Sunday, May 01, 2011

Light, Christology, Salary, Paradigm Shifts....

Where am I? Ohhhh…I’m sorry. The last time I left my dumb discussion about light (I was washing the clothes so I had to stop typing) I left you (whoever you are) to watch Dr. Quantum as he demonstrates the famous double slit experiment to show the wave-particle duality of light and the quantum paradoxes of the observer and the observed.

Scientists were dumbfounded about the nature of light,so, they come up with the most ingenious solution—they combined both properties of light and called it the wave-particle duality.

Excuse me…I will meander into theology specifically Christology for a little while because the question of the duality of the nature of Christ had divided churches and believers for a long time and somehow I see the debates about the dualities of nature or in nature as somehow related to …hmmmm….everything even to the quantum duality, the relationship may not be directly related as pertsining to natures but at least there is similarities in the paradoxes and the proposed solution. The orthodox (How do we define orthodox? Well, orthodox does not necessarily means correct, although ortho- means straight or correct as in orthodontics or orthopedic…sometimes it simply means what the majority accepts or believes…anyway) The orthodox doctrine or dogma about the nature of Christ is that he is both fully human and fully divine—or the hypostatic union of natures—I dare not explain it. Of course some human beans find this unacceptable for its illogicality.

In philosophy there’s a guy by the name of Hegel or Georg Friedrich Hegel, whose philosophy is considered as one of the most difficult to understand because the guy failed his Handwriting Proficiency Course in College. He had this idea about a thesis (not thesis in a college—thesis here means an idea or it could be a fruit) and an antithesis (opposing idea or an opposing fruit) that combines to form a higher idea or truth (fuirt + opposing fruit=fruit cocktail or halo-halo) which is sometimes used to describe the hypostatic union of Christ. Divine (thesis) + Human (antithesis) = human and divine (Christ) or in algebra x+y=xy and not a z. Anyway…Christology is much more difficult to grasp than quantum mechanics (no math) hehehehe….(don’t understand them both, though).

Well, anyway, getting sleepy with myself, anyway and anyway, what is now being realized is that the idea of opposites is not a real hhmmmm…hmmm…okay we tend to reject logical opposites because of the way our mind has been trained to think: we think in an either/or mentality and you have to blame Aristotle and the western schools for that. Either or mentality means we think in a this or that way or simply put—we are dumb. The Asians especially the Chinese are different for they are synthetic and organic in their thinking: the yin (thesis) and the yang (anti-thesis) are always kissing each other and opposites does not exist in the way we think it is because for them, the Asians and the Chinese, the opposites has little meaning because what is important is the balance, for them what is evil is the disruptions of balance—it’s not the black or white but balance…everything is about balance blah, blah, blah…Maybe one of the reasons why the Chinese are good acrobats (not intended as derogatory).

Back to light…so after…enough talk about the duality and the yin and yang. Let’s talk about another property of light that makes it weird and why Einstein thinks it’s the constant that he thought it was. We will now talk about the speed of light. The velocity (speed) of light is clocked at around 300,000 kilometers per second. Pretty fast here on earth but in astronomy, the speed of light is turtle pace considering Alpha Centauri our nearest neighboring star is 4 light years away. (Compute: 9,460,730,472,580.8. x 4 = nevermind ) One thing to understand is that in astronomy, because of their digits, numbers break down and lose their meanings.

It is widely accepted that the velocity of light does not change—constant. Of course, passing though materials like liquid, gas and transparent and translucent objects, light changes its velocity causing distortions like refraction, but in vacuum, it is constant.

So, let us imagine light as a red car traveling at 300,000 km/s. A pretty fast car like what Traci Chapman drives. So, this red car has a broken accelerator, it does not and cannot change speed. (Speed is velocity with direction, but we will use the term interchangeably to avoid repetitions). That is constant. But what If I’m driving a blue Honda civic at a speed of 300,000 km/s.away from light. What is the velocity of light then? Common sense dictates that the speed of light is negative to the speed of the traveling car because it is traveling in opposite direction. But the speed of light does not change; it is still 300,000 km/s. What if my blue civic Honda is traveling along side light? What would light's velocity be? Again, a simple calculation would say that the speed of light would be equal or zero since the Honda is traveling alongside it. Imagine two people walking and talking with each other because they are traveling at the same speed. But that is not so, the speed of light is still 300,000 km/s if the red car and light is traveling in the same direction. How is that? My Honda's speed is 300,000km/s while light's speed is 300,000 km/s then in order for light tp travel 300,000 km/s relative to my blue Honda, light must accelerate to 600,000. But that is not so... slight's speed is still 300,000 km/s, constant.  What if my Honda is on a head on direction with the speed of light? What would light's speed be? At point of impact, would it multiply by a factor? No, the speed of light would still be 300,000 km/s. Light is constant because the speed of light is independent of the motion of the observer, and the speed of light does not vary with time or place. Another thing that made light constant is that it constantly drives physicist insane. Though the Michelson-Morley may have proved the constancy of the speed of light but we have to take into considerations the precision of the instruments used because every time new technologies are introduced and new measurements are made, theories go down the drain-its the natural cycle of falsification and affirmation. Actually it was Einstein who assumed that light is constant—he put his eggs on light, no! NOt that egg. Since Einstein has bad hairdo, everybody thought he was right.

Unfortunately many do not accept the constancy of the speed of light. Einsteins theory is on a shaky contingent constant (my blog, my terms!) so Einstein's constant may not be a constant at all.

We have to forgive Einstein and the rest of the gang. Theories have lifespan though they affect science and the whole world by creating paradigms; they have expiration dates too. (What in the camote que is a paradigm? Nakakain ba yan? A paradigm is a model and a (world) view that is, according to the Philosopher Thomas Kuhn, called the normal science...the normal science of the day. One could not (even imagine) think outside the normal science unless a new paradigm is created. Kuhn identified the Copernicus' heliocentric theory of the solar system replaced Ptolemy's idea that the sun revolves around the earth and Einsteins replacement of Newton's theory pf gravity, space and motion as two of the recognizable paradigm shifts.Maybe the election of GMA may also be one of them.

We are all moving, the earth is moving, the solar system is moving, the galaxy is moving, the universe is moving and expanding and a moving body's position is relative to another moving body's relative position similar and the only thing that is constant is the teachers low salary—hey, make it relative…move it up…make it relative to the prices of commodities!

Nahhhhh sleepy….my wife is away and I had nothing to do.

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