Hard Science

An Atomic Idea: How We Discovered the Atom

An atom is a million times smaller than a human hair – so how do we know they exist?

Atoms are small. Very small. Ridiculously so, even.

Atoms are so small that they’re kind of impossible to comprehend. Of course, that wont stop us from trying. But wait, if atoms are so small, how do we know about them at all? You can’t see them with a light microscope, or prod at an atom with a scalpel; how did we find them?

You may be surprised to hear that we’ve known about atoms since the seventeenth century, and people have proposed the existence of atoms since before the common era.

Uncertainty Principle is a podcast by Daniel James Barker

Music by:

Kai Engel

Lee Rosevere

Chris Zabriskie

Joseph Barker

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You can find Uncertainty Principle online here.

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