Democritean Universe

Democritean Universe

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Credit: CORDELIA MOLLOY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Democritean Universe. 17th-century artwork of the atomistic universe proposed by the Ancient Greek philosopher Democritus (c.460-370 BC). The artwork was published in 1675. It shows three concentric regions: the Earth and the planets are at centre, surrounded by the heavens which contain the stars; the outer region is an "infinite chaos" that is composed of atoms. Democritus considered atoms to be indivisible units that combined to make up all matter. Modern atomic theory was developed by John Dalton from around 1800, more than 2000 years after Democritus.

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Keywords: 1600s, 1675, 17th century, ancient greek, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, atom, atomic, atomist, atomistic, atoms, celestial, celestial spheres, chaos, circle, circles, circular, classical, cosmological, cosmology, democritean, democritean universe, democritus, diagram, earth, heavens, historical, history, history of science, illustration, ionian, natural philosophy, philosophical, philosophy, planets, pre-socratic, renaissance, round, sky, spheres, stars, theory, universe

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