The Physics Of The Atomic Theory Essay

2086 Words Sep 28th, 2014 9 Pages
How big is ‘small’? Is it a grain of sand, a speck of dirt, a strand of hair, a drop of water? Is it the size of what humans can see, with our own two eyes? Is ‘small’ bigger than that? Or is it much, much less? For years, people tried to discover the definition of small for the scientific world. Does ‘small’ act the same way as ‘big’? Can the movements of ‘small’ be described and categorized? All of these questions were analyzed over and over by scientist for hundreds of years, to form what is called the atomic theory. Today the atomic theory states that all matter is comprised of tiny particles called atoms, that atoms of the same element are all identical in mass and properties and cannot be created or destroyed, and that compounds are formed by the combination of atoms in simple ratios to give molecules. How was this theory uncovered? And how was it further developed? The foundation of the atomic theory can be traced back to Democritus (460-370 BCE) and Leucippus (5th century BCE). Democritus and Leucippus were ancient Greek philosophers, who together conceived the idea that matter was made up of minuscule, irreducible particles, which they called atoms, a name derived from the Greek word atomos, meaning indivisible. Democritus said this about it: "Nothing exists except atoms and empty space. Everything else is opinion." Democritus studied from watching the mixing and decay of substances before him: for example, the mixture of water and dirt and how difficult it is…

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