Updike’s The dance of the solids

Peskin, at cosmic variance, reminds of Updike’s Neutrino poem while paying his tributes to the writer who passed away recently:

Every particle physicist knows Updike’s poem “Cosmic Gall,” the number one popularization of neutrinos:

At night, they enter at Nepal
and pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed …

In a similar vein, I believe every materials scientist should know of his The dance of the solids, which, Scientific American reproduces here to mark his death:

These verses were composed after John Updike had read the September 1967 issue of Scientific American, which was devoted to materials. They appeared in his book Midpoint and Other Poems, and are reproduced with the generous permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. We are posting it to mark Updike’s death today at the age of 76.

Have fun!

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