Are there organisms which can sense the conformations, which we humans can't sense directly, i.e. without using any equipment?

If there are organisms which can sense conformations ("the shape or structure of something"; objects; example: elementary particles, atoms or anything) of sizes which we human's can't sense directly, can we know on what they are sensing, to compare on what is being known theoretically or by indirect means via equipment, for knowing them more precisely than before?

Sensing (in this context) = Knowing on how objects are at lower scale; knowing there shape, smell (!), taste, touch, sound, etc.

What is to be sensed? = It may be the properties of the conformations at lower scale, which may not be sensed directly by humans.

Organism (from wiki) = an organism (from Greek: οργανισμός, organismos) is any individual entity that exhibits the properties of life. It is a synonym for "life form".

NOTE: I had before asked on the organisms sensing conformations which humans may not have, even by using equipment. As the utility which is needed, is to know the elementary particles precisely, I have changed the question to know on organisms sensing the conformations which we humans can't sense directly, to compare with what is known from theory or equipment, and to know accurate details. And if I would have had limited the question to what organisms can sense which humans can't even by equipment, it seems to have become completely narrowed one, as humans, as said by others in the comments and answer, can sense most of smallest by equipment.

  • $\begingroup$ I am not a biology student, if there are sources which would allow me knowing on this, and if mentioned, it might help me. $\endgroup$
    – Sensebe
    Feb 25, 2018 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ Are you claiming that some species can sense individual protons and neutrons? I really don't understand your question. What can who sense? Are you claiming some species can sense something or are you asking if they could sense (hypothetically), then how would they do so? $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Feb 25, 2018 at 3:38
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the comment. I am asking your last question if they could sense (hypothetically), then how would they do so?, and how to know on what they are sensing? This might give experiences for knowing on what QM,or any other elementary physics is trying to know. $\endgroup$
    – Sensebe
    Feb 25, 2018 at 3:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because you question is based on a hypothetical situation that does not exist (and that is unclear btw) and it is therefore impossible to offer an answer that is empoirically inspired. You could give a try on worldbuilding.SE but you'll have to be way more accurate about the thing they can sense. You'll also have to be more accurate about the means of sensing. Humans can sense a whole lot of things with our complex tools (electronic microscope, LHC and others). $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Feb 25, 2018 at 4:30
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    $\begingroup$ Animals can sense magnetic fields $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2018 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


technically speaking, Large hadron Collider allowed humans to sense quite a bit of information about particles. Also, we can sense pretty well how electrons and photons behave, using other tools. We even can sense how they behave in absence of particles (it's called theoretical physics).

Closer to your point, however, it is verified that human eye (and brain) can detect single photons. There are probably similar studies about smells, maybe even electrons or electric currents.

My main point is that you need to specify exactly what you are asking. Right now it is unclear.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, if the question is not clear. I have edited the question now. If it is still not clear, can you please say on where I need to clarify? $\endgroup$
    – Sensebe
    Feb 25, 2018 at 5:00

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