A stands for atom; it is so small
No one has ever seen it at all.

B stands for bombs; the bombs are much bigger.
So, brother, do not be too fast on the trigger.

F stands for fission; that is what things do
When they get wobbly and big and must split in two.
And just to confound the atomic confusion
What fission has done may be undone by fusion.

H has become a most ominous letter;
It means something bigger, if not something better.

S stands for secret; you can keep it forever —
Provided there’s no one abroad who is clever.

Edward Teller (1908-2003) Hungarian-American theoretical physicist
“Atom Alphabet,” Alamogordo Daily News (14 Nov 1957)

Attributed to Teller, as composed for his children. More discussion and sources: Edward Teller's "Atom Alphabet" (<=1946) : unsong.

Added on 20-Apr-21 | Last updated 20-Apr-21
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