Bernard Pullman states in his book, “Most of the early philosophers believed that the essence of all things could be reduced to material principles.” In 440 B.C., the Greek philosopher Democritus started to question what ‘matter’ was. His theory was that if matter was continually divided, the smallest form of matter would be attained. Democritus named the tiniest form of matter ‘atomos,’ which means ‘not to be cut.’ Democritus believed atoms were different in shape and size, but were all microscopic and hard. He also believed that there are an infinite number of atoms, and that they are constantly moving and able to join other atoms. Although Democritus’ theory was the predecessor of modern chemistry, his theory was ignored due to the renowned philosophers of the time. Among those philosophers were Aristotle and Plate who had a more respected theory. Their theory believed all matter was made of the elements in nature, which involves air, earth, fire, and water. Because of philosophers like them, the atomic theory was forgotten for over 2000 years. (Pullman, Bernard. “The Foreground: the Primordial Substance” The Atom in the History of Human Thought 11-31)
In the early 19th century, an English Chemist named John Dalton was able to provide evidence of atoms through experiments. Dalton’s theory states that the collection and combinations of atoms is what makes up all the elements. According...
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...ons with lower energy are closer to the nucleus, whereas the electrons with high energy are further away. ("Schrödinger, Erwin." Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia)
In conclusion, the atomic model has various theories. These started in 440 B.C. with Greek philosopher Democritus, whose theory was forgotten due to the more prominent philosophers of the time. Dalton was able to prove atoms do exist with his experiments. Thomson presented a model that was a positively charged material with negatively charged electrons placed throughout. Rutherford’s gold foil experiment showed evidence that there were spaces between the positively charged substance previous stated by Thomson. Rutherford’s student Bohr proposed an improved model of Rutherford’s model; however, the model could only be used for the hydrogen element. The quantum model is the accepted model at this time.
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