Nature - how, we don't know - has technology that works in every living cell and that depends on every atom being precisely in the right spot. Enzymes are precise down to the last atom. They're molecules. You put the last atom in, and it's done. Nature does things with molecular perfection.
Man is slightly nearer to the atom than to the star. ... From his central position man can survey the grandest works of Nature with the astronomer, or the minutest works with the physicist. ... [K]nowledge of the stars leads through the atom; and important knowledge of the atom has been reached through the stars.
They understand death, they stand there in the church under the skies that have a beginningless past and go into the never-ending future, waiting themselves for death, at the foot of the dead, in a holy temple. - I get a vision of myself and the two little boys hung up in a great endless universe with nothing overhead and nothing under bbut the Infinite Nothingness, the Enormousness of it, the dead without number in all directions of existence whether inward into the atom-worlds of your own body or outward to the universe which may only be one atom in an infinity of atom-worlds and each atom-world only a figure of speech - inward, outward, up and down, nothing but emptiness and divine majesty and silence for the two little boys and me.
The story is told of Lord Kelvin, a famous Scotch physicist of the last century, that after he had given a lecture on atoms and molecules, one of his students came to him with the question, "Professor, what is your idea of the structure of the atom." "What," said Kelvin, "The structure of the atom? Why, don't you know, the very word 'atom' means the thing that can't be cut. How then can it have a structure?" "That," remarked the facetious young man, "shows the disadvantage of knowing Greek."
All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts wending their ways in water. If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring. At the ring's center is a single atom of magnesium. Now: If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its exact place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of hemoglobin. The iron atom combines with all the other atoms to make red blood, the streaming red dots in the goldfish's tail.
Who can break the law? If I break this glass, it will fall down. If anyone succeeds in throwing one atom out of place, every other atom will go out of balance. . . . The law can never be broken. Each atom is kept in its place. Each is weighed and measured and fulfils its [purpose] and place. Through His command the winds blow, the sun shines. Through His rule the worlds are kept in place. Through His orders death is sporting upon the earth. Just think of two or three Gods having a wrestling match in this world! It cannot be.
In a gas, motion has the upper hand; the atoms are moving so fast that they have no time to enter into any sort of combination with each other: occasionally, atom must meet atom and, so to speak, each hold out vain hands to the other, but the pace is too great and, in a moment, they are far away from each other again.
William Henry Bragg
But it is necessary to insist more strongly than usual that what I am putting before you is a model-the Bohr model atom-because later I shall take you to a profounder level of representation in which the electron instead of being confined to a particular locality is distributed in a sort of probability haze all over the atom.
Every atom is trying to go and join itself to the next atom. Atoms after atoms combine, making huge balls, the earths, the suns, the moons, the stars, the planets. They in their turn, are trying to rush towards each other, and at last, we know that the whole universe, mental and material, will be fused into one.
As in the universe every atom has an effect, however minuscule, on every other atom, so that to pinch the fabric of Time and Space at any point is to shake the whole length and breadth of it, so in fiction every element has effect on every other, so that to change a character's name from Jane to Cynthia is to make the fictional ground shudder under her feet.
Science has taught us, against all intuition, that apparently solid things like crystals and rocks are really almost entirely composed of empty space. And the familiar illustration is the nucleus of an atom is a fly in the middle of a sports stadium, and the next atom is in the next sports stadium.
It is a more rational belief that man may become a brute than that a brute may become a man; and it is an easier faith that plants and animals may dwindle down into an elemental atom, than that this atom should embrace in its organization, and evolve, all the noble forms of vegetable, animal, and intellectual life.
I'll be looking for you, Will, every moment, every single moment. And when we do find each other again, we'll cling together so tight that nothing and no one'll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you... We'll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams... And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they wont' just be able to take one, they'll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we'll be joined so tight...
Idealism sees the world in God. It beholds the whole circle of persons and things, of actions and events, of country and religion,not as painfully accumulated, atom after atom, act after act, in an aged creeping Past, but as one vast picture, which God paints on the instant eternity, for the contemplation of the soul.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
New Rule: Instead of using their $10 billion atom-smashing Large Hadron Collider to re-create the Big Bang by melting atom parts in temperatures a million times hotter than the sun, scientists should not do that. I'm just sayin' it sounds dangerous. I'm as interested as the next guy in determining the origin of matter, but first couldn't we solve some simple mystery, like why some-detector batteries always die at four a.m.?
The buckyball, with sixty carbon atoms, is the most symmetrical form the carbon atom can take. Carbon in its nature has a genius for assembling into buckyballs. The perfect nanotube, that is, the nanotube that the carbon atom naturally wants to make and makes most often, is exactly large enough that one buckyball can roll right down the center.
Love has been taken away from the poets, and has been brought within the domain of true science. It may prove to be one of the great cosmic elementary forces. When the atom of hydrogen draws the atom of chlorine towards it to form the perfected molecule of hydrochloric acid, the force which it exerts may be intrinsically similar to that which draws me to you. Attraction and repulsion appear to be the primary forces. This is attraction.
