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Atomic Theory
Atomic theory is the scientific theory that matter is composed of particles called atoms. Atomic theory traces its origins to an ancient philosophical tradition known as atomism. According to this idea, if one were to take a lump of matter and cut it into ever smaller pieces, one would eventually reach a point where the pieces could not be further cut into anything smaller. Ancient Greek philosophers called these hypothetical ultimate particles of matter ''atomos'', a word which meant "uncut". In the early 1800s, the scientist John Dalton noticed that chemical substances seemed to combine and break down into other substances by weight in proportions that suggested that each chemical element is ultimately made up of tiny indivisible particles of consistent weight. Shortly after 1850, certain physicists developed the kinetic theory of gases and of heat, which mathematically modelled the behavior of gases by assuming that they were made of particles. In the early 20th centur ...
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Lowercase Sigmabot
Letter case is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written representation of certain languages. The writing systems that distinguish between the upper and lowercase have two parallel sets of letters, with each letter in one set usually having an equivalent in the other set. The two case variants are alternative representations of the same letter: they have the same name and pronunciation and are treated identically when sorting in alphabetical order. Letter case is generally applied in a mixed-case fashion, with both upper and lowercase letters appearing in a given piece of text for legibility. The choice of case is often prescribed by the grammar of a language or by the conventions of a particular discipline. In orthography, the uppercase is primarily reserved for special purposes, such as the first letter of a sentence or of a proper noun (ca ...
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Elementary Particle
In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include electrons, the fundamental fermions ( quarks, leptons, antiquarks, and antileptons, which generally are matter particles and antimatter particles), as well as the fundamental bosons ( gauge bosons and the Higgs boson), which generally are force particles that mediate interactions among fermions. A particle containing two or more elementary particles is a composite particle. Ordinary matter is composed of atoms, once presumed to be elementary particles – ''atomos'' meaning "unable to be cut" in Greek – although the atom's existence remained controversial until about 1905, as some leading physicists regarded molecules as mathematical illusions, and matter as ultimately composed of energy. Subatomic constituents of the atom were first identified in the early 1930s; the electron and the pro ...
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Pierre Gassendi
Pierre Gassendi (; also Pierre Gassend, Petrus Gassendi; 22 January 1592 – 24 October 1655) was a French philosopher, Catholic priest, astronomer, and mathematician. While he held a church position in south-east France, he also spent much time in Paris, where he was a leader of a group of free-thinking intellectuals. He was also an active observational scientist, publishing the first data on the transit of Mercury in 1631. The lunar crater Gassendi is named after him. He wrote numerous philosophical works, and some of the positions he worked out are considered significant, finding a way between skepticism and dogmatism. Richard Popkin indicates that Gassendi was one of the first thinkers to formulate the modern "scientific outlook", of moderated skepticism and empiricism. He clashed with his contemporary Descartes on the possibility of certain knowledge. His best known intellectual project attempted to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity. Biography Earl ...
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Epicureanism
Epicureanism is a system of philosophy founded around 307 BC based upon the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus. Epicureanism was originally a challenge to Platonism. Later its main opponent became Stoicism. Few writings by Epicurus have survived. However, there are independent attestations of his ideas from his later disciples. Some scholars consider the epic poem ''De rerum natura'' (Latin for ''On the Nature of Things'') by Lucretius to present in one unified work the core arguments and theories of Epicureanism. Many of the scrolls unearthed at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum are Epicurean texts. At least some are thought to have belonged to the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus. Epicurus also had a wealthy 2nd-century AD disciple, Diogenes of Oenoanda, who had a portico wall inscribed with tenets of the philosophy erected in Oenoanda, Lycia (present day Turkey). Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His ma ...
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Lives And Opinions Of Eminent Philosophers
Diogenes Laërtius ( ; grc-gre, Διογένης Λαέρτιος, ; ) was a biographer of the Greek philosophers. Nothing is definitively known about his life, but his surviving ''Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers'' is a principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy. His reputation is controversial among scholars because he often repeats information from his sources without critically evaluating it. He also frequently focuses on trivial or insignificant details of his subjects' lives while ignoring important details of their philosophical teachings and he sometimes fails to distinguish between earlier and later teachings of specific philosophical schools. However, unlike many other ancient secondary sources, Diogenes Laërtius generally reports philosophical teachings without attempting to reinterpret or expand on them, which means his accounts are often closer to the primary sources. Due to the loss of so many of the primary sources on which Diogenes reli ...
