Discussion: Atomic Concept

Choose one of the following discussion activities:

1. Throughout this course, we will encounter various models of atoms and molecules. These models are especially useful in chemistry because we need to be able to visualize things that we cannot actually see. Models will show us part of the story, and act as useful metaphors to help us better understand both atoms and molecules.

  • Think back to a few weeks ago, before starting this course. What did you think an atom looked like? Draw the best possible representation of what you used to think an atom looked like prior to taking this course. Take a picture of your masterpiece.
  • Post your picture with a description of why your understanding was not quite correct (or very wrong!). What do you know now about the atom that you didn’t before?

2. Pick one of the experiments described in this module and do a little research about it. Why was this experiment so important to the field of chemistry? Try to identify the elements of the scientific method for this experiment. In a brief paragraph, answer these questions:

  • What question were they asking?
  • What was their hypothesis?
  • Describe the experimental design.
  • Summarize the data they collected/observations made.
  • What conclusions did they make about their hypothesis?