Day 12: What is an Atom?

From billiard balls and plum puddings to solar systems and quantum mechanics, we race through the various modern conceptions of the atom.  We will go into some depth on Marie Curie’s work on radioactivity and the work of Niels Bohr and the Copenhagen group on Quantum Mechanics.

In our discussion we will grapple with some of the physical concepts and philosophy behind Quantum Mechanics.


  • Read Jim Ottiavani’s Fallout.  There is a copy in the History of Science Collections (5th floor of the library) if yours has not yet come in.  There will be a quiz over the reading, so talk to me if you can’t figure out how to get a copy.

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