How the atom was proven to exist?

  • #1
mheruian
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How come atom was proven to exist just because the electron was discovered in 1874, atom was like a fad of truth on early 1800s right, where atom was pictured at that time like a small brick of ball and nothing else (no electrons, neutrons, protons, parts, etc) and on that year also, chemistry was brilliantly studied and quantified (w/o knowing electrons, neutrons, etc). how is that, they do chemistry based on elements mass only?
 
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  • #3
sophiecentaur
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just because the electron was discovered
I would say that 'matter' was shown to be based on basic particles long before the confirmation of the existence of the electron. Relatively ancient Chemistry had shown that elements combine in fixed ratios to form compounds. Lavoisier (late 18th century) was well on the way to the basic principles with his early stab at a Table of Elements. Of course, this was far from what was discovered later about the structure of atoms but their 'existence' as building blocks of chemistry was 'strongly indicated' more than two hundred years ago. (Makes one feel quite humble aamof.)
 
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