really a science buff, i only just started reading about physics a week ago. I come from a media and fitness background, but I joined to ask a quick question that I thought someone here could best answer - I can see atoms in the air sometimes in light only and my eyes automatically follow them around. Anyway, sometimes i can no longer see through them properly. How do i start to "unsee" them again? thanks.
     
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  3. Jun 21, 2011 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Welcome to PF communication! We cannot actually see atoms with our eyes, atoms are so small they are invisible. If we could see them we wouldn't be able to see as everything we look at would be one thick foggy wall of atoms!

    What is it you are seeing when you "see" atoms? It could either be http://www.flickr.com/photos/brokencapslock/5054740477/" [Broken].
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Jun 21, 2011 #3
    thank you sir. It must be floaters then if we cannot see them. They are so tiny. I always thought we could see atoms through a light microscope?

    You are all so lucky, i wish i had a natural ability for science. I envy all of you.
     
  5. Jun 21, 2011 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    It is never to late to start learning science :smile: individual atoms are too small to discern with a light microscope (that is one using visible light) as the resolution of such microscopes is on the order of ~100 nanometres. Atoms are around one thousand times smaller than this! However we can resolve atoms using microscopes that do not rely on photons; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanning_tunneling_microscope" [Broken] all have far greater resolution.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  6. Jun 21, 2011 #5

    Drakkith

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    The only natural ability to learn science is wanting to know how things work. To get a grasp on the basics for most subjects in science doesn't even require a knowledge of math more than your average person knows. If you just want to learn how things work just to know and not to apply it to a career the math does almost no good anyways until you want to get into the nitty gritty details.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  7. Jun 21, 2011 #6

    Math Is Hard

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