Leucippus and Democritus: The Atomic Duo

The philosophers Leucippus and Democritus were the first to theorize that the world was composed of tiny particles called atoms. These particles were invisible to the human eye yet ubiquitous in their myriad combinations, comprising what is commonly called reality. Between the two, Democritus was apparently the one with the better sense of humor, because he was nicknamed “The Laughing Philosopher” and “the mocker.” He was allegedly never without a quip or a cackle at the expense of his fellow citizens.

Democritus built on the theories of Leucippus by suggesting that atoms were indivisible. This was accepted as fact until August 1945, when mankind split the atom and unleashed a conflagration, changing the world forever. And quantum physics has proven that there are things even smaller than the atom. But this theory had a good several millennia's worth of fashionability.

  1. Home
  2. Philosophy
  3. It's Greek to Me
  4. Leucippus and Democritus: The Atomic Duo
Visit other About.com sites: