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Physical Science

Democritus
John Dalton
J.J. Thomson

Democritus

  • In what country or countries did the scientist live and work?

Democritus lived and worked in Abdera, about 460 to 370 BCE, although according to some 490 to 370. Although that isn’t the only place he has ever been and studied in, he studied in Egypt, Ethiopia, Persia, and India, but latter returned to Abdera to continue his works.

  • When was the Scientist born? If no longer living, when did he or she die?

Democritus was born in either 460 or in 490 BCE and he died at more then a hundred years of age.

  • What area or areas of science did the scientist study?

Democritus’s area of science was in astronomy, theology and the atomic theory while he was in Abdera. Before he came back to Abdera to continue his studies he went off to Athens and studied under Anaxagoras. He was also instructed in Pythagoreanism, and was a disciple of Leucippus.

  • Summarizing the Scientists contribution to the atomic theory

Democritus expanded the atomic theory of Leucippus. He maintained the impossibility of dividing things ad infinitum. From the difficulty of assigning a beginning of time, he argued the eternity of existing nature, of void space, and of motion. He supposed the atoms, which are originally similar, to be impenetrable and have a density proportionate to their volume. All motions are the result of active and passive affection.

  • Something interesting about the Scientist.

It is said that from then on he spent his days and nights in caverns and sepulchers, and that, in order to master his intellectual faculties, he blinded himself with burning glass. The writers who mention it insofar as they say he wrote books and dissected animals, neither of which could be done well without eyes, however, discredit this story.

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Matthew J. Stevenson
Physical Science
May 10, 2005
Mr. Syron