Lecture 4 - Coping with Smallness and Scanning Probe Microscopy
recorded by: Yale University
published: June 9, 2010, recorded: September 2008, views: 2791
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)
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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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Reading assignments, problem sets, PowerPoint presentations, and other resources for this lecture can be accessed from Professor McBride's on-campus course website, which was developed for his Fall 2008 students. Please see Resources section below.
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