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The Proton: How Does He Feel?

By Prometheus, East Aurora, NY

Chemistry Teacher: “protons don't like to be by themselves, they search for water molecules.” Who are we to judge what protons “like?” And if they are lonely? And how do they “search” for water? Last time I checked, protons were tiny particles that help constitute the universe. And they were not alive.

We live in a modern, technologically advanced society (most of us, that is). So why do we still assign emotions to subatomic particles? We now know the precise nature of the proton, a positively charged particle with a finite mass and—most importantly—no mind of its own. How difficult would it be to reword the original statement to fit this current day and age? “Protons tend to associate with water molecules because the two possess opposite charges” is just one of myriad new phrases. We have come far in the field of chemistry; but this progress will cease until we realize that protons do not have souls.

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