Published in I, Science.
For something so small, it’s not shy of a big theory. In fact, the atom and its activity have a long history in the world of theoretical science, punctuated by the ideas of many a perplexed physicist.
The birth of atomic theory takes us way, way back to ancient Greek times. Here, Democritus (460–370 BC), a philosopher pondering the makeup of the physical world, speculated that all matter consisted of minute little particles that moved around in an infinite space. He called these particles ‘atoms’, meaning ‘indivisible’. However, a lack of evidence meant his idea went largely unnoticed and it took almost two millennia before the credibility of the concept was restored.