Here is a good brief article by the physicist Carlo Rovelli outlining the history and importance of Atomism and it's reintroduction into Western thought by the rediscovery of Lucretius's On the Nature of Things in 1417.  This work was very influential on Newton, and even Jefferson owned 5 copies of it (Jefferson described himself as an Epicurean in a letter to a friend).  Rovelli is known for his Relational Quantum Mechanics interpretation and Loop Quantum Gravity.  Though he is critical of the