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Matter of Democritus and Dalton

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Sophie Thompson

on 18 November 2012

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Transcript of Matter of Democritus and Dalton

Who was closer to the truth? And why? John Dalton Democritus claimed that everything is made up of atoms. These atoms are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; between atoms lies empty space; atoms are indestructible; have always been, and always will be, in motion; there are an infinite number of atoms and kinds of atoms, which differ in shape, and size. He said, about the mass of atoms,”The more any indivisible exceeds, the heavier it is.”. He helped to propose the earliest views on the shapes and connectivity of atoms. He reasoned that the solidness of the material corresponded to the shape of the atoms involved. Thus, iron atoms are solid and strong with hooks that lock them into a solid; water atoms are smooth and slippery; salt atoms, because of their taste, are sharp and pointed; and air atoms are light and whirling.

Democritus performed no experiments and had only the flimsiest evidence for postulating the existence of atoms, his theory was kept alive by the Roman poet Lucretius which survived the Dark Ages to be discovered in 1417. The atoms in Democritus theory themselves remain unchanged, but move about in space to combine in various ways to form all objects. Early atomic theory stated that the characteristics of an object are determined by the shape of its atoms. In this manner permanence and flux are reconciled and the field of atomic physics was born. Democritus Similarities between
them They both believed the atom was invisible and indestructible. Also they both understood that all matter was composed of tiny particles.
As you can see there aren't that many similarities between their theory's Differences Between them I think Dalton was closer to the truth. This is because his theory was developed in a time where they could experiment and prove their theory's with scientific experiments. Also, unlike Democritus, Dalton based his theory on experiment ways. According to the law of definite proportions, a chemical compound always contains the same elements in exactly the same proportions by weight or mass. For example, any sample of water contains the same proportions of hydro- gen and oxygen by mass. This and other evidence supported Dalton’s theory. This is one of the main reasons I believe Dalton is right The Atomic Theory The Matter of Democritus
and Dalton John Daltons theory was, all matter is made of atoms. Atoms are indivisible and indestructible.
Also all atoms of a given element are identical in mass and properties. Compounds are formed by a combination of two or more different kinds of atoms. A chemical reaction is a rearrangement of atoms.

Dalton came with his Atomic theory as a result of his research into gases. He discovered that certain gases only could be combined in certain proportions even if two different compounds shared the same common element or group of elements. Through deductive reasoning and experimentation, he made an interesting discovery. His findings led him to hypothesize that elements combine at the atomic level in fixed ratios. This ratio would naturally differ in compounds due to the unique atomic weights of the elements being combined. Dalton was more of a scientist. Democritus was a Greek philosopher, and therefore, never backed up any ideas with experimentation. Democritus question that things could be infinitely large or small. He proposed that there was a limit to "smallness", hence the atom, which means in Greek, "indivisible". So he really didn't do much with the atomic theory.

Dalton's approach to science, involved experimentation and measurements and the attempt at explaining what he observed. Therefore, Dalton was a scientist, Democritus was not.
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