The atomic whirl is the logo of the American Atheists, and has come to be used as a symbol of atheism in general.
The Atomic Whirl is based on the well known Rutherford Atom, showing the orbital paths of electrons around the central nucleus. It is similar to the logos and symbols of the United States Atomic Energy Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency who also based their designs on the Rutherford Model. The symbol is used by the American Atheists organization to symbolize that "only through the use of scientific analysis and free, open inquiry can humankind reach out for a better life.".
The lower part of the central loop is left open or "broken" to represent the fact that atheists accept that while they rely on the scientific method, they are in essence, searching for the answers, and in some cases, further questions. This central loop forms an "A" which represents the atheists. The symbol contains an upper case "A" that denotes the country that the organization represents, in this case, America.
American Atheists has a copyright on the symbol.
Famous quotes containing the words whirl and/or atomic:
“With a whirl of thought oppressed
I sink from reverie to rest.
An horrid vision seized my head,
I saw the graves give up their dead.”
—Jonathan Swift (16671745)
“The pace of science forces the pace of technique. Theoretical physics forces atomic energy on us; the successful production of the fission bomb forces upon us the manufacture of the hydrogen bomb. We do not choose our problems, we do not choose our products; we are pushed, we are forcedby what? By a system which has no purpose and goal transcending it, and which makes man its appendix.”
—Erich Fromm (19001980)