2 September Science 8 Evidence for Atoms

Watch the Episode Atoms with your latest (microscope) partner. Stop and discuss each example/scene. Clarify each other’s questions.

Turn in a list of ideas that you and your partner find amazing, surprising, and puzzling. Turn in a list of questions that you have.

This video is from a series called The Ring of Truth: An Inquiry into How We Know What We Know by Philip and Phylis Morrison. Morrison was a renowned physicist and a professor at MIT. Morrison demonstrates, replicates, and interprets phenomena in the Ring of Truth in order to explain the origin of ideas in modern science. As you watch Atoms, note your own observations of the behavior of matter and see if you can follow the link to arguments for the existence of atoms.

How do each of the examples point to the existence of atoms?:

  • Fireworks
  • Spinthariscope (radioactive particles cause a mineral screen to fluoresce)
  • Goldbeater
  • Fire assay–cupellation
  • Sorting sand
  • Elements
  • Cooking (remember the way we began the semester) (food as an “ore of carbon”) (Julia Child–famous chef)
  • Water–decomposition and reconstitution
  • Crystals
  • Diamonds (another form of carbon) (cooked!)
  • Noodles (dividing matter)
  • Olive oil spread on a pond (size of molecules)
  • Brownian motion
  • Evidence of an array of atoms
  • Artisans and alchemists–chemical reactions–flame colors
  • Spectra

“It is time to recall what we have learned about atoms along the varied paths of experience from gold-beating to spectra. Atoms seem real; they come in huge but finite crowds of little distinct entities, sometimes arrayed with their fellows, sometimes clustered in groups, always in motion. They can be sorted out into modest number of classes, called the elements. We have counted atoms, measured their size, even watched their fast-moving video shadows, enormously magnified.”

  • Observations that led to inferences about the structure of the atom

Atoms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ3mjb9BSaU

With your latest partner fill in your chart linking observations of matter with the atomic theory of matter through scientific argument. Do this during class today. You may continue working together as homework or you may work individually. Keep this up-to-date during the study of matter. We’ll refer to the charts / check them periodically. We will discuss in the next class. Be prepared to show what you have done.

Always refer to: Fundamental-questions-about-matter



Look through the following popular science video sites, see if you can find several that involve matter. Be prepared to share with the class at some future date.


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