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A MEDITATION ON THE TINY

§ December 20th, 2009 § Filed under Chapter 52: A Meditation on the Tiny § Tagged , , , , , , , , , § No Comments

  

Our 1/4 inch cube would fit nicely tucked just out of sight inside this orchid. All 1,200,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of it. And all the energies and information would continue to flow without the slightest interruption to this flower's serenity.

Our 1/4 inch cube of air would fit nicely tucked just out of sight inside this orchid. All 1,200,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of it. And all the energies and information would continue to flow without the slightest interruption to this flower's serenity.

           [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.”]

            We’ve considered all the energy and “stuff” that’s passing through our little quarter-inch cube of air, but what about what’s actually inside the cube itself? The air? What if we could capture our cube of air inside a little cube of glass? And take an inventory? What would we have?

            As best I can figure it, if we assume that our cube of air is at “standard atmosphere” conditions, which are near sea level at about 59 degrees Fahrenheit, there are roughly 1.2 billion-billion air molecules bouncing around in there. That’s 1,200,000,000,000,000,000 molecules. I’m serious. Though I may be off by an order of magnitude or two. They are mostly N2 and O2. About 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. The rest is rarer gases and dust and all those aromatics I mentioned earlier. Plus a little H2O in vapor form. The number of individual atoms would be, of course, more than double that big number.

            And every atom has a nucleus of protons and neutrons with a cloud of electrons whizzing around it. The particles in the nucleus are held together by forces that are much, much stronger than the electromagnetic force or gravity. These particles mediate these forces, the Strong and Weak Nuclear Forces, by exchanging even more exotic particles. And the electrons are held in their orbitals by exchanging even more photons with the particles in the nucleus.

            These massive energies inside the nucleus are what are released in a nuclear reactor or in a nuclear explosion. Getting about two pounds of uranium nuclei to disintegrate all at once is what happens in a garden variety atomic explosion. What makes the uranium special is not that it has so much more energy, it’s just that it’s so unstable. So when you bring a couple pounds of it into close proximity, the naturally decaying nuclei send out enough high-energy particles to trigger the decay of more unstable nearby nuclei. A chain reaction starts and, well, if left unchecked, will release a truly vast amount of energy, as heat and light and all matter of exotic radiation.

            The actual energy would be about the same as in any two pound mass of anything, even air. It would just be damn near impossible to release it. But the point is, the energy is in there.

            And keep in mind that all of these particles are incredibly small. So small, in fact, that they nearly wink out of space altogether. In fact, some of them might. An electron for example, according to quantum mechanics, only exists as a cloud of probabilities until it interacts with something. The same thing could be true for all of these particles. Including all those photons. Each only comes into existence at the, and for the, moment of interaction. Before that, and after that, they are just “likelihoods” utterly without substantive existence.

           Consider that quantum mechanics says that atoms, and their particles, do not each have their own individual history. And that photons are not limited to a specific volume in space or time. Or time? Yeah, or time.

           This is science’s view of the cube. Or a glimpse of it. Complex. Incredibly so. Dense with information. Maybe infinitely so. And holding energies that are difficult to imagine.

           Breathe it all in. Meditate on these “facts.” Exhale.

           We’re not quite finished.

           — continued  (Next: The space between)

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