1670s as a philosophical term (see atomistic
); scientific sense dates from 1811, from atom
. Atomic number
is from 1821; atomic mass
is from 1898. Atomic energy
first recorded 1906; atomic bomb
first recorded 1914 in writings of H.G. Wells, who thought of it as a bomb "that would continue to explode indefinitely."
"When you can drop just one atomic bomb and wipe out Paris or Berlin, war will have become monstrous and impossible." [S. Strunsky, "Yale Review," January 1917]
is from 1945.