The stuff we are made of

Errrh.. most of us know that we’re made of atoms and molecules and stuff. If I was to say “That’s nonsense!” as I did many moons ago, I’d be shouted down and called arrogant etc. That happened. It’s still happening.

Well, I’ve had to wait 40 years to be correct! Oh yes. When I was in ‘high school’ word broke about the discovery of quarks. My classmates were disinterested. They just wanted to pass their physics exams, and the syllabus didn’t cover that stuff. I was reading about it in Scientific American – which apparently is said to be mainly for nerds. Oh  – just to be clear before somebody tells me, “There were no websites back then!” – I used to spend my pocket change buying their magazines, and reading them almost cover to cover.

I realised that what we call atoms and molecules are not the true stuff – but rather a representation of something more fundamental. My stupid father said to me, “Oh don’t bother – in a few years time they’ll find something that is smaller than the quarks.” The fool, couldn’t even understand electromagnetism and how light waves travelled. Oh yes – I can call him a fool now without worry, since he passed away about 8 months ago. Calm down with the “Sorry to hear that..” cuhrap! – it’s good that he’s gone and I’m not going into that here today.

Well they didn’t find anything smaller comprising the quarks. They found more quarks.

And tonight by chance I came across the following lecture – which is not for the dim who would go “I’m not a physicist.”

That’s it. I’m just delighted to be around, to find out that I was right.

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