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The existence of atoms has been proposed since very early times by Greek and Indian philosophers. They were of the view that atoms are fundamental building blocks of matter. They felt that the continued subdivision of matter would ultimately yield atoms which would not be further divisible. The word atom is derived from the Greek meaning non divisible. The atomic theory of matter was first proposed on a firm scientific basis by John Dalton. In this unit we start with experiments and observations made by scientists. They established that atoms can be further subdivided into sub-atomic particles that is electrons , protons and neutrons. Further progress in this field of investigation by various scientists paved the way for understanding the atomic structure of elements in great detail which led to the present day periodic classification of elements

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