Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Physics with Björn: Space time and the special theory of relativity

Today I thought we should move on to write poetry inspired by Physics.


One thing that has always fascinated me in Physics is how the concept of time changed when I dived deeper and deeper into its definition. On one hand we can measure time with extreme accuracy, we are taught to put into formulas to predict the orbits of a satellite, on the other hand we cannot really visualize it as something real. It’s just a parameter that can only flow in one direction (for a physicist time travelling is fiction).




In 1905 Albert Einstein published his paper on special relativity starting from a very simple postulate that nothing can move faster than the speed of light in vacuum. This lead to a number of interesting consequences. The most well known being that energy and matter is the same according to the formula:


which have lead to both nuclear power and atomic bombs.But from a philosophical point this lead to something even more fundamental: the space-time.


The easiest way to understand the concept is of course quite intuitive. For two things to coincide they have to be at the same place at the same time. But it also leads to another thing. Unless we are at the same point in space it is meaningless to talk about concurrent events without taking into account the time it takes for information to pass between to two different places. Space and time connects, which also have that wonderful consequence that time can run at different speed depending on the relative speed you move (time dilation).


Before the time of train and telegraphs time was actually local, but with the technical development we had to develop chronographs for trains to run on time, to measure longitude. So this consequence can feel like returning to our roots, but fortunately earth is small. We live in a perfect approximation where things can be machined to perfection. Universal time exist on our tiny speck of astral dust. But after all we use the space time daily: let’s meet at corner of A-street and B-Ave at 3 PM, is a space time coordinate. Sometimes it just takes to think like a child to create fantastic new physics.


The prompt today is to write about space time. You might start from concept like concurrent events, or from the problem of meeting in the four dimension of space-time. You might go further and think about the consequences of time on earth or space. The prompt is mine, but the poetry is yours.

21 comments:

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Dear Bjorn, there must be something wrong with the space-time coordinates, as I am not seeing your picture, just a big gap. Haven't written my poem yet, but thought I would alert you about the image in case it's not just me.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Woo hooo❤️ Day 5! Loved the prompt, Bjorn ☕️ sharing my poem "Continuum" hope you like it. Will be back to read and comment after coming home from work. Happy Wednesday everyone ❤️

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Re my previous comment – well, it turns out that's the poem. LOL.

brudberg said...

Hello, and good morning. In the beginning of the poetry month there should be something slightly more challenging... i hope this works.

paulscribbles said...

Spacetime for breakfast...goodness me.

Kerry O'Connor said...

I am also not seeing the graphic.. not even in design view.

Thanks for this Bjorn. I am always thinking about the whole space/time phenomenon.

Kim Russell said...

That's a tricky prompt, Bjorn, and I hope that my poem isn't just so much gobbledygook. As you know, I am fascinated with space, having worked, long ago in a former life, for the European Space Agency. I tried to steer away from technicalities and the poem took on a life(form) of its own!

brudberg said...

I do see the image... so I don't know what's wrong really.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I've been missing my little brother quite a bit, so my physics went a bit (okay, a lot) ethereal. I had a lot of fun with the prompt. Thank you, Bjorn.

angieinspired said...

sorry for dumbing the prompt down Bjorn. physics makes me fuzzy...guess that's why the sweater ended up in my poem

Marian said...

I had my kid explain space-time to me this morning and still have no idea what I just wrote. Thanks, Bjorn!

Mama Zen said...

Well . . . I tried!

paulscribbles said...

fun prompt and some great reads...sadly my poem didn't format as planned...fixed now...same words different spaces ;)

De said...

Fun stuff. Back soon to read. Thanks, B!

Jim said...

I read up on this. My four dimension math will work fine. Also I have a fifth dimension, we will see. For equation solving five dimensions with one unkniwn requires five 'simultaneous equations'.
..

Susie Clevenger said...

You lost me at physics, but I gave it a poetic shot.

Outlawyer said...

Very cool prompt, Bjorn. k.

teapartiesonneptune said...

Ooooh! I loved this prompt!

The Bizza said...

Awww yeah! Space time! Science! I knew I was contributing the moment I saw space time.

Petru Viljoen said...

I hope people think I made a poem. It's mainly a narrative vaguely resembling a haibun. The last line is a 17-syllable count.

Frank Hubeny said...

I'm a day late for this challenge. Relativity seems to make sense, but I might have it all wrong.