Notices
Results 1 to 25 of 25

Thread: Thought this was Impossible

  1. #1 Thought this was Impossible 
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Claim to have photographed an atom. Could have swore I read this is impossible because atoms are smaller than wavelength of light. If this is the case what do we actually have here?

    https://www.sciencealert.com/this-mi...rize-this-year


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,522
    It isn't actually a photograph of an atom... the photograph is capturing light emitted by the atom when an electron moves from a higher energy orbital to a lower one. Atoms are too small to image with visible light but they can be made to emit visible light which can be photographed.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    It isn't actually a photograph of an atom... the photograph is capturing light emitted by the atom when an electron moves from a higher energy orbital to a lower one. Atoms are too small to image with visible light but they can be made to emit visible light which can be photographed.
    AFAIK an atom doesn’t increase in size when heated but the volume of the space it takes up does. In order to see the light emitted by the atom, it first has to be heated? If so I find this confusing, does it mean I need to shine light (heat) on an atom in order for it to emit light necessary for photography? Doesn’t sound right, what am I missing?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,559
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    It isn't actually a photograph of an atom... the photograph is capturing light emitted by the atom when an electron moves from a higher energy orbital to a lower one. Atoms are too small to image with visible light but they can be made to emit visible light which can be photographed.
    AFAIK an atom doesn’t increase in size when heated but the volume of the space it takes up does. In order to see the light emitted by the atom, it first has to be heated? If so I find this confusing, does it mean I need to shine light (heat) on an atom in order for it to emit light necessary for photography? Doesn’t sound right, what am I missing?
    Not heating. Heating, in the context of a single atom, would mean giving it translational kinetic energy - making it move. This atom is sitting still.

    What the laser is doing is shining light at it, which electrons in the atom can absorb by being excited to a higher energy orbital in the atom. When they subsequently drop back to the ground state they emit light (a photon). This can be made to happen repeatedly, so that with sufficient time lapse enough photons are detected, cumulatively, to be seen as a spot in the picture.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    It isn't actually a photograph of an atom... the photograph is capturing light emitted by the atom when an electron moves from a higher energy orbital to a lower one. Atoms are too small to image with visible light but they can be made to emit visible light which can be photographed.
    AFAIK an atom doesn’t increase in size when heated but the volume of the space it takes up does. In order to see the light emitted by the atom, it first has to be heated? If so I find this confusing, does it mean I need to shine light (heat) on an atom in order for it to emit light necessary for photography? Doesn’t sound right, what am I missing?
    Not heating. Heating, in the context of a single atom, would mean giving it translational kinetic energy - making it move. This atom is sitting still.

    What the laser is doing is shining light at it, which electrons in the atom can absorb by being excited to a higher energy orbital in the atom. When they subsequently drop back to the ground state they emit light (a photon). This can be made to happen repeatedly, so that with sufficient time lapse enough photons are detected, cumulatively, to be seen as a spot in the picture.
    The photons emitted from the electrons returning to ground state, are or were they gathered from the light striking them while in excited state and then released because not required at lower/normal state? When an electron isn’t emitting light, is this some sort of boundary/limit/balance, and if so does it have a name? Is it ground state?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,522
    Electrons in atoms are located in atomic orbitals. When they are in these orbitals they do not emit light. They can absorb light and move to a higher energy orbital or emit light and move to a lower energy one if it is not fully occupied. What is happening here is the laser is providing energy to move an electron from a lower energy orbital (the ground state) to a higher energy orbital. The photograph is capturing the light emitted when it drops back down.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Electrons in atoms are located in atomic orbitals. When they are in these orbitals they do not emit light. They can absorb light and move to a higher energy orbital or emit light and move to a lower energy one if it is not fully occupied. What is happening here is the laser is providing energy to move an electron from a lower energy orbital (the ground state) to a higher energy orbital. The photograph is capturing the light emitted when it drops back down.
    So if an atom had eyes, it would not see its own reflection or an approaching atom?

    Is there a wavelength smaller than an atom in the EM spectrum?
    Last edited by zinjanthropos; February 23rd, 2021 at 04:31 PM.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,559
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Electrons in atoms are located in atomic orbitals. When they are in these orbitals they do not emit light. They can absorb light and move to a higher energy orbital or emit light and move to a lower energy one if it is not fully occupied. What is happening here is the laser is providing energy to move an electron from a lower energy orbital (the ground state) to a higher energy orbital. The photograph is capturing the light emitted when it drops back down.
    So if an atom had eyes, it would not see its own reflection or an approaching atom?

    Is there a wavelength smaller than an atom in the EM spectrum?
    I have no idea what you mean by the first question. Can you rephrase it or explain what you are thinking of?

    As to the second, there are no limits to the wavelength of EM radiation in principle. It is just a question of whether an oscillator exists that can generate them with the wavelength of interest. The shortest wavelength radiation commonly encountered is γ-radiation. γ-rays are generated by changes in the internal states of atomic nuclei. They have a wavelength of the order of 1pm, i.e. 0.001nm.

