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Where is the atomic proof?

  1. Jun 15, 2004 #1
    i am a person who just asks where the proof is about everything...so where is the proof of the Atomic Structure Theory? have we even seen an atom? have we seen a proton, electron, neutron, anything like that?

    don't even think of using the bubble chart/graph as an attmpt to prove anyhting with subatomic particles. they say that is how they "prove" quarks exist, false, that is how they "prove" that they can manipulate SOMETHING they don't really know that it is a quark at all.

    so give me some proof, that's all i want, some real proof. not something that says, "well, we got this chart that sees little lines go everywhere when we crack apart a proton" that's not proof for anything, all it says is that you suposedly did "something" to "something else", it never told me where the proof for the existence of a photon even was.

    any proof would be very helpful, because if i don't get any good proof, then what's the point in not telling my school board that i'm tired of being taught things as fact when they are not anything but theories.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2004 #2


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    So would any proof be helpful or not? Sounds to me like you would only accept proof that conforms to your particular imaginary vision of what the universe should look like. That's not a very scientific way of looking for proof.

    To put a finer point on it, it sounds like you want a photograph. Well, you won't get one. But there are other types of data that scientists consider relevant.

    Consider the case of a black hole. Clearly you can't "see" a black hole. But a long time ago, scientists theorized about the properties such a thing would have and how they would influence the objects around them.

    Since then, we've found lots of areas of space that appear to contain objects matching the theorized specifications of black holes. Have we photograped a black hole? Obviously not. Have we found black holes? Most certainly, yes. If you find something with all the properties of something you have previously defined, then by definition, you have found that something.

    edit: also -
    This is a clear indication that you do not know what a "theory" is or a "fact" is or more importantly, what the difference is. Adding this to the lack of a scientific approach to this issue and the first thing you need before tackling these questions is to learn The Scientific Method.

    It is a fact that our theories have made predictions about observed reality that are accurate to an extrordinary level of precision. Think about that for a minute.

    Also, given your username, I find your first sentence highly ironic.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  4. Jun 16, 2004 #3
    have to be willing to accept that people smarter than you with more education have already walked the path you're on, and come up with these charts and graphs etc

    you can be skeptical of whether they represent "truth" but you cannot outright debunk them without making an effort to learn what they are based on and how they operate.

    stay in school, keep your mind open. that means open to the possibility they might be RIGHT as well :D
  5. Jun 16, 2004 #4
    I believe those are the best of what people could come up with. Do you have other explanations? Maybe outdated but take "Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment", why would most particles go through and some bounce off? You have to find some reason. Afterall a theory is better than nothing.
  6. Jun 16, 2004 #5


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    What would you consider a proof?
  7. Jun 16, 2004 #6


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    The proof for Dalton' atoms comes initially from chemistry. The accumulated corpus of chemical reactions shows a predominance of integer relationships in the proportions of the reacting substances. The most economical explanation (and I do not know of other, except perhaps knot theory) is the existence of atoms, characterised by an integer quantity Z related to electric charge.

    Electrons are well known as cathode rays, the kind of objects accelerated into your old TV screen. It has been empirically checked that these rays are the same substance that the beta rays coming from nuclei, but that is other history... you are asking from electrons from the atom shell.

    Protons are the object you measure when you measure the PH of a dissolution. The process of electrolysis is able to get such charged particles to form hydrogen atoms.

    Neutrons were brought around because it was noticed that the integer relation in terms of Z do not translate to an integer relationship in the weights of substances. It was postulated the existence of isotopes, different versions of a same element Z having different mass. Then it come the experimental possibility of separating these different isotopes, for instance by distilling heavy water out of natural water. Then effectively proving its existence. And it was noticed, again, that the mass difference between isotopes was very good approached with a integer relationship. And again, the most economical explanation was to postulate the existence of the neutron.

    It is funny I mentioned repeated destillation.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  8. Jun 16, 2004 #7
    There is a saying that goes like this: what you see is what you believe. My addition to this is that what you don't see is what you believe with your mind. But there are people who refuse to use their mind. So they will never believe in anything. The proof and everything else are all inside the mind.

