Thursday, September 13, 2007

Physicists and Mystics

Ok, so I've known/suspected for a long time that science and religion aren't at odds in the ways that most of the world assumes. The fundies are full of it, the scientists who assume that all religious/spiritual people are idiots and sheep are full of it, as well as those who assume that neither are important or enlightening ways of looking at the world...and today, leafing through a book on quantum physics, I saw further affirmation: Bell's Theorem.

Basically, all parts of the universe are interconnected: there is no such thing as a person, a photon, a wave, or a thought in isolation. What happens in one part of the universe can and does affect objects millions of parsecs (light years) away, instantaneously. For this interaction to occur (virtually) instantaneously, whatever 'does' the communicating must move faster than the speed of light. As anyone who passed college physics can tell you, though, nothing moves faster than the speed of light--that's why Bell's theorem baffled/ pissed off Einstein, he of e=mc2. Seriously, read about it. Crazy stuff.

And speaking of e=mc2, and not to sound like a crazy crystal-wearing hippie (I prefer larger crystals, the kind you keep on your desktop): this equation correlates mass and energy. Mass is essentially stored energy; that's what makes nuclear fusion and fission work as energy sources, yeah? (To those who don't know: yeah, it is). So in high school physics, your teachers lied their asses off; "Mass is neither created nor destroyed." "The sum of kinetic and potential energy is always conserved." Bullshit. Lies. At a macro level (ie, big enough to see with your naked eyes), yeah, it's true. But once we're talking about atoms, neutrons and electrons, that stuff doesn't always hold. 99.9% of the time it does, but NOT always. However, the sum of energy stored in mass, and energy of motion or potential motion, is always the same. At the most basic level--the energetic level--nothing is ever created or destroyed. Everything that has been has always been and will always be. But Anne, my thermodynamics textbook says entropy is always increasing. Isn't something being destroyed? No, energy is just being released in an unusable form. Still the same stuff. Everything is energy. Everything is eternal. Everything is connected as if by an invisible, energetic web. Whoa. Did I just blow your mind? 'Cause I think I just blew my own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the moral is that God might be an invisible energetic web?