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\f0\fs24 \cf0 Hi, and welcome to Veritasium, an online science video blog. I'd like to
take on scientific topics all the way from the simplest to the most complex. So a good
place to start, I think, is with a problem considered by the famous physicist Richard
Feynmann. He asked, "If all the world's scientific information except for one sentence were destroyed
in some cataclysmic event, which single statement would contain the most scientific information
for future generations?" His conclusion was that it is The Atomic Hypothesis. [Music]
The atomic hypothesis states that all things are made up of atoms, tiny particles that
are in perpetual motion; they attract each other when a little distance apart but repel
if squeezed together. That statement is incredibly important to understand if you want to understand
most of the rest of science, because everything is made of atoms, including you and me and
the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge, and the water, and the trees, and the grass, and
the air and the clouds, and, well, you get the idea. Everything is made out of atoms,
so it's really important to understand the atomic concept if you're going to understand
the rest of science. The idea that everything is made out of tiny particles has been around
for thousands of years. The oldest recorded texts are in Greece and India. In fact the
word atom comes from the Greek atomos, meaning literally, uncuttable. So the idea that they
had was if you took a piece of matter, like this piece of aluminium foil, you could cut
it in half and in half again each time reducing the number
of atoms by half. But the idea was you could not go on doing that indefinitely, for there
would come a point when you have only a single atom left and it is uncuttable, it's an atom.
How many times do you think I could cut this A4 sheet of aluminium in half before I reach
a single atom?\}