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:
“Dizzily down the abyss he wheels
So fell Darius. Upon his crown,
In the midst of the barn-yard he came down,
In a wonderful whirl of tangled strings,
Broken braces and broken springs,
Broken tail and broken wings,”
—John Townsend Trowbridge (18271916)
“The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience.”
—Willard Van Orman Quine (b. 1908)