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Diogenes Laërtius
Diogenes Laërtius ( ; grc-gre, Διογένης Λαέρτιος, ; ) was a biographer of the Greek philosophers. Nothing is definitively known about his life, but his surviving ''Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers'' is a principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy. His reputation is controversial among scholars because he often repeats information from his sources without critically evaluating it. He also frequently focuses on trivial or insignificant details of his subjects' lives while ignoring important details of their philosophical teachings and he sometimes fails to distinguish between earlier and later teachings of specific philosophical schools. However, unlike many other ancient secondary sources, Diogenes Laërtius generally reports philosophical teachings without attempting to reinterpret or expand on them, which means his accounts are often closer to the primary sources. Due to the loss of so many of the primary sources on which Diogenes rel ...
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De Rerum Natura
''De rerum natura'' (; ''On the Nature of Things'') is a first-century BC didactic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius ( – c. 55 BC) with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in some 7,400 dactylic hexameters, is divided into six untitled books, and explores Epicurean physics through poetic language and metaphors. Greenblatt (2011). Namely, Lucretius explores the principles of atomism; the nature of the mind and soul; explanations of sensation and thought; the development of the world and its phenomena; and explains a variety of celestial and terrestrial phenomena. The universe described in the poem operates according to these physical principles, guided by ''fortuna'' ("chance"), and not the divine intervention of the traditional Roman deities. Background To the Greek philosopher Epicurus, the unhappiness and degradation of humans arose largely from the dread which they entertained of the power of the deit ...
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Aristotle
Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatetic school of philosophy within the Lyceum and the wider Aristotelian tradition. His writings cover many subjects including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics, meteorology, geology, and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him. It was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion. Little is known about his life. Aristotle was ...
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Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages (or early medieval period), sometimes controversially referred to as the Dark Ages, is typically regarded by historians as lasting from the late 5th or early 6th century to the 10th century. They marked the start of the Middle Ages of European history, following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, and preceding the High Middle Ages ( 11th to 13th centuries). The alternative term ''late antiquity'', for the early part of the period, emphasizes elements of continuity with the Roman Empire, while ''Early Middle Ages'' is used to emphasize developments characteristic of the earlier medieval period. The period saw a continuation of trends evident since late classical antiquity, including population decline, especially in urban centres, a decline of trade, a small rise in average temperatures in the North Atlantic region and increased migration. In the 19th century the Early Middle Ages were often labelled the ''Dark Ages'', a characterization based on t ...
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Lucretius
Titus Lucretius Carus ( , ;  – ) was a Roman poet and philosopher. His only known work is the philosophical poem ''De rerum natura'', a didactic work about the tenets and philosophy of Epicureanism, and which usually is translated into English as ''On the Nature of Things''—and somewhat less often as ''On the Nature of the Universe''. Lucretius has been credited with originating the concept of the three-age system that was formalised in 1836 by C. J. Thomsen. Very little is known about Lucretius's life; the only certainty is that he was either a friend or client of Gaius Memmius, to whom the poem was addressed and dedicated. ''De rerum natura'' was a considerable influence on the Augustan poets, particularly Virgil (in his ''Aeneid'' and ''Georgics'', and to a lesser extent on the ''Eclogues'') and Horace. The work was almost lost during the Middle Ages, but was rediscovered in 1417 in a monastery in Germany by Poggio Bracciolini and it played an important role both ...
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Epicurus
Epicurus (; grc-gre, Ἐπίκουρος ; 341–270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded Epicureanism, a highly influential school of philosophy. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus, Aristippus, Pyrrho, and possibly the Cynics, he turned against the Platonism of his day and established his own school, known as "the Garden", in Athens. Epicurus and his followers were known for eating simple meals and discussing a wide range of philosophical subjects. He openly allowed women and slaves to join the school as a matter of policy. Of the over 300 works said to have been written by Epicurus about various subjects, the vast majority have been destroyed. Only three letters written by him—the letters to ''Menoeceus'', ''Pythocles'', and ''Herodotus''—and two collections of quotes—the ''Principal Doctrines'' and the ''Vatican Sayings''—have survived intact, along with a few fragments of his other writing ...
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Democritus
Democritus (; el, Δημόκριτος, ''Dēmókritos'', meaning "chosen of the people"; – ) was an Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher from Abdera, primarily remembered today for his formulation of an atomic theory of the universe. None of his work has survived. Life Although many anecdotes about Democritus' life survive, their authenticity cannot be verified and modern scholars doubt their accuracy. Democritus was said to be born in the city of Abdera in Thrace, an Ionian colony of Teos,. Ancient accounts of his life have claimed that he lived to a very old age, with some writers claiming that he was over a hundred years old at the time of his death. Philosophy and science states that the relation between Democritus and his predecessor Leucippus is not clear; while earlier ancient sources such as Aristotle and Theophrastus credit Leucippus with the invention of atomism and credit its doctrines to both philosophers, later sources only credit Democritus, making d ...
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