In 1913 Henry Moseley made his most important discovery…
Do Not Mourn
Do not mourn for Henry Moseley.
By his discoveries he made the light
that others might see further than he could.
No bullet, not war, will extinguish it.
For us he lives
See him now, in his laboratory
preparing the apparatus for
his experiments. Hands on,
We have here a proof
On his own, long into the night.
A darkened room, the ozone smell
of arcing electricity.
That there is in the atom
a fundamental quality
Measuring spectral lines
with unsurpassed precision.
Finding the pattern…
Which increases by regular steps
As we pass from one element to the next
Checking and double checking
that there are no mistakes.
The excitement of discovery.
This can only be the charge
On the central positive nucleus
The deeper meaning of
the Periodic Table.
© Andrew Dixon, October 2015