Atom - Etymology

Etymology

The name atom comes from the Greek ἄτομος (atomos, "indivisible") from ἀ- (a-, "not") and τέμνω (temnō, "I cut"), which means uncuttable, or indivisible, something that cannot be divided further. The concept of an atom as an indivisible component of matter was first proposed by early Indian and Greek philosophers. In the 18th and 19th centuries, chemists provided a physical basis for this idea by showing that certain substances could not be further broken down by chemical methods, and they applied the ancient philosophical name of atom to the chemical entity. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, physicists discovered subatomic components and structure inside the atom, thereby demonstrating that the chemical "atom" was divisible and that the name might not be appropriate.. However, it was retained. This has led to some debate about whether the ancient philosophers, who intended to refer to fundamental individual objects with their concept of "atoms," were referring to modern chemical atoms, or something more like indivisible subatomic particles such as leptons or quarks, or even some more fundamental particle that has yet to be discovered.

Read more about this topic:  Atom

Other articles related to "etymology":

Kennesaw, Georgia - History - Etymology
... The name Kennesaw is derived from the Cherokee Indian word gah-nee-sah meaning cemetery, or burial ground. ...
Zarphatic Language - Etymology
... Zarphatic was written using a variant of the Hebrew alphabet, and first appeared in the 11th century, in glosses to texts of the Hebrew Bible and Talmud written by the great rabbis Rashi and Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan ... Constant expulsions and persecutions, resulting in great waves of Jewish migration, brought about the extinction of this short-lived, but important, language by the end of the 14th century ...
Passenger Pigeon - Taxonomy and Systematics - Etymology
... In the 18th century, the Passenger Pigeon in Europe was known to the French as tourtre but, in New France, the North American bird was called tourte ... In modern French, the bird is known as the pigeon migrateur ...
Algae - Etymology and Study
... The etymology is obscure ... The etymology is uncertain, but a strong candidate has long been some word related to the Biblical פוך (pūk), "paint" (if not that word itself), a cosmetic eye-sha ...

Famous quotes containing the word etymology:

    Semantically, taste is rich and confusing, its etymology as odd and interesting as that of “style.” But while style—deriving from the stylus or pointed rod which Roman scribes used to make marks on wax tablets—suggests activity, taste is more passive.... Etymologically, the word we use derives from the Old French, meaning touch or feel, a sense that is preserved in the current Italian word for a keyboard, tastiera.
    Stephen Bayley, British historian, art critic. “Taste: The Story of an Idea,” Taste: The Secret Meaning of Things, Random House (1991)

    The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.
    Giambattista Vico (1688–1744)