Energy, mass, speed of light. Protons, neutrons, electrons. How small
is the atom? I will tell you. If people were
the size of atoms, the population of the earth would
fit on the head of a pin. Never mind the
vast amounts of energy stored in matter. Matter. Something that
has mass — a solid, a liquid, a gas. Never mind
what happens when we split the atom and release energy.
Energy. The capacity of a physical system to do work.
The atom. The unit of matter regarded as the source
of nuclear energy. The power of the atom is unfathomable.
Paraphrases from the novel Underworld by Don DeLillo.