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'All things are made of atoms.' (Feynman)   Share:  
Thrust of argument: Richard Feynman conjectures that if humanity were to face some sort of odd apocalyptic situation at the end of which only one piece of scientific knowledge could be passed on to future generations, it would be that 'all things are made of atoms'.

More precisely, he said with reference to the sentence 'all things are made of atoms', that it was the answer to the question 'what statement would contain the most information in the fewest words?' and that, with reference to that particular sentence (all things are made of atoms), 'In that one sentence, you will see, there is an enormous amount of information about the world, if just a little imagination and thinking are applied'.
Direction of resistance / implied resistance: He opens his lectures on physics with, after an initial introduction, 'the atomic hypothesis (or the atomic fact, or whatever you wish to call it) that all things are made of atoms - little particles that move around in perpetual motion, attracting each other when they are a little distance apart, but repelling upon being squeezed into one another.'

 

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Removal of resistance: Indeed on the page in the references below, you can see an image of what water looks like when magnified a billion times. Unification: Feynman also gives us this food for thought: 'Everything is made of atoms. That is the key hypothesis. The most important hypothesis in all of biology, for example, is that everything that animals do, atoms do. In other words, there is nothing that living things do that cannot be understood from the point of view that they are made of atoms acting according to the laws of physics. This was not known from the beginning: it took some experimenting and theorizing to suggest this hypothesis, but now it is accepted, and it is the most useful theory for producing new ideas in the field of biology.'
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References:

http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_01.html

 

 

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