How-To Geek

Just How Small Is an Atom? [Video]

In this animated offering from TEDEducation (a branch of the awesome organization behind TED Talks), we’re treated to a peek inside the atom and some entertaining models to give us a sense of scale.

Just How Small Is an Atom [TED Education via Geeks Are Sexy]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/4/12

Comments (4)

  1. Dan Dill

    This Ted-Ex lesson, while correct and clear in matters of relative size, however perpetuates the widespread but incorrect, outdated and misleading picture that electrons orbit the nucleus as a miniature planetary system.

    For some details, see the Google+ post at

  2. xana452

    …They didn’t even do anything with the elementary particles. I would have loved to see that!

  3. StevenTorrey

    That was interesting and informative. Somebody questioned the proposed notion that “electrons orbit the nucleus as a miniature planetary system.” I think the video did address that by saying they orbit about the edge of the atom. A discussion of elementary particles would have been an added interest, but I can’t imagine how they would detail that. It was also interesting to note the density of the atom was so huge. That was new and different. The whole video was informative.

  4. Dan

    What would the gravitational pull of the box be?

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