Category: Crazy Explanations


Being human is great ! We have the ability to detach ourselves completely from any situation and analyze what we see by our logic. The scientist’s job is not that different, actually (only to a greater degree). I propose a “detachment-exercise” – one that is completely different from everything else. To look at us (humans) from a completely fresh perspective without knowing anything (really nothing) about us.  For this purpose, meet Marty the Martian, a rather peculiar secret agent sent to study us. Guess what , YOU ARE MARTY ! The purpose of this is to make you forget everything that would make you biased towards studying ourselves. So, try it !

Imagine this, I (i.e Marty – You) am on a journey to Earth to study Humans and I know nothing about them. The first thing that I notice is the sublime blue color that emanates from Earth. I wonder where that comes from. I also see greenish-yellow patches here and there and a sort of “fuzziness” that surrounds this blue orb.  Remember, I know nothing about this place or its inhabitants. Using my invisibility armor, I can now observe my main subjects – Humans !

One of the first peculiarities of this “advanced breed of apes” is that it sleeps. What could possibly happen during sleep (Marty never sleeps) ? Some Humans say their souls go away (temporarily). If that is the case, then, if Human souls interact with others in their sleep, i.e with other souls, these “others” must be having the same dream. That’s not the case, so, that’s not a very good theory. Perhaps, like Freud said (Yes, Marty has read “The interpretation of dreams”), dreams fulfill suppressed desires of Humans’ minds. That would take some more time to understand. But I can possibly say that a Human who cannot do something would possibly dream more of that thing than any other thing. That could be somewhat a proof of what the Human Freud said !

At around 7:00 am of the human time system, an “alarm” makes a funny sound and the Humans start getting up (seems like they cannot wake on their own). But wait, what’s this I’m seeing? Unlike every other living thing on the planet, Humans are the only ones comfortable walking on two feet. Could that be the reason why they have come where they are right now? Could it be why they are the only dominating species on the planet? Or, stranger still, why are Humans (Homo Sapiens) the only representative of their species?

It seems like Marty has quite a brain for someone who comes from a place filled with only dust on its surface. By the way, researchers have, indeed, found that it is because we started walking on two feet that we have become so intelligent.

I could continue writing and as you can see, there is so much to write (and think about) even with so little when we look from a detached perspective. These are, of course, my own writings –  what I’ve observed by being Marty. Your Marty could see very different things (and that’s the fun of it!). This Martian perspective was something Feynman did to “see” differently. I take no credit for it. Perhaps I will write more about Marty’s adventures later on as my Marty notices more things.

One of the first pictures of my planet taken by your Curiosity (literally and figuratively).

        For those who may have forgotten, Alice(The Wonderland one) travels through a portal into a parallel Universe. Although talking about the movie would be very interesting. I would, however, like to focus on this “portal” that Alice travels through. To be more specific, the “portal” is a theoretical concept in physics known as a “Wormhole”.(Yes, it’s real!)

        There are two different concepts that require a bit of clarification here- Time-Travel(as the name suggests) and Space-Travel(that is travelling through large distances in a relatively short time). In this post, I’ll focus more on space travel. Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity(there’s no need to know more than the name here) seemed to have imposed a serious constraint on our ability to space travel. And, since we cannot travel faster than light, that would imply 8 years if we tried to travel near Proxima Centauri(the other star that is closest to us). And 80 years to the galactic center. I seriously doubt we would find any volunteers for this.

        That should, however, not dampen our enthusiasm about Space-Travel. A small thought experiment is worthwhile here(the same Einstein used to do). Alright, so if I asked you what is the smallest distance between two points on a surface, you would most probably answer: “that’s pretty simple, it’s a straight line between these two points!” At this point, you would probably want to laugh at my stupidity. But, I would then humbly answer- ‘Nope’. You see, this straight line is the same restraint that the limit of light imposes on us(and prevents us from finding any volunteers). The answer is to warp the surface. You fold the surface(like a paper) so that the two points touch or are aligned to each other and Ta-Dah!, away goes all the limits that once existed. Distance is annihilated. This also implies the possibility of space-travel.

        This warping of space is real-physics(we’ve all heard about curved spacetime!- that was what made Einstein so famous).We can actually observe this when light ‘bends’ a bit as it  travels close to the sun-‘Gravitational Lensing‘(just another name) caused by the sun’s mass.(shown on the picture). Remember how the rocket from Apollo 13 was rescued by going round the moon.  Same stuff.

        What we just need now is to ovecome the energy constraint of several billion billion(and many more billions) Terajoules. No hard stuff!

        Space-Travel, Time-Travel and Wormholes sound pretty fascinating when related as such but all these are still pretty much virgin territory. You wouldn’t find many researchers working on Time-Travelling because of all the ethical issues that are portrayed in Steven Spielberg’sBack To The Future”(that’s what the “spacetime-continuum” dilemma that “Doc” continuously rambled about in the movie). But science has “a way” of doing things and who knows what may happen? Who could have guessed there would be people reading a blog about space-travel written by a deranged blogger who thinks “science can be fun”.

Almost forgot- What did Alice tell Einstein? I haven’t got the faintest idea!!(I just thought it would make a Great Title!) 

