SNOW WHITE and the particularly little PEOPLE (Into the deep basement of our world)

  • Robert Gilmore


“I have told you a tale of momentum and energy, of space and time and of motion in general,” remarked the Storyteller to his audience as he settled more comfortably on his seat. “Now you should be in a position to listen sensibly when I talk to you of stars and of their dramatic movements through the vastness of space. Or rather, “ he added carefully, “you will be in such a position when you have heard something about the nature of the matter from which stars are made.

“How may you hope to understand the behavior of a star throughout its life if you do not have any understanding of the matter that has been concentrated to form it? The way that stars behave depends on the way that matter behaves, and this in turn reflects the nature of the particles that it contains. How stars develop, live, and die, and the way they manufacture the elements of which we are all made. These all depend on the behavior of atoms and nuclei in the appropriate conditions. It is this behavior that has created the myriad stars we see.

“Before we attempt go further, I shall tell you a tale that tells of atoms, of electrons and nuclei, and the strange quantum behavior that dominates them. I shall tell you the tale of ‘Snow White and the Particularly Little People.’

“Snow White was a princess who lived with the queen, her stepmother. The queen was jealous of Snow White and one day arranged that the royal hunt master should take her into the woods, supposedly on a picnic but in reality to kill her. The hunt master could not bring himself to do this and told Snow White that she should flee, as far and as fast as she could....”


Wave Function Uncertainty Principle Electron Wave Function Pauli Exclusion Principle Fuzzy Sphere 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Gilmore

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