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A Visual Tour of the Atom

ID : 1225   
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We experience matter as continuous and without gaps. Solids have shapes, fluids flow in streams, and gases are ceaseless. But our senses deceive us. Matter is bumpy and discontinuous, made up of mostly empty space punctuated by countless tiny particles, atoms. Popular science sometimes relegates the lowly atom to a supporting role in understanding the universe. In this study group, we will journey to the realm of this often-misunderstood particle and study its impact on everything we see, touch, and smell. The text covers a wide range of topics, including the history of scientific thinking about atoms and their structure; how atomic interactions account for the familiar properties of substances; the power of the atomic nucleus; and what the mysterious quantum subatomic particles tell us about the nature of reality. The Atom, A Visual Tour by Jack Challoner (The MIT Press, 2018) is engaging and straightforward introduction to a topic that we didn’t get in school. The text is easily read and has abundant, vivid color illustrations that make abstract concepts much easier to comprehend. Don’t be intimidated by a study group in physics — this will be four fun-filled weeks!


Class Details

4 Sessions
Weekly - Thu

Wieboldt Hall

Thomas Davison 



Schedule Information

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s) Instructional Method
1/16/2020 - 2/6/2020 Weekly - Thu 1:15 PM - 3:15 PM Chicago, Wieboldt Hall  Map Thomas Davison  ClassRoom