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ERIC Number: EJ943464
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
An Estimation of the Number and Size of Atoms in a Printed Period
Schaefer, Beth; Collett, Edward; Tabor-Morris, Anne; Croman, Joseph
Physics Teacher, v49 n7 p438-439 Oct 2011
Elementary school students learn that atoms are very, very small. Students are also taught that atoms (and molecules) are the fundamental constituents of the material world. Numerical values of their size are often given, but, nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine their size relative to one's everyday surroundings. In order for students to obtain a quantitative understanding of the size of atoms, we have considered this problem by asking the following question: namely, how many atoms are in a printed period (.)? In this paper the number of atoms in a period is determined, along with a discussion and an equation to determine the radius of an atom. A related discussion regarding the size of atoms can be found in Ref. 1.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A