Democritus and the existence of atoms

We know about atoms because of scientists and electron microscopes, but the idea goes back to the ancient Greeks.

Democritus first articulated the idea of atoms. He argued that it must exist. If we continually halved something, there would be no endpoint. Therefore, there must be a fundamental unit to the world from which everything else is made.

94 STASHED

16 LIKES

Ancient physics: How Democritus predicted the atom

bigthink.com

One of Democritus' question was how atoms made objects. He noticed that the world is constantly changing, dying, growing. The worlds flow, therefore atoms must flow. They can't just be still.

Democritus reasoned that atoms join into various combinations, then emit eid么la (composite blobs of atoms) outward, like ripples in water. This atomic radiation is then picked up by us and translated into ideas or sensations.

57 STASHED

10 LIKES

  1. The world as we know it doesn't really exist. It is just incomprehensible atoms, and our minds create a reality out of these atoms.
  2. The world is entirely made up of atoms.

Democritus was then the first "determinist" in that he stated that there could be no free will or choice - we are just moving to the laws of physics. His conclusions about atoms could only be proven millennia later.

59 STASHED

6 LIKES

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

鉂わ笍 Brainstash Inc.