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Chemistry 125A: Freshman Organic Chemistry I - Lecture 4: Coping with Smallness and Scanning Probe Microscopy - Professor J. Michael McBride

Lecture 4 : Coping with Smallness and Scanning Probe Microscopy



This lecture asks whether it is possible to confirm the reality of bonds by seeing or feeling them. It first describes the work of "clairvoyant" charlatans from the beginning of the twentieth century, who claimed to "see" details of atomic and molecular structure, in order to discuss proper bases for scientific belief. It then shows that the molecular scale is not inconceivably small, and that Newton and Franklin performed simple experiments that measure such small distances. In the last 25 years various realizations of Scanning Probe Microscopy have enabled chemists to "feel" individual molecules and atoms, but not bonds.
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