There was a man called Democritus who was born in Greece 25 centuries ago, and said that matter was made of very small particles called atoms. But it happened that for many centuries mankind sank into obscurantism and forgot about mathematics, medicine, astronomy, physics, all sciences and all the arts. And he also forgot what Democritus had said about atoms, until someone, in the twentieth century, decided to prove, and he succeeded, that atoms existed, and of course Democritus was right.
This character was called Ernest Rutherford, he was British, and when a student asked him why he was determined to discover something as small as the atom, Rutherford replied: "Because I am so insignificant in the cosmos, I would like to find something smaller than me , that would fill me with comfort for a moment. "
Ernest Rutherford also achieved the dream of the alchemists by transmuting one atom into another, and his contributions to science earned him the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908.