    How could someone describe an elephant to a blind man by only the sense of sight? How can anyone explain anything to someone who is mentally blinded by his or her own refusal to accept what other have already found. The option is that If you don't believe me you have the freedom to find it yourself. This is called learning the hard way. And this implies building your own school and teach yourself everything between heaven and earth.
  9. Jun 16, 2004 #8


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    Crackpot ideas won't get you banned, personal attacks and trolling will (your posts in this thread will get no substantive response from me: they are trolls). You're hanging by a thread. Change you tone if you wish to remain a member here.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2004
  10. Jun 16, 2004 #9
    sheesh guys, i didn't ask for a fight here. i only want proof. it really wouldn't mater if something "fits" where you might think it would go, doesn't mean it's exactly what you think it is. do any of you actually even hve an open mind to the fact that you can't actually PROVE the atom or any of the subatomic particles, only put them in places that seem likely they would fit, couldn't it be possible that there be an alternative? like, it be something else? if everyone continues to blindly accept something, like the atom, even though it has the "evidence" that it does, you can't actually see it, could there be a possibility that it could be something completely different? if we think like that, we could create new things, have a new way of thinking, imagine how much we could do if we found an alternative..we could even discover something that we would ahve never even known about unless we had this open mind of thinking. i do beleive in the atom, but, i have that open mind that there can be an alternative.
  11. Jun 16, 2004 #10
    then define your alternative, or get off the pot :D

    truly it helps no one to say, "i don't like your idea, i don't believe in it" without explaining what you DO believe in
  12. Jun 16, 2004 #11


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    Christian dude -- If you will take the trouble to crack a few books you will find overwhelming evidence for molecules, atoms, protons, etc. in fact, scientists have actually seen atoms, uranium if I rememeber correctly. The first such pictures were made in the 1950s with the field ion microscope. Einstein's doctoral thesis, dealing with computations of Avogadro's number, and molecular diameters, and his work on Brownian motion helped solidify the acceptance of the atomic hypothesis.

    Before you make such ill-informed challenges next time, do your homework. The evidence for particulate composition of matter is overwhelming, and has been assembled for over 100 years. It will not easily succumb to attack. In fact the theory of matter as we know it would take thousands of pages to describe, and is quite seamless.

    It is always a good idea to know what you are talking about before you open your mouth
  13. Jun 16, 2004 #12
    In the 17th century, the science of mechanics was thought to be the answer to a clockwork universe. At that time, the universe was deterministic. In other words, if you knew the initial conditions for position and velocity of things, you can basically prove and predict the final outcome of everything. Since the advent of quantum theory and the particle and wave duality, the determinism became probabilistic. But Heisenberg uncertainty principle put a limit to what we can prove (but the product of uncertainty in position and velocity is always greater of equal to Planck constant, a certainty). To go beyond it (why Planck constant is a constant?), as Roger Penrose probably said it, you have to read the mind of God.

    Note: Only particles (now, these include both fermions and bosons) such as proton, electron, neutron, etc. have the property of position and velocity (and momentum which is mass times velocity). So to prove that a proton exist is just to show that these properties can be detected. And the variations of these properties distinguish one particle from another. For me to prove that you exist, the least that I can do is to determine your position and velocity and mass not just your words in this forum.
  14. Jun 16, 2004 #13
    so far, reilly is the only person that shows he/she can possibly GIVE me the evidence i asked for in the first place. so, reilly, can you do me a favor and provide some links? so i can read up on this, that is exactly what i've been lookign for.
  15. Jun 16, 2004 #14


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    Actually, it kind-of does if what you think it is he is "whatever fits here". As soon as someone theorized that molecules were made up of even smaller particles, and gave these particles of the name of "atom", the definition of atom became "the smaller particles of which molecules are made". The instant it was proven that a molecule could be broken down into smaller components, of which all molecules are made, the existence of the "atom" was proven. Even if it did not possess the exact properties predicted, it would still be undeniable that the new object discovered is the theorized "atom".