—————————–//———————————–

Mom: Alice, can you go to Pluto and bring me those delicious Plutonian-flavored ice cubes.

Alice: Not again, Mom! I went there just yesterday.Besides, there are still some ice-cream left in our fridge on Mars.

Mom: Alice, this is for your Grandma. I want you to go to 1960 and give it to her.

Alice: Mom, Time-Travel makes me sick!

(Mom frowns)

Alice: Okay, okay, I’m going!

//Short Story By Vasish//

———————————–//——————————————-

For anyone interested in deeper “Travelling”, I suggest reading Stephen Hawking‘s lecture.

———————————-//———————————————

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” Stephen Hawking.

 

    This post is (partly) an answer to the puzzle that I posted here (Why’s the sky dark at night?).                                                                                                            Did I say partly? The reason is that this “paradox”(The Olber’s Paradox as it is [in]famously known) has yet to be completely answered.

 According to Henrich Olber, the   sky should look something like the image that I found on Wikipedia(and found particularly apt for this post). But that’s not the case, right? Several explanations have been proposed for this somewhat ‘strangeness.’

Theory 1: Dust present between the stars and the galaxies veils the light that we should be seeing.

What’s wrong with it? The dust from the stars would eventually heat up and start radiating the light.(that’s one theory that eats the “dust”)

Add-fact: Even if all the matter in the Universe were converted to Energy(the famous e=mc^2), given the immensity of the Uni., the   energy would be just enough to raise the temperature of the Uni. to 20 kelvin(that’s about -253 deg.Celcius- not very much, huh!)

Theory 2: Let’s bring some “Big-Bang” to this paradox. Galaxies are dispersing, always running(or flying) away from each other(that’s the Big-Bang Theory!). So, a phenomenon known as the redshift occurs. As a sidenote, redshift is the same phenomenon that occurs  when the pitch of a siren increases when it approaches you and lessens as it moves away(here’s an audio). The main difference here is that it’s light. As another sidenote, light consists of a spectrum, there is the visible region(made up of the colors), there is the microwave region(the name says it all), the radio region and a host of other. The difference is the frequency with which vibration occurs. Returning to our paradox now.

So, according to the theory, the visible part gets shifted to the invisible infrared part(are you still with me?) and that’s why we do not see the light(literally).

Something’s wrong, again!! : The problem with this explanation is that if there is a shift in the visible region, then, there should also a shift from the other Ultraviolet region to the Visible one and we are (again) at square one.

What, another theory(3)?: Yep. This one’s a little tricky. The dark sky is due to the large distance light has to travel to reach us. It is, more scientifically speaking, attenuated as it reaches us.

Triple Trouble:Let’s take a concentric layer on which stars are uniformly spaced. If we decrease the distance from the centre, the ellipse formed will be shorter and thus, there will be lesser stars on this one. Now, we would be right if we said that the light from the distant stars gets attenuated by a certain factor f when it reaches the other stars. However there is a factor f  more stars on the larger ellipse. The net effect is a cancellation!

What’s Generally Accepted: Today’s most apt explanation is “The Universe NOT being infinitely old although infinitely large”. Light has a finite velocity(~300000 kpsecond) and light from the distant galaxies takes some time to reach us. For e.g light from the sun takes about 8 minutes to reach the Earth, so we’re seeing the sun as it was 8 min. ago. As it stands, our Universe is approx. 13 billion years old. So, we cannot see light beyond that! Galaxies, on the other hand, do not live infinitely, their emitted light dim. These two conditions prevent a fully blazing night sky to be seen.

The Trouble: Just Jokin’, I leave it to you to find it and possibly gain International fame!

————————————-//—————————————-

“He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

The title that I have chosen for this post may sound wrong or somewhat ridiculous. I mean, how can I possibly write a history of EVERYTHING in about 200 words or so when whole books cannot do it?!

Allow me to clarify:”what does “everything” mean? Everything as in the whole human history, wars, planet Earth perhaps. How about everything as in everything that makes up everything else- the ATOM!

It all began in Ancient Greece. Democritus called it ATOMOS (modern man has removed the ‘OS’ from it). An interesting question immediately arises: “Are you kidding me, if “Atomos” was known for so long, how come my books say it was the 19th century or so that the Atom was discovered?” My humble answer to this question is this:”it was merely re-discovered, only this time, people believed in it!

Look at it this way: “ever wondered why our credulous ancestors thought that they were the center of the Universe or that it was the Sun that revolved around the Earth?” Because they saw the Sun moving in the sky everyday? Come on!(of course that may be a reason but it’s secondary). Rather because that ‘s what they were made to believe!

The same goes for Atomos except this time, it was Aristotle that everyone believed in. Fast forward some centuries later and we have the pioneer of the Atomic field- Dalton(another ‘non-believer’, if I may say). He laid the general outline of the atomic hypothesis(though most of his ideas were later abandoned for their inaccuracies)…To be Continued

——————————————-//———————————————

(To keep this post brief, I have to stop- “A Brief History…of EVERYTHING is not yet ended-I’ll write more about Higgsy, how Bohr nearly eradicated the most resilient idea in science and much much more….So that’s all folks!…for now)

“What matters in Science is Physics, the rest is STAMP-COLLECTING!” ERNEST RUTHERFORD