Atomic whirl

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The atomic whirl.

The atomic whirl is the logo of the American Atheists. Many American Atheist organizers claim that it come to be used as a symbol of atheism in general. It is an unrealistic and erroneous representation of what is now known as the atomic orbital functions.

The Atomic Whirl is based on the well known Rutherford model of the 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.".[1]

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.

American Atheists has a copyright on the symbol.

Approved emblem of belief (US)[edit]

This symbol is one of the permitted "Emblems of Belief" that the United States Department of Veterans Affairs allows on government-furnished headstones and markers.[2]

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