And Then There Were Photons
by William Rolnick
An electron, while trav’ling in space,
Met a positron there “face-to-face.”
The electron then sighed,
At the sight of his bride
And they “died” in a loving embrace.
An electron is matter, the positron anti-matter. If they meet —BANG!
Another limerick from the 1996 limerick competition held by the American Physical Society. The complete collection of winners can be found at
Neutrinos they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like tall
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed – you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.
A Brief History of Gravity
by Bruce Elliot
It filled Gallileo with mirth
To watch his two rocks fall to Earth.
He gladly proclaimed,
“Their rates are the same,
And quite independent of girth!”
Then Newton announced in due course
His own law of gravity’s force:
“It goes, I declare,
As the inverted square
Of the distance from object to source.”
But remarkably, Einstein’s equation
Succeeds to describe gravitation
As spacetime that’s curved,
And it’s this that will serve
As the planets’ unique motivation.
Yet the end of the story’s not written;
By a new way of thinking we’re smitten.
We twist and we turn,
Attempting to learn
The Superstring Theory of Witten!
This marvellous poem describing how scientists have developed the present ideas about gravity was a winner in the 1996 limerick competition held by the American Physical Society. The complete collection of winners can be found at
We keep on finding Astronomy poems…..
Source: Juno Arrives
A fine poem by Robert Okaji, about the solar wind amongst many other things:
Source: As Breath Defines Constriction
Deep in the time of eclipse
As birds bed down and dusk creeps up
We see the Suns halo and crown
Reaching out to her children
Light in the darkness
Sunlight scatters from escaping electrons
Bounces off minute dust particles
While stripped atoms glow as crown jewels
The act of seeing makes real
The fact of knowing sees beauty
The inner joyousness of the Universe
Up to the light
Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond