Friday, July 31, 2015

Atoms and the Universe

I was watching a NOVA program on PBS that showed us an electron microscope that was so strong they could see atoms in brass and distinguish the different atoms of copper and tin. We have come a long way since Democritus of Adbera in northern Greece first described the atom in 400 BC. He said, “That all material things are composed of extremely small irreducible particles called atoms and that nothing exist except atoms and empty space.”

I saw this Nova episode during a time when I am rereading “The Nature of the Universe” by Lucretius a Roman gentleman about 55 BC. In this book he describes among other things the nature of the atom in great detail.

Without the aid of electron microscopes they both did an amazing job of thinking about something they could not see and could only imagine using logic. We also now have great space telescopes that can show us the atom like nature of the universe beyond the scop of the human eye. As the scope of our knowledge increases so does the ability of the human mind to think about new discoveries.

How far will we go in the next hundred or a thousand years?

No comments:

Post a Comment