Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I was watching a NOVA program on PBS that showed us an electron microscope that was so strong they could see atoms in brass and distinguish the different atoms of copper and tin. We have come a long way since Democritus of Adbera in northern Greece first described the atom in 400 BC. He said, “That all material things are composed of extremely small irreducible particles called atoms and that nothing exist except atoms and empty space.”

I saw this Nova episode during a time when I am rereading “The Nature of the Universe” by Lucretius a Roman gentleman about 55 BC. In this book he describes among other things the nature of the atom in great detail.

Without the aid of electron microscopes they both did an amazing job of thinking about something they could not see and could only imagine using logic.

How far will we go in the next hundred or a thousand years?


  1. Wasn't it just a hundred or so years ago that the Director of the US Patent Office said everything that could be invented had already been invented? I can only imagine what the next 100 years will bring us.


  2. I still chuckle about that statement