Sir Arthur Eddington...on atoms, men, and stars

A drop of water contains several thousand million million million atoms. Each atom is about one-hundred-millionth of an inch in diameter. Here we marvel at the minute delicacy of the workmanship. But this is not the limit. Within the atom are much smaller electrons pursuing orbits, like planets around the sun, in a space which relatively to their size is no less roomy than the solar system.

Nearly midway in the scale between the atom and the star is another structure no less marvelous - the human body. Man is slightly nearer to the atom than to the star. About 1027 atoms build his body; about 1028 human bodies constitute enough material to build a star.

From his central position man can survey the grandest works of Nature with the astronomer, or the minutest works with the physicist...I ask you to look both ways. For the road to knowledge of the stars leads through the atom. And important knowledge of the atom has been reached through the stars.

- Stars and Atoms, 1927