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Thread: Can we ever see atoms?

  1. #1 Can we ever see atoms? 
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    Ok this one has been bugging me for a while and I just wanted to check it 'cos I know a few of you are very smart and a few of you (William McCormick and Mad Monk) will give me some ridiculous answer that will be flamed to high heaven.

    Here's my giblet:

    With the wavelength of visible light being larger than that of an atom will we ever actually be able to see an atom?

    I just want some nice clean cut answers or postulations. No ambient radiation or Dhamma thanks.


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  3. #2 Re: Can we ever see atoms? 
    Forum Freshman madmonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacity
    Ok this one has been bugging me for a while and I just wanted to check it 'cos I know a few of you are very smart and a few of you (William McCormick and Mad Monk) will give me some ridiculous answer that will be flamed to high heaven.

    Here's my giblet:

    With the wavelength of visible light being larger than that of an atom will we ever actually be able to see an atom?

    I just want some nice clean cut answers or postulations. No ambient radiation or Dhamma thanks.
    U will see it with DMT! hehehehahahahe


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  4. #3  
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    Mad Monk I requested you stay out of this thread for the explicit reason that you are a freaking nob...
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  5. #4 Re: Can we ever see atoms? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacity
    Ok this one has been bugging me for a while and I just wanted to check it 'cos I know a few of you are very smart and a few of you (William McCormick and Mad Monk) will give me some ridiculous answer that will be flamed to high heaven.

    Here's my giblet:

    With the wavelength of visible light being larger than that of an atom will we ever actually be able to see an atom?

    I just want some nice clean cut answers or postulations. No ambient radiation or Dhamma thanks.
    You will never be able to "see" one with light in the normal sense, but there are other types of microscopy that use things other than light that can image them. Whether or not those could as "seeing" is debatable.
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    Forum Freshman madmonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenacity
    Mad Monk I requested you stay out of this thread for the explicit reason that you are a freaking nob...
    ooops!sorry! hehehehe
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  7. #6  
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    Ok thanks Scifor. So using this can we actually image one supposedly to gain a more accurate understanding of its structure or is this beyond our technological capability?
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  8. #7  
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    My avatar looks like a vagina!
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  10. #9  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    that's just so beautiful !
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  11. #10 Can we ever see atoms? 
    Forum Freshman theninjapiratestolemytoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    that's just so beautiful !
    I agree =] I get that that is not what an atom 'looks' like, but it's still a pretty amazing image
    Go see the psychiatrist, I don't like the psychiatrist, but you need a psychiatrist, f*** the psychiatrist!!!
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  12. #11  
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    Reminds me of the Dark Planet from Fifth Element xD
    Fat people are harder to kidnap.

    "Humanity's insignificance pales in comparison to its ego"
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  13. #12 Can we ever see atoms? 
    Forum Freshman theninjapiratestolemytoe's Avatar
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    Shut up Nick, that has nothing to do with this.

    Haha only joking. And that film is ace. Sorry Tenacity for being silly on your thread. I'll think of something scientific now.

    Actually, regarding that picture I have a few questions. Any decent answers appreciated.

    If it is using an ion microscope, the ions would be smaller than the atoms, and might not have any electrons attatched. If the electrons in the atoms pictured can only occupy a certain space and where it is in the electron cloud/shell is determined by probability, then surely the whole outside of an atom would not be 'filled' enough with electrons to prevent the ions passing through and so causing it to 'bounce back' or be absorbed (not sure what happens there, sorry). What I am getting at here basically, is why are the atoms appearing as spherical?

    Is it something to do with the number of outer electrons in a tungsten atom?

    Cheers

    Ninja
    Go see the psychiatrist, I don't like the psychiatrist, but you need a psychiatrist, f*** the psychiatrist!!!
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  14. #13 Re: Can we ever see atoms? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by theninjapiratestolemytoe
    determined by probability
    I think you got it right there. The lighter centers are where atoms are most often, the darker where they seldom stray. This looks like a front-lit sphere. If the atoms gyrated, we'd see little donuts.

    Those crater things, I wonder if they're really a single odd atom flipping around on the surface?
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  15. #14  
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    If an object moves between 3 positions-

    1,0,-1,0,1,0,-1,0,1,0,-1,0,1,0,-1,0

    Despite the consistent pattern, what appears most? The 0, or origin. Once this concept is applied to probability of random, or organized movement, and in three-dimensional space, you begin to see the probability of the subject being near the origin increasing, as you get closer, thus creating a spherical effect.
    Just to be clear - I'm a student in IT. I am not a scientist, or trained philosopher, I'm just trying to portray my ideas.
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  16. #15 Can we ever see atoms? 
    Forum Freshman theninjapiratestolemytoe's Avatar
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    Do you mean electrons? As I thought the atoms were the round objects? If they are, then I think I understand - the dark areas have electrons that stray less into those areas around an atom, and the lighter areas are where electrons are more likely to appear.

    My original problem was that I assumed that the ions would bounce off of the outer electrons, thus forming dips where there were no electrons in that area of the electron layer, if you see what I mean. But having looked it up, I see that Tungsten has only two outer electrons, so they wouldn't really get much in the way and ions would be free to bounce off the full 'layer' below, thus resulting in the spherical shape I first disputed. Hope that makes sense and I don't sound like a troll.

    Ninja
    Go see the psychiatrist, I don't like the psychiatrist, but you need a psychiatrist, f*** the psychiatrist!!!
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