The concept that material objects such as cars and chairs are composed of many small units called atoms is not new, in fact the ancient Indian philosophers Gautama and Kanada taught this.
It is significant that this concept of the atom was present in India thousands of years before it appeared in the West — its first appearance in the West is generally attributed to Democritus of ancient Greece. Unfortunately modern historians, who do not generally give credit to ancient India for any significant achievements, now teach that Democritus was the first to put forward the idea of the atom. It is, however, important to realize just how poorly substantiated the modern historians’ picture of ancient history really is.
Modern historians tend to give the impression that they know quite well what went on in ancient times, but the actual fact is that most ancient records have been lost so their picture of ancient history is based on fragmentary evidence and guesswork. One of the main reasons for this lack of information is the frequent warfare which occurred between the ancient nations.