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A MEDITATION ON VISIBLE LIGHT

§ November 27th, 2009 § Filed under Chapter 45: A Meditation on Visible Light § Tagged , , , , § No Comments

To the naked eye this is just a tiny white chip of shell. At 20X magnification we can see it is the very core of a sea shell laid bare. These curves and spirals and counter spirals repeat across the universe. The same beauty captured by our most powerful telescopes. This image is less than 1/8 inch wide. Imagine its origins. And it's path to these pixels.

To the naked eye this is just a tiny, nearly featureless, white chip of shell. At 20X magnification we can see it is the very core of a sea shell, worn down and laid bare. You'll find these curves and spirals and counter spirals repeat across the universe. The same beauty captured by our most powerful telescopes. The subject of this image is less than 1/8 inch across. Imagine its origins. And its path to these pixels.

           [This chapter continues the “assignment” from my Spirit Guide, See Do, to examine the complexities of our mundane reality. The specific construct given me to examine is a hypothetical cube ¼ inch on a side, floating in the air about a foot in front of my face. These meditations on our temporal reality will be followed by an examination of “See Do reality.”]

            But there are other things besides myriad photons inside our little cube. Dust will also have the effect of diffusing the light. The photons hit a dust particle and new photons are sent out in random directions with the energy that matches the apparent color of the dust. The water vapor in the cube will be doing the same thing. If you look out your window, and are lucky enough to be able to see pretty far, you’ll see this effect clearly. Painters call it “aerial perspective.” It helps make sunsets so beautiful.

            But visible light is not the only thing passing through our quarter-inch cube. Far from it. There are also energies all up and down the electromagnetic spectrum. Visible light just happens to be a narrow band about right in the middle. Our eyes came about to make best use of this narrow range because they naturally developed to detect the strongest of the sun’s radiation available at the Earth’s surface. And in the center of the visible range is the strongest of the sun’s frequencies, at about 550 nanometers, along between about green and yellow. And our eyes are most sensitive to that, trailing off to either side, out through red on one side and blue-violet on the other. The radiation beyond those colors, we can’t “see”, but it’s there.

            If we consider all the information of lower energy and frequency than visible light, well, there is an entire new universe of information. Just past visible red is the range of energies known as infrared. We feel this as heat. If you had an infrared camera, the room around you would look a lot different. You’d be glowing orange and yellow. Across the room the light bulb would be even brighter.

            And all that heat energy is moving around the room trying to reach some sort of equilibrium. That little cube of air in front of you is being jostled by the effects of the heat energy coming off of your body. All around you, the air is being warmed by you. As it warms it causes the air molecules to vibrate a little more and as they do they dance further apart, causing the air to become slightly less dense. As it does, this less dense, lighter air moves up, being displaced by denser heavier air around it. This swirling, tumbling of air happens all around you.

            As the heat dissipates, it passes through our cube of air and stirs it.

            If it’s not stirring your spirit, hang on. The soup thickens.

            — continued (Next: Are your possessions evaporating?)

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