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It Makes Sense

  1. Jul 23, 2004 #1
    “It makes sense.” An expression often heard but seldom thought about. Literally the phrase states that one or more of our senses legitimates the nature of the matter under consideration. One need only to look at the situation, smell or touch the item, listen to it, or just taste it to be assured that the truth is readily ascertained and affirmed by the senses.

    In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century science was beginning to explore the inner sanctum of the atom. This is a world into which our intuition was no guide. This was a world in which nothing made sense. Our senses were of no value in ascertaining the “truth” of this inner world of the atom. Nothing was intuitive in this mysterious world that was being penetrated by the science of physics.

    This inner reality of the atom was explored and became understandable by science. It is this atomic universe that provides the electronic marvels that drives our computers and information technology upon which we are all so dependent.

    This great new technological miracle is within the reach of the understanding of most all of us if we are interested and are willing to invest some time. There are all kinds of books written by experts in the field that make is possible for all of us to gain a significant understanding of the nature of this inner reality of the atom even though none of it “makes sense”.

    If there are books that make it possible for the layman to grasp a significant comprehension of Quantum Physics then it seems reasonable to expect that no matter where your curiosity takes you there will be many books written just for your understanding.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2004 #2
    it "makes reason"? or it's reason-able?
  4. Jul 24, 2004 #3
    I am slow in understanding the question. I do not know what to say here.
  5. Jul 24, 2004 #4
    well since the atom can not be sensed by senses, as you put it, it can be "sensed" by reason?

    so it don't make sense, it makes reason.
  6. Jul 24, 2004 #5
    I am made of atoms, and I sense that I do exist. I cannot see the air, but I know it is there.
  7. Jul 24, 2004 #6
    OK I "see". You make a great deal of "reason" to me. Someone pointed out to me that, when I said that our intuition was no guide to the inner reality of the atom, to the scientists such as Feynman the intuition was a guide. Because the intuition is for these guys an intuition grown sophisticated in the reality of the atom and thus their intuition was their guide. Does that make "reason"?
  8. Jul 24, 2004 #7
    well did you see the "?" at the end of my QUESTION?:-)

    Are you wondering wether it is possible that senses or intuition guide us to understanding of such complex things that cannot be even sensed at such a small level?

    Perhaps it can, since all the bigger things that atoms make up can be sensed, and our senses are also made up from smaller things such as atoms.

    It's a good question actually...
  9. Jul 24, 2004 #8


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    Scanning tunnel microscopes can take pictures of atoms. Amateurs can build them. There is no longer any reason to pretend that atoms are just theoretiical.
  10. Jul 24, 2004 #9
    I wonder if we should use a word like "apprehend" in such matters. It seems to me that I apprehend atoms and I do not think I have in the past considered atoms to be only theoretical. I am inclined to apprehend atoms just as I apprehend trees. I can also perceive trees unaided.
  11. Jul 24, 2004 #10
    You can also see optical illusions unaided. Seeing may be believing, but believing does not make it real. :yuck:
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