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are atoms real

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are there such things as atoms electrons protons and neutrons or are they just something your tought and then told that there just big versions of subatomic particles

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They've all been individually detected. Nature behaves as if they are all real things.

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are there such things as atoms electrons protons and neutrons or are they just something your tought and then told that there just big versions of subatomic particles
While we have never actually seen them, we have done experiments to suggest that they exist.

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all empirical evidence thus far, says they do exist, and exhibit particular types of behavior also.

 

IF they don`t exist in exactly the same way that we understand them to currently, they certainly serve us well as a working model upon which we can base ideas and attribute certain phenomenon to, that haven`t thus far let us down :)

 

 

the TRUE answer is, we don`t know 100%, but we Beleive so due to the evidence :)

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It is possible to provide pictures of individual atoms on, or in surfaces. With the help of an atomic force microscope. It uses a technique called scanning prope, that also makes it possible to arrange atoms. (Some of you might remember the famous IBM drawing)

To follow the terminology in this thread, I´d say it's equally valid to say that atoms exist as the table you´re sitting at exists.

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Heh, yeah, the IBM-drawing is brilliant (25 xenon atoms on a nickel crystal, if I'm correct). But it doesn't really prove that subatomic particles like neutrons exist (even though, other experiments have proven their existance as swansont stated).

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we know Photons exist, but where do they fit into the model of the "Atom"?

 

fact is, they don`t, unless you bring in external forces/energy. but non the less, the photon is still quite real :)

and so, as a "Unit" the atom exists, the sub particles that make up these electron/neutrons/protons are irrelevent to the question.

Atoms Exit :)

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we know Photons exist' date=' but where do they fit into the model of the "Atom"?

 

fact is, they don`t, unless you bring in external forces/energy. but non the less, the photon is still quite real :)

and so, as a "Unit" the atom exists, the sub particles that make up these electron/neutrons/protons are irrelevent to the question.

Atoms Exit :)[/quote']

 

I think the evidence for photons being real is perhap less than for atoms and subatomic particles. I always though of photons as real, but then I learned about phonons, which I thought of as a convenient mathematical construct, that acknowledges that the vibration modes of a solid are quantized. Solid state physicists think of phonons as real. So photons may just be the quantized nature of the EM vibrational modes of the universe.

 

But nature behaves as photons were real, and that's what matters. So I think it's a philosophy debate, rather than a science one.

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Protons, neutrons and electrons are convenient sub-atomic particles which help us to visualise an atom. Electrons are not particles but a 'cloud of probable negative charge' which encircles the nucleus in certain 'orbitals', the nucleus is made of protons and neutrons which are made of even smaller subatomic particles such as bosons and quarks which aren't really particles at all but 'wavelets of vibration and energy'. An atom is 99.999% empty space (between the nucleus and the electron clouds). So at the subatomic level we are mostly empty space with some vibration, energy and charge but with no solidity - its only electrostatic forces between atoms which give the appearance of solidity at the macro scale.

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In response to dagaz's explaination and the sentiment of another poster who said an atom is as real as a table next to you, I wonder when we're feeling the solidity of a table surface, are we merely feeling the electrostatic force between the atoms which are essentially "energy" (quarks and bosons), does that mean we're feeling a lump of energy really? Was that just a human conception feelings that table is an object?

 

If atoms are energy, can they undergo transitions, and transportation, under the laws of conservation of energy?

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