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.