VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Four elements. Computer illustration of the four elements, the four substances that were once believed to make up all matter. The elements are (clockwise, from top left): water, fire, air and earth. The four elements theory was first suggested by the Greek philosopher Empedocles in the 5th century BC. He claimed that all materials were made from various combinations of these elements. The theory was elaborated upon by fellow Greek Aristotle, who claimed motion was caused by each element's desire to reach its rightful location. It is now known that matter is made of many different chemical elements.
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