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Atoms Quotes

Quotes tagged as "atoms" Showing 1-30 of 104
Carl Sagan
“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Carl Sagan
“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Bill Bryson
“It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none of which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you.”
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth - the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up- many people feel small, cause their small and the universe is big. But I feel big because my atoms came from those stars.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson
“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Bill Bryson
“Protons give an atom its identity, electrons its personality.”
Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

“[Think] of an experience from your childhood. Something you remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there. After all you really were there at the time, weren't you? How else could you remember it? But here is the bombshell: you weren't there. Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over (which is why you eat, of course). You are not even the same shape as you were then. The point is that you are like a cloud: something that persists over long periods, while simultaneously being in flux. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made. If that does not make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, read it again until it does, because it is important.”
Steve Grand, Creation: Life and How to Make It

John Gribbin
“In the world of the very small, where particle and wave aspects of reality are equally significant, things do not behave in any way that we can understand from our experience of the everyday world...all pictures are false, and there is no physical analogy we can make to understand what goes on inside atoms. Atoms behave like atoms, nothing else.”
John Gribbin, In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality

Terry Pratchett
“After a while the Senior Wrangler said, "Do you know, I read the other day that every atom in your body is changed every seven years? New ones keep getting attached and old ones keep on dropping off. It goes on all the time. Marvelous, really."

The Senior Wrangler could do to a conversation what it takes quite thick treacle to do to the pedals of a precision watch.

"Yes? What happens to the old ones?" said Ridcully, interested despite himself.

"Dunno. They just float around in the air, I suppose, until they get attached to someone else."

The Archchancellor looked affronted.

"What, even wizards?"

"Oh, yes. Everyone. It's part of the miracle of existence."

"Is it? Sounds like bad hygiene to me," said the Archchancellor. "I suppose there's no way of stopping it?"

"I shouldn't think so," said the Senior Wrangler, doubtfully. "I don't think you're supposed to stop miracles of existence."

"But that means everythin' is made up of everythin' else," said Ridcully.

"Yes. Isn't it amazing?”
Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

Dannika Dark
“Nothing is forever. Except atoms.”
Dannika Dark, Gravity

W.N.P. Barbellion
“I have reveled in my littleness and irresponsibility. It has relieved me of the harassing desire to live, I feel content to live dangerously, indifferent to my fate; I have discovered I am a fly, that we are all flies, that nothing matters. It’s a great load off my life, for I don’t mind being such a micro-organism—to me the honour is sufficient of belonging to the universe—such a great universe, so grand a scheme of things. Not even Death can rob me of that honour. For nothing can alter the fact that I have lived; I have been I, if for ever so short a time. And when I am dead, the matter which composes my body is indestructible—and eternal, so that come what may to my “Soul,” my dust will always be going on, each separate atom of me playing its separate part—I shall still have some sort of a finger in the Pie. When I am dead, you can boil me, burn me, drown me, scatter me—but you cannot destroy me: my little atoms would merely deride such heavy vengeance. Death can do no more than kill you.”
W.N.P. Barbellion, The Journal of a Disappointed Man

Ernest Rutherford
“It was quite the most incredible event that has ever happened to me in my life. It was almost as incredible as if you fired a 15-inch shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you.

[Recalling in 1936 the discovery of the nucleus in 1909, when some alpha particles were observed instead of travelling through a very thin gold foil were seen to rebound backward, as if striking something much more massive than the particles themselves. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this discovery.]”
Ernest Rutherford

George Gamow
“It took less than an hour to make the atoms, a few hundred million years to make the stars and planets, but five billion years to make man!”
George Gamow, The Creation of the Universe

“The more doors you open to the mysteries, or sacred knowledge, the smaller you feel. And because you begin to feel smaller and smaller until your ego disappears, the more humble you become. Therefore, any man who behaves arrogantly with what little he knows, or claims to know all, only reveals to all that he really knows nothing. Real greatness does not reside inside those who feel large. The truly wise are meek. Yet being small and meek do not make one weak. Arming oneself with true knowledge generates strong confidence and a bold spirit that makes you a lion of God. The Creator does not want you to suffer, yet we are being conditioned by society to accept suffering, weak and passive dispositions under the belief that such conditions are favorable by God. Weakness is not a virtue praised by God. How could he desire for you to be weak if he tells us to stand by our conscience? Doing so requires strength. However, there is a difference between arrogance when inflating your ego, and confidence when one truly gets closer to God. One feels large, while the other feels small. Why? Because a man of wisdom understands that he is just a small pea in a sea of infinite atoms, and that in the end — we are all connected. And did you not know that the smaller a creature is, the bolder its spirit?”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Lucretius
“The supply of matter in the universe was never more tightly packed than it is now, or more widely spread out. For nothing is ever added to it or subtracted from it. It follows that the movement of atoms today is no different from what it was in bygone ages and always will be. So the things that have regularly come into being will continue to come into being in the same manner; they will be and grow and flourish so far as each is allowed by the laws of nature.”
Lucretius, On the Nature of Things

“You and I -- we're just atoms that arranged themselves the right way, and we can understand that about ourselves. Is that not amazing?”
Becky Chambers, A Psalm for the Wild-Built

James Hopwood Jeans
“If we assume that the last breath of, say, Julius Caesar has by now become thoroughly scattered through the atmosphere, then the chances are that each of us inhales one molecule of it with every breath we take.”
James Jeans, An Introduction To The Kinetic Theory Of Gases

Aristotle
“The void is 'not-being,' and no part of 'what is' is a 'not-being,'; for what 'is' in the strict sense of the term is an absolute plenum. This plenum, however, is not 'one': on the contrary, it is a 'many' infinite in number and invisible owing to the minuteness of their bulk.”
Aristotle

Richard Rhodes
“The landed classes neglected technical education, taking refuge in classical studies; as late as 1930, for example, long after Ernest Rutherford at Cambridge had discovered the atomic nucleus and begun transmuting elements, the physics laboratory at Oxford had not been wired for electricity. Intellectual neglect technical education to this day.

