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Atoms and Void

David L. Bergman
Year: 1999 Pages: 6
Keywords: Matter, Vacuum, Void, Space, Atoms
For twenty-five centuries, influential philosophers, theologians, and scientists have argued over physical concepts on the nature of matter and space. Relying upon philosophy, or at best deduction (the weakest of scientific methods), ancient ?Greek thinkers in search of things essential and universal? developed some preliminary but persistent notions about primordial substances such as water, earth, air, and fire. From such notions, the atomic school of Leucippus and Democritus gave the original concept of atomism: ?atoms, the elementary corpuscles of matter, are indivisible?; atoms are hard, small and impenetrable objects; ?infinite in number, ?they are in constant and eternal motion.? Yet they differ among themselves in ?shape, arrangement and position.? [Bernard Pullman, The Atom in the History of Human Thought, pp. ix, 18, 32-33, Oxford University Press (1998)]