By: Ellaine Joy M. Decena
A thing starts from something. Then that thing leads to another then to another until the product or something is made. It’s the same as everything has a start just like a tree which has its oldest root. Whereas it is the reason why everything like life started. Which then that oldest root will multiply then the tree would be composed of numerous numbers of roots that vary in sizes. And just like everything the formation of the atomic theory also has its own original root. This original root is none other than him who started the formation of the atomic theory.
Democritus (460 BCE – 370 BCE), was an ancient Greek philosopher and younger contemporary of Socrates. He was known as the “laughing philosopher” because of the importance he placed on cheerfulness. He was seemed to be a wealthy citizen of Abdera, Thrace. He also travelled widely in the East and was said to live in an advance age. According to Diogenes Laërtius, a biographer of the Greek philosophers, his works numbered 73 and only a few hundred fragments have survived, mostly from his treatises on ethics. Along with him, his teacher Leucippus, who was said to have been born in Elea, Abdera or Miletus (DK 67A1), together they proposed the atom universe. Unfortunately, his dates are unknown, other than that he lived during the fifth century BCE.
He proposed that matter was made up of hard, small, indivisible particles, which he named atoms. Furthermore, Democritus’s doctrines were an elaborated and systematized version in short a better version of those of Leucippus, his teacher. Democritus asserted that space, or the Void, had an equal right with reality, or Being, to be considered existent. He conceived of the Void as an infinite space in which moved an infinite number of atoms that made up the physical world which he considered a vacuum. These atoms are eternal and invisible, and absolutely small, these are so small that their size cannot be diminished. That is why the word atom originated from atomon which therefore means indivisible. These are without pores and fully fill the space that they occupy thus considered to be full and incompressible. Also, these are homogenous and only differ in arrangement, magnitude, position, and shape. Even though atoms differ in quantity, the differences of quality are only apparent, owing to the impressions caused on the senses by different configurations and combinations of atoms. In addition to that, atoms and the Void are the only things that exist in reality. All phenomena are composed of the same eternal atoms thus, it may be said that nothing comes into being or perishes in the absolute sense of the words, although the compounds made out of the atoms are liable to increase and decrease, explaining a thing’s appearance and disappearance, or “birth” and “death.”
After Democritus formulated this concept, a lot of scientist followed and gathered their evidence that would support their claim because Democritus wasn’t able to provide evidence that would strengthen and support his claim. From this concept a lot of discoveries were formed and we now have the modern atomic theory which was the hard work of various scientists. This started a great theory that we now use. From this concept of Democritus with the help and influence of his teacher, Leucippus, may we just like them continue to discover and form our original concepts and theories, and be the actual start of something that can contribute in our world!
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