[Describing C.P. Snow's observations on the neglect of technical education.]”
Richard Rhodes, Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate About Machines Systems and the Human World

John Scalzi
“After our negotiations were completed, the dome would be imploded and launched toward the nearest black hole, so that none of its atoms would ever contaminate this particular universe again. I thought that last part was overkill.”
John Scalzi, Old Man's War

Bill Bryson
“Because they are so long-lived, atoms really get around. Every atom you possess has almost certainly passed through several stars and been part of millions of organisms on its way to becoming you. We are each so atomically numerous and so vigorously recycled at death that a significant number of our atoms—up to a billion for each of us, it has been suggested—probably once belonged to Shakespeare. A billion more each came from Buddha and Genghis Khan and Beethoven, and any other historical figure you care to name. (The personages have to be historical, apparently, as it takes the atoms some decades to become thoroughly redistributed; however much you may wish it, you are not yet one with Elvis Presley.) So we are all reincarnations—though short-lived ones. When we die our atoms will disassemble and move off to find new uses elsewhere—as part of a leaf or other human being or drop of dew. Atoms, however, go on practically forever.”
Bill Bryson, A Really Short History of Nearly Everything

Jostein Gaarder
“When we sense something, it is due to the movement of atoms in space. When I see the moon it is because "moon atoms" penetrate my eye.”
Jostein Gaarder, Sophie's World

Marcus Chown
“It was like bouncing tennis balls off a mystery piece of furniture and deducing, from the direction in which the balls ricocheted, whether it was a chair or a table or a Welsh dresser.”
Marcus Chown, We Need to Talk About Kelvin: What everyday things tell us about the universe

“We are all just bi-products of atoms that are trying to understand themselves and the limits of their capabilities”
Dido Stargaze

Cary G. Weldy
“Around 2300 years ago, Plato taught that merely existing meant that something had the power to affect something else and was therefore conscious. This wise sage was far ahead of his time, in that he had intimate knowledge of this phenomenon without modern-day scientific instruments. Today, we can measure it at the quantum physics level invisible to the naked eye, acknowledging that even atoms and subatomic particles have awareness and consciousness.”
Cary G. Weldy, The Power of Tattoos: Twelve Hidden Energy Secrets of Body Art Every Tattoo Enthusiast Should Know

Ernest Rutherford
“Anyone who is looking for a source of cheap power in the transformation of the atom, is talking pure moonshine”
Ernest Rutherford

Benjamín Labatut
“Bohr was a colossus in the world of physics. The only scientist to achieve a similar degree of influence during the first half of the twentieth century was Albert Einstein, who was as much his rival as his friend. In 1922, Bohr had already received the Nobel Prize, and he had a gift for discovering young talents and bringing them under his wing. Such was the case with Heisenberg: during their strolls in the mountains, he convinced the young physicist that, when discussing atoms, language could serve as nothing more than a kind of poetry. Walking with Bohr, Heisenberg had his first intuition of the radical otherness of the subatomic world. “If a mere particle of dust contains billions of atoms,” Bohr said to him as they were scaling the massifs of the Harz range, “what possible way is there to talk meaningfully of something so small?” The physicist—like the poet—should not describe the facts of the world, but rather generate metaphors and mental connections. From that summer onwards, Heisenberg understood that to apply concepts of classical physics such as position, velocity and momentum to a subatomic particle was sheer madness. That aspect of nature required a completely new language.”

Excerpt From: Benjamín Labatut. “When We Cease to Understand the World”.”
Benjamín Labatut, When We Cease to Understand the World

Avijeet Das
“A writer observes. A writer records for posterity. The moments in the transience of the labyrinth of time that would go unrecorded otherwise! A writer records for value. A writer records for sentimentalism. A writer tries in earnest to carry the emotions and sentiments that make us what we ultimately are. For what are we? Empty spaces in an atom!”
Avijeet Das

Stephen Greenblatt
“Lucretius him celebrated Epicurus as godlike in his wisdom and courage. Depended not on his social credentials, but upon what they took to be his saving power of vision. The core of this vision can be traced back to a single incandescent idea: that everything that has every existed, and everything that will ever exist is put together by indestructible building blocks, irreducibly small in size, unimaginatively vast in number. The Greek had a word for these building blocks, things that as they conceived them, could not be divided any further: atoms.”
Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
tags: atoms

Stephen Greenblatt
“You needed only needed to comprehend that there is a natural explanation for everything that alarms or eludes you, that explanation will inevitably lead you back to atoms. If you can hold on to, and repeat to yourself the simplest fact of of existence: atoms, and void, and nothing else, atoms and void, and nothing else, your life will change.”
Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
tags: atoms

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