If we cannot see atoms, how do we know what they look like?


We indeed cannot and never have seen atoms. As stated in 
the text, it is, in fact, impossible to see atoms, as light 
cannot bounce off of a single atom, which is necessary for us 
to see them. Thus, we will never be able to see atoms.

Nevertheless, we can study things that we cannot see. We 
know a lot about gravity, for example, even though we cannot 
see gravity. Nevertheless, we know so much about it that we 
can use our understanding of gravity to describe our solar 
system and even the structure of the universe in general.

In the same way, we can study atomic structure even though we 
cannot see atoms. For example, Ernest Rutherford did a 
famous experiment in which he determined that the atom was 
composed of a positively-charged nucleus surrounded by 
electrons, even though he could not see the atom, the 
nucleus, or the electrons. 

Tags: Chemistry, Physical Science
Last update:
2019-01-29 21:41
Author:
Jacey
Revision:
1.4
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