Essay on The Physics Of Atomic Particles

1179 Words May 4th, 2015 5 Pages
An atom is known as the basic unit of a chemical element; however, atoms are no longer considered the smallest particle in existence. From approximately 460 BC to present day 2015, human knowledge about atomic particles has drastically changed. Over the years, research has led to new discoveries involving atoms, subatomic particles, and quarks. Several philosophers including Leucippus, Democritus, Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, and Gell-Mann have contributed to humanity 's vast knowledge about atomic particles. As technology develops, our perception of atomic particles continues to change.

A number of Greek natural philosophers believed that the universe is composed of physical atoms (Berryman). Approximately 460 BC, the atom was discovered and held to be the smallest particle in existence. Two of the earliest Greek atomists, Leucippus and his pupil Democritus, believed that matter consisted of invisibly small, indivisible particles called atoms. These ancient atomists theorized that the two fundamental components of the natural world are indivisible bodies identified as atoms and void. The latter is defined the negation of body whereas atoms are intrinsically unchangeable bodies composed of matter. Atoms move around in the void and combine into different masses. Since all macroscopic objects are made of atoms, everything in the visible world is subject to change, as their primary atoms shift away. Leucippus and Democritus proposed that while atoms persist throughout…

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