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  • Atomic Theory & Democritus 10 Drachmai Greece Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making
  • Atomic Theory & Democritus 10 Drachmai Greece Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making
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Atomic Theory & Democritus 10 Drachmai Greece Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making

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Atomic Theory & Democritus 10 Drachmai Greece Authentic Coin Charm for Jewelry and Craft Making

Obverse: The portrait in the left profile of Democritus (460 - 370 BC), a Greek philosopher who developed the atomic theory of the universe surrounded with a legend which indicates his name in Greek: "ΔΗΜΟΚΡΙΤΟΣ"
Translation: Democritus

Reverse: An atom surrounded with the face value according to the new spelling "10 ΔΡΑΧΜΕΣ" and the inscription "ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ"

Translation: 10 Drachmai 1986 Republic of Greece

Issuer Greece
Period Third Hellenic Republic (1974-date)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 1982-2000
Value 10 Drachmes (10 GRD)
Currency Third modern drachma (1954-2001)
Composition Copper-nickel
Weight 7.5 g
Diameter 26 mm
Thickness 1.95 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Demonetized 02-28-2002
Number N# 560
References KM# 132, Schön# 85

The theory of Democritus held that everything is composed of "atoms," which are physically, but not geometrically, indivisible; that between atoms, there lies empty space; that atoms are indestructible, and have always been and always will be in motion; that there is an infinite number of atoms and of kinds of atoms, which differ in shape and size. Of the mass of atoms, Democritus said, "The more any indivisible exceeds, the heavier it is." However, his exact position on atomic weight is disputed.

Leucippus is widely credited with having been the first to develop the theory of atomism, although Isaac Newton preferred to credit the obscure Mochus the Phoenician (whom he believed to be the biblical Moses) as the inventor of the idea on the authority of Posidonius and Strabo. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes, "This theologically motivated view does not seem to claim much historical evidence, however".

Democritus, along with Leucippus and Epicurus, proposed the earliest views on the shapes and connectivity of atoms. They reasoned that the solidness of the material corresponded to the shape of the atoms involved. Thus, iron atoms are solid and strong with hooks that lock them into a solid; water atoms are smooth and slippery; salt atoms, because of their taste, are sharp and pointed; and air atoms are light and whirling, pervading all other materials. Using analogies from humans' sense experiences, he gave a picture or an image of an atom that distinguished them from each other by their shape, their size, and the arrangement of their parts. Moreover, connections were explained by material links in which single atoms were supplied with attachments: some with hooks and eyes, others with balls and sockets. The Democritean atom is an inert solid (merely excluding other bodies from its volume) that interacts with other atoms mechanically. In contrast, modern, quantum-mechanical atoms interact via electric and magnetic force fields and are far from inert.

The theory of the atomists appears to be more nearly aligned with that of modern science than any other theory of antiquity. However, the similarity with modern concepts of science can be confusing when trying to understand where the hypothesis came from. Classical atomists could not have had an empirical basis for modern concepts of atoms and molecules.

However, Lucretius, describing atomism in his De rerum natura, gives very clear and compelling empirical arguments for the original atomist theory. He observes that any material is subject to irreversible decay. Through time, even hard rocks are slowly worn down by drops of water. Things have the tendency to get mixed up: Mix water with soil and mud will result, seldom disintegrating by itself. Wood decays. However, there are mechanisms in nature and technology to recreate "pure" materials like water, air, and metals.[citation needed] The seed of an oak will grow out into an oak tree, made of similar wood as historical oak trees, the wood of which has already decayed. The conclusion is that many properties of materials must derive from something inside, that will itself never decay, something that stores for eternity the same inherent, indivisible properties. The basic question is: Why has everything in the world not yet decayed, and how can exactly some of the same materials, plants, and animals be recreated again and again? One obvious solution to explain how indivisible properties can be conveyed in a way not easily visible to human senses, is to hypothesize the existence of "atoms". These classical "atoms" are nearer to humans' modern concept of "molecule" than to the atoms of modern science. The other central point of classical atomism is that there must be considerable open space between these "atoms": the void. Lucretius gives reasonable arguments[citation needed] that the void is absolutely necessary to explain how gases and liquids can flow and change shape, while metals can be molded without their basic material properties changing.

Void hypothesis
The atomistic void hypothesis was a response to the paradoxes of Parmenides and Zeno, the founders of metaphysical logic, who put forth difficult-to-answer arguments in favor of the idea that there can be no movement. They held that any movement would require a void—which is nothing—but a nothing cannot exist. The Parmenidean position was "You say there is a void; therefore the void is not nothing; therefore there is not the void." The position of Parmenides appeared validated by the observation that where there seems to be nothing there is air, and indeed even where there is not matter there is something, for instance light waves.

The atomists agreed that motion required a void, but simply ignored the argument of Parmenides on the grounds that motion was an observable fact. Therefore, they asserted, there must be a void. This idea survived in a refined version as Newton's theory of absolute space, which met the logical requirements of attributing reality to not-being. Einstein's theory of relativity provided a new answer to Parmenides and Zeno, with the insight that space by itself is relative and cannot be separated from time as part of a generally curved space-time manifold. Consequently, Newton's refinement is now considered superfluous.


Democritus (/dɪˈmɒkrɪtəs/; Greek: Δημόκριτος, Dēmókritos, meaning "chosen of the people"; c. 460 – c. 370 BC) was an Ancient Greek pre-Socratic philosopher primarily remembered today for his formulation of an atomic theory of the universe.

Democritus was born in Abdera, Thrace, around 460 BC, although there are disagreements about the exact year. His exact contributions are difficult to disentangle from those of his mentor Leucippus, as they are often mentioned together in texts. Their speculation on atoms, taken from Leucippus, bears a passing and partial resemblance to the 19th-century understanding of atomic structure that has led some to regard Democritus as more of a scientist than other Greek philosophers; however, their ideas rested on very different bases. Largely ignored in ancient Athens, Democritus is said to have been disliked so much by Plato that the latter wished all of his books burned. He was nevertheless well known to his fellow northern-born philosopher Aristotle, and was the teacher of Protagoras.

Many consider Democritus to be the "father of modern science". None of his writings have survived; only fragments are known from his vast body of work.

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
John S
Very nice coins

Democritus is one of my favorite science philosophers.The coins are great thank you

John Stanton D
Very nice coins of one of my favorite phys...

Very nice coins of one of my favorite physicist and philosophers Democritus.Thank you very much.

Yvonne H
Super fun coin and great quality. Fast sh...

Super fun coin and great quality. Fast shipping and will make a great gift!