Saturday, June 02, 2007

Man, I don't know anything

For those of you who actually remember your science classes, or have been using that part of your brain actively since college, I'll probably sound like a babbling idiot in this post.

I'm reading The God Effect now, and while it's a completely crappy book, it has inspired me to think about and research topics beyond the everyday banalities of work, child-rearing, and my golf game.

And I'm amazed, really. Amazed at how little I remember from my academic years (I actually passed a quantum physics course at PSU) and at how little I actually understood the bits I do remember.

But for all the cool weirdness about quantum entanglement, I'm enjoying more the other bits of pieces of scientific knowledge I'm picking up from from this book. Stuff like Einstein's thought experiements with simultaneity and its implications on time travel. Or that pushing one end of metal beam doesn't cause the other end to move instanteously...the molecules of the beam compress together in a rippling effect that travels through the beam at the speed of light (that's a force, not light, travelling at the speed of light. Why?) Or how light can only theoretically exist if it moves at 186,000 miles/second, because only at that speed can the magnetism of the wave generate just enough electricy to generate the magnetism (huh?) And finally, what the hell is the deal with gravity?

That last topic led me to do a little Googling, and I uncovered this interesting hypothesis: the Big Spin Theory of Gravity. I can't explain it as well as the website itself, but it basically offers a theory on the cause of the curvature of space-time, as specified in Einstein's general relativity. And yes, that's the same theory of general relativity which may or may not have been disproven by quantum physics.

It's fun stuff, and basically gives us a little peak at the vast wealth of knowledge we've yet to uncover. We just don't know very much at all. At least I don't.


At 10:07 PM, Blogger millhousethecat said...

Will you be posting about football again? Soon?


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