Arthur Conan Doyle
It remained for the twentieth century to discover that locked within the atom is the energy of the sun itself. For this energy to be released, however, the atom must be bombarded from without. So too, locked in every human being is a store of love that partakes of the divine-the imago dei-image of God, it is sometimes called. And it too can be activated only through bombardment, in its case love's bombardment
Chloroplasts bear chlorophyll; they give the green world its color, and they carry out the business of photosynthesis. Around the inside perimeter of each gigantic cell trailed a continuous loop of these bright green dots. They spun... they pulsed, pressed, and thronged... they shone, they swarmed in ever-shifting files around and around the edge of the cell; they wandered, they charged, they milled, raced... they flowed and trooped greenly... All the green in the planted world consists of these whole, rounded chloroplasts... If you analyze a molecule of chlorophyll itself, what you get is one hundred thirty-six atoms of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen arranged in an exact and complex relationship around a central ring. At the ring's center is a single atom of magnesium. Now: If you remove the atom of magnesium and in its place put an atom of iron, you get a molecule of hemoglobin. The iron atom combines with all the other atoms to make red blood, the streaming red dots in the goldfish's tail.
As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
Dear, Missus, Mister - I beg you never to give thoughts to war, in no way, not to work for it, not by writing nor by reading about it nor by looking at the pictures nor on the television about it. Not in any way ever, at all. Not by being a soldier, sailor, airman, work in factory or above all at atom bombs. Above all at atom bombs. No obligation for this, dear fellow creature. Signed Your Fellow Creature.' 'P.S., ' said Gerald slowly, without turning from the window, 'If we all do this, we shall succeed.
A scientist sets out to conquer nature through knowledge - external nature, external knowledge. By these means he may split the atom and achieve external power. A yogi sets out to explore his own internal nature, to penetrate the atom (atma) of being. He does not gain dominion over wide lands and restless seas, but over his own recalcitrant flesh and febrile mind.
I have heard them preach, when I sat in the pew and my feet did not touch the floor, about the final home of the unconverted. In order to impress upon the children the length of time they would probably stay if they settled in that country, the preacher would frequently give us the following illustration: 'Suppose that once in a billion years a bird should come from some far-distant planet, and carry off in its little bill a grain of sand, a time would finally come when the last atom composing this earth would be carried away; and when this last atom was taken, it would not even be sun up in hell.' Think of such an infamous doctrine being taught to children!
Robert G. Ingersoll
We have now got what seems to be definite proof that an X ray which spreads out in a spherical form from a source as a wave through the aether can when it meets an atom collect up all its energy from all round and concentrate it on the atom. It is as if when a circular wave on water met an obstacle, the wave were all suddenly to travel round the circle and disappear all round and concentrate its energy on attacking the obstacle. Mechanically of course this is absurd, but mechanics have in this direction been for some time a broken reed.
From the results so far obtained it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the long-range atoms arising from collision of alpha particles with nitrogen are not nitrogen atoms but probably atoms of hydrogen, or atoms of mass 2. If this be the case, we must conclude that the nitrogen atom is disintegrated under the intense forces developed in a close collision with a swift alpha particle, and that the hydrogen atom which is liberated formed a constituent part of the nitrogen nucleus.
Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery. The surface of mystery is not smooth, any more than the planet is smooth; not even a single hydrogen atom is smooth, let alone a pine. Nor does it fit together; not even the chlorophyll and hemoglobin molecules are a perfect match, for, even after the atom of iron replaces the magnesium, long streamers of disparate atoms trail disjointedly from the rims of the molecule's loops. Freedom cuts both ways. Mystery itself is as fringed and intricate at the shape of the air at times. Forays into mystery cut bays and fine fjords, but the forested mainland itself is implacable both in its bulk and in its most filigreed fringe of detail.
[The] structural theory is of extreme simplicity. It assumes that the molecule is held together by links between one atom and the next: that every kind of atom can form a definite small number of such links: that these can be single, double or triple: that the groups may take up any position possible by rotation round the line of a single but not round that of a double link: finally that with all the elements of the first short period [of the periodic table], and with many others as well, the angles between the valencies are approximately those formed by joining the centre of a regular tetrahedron to its angular points. No assumption whatever is made as to the mechanism of the linkage. Through the whole development of organic chemistry this theory has always proved capable of providing a different structure for every different compound that can be isolated. Among the hundreds of thousands of known substances, there are never more isomeric forms than the theory permits.
Nevil Vincent Sidgwick
Molecule, n.: The ultimate, indivisible unit of matter. It is distinguished from the corpuscle, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter, by a closer resemblance to the atom, also the ultimate, indivisible unit of matter ... The ion differs from the molecule, the corpuscle and the atom in that it is an ion ...