For the man on the street, science sounds too intimidating and soulless. It is hard to appreciate it’s significance. Most of us are aware only about Newton’s apple story and Einstein’s famous e=mc^2. Science just like philosophy, remains obscure and detached. While most of us feel uninterested in science, half way through school, every time we look at the starry night it makes us wonder how elegant is the universe we live in. We are almost unfathomably lucky to exist in this universe, in almost every conceivable way. You, I, and even the most calming manatee are nothing but impurities in an otherwise beautifully simple universe.
Nature is full of mysteries. Many curious, intuitive and inquisitive minds have struggled for years to try and unravel this mysterious universe we live. This has only led to deeper questions. Just as Stephen Hawking quoted, “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” Many of us wonder at the intrigue and beauty of our universe. Each one of us has that explorer within trying to reach for the goal, but quite often remain clueless. It’s time, we dive deeper into the unknown.
Appreciating nature is much easier than comprehending its secrets. The weirdness in nature goes hand in hand with it’s striking sanity; randomness complementing orderliness, and the microscopic and macroscopic behaviours of our world co-exist with each other. In this article, I have listed down some of the most marvelous findings about our universe to try and understand the beauty of science and nature.
Quantum Mechanics is a hot topic for debate among intellectuals from both scientific and philosophical domains. QM is regarded as the gateway to the world of consciousness. Sometimes, the entire concept is so bizarre as it states that nothing is real unless we observe it. Eg: There is no moon, unless you look at it, literally. We create reality by observation.Quantum Mechanics is not an esoteric concept that came out of nowhere. Even in it’s absurdity, QM drives 1/3rd of the world’s economy.
Time 4-D Life:
Einstein had an entire generation gasping in awe with his theory about space, time and the structure of the universe. He showed that the universe we live in is not quite the same as we experience it, every day. He said that we live in a four-dimensional world made up of the regular 3-D space plus time, as the 4th dimension. Time is a complex idea. We don’t experience it’s presence in our daily life. To give perspectives, Sirius, the brightest star in the sky is 8.6 light years away or rather 86 trillion kilometers away, which means the light coming from Sirius started it’s journey about 8.6 years ago. So what we see now, is the 8.6 year-old image of the star. Also, if you move extremely fast, time ticks slowly for you. It is as if you don’t age when you move extremely fast, say at the speed of light. For any particle traveling faster than light, time travels backwards (still awaiting the verdict to show something faster than light)
None of us is at rest. We are all in motion that is relative to everything else. Everything is in constant motion. Let’s suppose you are in a car travelling at a speed of 80km/h compared to the road below. Our planet, of which the road is a part, revolves at around 1000 miles an hour which in turn rotates around the sun, that is circling the centre of the Milky Way galaxy and so on.
There are perhaps an infinite number of worlds out there and we exist in all of them in different states. All the things that could have possibly happened in our life but didn’t, have actually happened in the past in other universe , so no regrets!
Physics of the mind:
What separates the mind? How did consciousness come into picture. We don’t know yet. The brain has over a 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections are made using these neurons. These connections form thoughts and we call the brain’s ability to form thoughts ‘consciousness’. The way consciousness or the mind works, is quite complex and how the brain actually creates ideas or thoughts, is all the more difficult to fathom.
Gravity bends space time:
Gravitation is nothing but a warping of space around a massive object. According to Einstein, in the same way that a large ball placed on a elasticated cloth stretches the fabric and causes it to sag, so planets and stars warp space-time. A marble moving along the sagging cloth will be drawn towards the ball, as the Earth is to the Sun, but not fall into it as long as it keeps moving at speed.
“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former,” says Albert Einstein.
Universe out of nothing:
Science more or less happened after Big Bang, that created our universe.The universe was created about 13.7 billion years ago and it was smaller than an atom back then and the size was around 1.61×10^-35 m, a number beyond human imagination. The universe still continues to expand beyond the scope of most technologically advanced telescopes and research.
On the microscopic level, electrons orbit around a nucleus and on the macroscopic level, planets around the sun and solar system revolves around the centre of the galaxy. It might seem like beautifully connected picture but it is not so simple. There are many mysteries to be unfolded. All in all,we don’t even know if science is the right way to lead us to the ultimate truth about life or the universe.
We are trying to discover our purpose, we are trying to demystify creation, we are in search of the farthest corner in this universe, we are in search of life beyond Earth. Ellen DeGeneres quoted something funny on the same lines. The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren’t any space aliens. We can’t be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we’re not all there is. If so, we’re in big trouble.
ImageCredits: Mokros, Wikimedia, Flickr, Deviantart, Inhabitantgame