A Thaum is the basic unit of magical strength. It has been universally established as the amount of magic needed to create one small white pigeon or three normal sized billiard balls. The thaum, hitherto believed to be the smallest possible particle of magic, was succesfully demonstrated to be made up of /resons/ (Lit.: 'Thing-ies') or reality fragments. Currently research indicates that each reson is itself made up of a combination of at least five 'flavours', known as 'up', 'down', 'sideways', 'sex appeal' and 'peppermint'.