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How is Ben Franklin shown to be a child of the Atomic Age?

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bluemooncat1 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 12, 2009 at 9:08 AM via web

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How is Ben Franklin shown to be a child of the Atomic Age?

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted April 30, 2009 at 4:53 AM (Answer #1)

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I imagine that the connection exists in the understanding of what it means to be an child of the Atomic Age.  Franklin was certainly a child of the Enlightenment, and many in his time began to quantify the world into rational understanding.  Modern science began to hit its stride.  Franklin as one of the early scientists interested in the phenonmena of electricity exemplified these characteristics of his era.  He's the reason we denote the poles of a battery as positive and negative, describing 2 different kinds of dynamic electricity, and the reason lightning rods are installed on buildings.  As Enrico Fermi split the atom and began to discover the properties within the atomic nucleus, so Franklin explored the characteristics of the movement of electrons around those nucleii.  In his day, his greatest scientific accomplishment was most likely that he proved what was once the domain of the gods in heaven (lightning) was nothing more than intense packets of electricty moving through the skies.

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