Use the resources on The Ancient Greeks student esheet to help you answer the questions on this sheet.
The Greek Concept of Atomos: The Indivisible Atom
How has modern civilization come to learn about the ideas of Leucippus and Democritus?
What are the five major points of their atomic theory?
What is the significance of having a lower limit to which an atom can be divided?
What is the purpose of a “void”?
How do you think these philosophers were able to theorize to this level of specificity about the characteristics of the (invisible) atom and the laws of nature?
Why did their ideas “recede into the background” of atomic thought until the 17th century?
The Atomists: Leucippus of Miletus and Democritus of Abdera
What specific contributions did Leucippus and Democritus make in the development of their atomic theory?
Why did Leucippus first develop the basic atomic theory in response to the Eleatics?
How did the philosophers assess atoms in terms of the senses?
According to Democritus, how are universes formed?
How does modern atomic theory differ from the early Atomists?
Democritus of Abdera
What made Democritus “a man of great learning”?
Was Leucippus the first to propose an atomic theory? Explain.
In what ways did Democritus advance and broaden the atomic theory?
How was this significant?
What was unusual about Democritus’ theory on the origin of the universe?
What is significant about Democritus’ wish to “remove the belief in gods”?