History of The Periodic Table - Elemental Ideas From Ancient Times

Elemental Ideas From Ancient Times

People have known about some chemical elements like gold, silver and copper from antiquity, as these can all be discovered in nature in native form and are relatively simple to mine with primitive tools. However, the notion that there were a limited number of elements from which everything was composed originated with the Greek philosopher Aristotle. About 330 B.C Aristotle proposed that everything is made up of a mixture of one or more of four "roots" (originally put forth by the Sicilian philosopher Empedocles), but later renamed elements by Plato. The four elements were earth, water, air and fire. While the concept of an element was thus introduced, Aristotle's and Plato's ideas did nothing to advance the understanding of the nature of matter.

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