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
J J Thompson discovered the electron, and won the Physics Nobel Prize. He also wrote good verse!
In the dusty lab’ratory,
’Mid the coils and wax and twine,
There the atoms in their glory,
Ionize and recombine.
Chorus: Oh my darlings! Oh my darlings!
Oh my darling ions mine!
You are lost and gone forever
When just once you recombine!
In a tube quite electrodeless,
They discharge around a line,
And the glow they leave behind them
Is quite corking for a time.
And with quite a small expansion,
1.8 or 1.9,
You can get a cloud delightful,
Which explains both snow and rain.
In the weird magnetic circuit
See how lovingly they twine,
As each ion describes a spiral
Round its own magnetic line.
From the arc of glowing lime,
Soon discharges a conductor
If it’s charged with minus sign.
Alpha rays from radium bromide
Cause a zinc-blende screen to shine,
Set it glowing, clearly showing
Scintillations all the time.
Radium bromide emanation,
Rutherford did first divine,
Turns to helium, then Sir William
Got the spectrum every line.
Sung to the tune of “Oh my Darling Clementine”