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.

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Paraphrases from the novel Underworld by Don DeLillo.

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