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Mr Tompkins in Paperback by Roger Penrose, George Gamow

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15

Mr Tompkins Tastes a Japanese Meal

One weekend Maud went away to visit her aunt in Yorkshire, and Mr Tompkins invited the professor to have dinner with him in a famous sukiyaki restaurant. Sitting on the soft cushions at a low table, they were enjoying all the delicacies of the Japanese kitchen and sipping sake from little cups.

‘Tell me,’ said Mr Tompkins. ‘The other day I heard Dr Tallerkin saying in his lecture that the protons and the neutrons in a nucleus were held together by some kinds of nuclear forces. Are those the same forces which hold electrons in an atom?’

‘Oh, no!’ answered the professor. ‘Nuclear forces are something quite different. Atomic electrons are attracted to the nucleus by ordinary electrostatic forces first studied ...

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