Democritus of Abdera
          (Born: about 460 BC in Abdera, Thrace, Greece / Died: about 370 BC)
Democritus asserted that space, or the Void, had an equal right with reality, or Being, to be considered existent. He conceived of the Void as a vacuum, an infinite space in which moved an infinite number of atoms that made up Being (i.e. the physical world). These atoms are eternal and invisible; absolutely small, so small that their size cannot be diminished (hence the name atomon, or "indivisible"); absolutely full and incompressible, as they are without pores and entirely fill the space they occupy; and homogeneous, differing only in shape, arrangement, position, and magnitude.
With this as a basis to the physical world, Democritus could explain all changes in the world as changes in motion of the atoms, or changes in the way that they were packed together. This was a remarkable theory which attempted to explain the whole of physics based on a small number of ideas and also brought mathematics into a fundamental physical role since the whole of the structure proposed by Democritus was quantitative and subject to mathematical laws. Another fundamental idea in Democritus's theory is that nature behaves like a machine, it is nothing more than a highly complex mechanism.