    I communicate at best by analogy, so here goes:

    Suppose you're searching for the lost City of Atlantis. When you say you are looking for the lost City of Atlantis, what you mean is, "the City of 'Atlantis' mentioned in the writings of Plato ". You're not certain how large the city is, your exactly how the streets are laid out. You are quite sure, however, that ancient flying machines of highly advanced design will be found within this city.

    As the search continues, you find a city on the bottom of the sea. At the entrance to the city, you see a sign written in three languages. One language you cannot read, but both the Greek and Phoenician read, "Now Entering Atlantis". "But this city cannot be Atlantis, it has no flying machines" you might say.

    The following year, someone discoveres a vase in a small cave near the Dead Sea with previously unseen writings by Plato which give the exact location of the City of Atlantis, and it is located in exactly the same spot as the city you discovered. You cannot deny that the city you discovered is, in fact, Atlantis. Even if it isn't, "exactly what you thought it was".
  16. Jun 16, 2004 #15


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    This is why I provided you the link to the scientific method. In addition to what Antonio said, there is a problem here with the definition of "prove" (several, actually). I assume you didn't read the link on the scientific method.

    "Prove or proven" to laypeople is typically an absolute thing. 100%, no doubt whatsoever, rock solid, not a chance of being wrong, etc. Absolute proof does not exist in science or anywhere else and you need to get onboard with that fact.

    "Proof" on the other hand is evidence, plain and simple.

    So, to a scientist, a theory is "proven" when the body of proof (evidence) is high enough that there is little doubt to the accuracy of the theory. Its actually very similar to the legal requirement of "beyond a reasonable doubt" - which is typically considered to be about 95% sure/proven. But there can never be no doubt because there is always more evidence that can be collected.

    So, where does that leave our theories on the structure of the atom? Our theories on the structure of the atom are proven far, far beyond 95%. The predictive accuracy of QM is, in fact, well above 99% - above 99.9% even. There really isn't anything more that can be asked of a theory than to make predictions of that high accuracy.
    I don't mean to sound condescending here, but from your first post it would appear you are in high school. Have you taken any chemistry or physics yet? That really would be the first step and its about what reilly is suggesting. Its often best to learn these things in school because you have a person teaching you. Learning on your own can be tough. Otherwise, reading a few books on the subject would be a good idea - it won't be easy though, and you'll want to start with the basics, otherwise QM will just look like magic.
  17. Jun 18, 2004 #16


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    Some Info re Atomic physics

    Christian dude -- When I studied atomic physics it was called modern physics. I'm not up-to-date on current texts, except perhaps for Resnick and Halliday's and Kenneth Ford's 1st year physics texts. Check out a good bookstore, and by all means go to Google -- with "atomic physics" notes and/or "modern physics" notes you will generate a lot of possibilities. Another take would be history of 20th century physics. Certainly look up the field ion microscope.

    One thing that's very important: physics takes the atomic theory seriously because of a preponderance of evidence -- no other theory to date covers the enormous range of phenomena as well as does atomic theory.

    Good luck,
    Reilly Atkinson
  18. Jun 18, 2004 #17


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    So you do not like my answer? Why?
  19. Jun 22, 2004 #18
    It really sounds to me that you are standing up there demanding the world prove what it says is true. If a scientists publishes a paper describing how she views a particular aspect of Mother Nature you do seem so vehemnetly antagonistic to the faults you have discovered. At least russ_watters and I have personal reasons to use as justification for our vehement exchanges.

    I suspect that you want the schools to give equal time with your religious philosophy because it is so true to you and you get so disgusted when the scientists creates something you consider totally inane and untrue. Well you must accept the reality that the constsitutional forces regarding religion do not prevent stupidity, mistake or blathering egotism in scientists, and their discourses that are admittedly inane and stupid from time to time.

    It is "religion" that cannot be supported by public assets and I suspect you would want to alter this state of affairs. You have a platform, don't abuse it.
  20. Jun 23, 2004 #19
    I can't think of a more unsound "proof" than a picture.
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