How do we know atoms exist?

  • Thread starter khemix
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  • #26
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What exactly is this? What's the atom/molecule? I assume the round/spherical looking object is the nucleus or the molecule?
 
  • #27
atyy
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I think that our eyes are also what see our numbers and measurements. So yes, the eyes and your actual existence is the ultimate proof.
So do sound waves which you don't see with your eye exist?

I think most scientists don't care whether atoms exist or not. One just makes a model, uses the model to make predictions, and if the predictions match experimental results closely enough, then the model is accepted as a good approximation of reality. Atoms are just the name for something in some model.
 
  • #28
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"One just makes a model, uses the model to make predictions, and if the predictions match experimental results closely enough, then the model is accepted as a good approximation of reality. Atoms are just the name for something in some model."

I think all 4 of you have enough evidence to convince me that the existence of atoms in physical space is fact.

Avogadro's number in particular.

But even if atoms don't exist, atyy brings the most logical explanation I've ever seen about whether it matters. And the truth is that it doesn't, he's right.

What does matter is the effect and phenomenon we can measure due to these "atoms" and their movement.

Theory accompanied with experimentation really IS all we need to understand the nature and underpinning cause of anything from Newtonian Mechanics to String Theory.

It's about getting as close to the reality as we can, because we accept we'll never actually get there, but we try to get close as we can, explaining only a percentage of observable phenomenon that we are so lucky to witness and re-produce.

What atyy said about having a prediction and a real result is the proof that there is NO BETTER METHOD then using statistics and probability to explain any data we've measured or obtained.

Thank you for opening my mind.

I will now search for the theories that approximate reality at all locations in time for every phenomenon that we've observed and compare them with experimental results.

My goal is to find the hole in these theories that we have, and hopefully through the holes a better explanation will be necessary to explain certain things. With the better theory, I'll have helped mankind achieve an ever closer approximation to the truth, but know that I'm only close and haven't arrive there yet, giving me the will to search for more kinks to get rid of in the new theory I've made.

That's what science is about, trying to get to perfection through reality, but realizing you'll only get close.
 
  • #29
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ZapperZ, I acknowledge that I haven't done my homework.

The forum and its kind netizens are my shortcut to answers!
 
  • #30
ZapperZ
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ZapperZ, I acknowledge that I haven't done my homework.

The forum and its kind netizens are my shortcut to answers!
.. and how can you tell that we haven't pulled a fast one on you?

Based on your post in here and in other threads on PF, you are trying to come up with your own "theory", and without putting any effort in studying the existing body of knowledge. Your "effort" so far consists of putting out "feelers" in forums such as this. This is not the way one would go about in studying what we already know to be able to identify when something new and unexplained emerges.

Rather than learning physics from established sources, you are doing it from strangers in an open public forum. Think about that for a minute.

Zz.
 
  • #31
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Ok so I don't have the Experience or the Knowledge, I know this.

Do you understand how hard it is to comprehend such complex mathematics in the papers that the scientists write about interesting things like string theory and unified field theories?

I would need so many years of college to get even a shred of understanding as to what those papers really mean. I don't have that ability. I'm ignorant. I'm here to learn, don't hate, everyone starts from somewhere.

I completely speculate for a definitive answer because it takes me much less effort and time than to learn the entirety of quantum mechanics and it's mathematical base.

It really would take me years to do this, and I'm interested now. I can't wait. However, I will look more closely into the physics, then go to the more advanced concepts of physics, accompanied with learning the math.

But, I'm telling you that even when I learn this math my understanding will be 1/1000 of yours, because I STILL won't understand the implications of those scientific papers, because together in all the fields of science and physics and stuff, I'm aware I can never learn all of it to comprehend the most meaning out of it.

You and others on the other hand, are primary candidates for a layman translation from technical and mathematical jargon to ordinary english that I can understand.

To me, you are nothing but a translator that lets me find the truth faster without having to learn EVERYTHING about quantum mechanics and EVERYTHING about the above-my-head math that it involves. It's too hard for me, I need a way to find the truth in these papers without having to know all that other stuff.

Believe me, people on this forum make the implications of papers and homework so simple that it really is a translation from incomprehensible to cutting-edge research stuff that I come to know as news to my ears.

If this forum doesn't help me, I have other human resources found on the internet that hopefully can help me find shortcuts to the truth of all this new research that I SO PASSIONATELY want to understand.

Will you help me learn? Will you let me understand? Or are you going to tell me to go away just because I seem to be wasting your time? That's up to you, I have other scientists to flock to to find the implications of modern research. The real news doesn't give enough. News from scientists, that's like getting information straight from the horses mouth!

I hope you don't see a problem with what I'm doing, but if you want me to stop spreading my complex assumptions and false theories to other people, I can change to just asking for the fundamentals and where to find the basics of the math and science.

It is you scientists and mathematicians that give me purpose to be here. You feed my intellect and supply it with truth which is what I want. The actual meaning of the most modern research man is currently performing. This forum is just another resource for me to learn.

And you know what I've learned that doesn't have to do with science? Is that I shouldn't bother the scientists with my own theories of how I think it works. So please let me ask my questions, but if you have something wrong with them let me know.
 
  • #32
ZapperZ
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I hope you don't see a problem with what I'm doing, but if you want me to stop spreading my complex assumptions and false theories to other people, I can change to just asking for the fundamentals and where to find the basics of the math and science.
Please re-read the https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5374" before proceeding any further.

Zz.
 
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  • #33
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It would seem that people viewing certain physical phenomena as tangible "things" leads to such misconceptions. A wave is a disturbance, a "thing" that happens that transports energy materially or electromagnetically. Maybe this nuance would help in other areas.
 
  • #34
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Yes I will take the time to study the most complex math, but I need to find what's after that.
 
  • #35
malawi_glenn
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Yes I will take the time to study the most complex math, but I need to find what's after that.
are you insane or cynic? You will not need the most complex math, you need only some basic calculus!
 
  • #36
ZapperZ
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It appears that the issue of whether atoms exist has been sufficiently addressed, and this thread is now becoming more of an "academic advice" thread. Therefore, it is done.

Zz.
 

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