We watch the colored balls in orbits, apparently nonsensical, rotating. It is a trance.

“Look! It’s an atom!”

The motions resolve. I see dumb-bells in orange, I see spheres and phalanges, each shape a set, in pairs, particles moving around a center.

We are abducted. We are watching the atom machine.

Malik found it. He saw it right away, when we entered the darkened classroom.

“Look! It’s an atom!”

Crank it and see what it’ll do.

Watch the colored balls in orbit and find the beauty that is the pattern in what you only knew as chaos until you resolved it into something you could understand.

“But this is awful. This isn’t right” And he stops. “If you can find the position of one, you can know that for all the others.” Heisenberg’s uncertainty undone again.

The magic is gone. If they weren’t on steel supports the balls would fallen down out of the sky where they’d been suspended. The magician would have fallen, all the balls knocked on his head.

If only more physicists,
the ones trying to unravel the mysteries of the world –
if only more physicists could be filled with wonder.

It’s ok. It’s ok, Malik, if it’s wrong.” He looks at us strangely, but we both feel the same.“It’s ok,” we insist.

It’s ok. At least for a minute we could understand.”

“It was beautiful.”

“It was!”

He shakes his head, and makes to leave. He shuts the door behind him:

“Beautiful,” he whispers.
“Beautiful, but wrong.”

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