Throwback Thursday: An Atom in the Universe

“The atoms come into my brain, dance a dance, and then go out — there are always new atoms, but always doing the same dance, remembering what the dance was yesterday.” –Richard Feynman

It took 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution, billions of years of biological evolution and astronomical numbers of events unfolding exactly as they have to give rise to you and me. And yet, here we are, collections of tens of trillions of cells and some 10^28 atoms.

Image credit: Ed Uthman.
Image credit: Ed Uthman.

Yet even though we don’t often think of it, each one of those atoms has its own, unique cosmic story. It’s too great a story to tell for all of them, so here’s the humble story of just one of them. The only thing special about it is that it just happens to be one of the ones in your body right now.

Image credit: Youngester of http://technicalstudies.youngester.com/.
Image credit: Youngester of http://technicalstudies.youngester.com/.

Go and find out the story of one of the smallest parts of you, and perhaps you’ll recognize it as a story we may all have in common!