How have our ideas about atoms changed over the years? In this article we look at how our atomic models have developed over time.

It is entirely probable that we aren’t there yet and our understanding of the strange world, that is the realm of sub-atomic particle, will change again at some time in the future.

Although our article starts in the 1800s, the idea of atoms was around long before that. It is in Ancient Greece that we find the genesis of the idea of atoms. The word ‘atom’ comes from Ancient Greek and roughly translates as ‘indivisible’. The Ancient Greek theory has been credited to several different scholars, but is most often attributed to Democritus (460–370 BC) and his mentor Leucippus. (see our article Who ‘discovered’ the Atom ? )


Does anyone know what atoms and molecules actually look like
Who ‘discovered’ the Atom ?
Why, in an atom, does the negatively charged electron not collapse into the positively charged nucleus?
What is smashed in an Atom-Smasher (or particle accelerator) ?