Atomic whirl

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The atomic whirl.

The atomic whirl is the logo of the American Atheists, and has come to be used as a symbol of atheism in general.[citation needed]

The Atomic Whirl is based on the Rutherford model of the atom, erroneously showing the orbital paths of electrons around the central nucleus, and not on the atomic orbitals which is a near perfect experimental approximation.[citation needed] It resembles the authoritative logos and symbols of the United States Atomic Energy Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency who also based their designs on the erroneous 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.[2] This central loop forms an "A" which represents the atheists.

American Atheists has a copyright on the symbol.[3]

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.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ American Atheists website - American Atheists Logo
  2. ^ "Our Logo". American Atheists. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  3. ^ "Our Logo". American Atheists. Retrieved 2021-06-20.
  4. ^ US VA Approved emblems of belief list