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Journal Entry No.36, 11/Aug/2012

Around 2500 years ago Democritus, a Greek philosopher, expounded the theory of atoms for the very first time. He said that all matter is made up of small indivisible particles called atoms, the word atom means indivisible. Later on as physics developed it came to be known that atoms themselves were made up of even smaller particles called the electrons, neutrons and protons which carried a positive and a negative charge.

This became the basis of modern science and the platform on which Einstein based his famous theory of relativity which revolutionized the way we understand the physical world. I don’t for a minute profess to possess any deep comprehension of what Einstein was trying to say, but I certainly want to get to understand it better, hence, the quest.

Einstein basically says that laws of the universe are uniform every where in the universe, thus forces such as gravity, time, light work on the same basic principles. The theory of relativity for simpletons like me means the following; The universe will appear to be the same wherever we are in it. So if we are on Titan, Saturn’s moon, most likely to have life in the solar system the universe would seem the same, the sky and atmosphere may look different but through a microscope all will be same.

Nothing can exceed the speed of light. So whatever you do you cannot beat the speed of light and this stays constant anywhere in the universe. Then the famous and most recognized equation in the world E=Mc square which means that Energy is equal to Mass, that is the total amount of energy in an object at rest is equal to its mass in very simple terms.

Einstein also said that space has no concept without time. When we talk of space it is irrelevant unless we take time along with it, for space is not just a vacuum as was thought before, it is a fabric which is moulded by different forces such as gravity and thus shifts time and light. Large objects such as the stars and planets have mass and gravity and they bend the spacetime in such a way that the space is not flat.

The concept of time given by Einstein is somewhat like a straight line, he considered that the past, present and future were constant and we were just passing through them like an arrow and it was theoretically possible to go back into the past or forward into the future as they were there in existence somewhere along the continuum. Now, the quantum theory has changed everything. It is based on the discovery that the particles of an atom can be further divided into quanta, hence the name.

These small particles are wiggly shaped and behave very erratically as they move, so according to the quantum theory (in very simple terms) everything is a possibility. There is no fixed past or future of Einstein that we can travel to, as we move forward the particles may collide a number of ways raising the chance of many outcomes. But, you may ask, and that too very rightly as to what is the purpose of this discussion and how is it relevant to us, to our lives in the here and now – I believe, its essential for we all this tells us where we are coming from, what determined our creation, our journey, how the stars and us are made of the same stuff, and how if in any way is it possible for us to cross these current boundaries and come to know of larger and more magnificent things.

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