I met a man this morning with a ukulele at a train station. We spoke of music and its changing frequencies in time.
Newton said that, when he was fully focused on seeing sythnthesis in a curious confusion, the mind, tended to gravitate toward the solution, when the full force of the will and the creative drive was behind it. The power of authentic resolution in man is simply astounding when seen for what it is.
As the Apollo Lunar Module was approaching orbit with the moon, Houston’s Mission Control asked the pilots, “Who is in command?”
The answer that came back was:
As with music, science has themes too, that change with the spirit of the emerging time. Such themes weave through the history of man like phosphorescence that lights the way through the darkness.
One such theme is the evolution of the meanings of ‘independence,’ and ‘healthy interdependence,’ – how technology gets harnessed influences. Thanks to electricity we live like kings of old. Most of us – on certain levels; yet we might take it for granted.
There was the age of the sailing ship (heavily dependent on the sextant and the compass for navigation). There was the age of writing and then printing. Typewriters then computers.
And the atomic age, which really began in Ancient Greece. But it has two stages. One we have yet to reach. The stage of nuclear fission, well we have accomplished that – Chernobyl, Three mile Island, Hiroshima, Nagasaki – are the infamous associations with nuclear fission – it’s mostly with uranium and plutonium.
But, around the corner, lies nuclear fusion.
Fission requires the heaviest and most unstable elements. Fusion is about the lightest elements of them all. Atoms of hydrogen get into such excited states that they crash into one another leading to all the other elements (eventually), but first to helium and tremendous energy.
Both yield tremendous energy but fusion is far superior to fission. We are on the borderlands of that shift to the second stage.
That technology is connected to thermodynamics and electromagnetism. It is the most radical (radical means root) forefront of science, in a sense, as it promises to yield tremendous energy heretofore unseen.
It is in these realms that a deeper understanding of fundamental forces is found – the very forces that drive stars like our sun.
© Copyright 2021 Nathan Curry