    Changes in the state of electron in atoms give rise to radiation in the visible, UV or X-ray regions. These have wavelengths of the order of 1μ, 0.1-0.01μ and 1-0.1nm or so.

    By the way the size of an atom is about 0.1nm, so atomic size does not relate in any simple way to the wavelength of the radiation emitted and absorbed. The wavelength is determined by the energy emitted or absorbed, rather than size.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post

    So if an atom had eyes, it would not see its own reflection or an approaching atom?

    Is there a wavelength smaller than an atom in the EM spectrum?
    I have no idea what you mean by the first question. Can you rephrase it or explain what you are thinking of?
    I was kidding around but that got me thinking about smallest EM wavelength. If I was an atom’s size what could I sense in order to know there’s another atom next to me?
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,244
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post

    So if an atom had eyes, it would not see its own reflection or an approaching atom?

    Is there a wavelength smaller than an atom in the EM spectrum?
    I have no idea what you mean by the first question. Can you rephrase it or explain what you are thinking of?
    I was kidding around but that got me thinking about smallest EM wavelength. If I was an atom’s size what could I sense in order to know there’s another atom next to me?
    They interact via the electromagnetic force, mediated by virtual photons as force carriers. They have very long wavelengths as I understand.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,522
    Welcome back fella!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,244
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Welcome back fella!


    Thanks! Been having a look the last few days. So many good memories here. <3
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,559
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post

    So if an atom had eyes, it would not see its own reflection or an approaching atom?

    Is there a wavelength smaller than an atom in the EM spectrum?
    I have no idea what you mean by the first question. Can you rephrase it or explain what you are thinking of?
    I was kidding around but that got me thinking about smallest EM wavelength. If I was an atom’s size what could I sense in order to know there’s another atom next to me?
    London forces: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_dispersion_force
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,522
    A level exam boards now prefer them to be called van der Waals forces. Probably because they know students can't spell it!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,559
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    A level exam boards now prefer them to be called van der Waals forces. Probably because they know students can't spell it!
    Curious. My understanding is that London (dispersion) forces are only a subset of van der Waals forces, the latter also including the effects of static dipoles etc. Or do I have that wrong?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,522
    No you have it right, it's a pet peeve of mine that the exam boards use "van der Waals" for every intermolecular force that doesn't involve permanent dipoles... I grit my teeth every time I have to teach it!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,559
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    No you have it right, it's a pet peeve of mine that the exam boards use "van der Waals" for every intermolecular force that doesn't involve permanent dipoles... I grit my teeth every time I have to teach it!
    How odd. But I seem to recall these strange interpretations do occasionally creep through in exam syllabuses from time to time.

    On the spelling, it is in fact a bit tricky since his name seems to have been van der Waals, and not van der Waal, as one might have expected from the distributary of the Rhine called the Waal that runs through the Netherlands (along with the Lek and the Ijssel). So they are not "van der Waal's" forces, evidently.

    Anyway, mentioning them seems to have shut Zinjanthropos up.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Anyway, mentioning them seems to have shut Zinjanthropos up.
    Not for long. My job to ask the questions and stimulate your minds. Christ Sakes...I could look the answers up myself but my role here seems to have evolved into the guy who asks what every armchair scientist is thinking. I let my imagination go crazy some times but I want new or shy members to not be afraid to ask, you guys are intimidating at times and I understand the need to protect integrity. I used to get slammed but for some unknown reason I don’t anymore. I’ve actually learned a few things. I can dish it out too but I won’t.

    My wife is Dutch. That’s about as close to van der waals as I can get
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    exchemist
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,559
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Anyway, mentioning them seems to have shut Zinjanthropos up.
    Not for long. My job to ask the questions and stimulate your minds. Christ Sakes...I could look the answers up myself but my role here seems to have evolved into the guy who asks what every armchair scientist is thinking. I let my imagination go crazy some times but I want new or shy members to not be afraid to ask, you guys are intimidating at times and I understand the need to protect integrity. I used to get slammed but for some unknown reason I don’t anymore. I’ve actually learned a few things. I can dish it out too but I won’t.

    My wife is Dutch. That’s about as close to van der waals as I can get
    OK, OK, keep your hair on, I was just pulling your leg a bit.

    So you have a Dutch wife? I expect that is a good sort of wife to have - provided you don't mind getting told a few home truths, once in a while. My three years in The Hague gave me a lot of respect for the Dutch, though not especially for their climate or, indeed, for their cuisine. You always know where you stand with a Dutchman.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,735
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Anyway, mentioning them seems to have shut Zinjanthropos up.
    Not for long. My job to ask the questions and stimulate your minds. Christ Sakes...I could look the answers up myself but my role here seems to have evolved into the guy who asks what every armchair scientist is thinking. I let my imagination go crazy some times but I want new or shy members to not be afraid to ask, you guys are intimidating at times and I understand the need to protect integrity. I used to get slammed but for some unknown reason I donít anymore. Iíve actually learned a few things. I can dish it out too but I wonít.

