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Atoms, Molecules, and Ions Introduction

In A Nutshell

Getting Cozy with Atoms, Molecules, and Ions

Have you ever wondered how the field of science came about? Have you ever sat in front of a cozy fire, your toes kept warm in your favorite furry slippers, sipping hot cocoa, and let your mind wander to a time thousands of years ago when the first theories of science were born? What about a hundred years ago? How did they figure anything out without the Internet?

Thousands of years ago, science as we know it today did not exist. There were few tools for scientific exploration and no one knew what a controlled experiment was. In this old timey scientific setting, the power of the mind and intellectual thought was the primary source for learning and developing scientific theory. People would sit around daydreaming and tinkering with things to figure out how they worked. Reasoning was all they had. Makes you grateful for your iPad, doesn't it?

Curiosity about science and how things work sparked the interest of early thinkers. These cool cats were considered philosophers. They literally sat around all day and pondered about the nature of matter, often formulating explanations about science based on their own life experiences.

This chapter will explore some of the original scientific ideas about atoms, molecules, and ions that were developed thousands of years ago. Of course, we know more than they did back then thanks to our fancy equipment and technology, but you'll be surprised how much they got right.

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