abdul.a1z
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How has the discovery of atoms benefited humanity?
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theJoyfulGeek
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(Original post by abdul.a1z)
How has the discovery of atoms benefited humanity?
If we hadn't discovered atoms, we wouldn't know about protons, electrons, neutrons... etc.

Without protons and electrons, we wouldn't have any form of quantum mechanics, or the photoelectric effect... No solar panels then! You'd have to rely on batteries for your calculator. If they existed (which could be a bit difficult - chemical reactions without knowing what an atom is?? That would be pure guesswork...). No quantum mechanics implies no phones, no computers... no TSR! You'd have to do your homework yourself!

Also, we wouldn't have electron microscopes, so we'd have a much weaker understanding of cell biology and the structure of cells and organelles- we'd have to use light microscopes!

No particle physics or high temperature superconductors or fusion (the direct good resulting from the knowledge of what a pion is is less obvious, but knowledge is always useful!) Also, particle physics is fascinating and all of the particle collision stuff at CERN could help us understand what happened after the Big Bang! (Is this useful for everyday life? You can decide.) Also, without knowing what an atom is, how could we ever make antihydrogen?! (An actually useful material is graphene - search it up!)

The entirety of chemistry as a field probably wouldn't exist (more debatable - although the periodic table is vital to chemistry, some other parts of it don't really require knowledge of atoms and could be done with trial and error), so no synthetic organic chemistry, so all of our drugs (medicinal, not recreational) would be less effective. Instead of aspirin, for instance, we'd be chewing bark. Also, we wouldn't understand materials as well, or understand why their properties occur, so creating materials would be a lot more difficult - we'd have to rely on luck (like cavemen, instead of advanced computational chemistry).

We wouldn't understand radioactivity, so no radiotherapy, I'm afraid. Also, it would be harder to sterilise medical equipment, so more infections! No nuclear power (because how could we split nuclei without knowing what an atom is?), so we'd probably be stuck with coal.

I hope this helped! Is this your Physics homework, or just general interest?
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theJoyfulGeek
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
If we hadn't discovered atoms, we wouldn't know about protons, electrons, neutrons... etc.

Without protons and electrons, we wouldn't have any form of quantum mechanics, or the photoelectric effect... No solar panels then! You'd have to rely on batteries for your calculator. If they existed (which could be a bit difficult - chemical reactions without knowing what an atom is?? That would be pure guesswork...). No quantum mechanics implies no phones, no computers... no TSR! You'd have to do your homework yourself!

Also, we wouldn't have electron microscopes, so we'd have a much weaker understanding of cell biology and the structure of cells and organelles- we'd have to use light microscopes!

No particle physics or high temperature superconductors or fusion (the direct good resulting from the knowledge of what a pion is is less obvious, but knowledge is always useful!) Also, particle physics is fascinating and all of the particle collision stuff at CERN could help us understand what happened after the Big Bang! (Is this useful for everyday life? You can decide.) Also, without knowing what an atom is, how could we ever make antihydrogen?! (An actually useful material is graphene - search it up!)

The entirety of chemistry as a field probably wouldn't exist (more debatable - although the periodic table is vital to chemistry, some other parts of it don't really require knowledge of atoms and could be done with trial and error), so no synthetic organic chemistry, so all of our drugs (medicinal, not recreational) would be less effective. Instead of aspirin, for instance, we'd be chewing bark. Also, we wouldn't understand materials as well, or understand why their properties occur, so creating materials would be a lot more difficult - we'd have to rely on luck (like cavemen, instead of advanced computational chemistry).

We wouldn't understand radioactivity, so no radiotherapy, I'm afraid. Also, it would be harder to sterilise medical equipment, so more infections! No nuclear power (because how could we split nuclei without knowing what an atom is?), so we'd probably be stuck with coal.

I hope this helped! Is this your Physics homework, or just general interest?
Also, if you want to hear more about Chemistry, feel free to check out this thread!
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho...4#post90279954
I made a post more about Chemistry here, but Physics and Chemistry overlap a lot, especially for atoms and cool quantum stuff.
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m.s124
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I remember reading a quote by Richard Feynman where he answered the question if all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what would it be?

He said it is the atomic hypothesis that "all things are made of atoms" In that one sentence there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.

Atoms make up everything and so if we didn't know about them our lives would be completely different like the person above said I won't list them all haha
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theJoyfulGeek
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(Original post by m.s124)
I remember reading a quote by Richard Feynman where he answered the question if all of scientific knowledge were to be destroyed, and only one sentence passed on to the next generation of creatures, what would it be?

He said it is the atomic hypothesis that "all things are made of atoms" In that one sentence there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied.

Atoms make up everything and so if we didn't know about them our lives would be completely different like the person above said I won't list them all haha
The person above really likes your post!

Feynmann is a really interesting person and I really agree with your/his point about atoms.

Even the Ancient Greeks knew about them - this knowledge has been passed down for millennia.

Have you read any of his books / watched his lectures? :excited:
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abdul.a1z
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Thank you I'm doing a project on the discovery and development of atoms.
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m.s124
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
The person above really likes your post!

Feynmann is a really interesting person and I really agree with your/his point about atoms.

Even the Ancient Greeks knew about them - this knowledge has been passed down for millennia.

Have you read any of his books / watched his lectures? :excited:
That makes me so happy Yes I have watched some of his lectures I agree he's so interesting and an inspiration!! I would love to find out more.., if you have read any of his books are their any you would recommend?
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Joinedup
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(Original post by theJoyfulGeek)
The person above really likes your post!

Feynmann is a really interesting person and I really agree with your/his point about atoms.

Even the Ancient Greeks knew about them - this knowledge has been passed down for millennia.

Have you read any of his books / watched his lectures? :excited:
Well afaik the ancient Greeks had philosophical theories about whether you could keep dividing matter into smaller chunks forever or whether you'd eventually get to a point where you'd reached indivisible particles... wouldn't say they knew anything about atoms or had any evidence for them though. not disrespecting the Greeks - they knew the earth was round, with evidence and a good estimate of it's size... which is more than a disappointingly large number of youtube cranks these days.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by m.s124)
That makes me so happy Yes I have watched some of his lectures I agree he's so interesting and an inspiration!! I would love to find out more.., if you have read any of his books are their any you would recommend?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surely...g,_Mr._Feynman!
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