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Thales and the Atomic Theory
Prepared by Yıldız Dizay Kaya
• modern atomic theory: an atom consists of a
nucleus and electrons orbiting around it.
• orbits: trajectories on which electrons can sit.
• orbits can be calculated
using quantum mechanics.
The Bohr atom model
• Modern theory of atoms: it took centuries for
human beings to reach.
• Many contributions by different scientists and
• Thales made a great progress in his time
about the structure of matter.
• lived about 600’s b.c.
• He was born in the city of
Miletus (It is the Milet town in
the city of Aydın)
• The dates of his life is not
known precisely.
• He was not only a thinker,
he was involved business and politics.
• Acoording to Heredotus’ history: Thales
predicted the eclipse of the sun.
The Theater of Miletus
• had been well known person in the early part
of the 6. century b.c.
• Arsitotle: Thales is first philisopher in the
Greek tradition.
• Bertnard Russell: The western philisophy
begins with Thales.
• Thales and geometry: There is a theorem in
geometry called Thales’ theorem about similar
Thales’ Theorem
Thales and the atomic theory:
• Aristotle: according to Thales the earth is
superimposed upon water
• Thales: the primary building blocks of all
things to be water.
• Therefore, he thought “things” as varying
forms of one primary and ultimate element.
• Of course, today we know that his ideas about
water is wrong.
• However, he actually suggested the same
working hypothesis of modern atomic theory
that all things are made up of atoms.
• Historically, it is very important for a
philosopher to think that things have a
common building block.
• Based on this, many claim that Thales is the
father of both philosophy and physics
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