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  • Prout knew that hydrogen, with an atomic weight of 1, was the lightest of all the known elements. Maybe, said Prout, hydrogen is the "primary matter," and all the other elements are simply combinations of hydrogens. In the spirit of the ancients, he named this quintessence "protyle".

    From "The God Particle" by Leon M. Lederman (with Dick Teresi); Mariner Books 2006 edition, page 114.

    June 11, 2011