    My wife is Dutch. Thatís about as close to van der waals as I can get
    OK, OK, keep your hair on, I was just pulling your leg a bit.

    So you have a Dutch wife? I expect that is a good sort of wife to have - provided you don't mind getting told a few home truths, once in a while. My three years in The Hague gave me a lot of respect for the Dutch, though not especially for their climate or, indeed, for their cuisine. You always know where you stand with a Dutchman.
    That is true*.I have been twice "evicted" by different Dutchmen and once I was threatened with vagabondage **by a gun wielding Belgian whilst in Agen,France.

    * actually in the second case it was a bit of a surprise and not really that up front.

    **ie he knew I had no money and there are /were laws in France around that.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Anyway, mentioning them seems to have shut Zinjanthropos up.
    Not for long. My job to ask the questions and stimulate your minds. Christ Sakes...I could look the answers up myself but my role here seems to have evolved into the guy who asks what every armchair scientist is thinking. I let my imagination go crazy some times but I want new or shy members to not be afraid to ask, you guys are intimidating at times and I understand the need to protect integrity. I used to get slammed but for some unknown reason I don’t anymore. I’ve actually learned a few things. I can dish it out too but I won’t.

    My wife is Dutch. That’s about as close to van der waals as I can get
    OK, OK, keep your hair on, I was just pulling your leg a bit.

    So you have a Dutch wife? I expect that is a good sort of wife to have - provided you don't mind getting told a few home truths, once in a while. My three years in The Hague gave me a lot of respect for the Dutch, though not especially for their climate or, indeed, for their cuisine. You always know where you stand with a Dutchman.
    Not upset. Takes a lot more than that and it drives my wife nuts. Hmmm....maybe that’s why

    My wife has relatives there but a lot more of them here. We’ve never been there since marriage but as kids we were. All I remember is that miniature town and large slugs crawling around. My wife’s parents came to Canada after war, she’s born here. Her mom was the only person I knew that was beaten up by the Gestapo and her poor father after enduring WWII as resistance fighter spent another four years in Indonesia fighting. I’m positive he suffered from PTSD, he was a bear of a man. BION yours truly was at Brussels World’s Fair in ‘59.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,735
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    wife’s parents came to Canada after war, she’s born here. Her mom was the only person I knew that was beaten up by the Gestapo and her poor father after enduring WWII as resistance fighter spent another four years in Indonesia fighting. I’m positive he suffered from PTSD, he was a bear of a man. BION yours truly was at Brussels World’s Fair in ‘59.
    My old girlfriend's father used to go around stealing saddles off bikes in occupied France

    BION?I guessed "but in other news" first.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    wife’s parents came to Canada after war, she’s born here. Her mom was the only person I knew that was beaten up by the Gestapo and her poor father after enduring WWII as resistance fighter spent another four years in Indonesia fighting. I’m positive he suffered from PTSD, he was a bear of a man. BION yours truly was at Brussels World’s Fair in ‘59.
    My old girlfriend's father used to go around stealing saddles off bikes in occupied France

    BION?I guessed "but in other news" first.
    Believe it or not

    Her dad opened up a bit couple years before he died. He described some of situations he faced. One time they raided a local Dutch Nazi official to steal food stamps to feed the Jews that were being hidden. They made sure the guy wasn’t home when the heist took place but he showed up unexpectedly. Her dad told me they only had one choice and they ventilated the SOB.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    4,735
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post

    Her dad opened up a bit couple years before he died. He described some of situations he faced. One time they raided a local Dutch Nazi official to steal food stamps to feed the Jews that were being hidden. They made sure the guy wasn’t home when the heist took place but he showed up unexpectedly. Her dad told me they only had one choice and they ventilated the SOB.
    That is fascinating and laudable.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Driving in my car
    Posts
    5,616
    Quote Originally Posted by geordief View Post
    That is fascinating and laudible.
    We have some of those food ration stamps in our possession. Part of the memorabilia her parents saved from war. Also their identity cards with Nazi symbols and signatures. Creepy. Not a big deal since a lot of that stuff was saved by others from what I hear. Way off topic now so one more recollection from her dad. Told me once that after a pitched battle with retreating German army, I think near Amsterdam, that he remembers 3 guys shot in the head and killed who were standing beside him, and that after the battle they wrapped/sewed up over 800 dead German soldiers in their trench coats, dug a big hole and buried them in it.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. It is impossible!
    By precious in forum Personal Theories & Alternative Ideas
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: December 19th, 2011, 10:17 AM
  2. Nothing is Impossible
    By korben in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 46
    Last Post: June 20th, 2010, 01:27 AM
  3. Are dinosaurs impossible?
    By zzpluralz in forum Pseudoscience
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: April 15th, 2010, 07:08 PM
  4. Is evolution impossible?
    By noSkillz in forum Pseudoscience
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: April 14th, 2010, 04:38 AM
  5. Is it possible something can be impossible?
    By Quantime in forum Philosophy
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: February 17th, 2008, 08:45 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •