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The elemental particles of modern physics, like the regular bodies of Plato's philosophy, are defined by the requirements of mathematical symmetry. They are not eternal and unchanging, and they can hardly, therefore, strictly be termed real. Rather, they are simple expressions of fundamental mathematical constructions which one comes upon in striving to break down matter ever further , and which provides the content for the underlying laws of nature. In the beginning, therefore, for modern science, was the form, the mathematical pattern , not the material thing. And since the mathematical pattern is, in the final analysis, an intellectual concept, one can say in the words of Faust, "An Anfang war der Sinn "m -- "In the beginning was the meaning."

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