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What was Greeks' Early atomic concept?


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   The word ‘atom’ comes from the Greek word atomos, which means indivisible.
This arose from the thoughts of Democritus and Leucippus
nearly 2500 years ago. These two Ancient Greek philosophers suggested
that there was a limit to the extent to which matter could be
subdivided. Fundamental particles that could not be broken any
further would eventually be obtained. The name atom was proposed for
these particles. Aristotle disputed this theory, believing that all matter
consisted of four elements, which were present in varying amounts in
different materials.

   It was the work of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler which first
brought Aristotle’s theories into question. Then, early in the nineteenth
century, John Dalton put forward a theory that proposed the
existence of individual particles, called atoms, in all matter. Dalton
was the first to publish a list of atomic masses. He believed that all
atoms of the same element were identical and that compounds were
formed by the combinations of atoms in small whole number ratios.
Other scientists made contributions to atomic theory before Sir
Joseph J. Thomson, in 1897, discovered the electron. This discovery
led to the modern-day theory of atomic structure.


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