The Changing of the Atom

The idea of the atom as the basic building block of matter has been in existence for a very long time.   In 600 BC, the philosopher, Acharya Kanad wrote, “Every object of creation is made of atoms which in turn connect with each other to form molecules” (Lower, 2006).   A couple of centuries later in 460 BCE, the Greek philosopher Democritus said the smallest particle of matter was the atom.   He came up with the idea that when you break a piece of matter over and over, you will eventually come to a point where the smallest piece simply can’t be broken up any more.   “Basic matter particles” was his name for them.   For roughly 2,000 years no new ideas regarding the atom were developed.   Then in 1804 John Dalton developed five qualities about the atom which could be scientifically tested (Carpi, 2003).                                                                                                   From this point on, through much research and experimentation, the concept of the atom began to change.   New thoughts, new ideas and many theories have arisen since then from several different scientists.   Often small strides or slight changes in experimentation have led to a new or better understanding of the atom.   One thing must be remembered, the current concept of the atom is also                                                                                                 subject to change because the world of scientific discovery will continue.  
    New discoveries have led to the continual changing of the understanding of the atom, what makes up an atom, and how the parts interact within an atom and between atoms.   The work of one scientist is used, added to and/or modified by another scientist.   With improvements in technology come better, more in depth experiments which also adds to the discoveries that change understanding. Modern atomic theory began with Dalton (, 2000-2010).  
  * Dalton’s work stated:
  * Chemical elements are composed of...