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How Small Is It?

Atoms are the building blocks of matter. The search for the smallest particle of matter led scientists to develop new observation tools. Scientific observations using these new tools led to the discovery of small particles of matter, including atoms. The image at the right is an electron microscope.
All matter is made up of these small particles, or atoms.  Atoms are very small, too small for anyone to see.  In fact, if you enlarged a penny to the size of the United States, each atom in the penny would be only as large as a ping-pong ball.  Atoms are always moving, but the movement of one atom is very hard to observe because it is so small.  In fact, a sheet of paper is about 10,000 atoms thick.
Image courtesy of
United States Geological Society
To get a better understanding of atoms and how they fit in our universe, explore this link.

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Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 7th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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