My Current Read:

Salman Rushdie - Midnight's Children


On Infinity

Hi folks... this is your installment of Minor Mischief Musings to keep you enthralled & perplexed throughout your day.

Today's post is brought to you by the letter: U...

U is for unicorn, ukulele, and undergarment. U is also for Universe. That's right kids... did you know the Universe goes on forever and ever and ever?

What is that supposed to mean? How on earth are we supposed to wrap our heads around that? Well, the point is that there is nothing on earth that can help us understand how big the Universe is, because everything on Earth ends.

Imagine the edge of North America. What's on the other side of the edge? The ocean!
Try to imagine the edge of the Universe. What's on the other side of it that edge? More Universe!

Scientists are knitting their eyebrows and bashing their heads trying to come up with instruments so very powerful that we can see farther and farther and farther through space (and time... but that's a whole other discussion...) and guess what they keep discovering?
That the Universe is growing!

If they get a telescope twice as powerful as the one they currently have, then I'd bet two bags of oats that they'd discover the universe is twice as large as they believed.

Now this all sounds like some Major Mischief to you. I probably sound as believable as a toothless scalper trying to sell you front row tickets to a general admission concert.
But here... let me try to show you that these tickets are indeed the best ones available, and I'm giving you the lowest price I can:

I saw this incredible film called Slow Dancing at the Luminato Festival in Toronto last summer, where the artist took a super-high-speed camera (one that ran at 1000 frames per second, compared to the 30 frames per second used in HDTV) and he captured a two-minute gesture from dancers.
He then stretched it out to be 10 minutes long, and what you see is this person moving so slowly you can't even perceive their movement, but you ultimately are aware of their motion.

Now, how this ties in with the letter U is that I began to think: if a camera had been used at 2000 frames per second, or 4000, or 8000, you would always have material there. It's not like you'd suddenly hit this point, where you film at 16000 frames per second, and every other frame is simply blank, because time doesn't exist in those tiny increments.

No, you can cut a second into a trillion parts, and you'd still have material there. And if you cut each of those parts into two, you'd still never come upon the edge of time, the point where it doesn't exist anymore.

And in this way, you can understand how we will never, ever, discover the edge of the Universe. Quite simply, it isn't there.

1 comment:

  1. Wow!~ your article IS mind blowing! makes me feel rather tiny. The splitting the seconds was particularly facsinating...then this movie clip...phew. I have about a zillion responses to it, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual! Thank you for your brilliance!