Can subatomic particles be PROVED to exist?

  1. I know that it can be proved that it works perfectly to assume that subatomic particles exist, but that's not really proof that they actually exist. Thank you.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,986
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    You mean you are still not convinced that electrons exist?

    And what kind of evidence do YOU consider as "proof"?

    Zz.
     
  4. Can you prove to me that YOU "actually exist".
     
  5. I just love philosophy. So if you (and the mentors) never mind for this occasion...
    I guess I can't deny my existence. Cause the moment I deny it is actually the moment I accept it for proving the existence of my denial. So I exist. ["I think, therefore I am." - Rene Dascartes]
    Okey I admit this is not a place to discuss philosophy. Though I remember there was a philosophy section; but I think it has been closed for the right reasons (Alas!).

    And for the OP, as the 'assumption' that subatomic particles exist - by your own words works perfectly and as you certainly know all experimental evidences prove this assumption positive And everything built upon this assumption also works perfectly - what is left to really prove here?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  6. Born2bwire

    Born2bwire 1,776
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    I mean, we have pictures of the particle's presence in bubble chambers. Heck, the last museum I went to had a working cloud chamber where you could watch the decay of cosmic rays.
     
  7. >>You mean you are still not convinced that electrons exist?<<

    I'm thoroughly convinced that the atomic theory and other theories have been proved to work. Thus it works perfectly to assume that electrons and other particles exist, and therefore I will say and declare to the world "Electrons, etc., exist". I'll yell that from the highest podium!!! However, deep down I am not 100% certain that some other theory that contradicts the electron theory might work too, and better too -- if only it were thought of.

    >>And what kind of evidence do YOU consider as "proof"?<<

    The microscope proved that germs and bacteria exist. They were only postulated to exist before that, by observing that some diseases were contageous. In the thirties they proved that atoms exist by supposedly bombarding them with electrons. That's the sort of thing I label "proof of existence". But they haven't bombarded electrons with any smaller particles, to prove that electrons exist. Proof that the assumption of the existence of something always works is one thing -- but proving its existence is another.
    Edwin
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014
  8. AlephZero

    AlephZero 7,300
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    You didn't answer the question. Can you prove to me that YOU "actually exist".

    Proving it to yourself doesn't count.
     
  9. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,986
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    What "other theory"?

    If there is another theory that can match ALL of the experimental evidence that we have, I'd like to hear it. Often crackpots cite one, two, or maybe three experiments that they claim matches their twisted "theory", but never all of them, because mainly they are seldom aware of the wealth of experimental evidence that we have on an entity or a phenomenon.

    So rather than shoot off an ambiguous claim such as this, you must cite exactly what these other theories are that you think are compatible with all the evidence that we have.

    Sorry, but that "microscope" used light to see such a thing, and therefore, you have to postulate the existence of light/photons. You seem to except it very easily because you THINK you can "see" it with your own eyes. But I've shown already that our eyes are very poor "detectors"[1], and we can also be easily fooled by it if we rely only on what we can see (example: all the optical illusions out there). So you may think you have a Proof here, but really, it is no better than all the means of detection we have for electrons.

    Do not be confused "seeing" as having proof.

    Zz.

    [1] https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=4118
     
  10. Nugatory

    Staff: Mentor

    The microscope proved that light passing through a lens forms images on our retinas or a piece of photographic film that are consistent with the existence of bacteria and other microorganisms, and very difficult to explain any other way.

    I don't understand why you find that evidence so much more solid than the trails we observe in cloud chambers.
     
  11. Yes, I can prove to you that I exist if you will come here to Columbia SC and observe me. I'll meet you at the airport and buy your lunch, but after that, you're on your own. :) All my friends and foes around here have proved to themsleves that I exist just as the microscope has proved that microbes exist and the electron microscope has proved that atoms exist. I think you're getting too philosophical with the word "exist". Never forget that, like ALL words, some human(s) long ago coined the word "exist". He (they) could have only coined it to be used in some way that they themselves could have perceived it to be used in, which were exactly the same ways that you and I can perceive "exist" to be used in. Many people forget that all the words in the language were coined by humans, and they couldn't have coined them to be used for anything that you and I can't use them for. They couldn't have coined "exist" for any purpose that you and I can't think of using "exist" for. Those ancient word coiners of the word "exist" surely believed they themselves existed, and therefore would have said that I exist too. So when I say "I exist", I am using the word "exist" in the very way those word coiners intended "exist" to be used. So indeed I can prove to you that I exist, in accordance with the only way the word "exist" could have been coined to be used.
     
  12. If you will accept a photo will this one do?...

    http://io9.com/the-first-image-ever-of-a-hydrogen-atoms-orbital-struc-509684901

    [​IMG]
     
  13. This isn't philosophy.

    Nobody has even started to show that there can be no competing theory that refutes it that will work just as well.
     
  14. micromass

    micromass 18,879
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    And we could also just be a brain in a vat and nothing we see and experience is real. It's all possible. But the most reasonable thing to accept is that this is not true and that atoms and electrons are real.
     
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  15. Realize that the word "exist" was coined by humans who can only have coined it to be used to mean whatever those humans who considered "exist" to be usable for. Those word coiners were only human. They believed they existed and would have believed that any of us existed if they had lived to now. As I reminded the other person, never forget that all words were coined by humans -- like you and me.
     
  16. micromass

    micromass 18,879
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    OK, so it seems the thread is not about physics anymore, but about semantics. Therefore, I lock it now.
     
  17. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 29,986
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    But this is dubious, because you are shooting things in the dark and hoping that something will stick.

    Maybe the reason why there is no competing theory is because we already have things that we need to conclusively show the existence of electrons!

    IF you started this thread simply to argue that we haven't falsified any other FUTURE competing theories, then this is no longer physics, but philosophy or psychic friends network. Why? Because you haven't offered ANY PHYSICS argument so far. Please look and review all of your posts. The ONLY argument you have put forward is basically that there could, might, maybe, possible competing ideas, and no one has discounted such possibility. Period. In other words, the universe could make a quick left turn, and no one can discount that.

    That is no longer science.

    Zz.
     
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