Very Small Physics

The wavelength of radio waves is about \(\SI{1}{\meter},\) while the wavelength of visible light is about \(\SI{500}{\nano \meter}.\) As the wavelength of the waves gets smaller, their energy gets larger.

When we look into a microscope, our eyes are detecting light waves scattered from the object we're looking at, just as a radar tower detects radio waves scattered from planes. But you can't see individual atoms with a microscope. This is because, as a rule, a wave won't scatter off an object much smaller than its wavelength. It would be like trying to track a speck of dust in the sky with a radar station.

Particle physicists use scattering to study subatomic particles a million times smaller than atoms.

What can we conclude about these scattering experiments?

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