Metanoia:The Art of Fiziks
So I should have probably mentioned previously, but this is a big one. Earlier on in my life heading down to out beach house in Portsea and I asked my dad ‘What is time?’. His mechanical knowledge here kicked in and he replied with something like the following: ‘Time is the passage from future to past, the clocks we use were invented to measure the passing of time.’ I think this was a very important step to eliminate the ‘Time was invented by us’ theory which I have been dealing with quite a lot recently. Time was not invented by us, it was naturally occurring and used by us. Called by us the same thing, but one is a merely a measurement of the naturally occurring time.
I think it’s about this point I mention Religion. I was never really a religious person, I don’t think anyways. Yet being sent to a church of England school, I had to attend things like chapel and sing hymns and all that jazz. During my younger childhood, I will say I believed it. That god made everything in seven days, but I was young and I still believed in Santa. It makes sense, until you start thinking. Yet at this stage I didn’t mind the church; I didn’t believe in it all, but it was better than sitting in Latin class or something.
Winston Turner was my mate from nearly the first day of school. He is the most excellent person in my books. When we we’re about half way thru junior school we went on a school excursion (trip) to… ahh I don’t remember where, but anyway it was a good old gold mining town. Population: 30 people. So for a week, its population was 230. That’s a huge increase! One afternoon after spending the day exploring human made cave systems, and learning… uhh science I suppose, geology or something, I don’t know it could have been for English for all I know. We were invited to this grave yard which had a ‘cursed grave’ in it, and our mission as kids was to find it, probably while the teachers had a good sit-down. After 10 or 15 minutes, we found the ‘cursed grave’ and it said some crap about if you disturbed the grave of him you would die a very painful death. I didn’t believe in any of that cursed stuff, but you never know, especially aged 9 or 10. Winston however was there to prove a point. He got on the grave and started dancing, much to the distress of about 90% of the kids there. Just so you know he’s still alive and kicking. Very funny man Winston- Love you to death pal.
Another time Winston did something funny, well I used to think that.. and come to think of it, I still do. We had an entire school photo taken, so that’s about 1000 kids. So after they spent forever lining us up and fucking around, they took three photos. One of which was good because getting 1000 people to all look strait at a camera must be hard. So all was going well, until they noticed Winston had put fake ears on (about 8 times the size of your normal ear). Well played Winston, the school then had to get someone in to edit his face. I think they should have just left it, he looks better like that. But Winston got in to heaps of trouble for his efforts. Shame on the school wanting us to look good. Not to show our personality shining thru.
So anyway, the extent to which I hated the church at this stage was minimal. Me and Winston used to sing chapel hymns in devils voices and generally fart around during this time. Never taking it too seriously. This is the point in my life where I would start hating religion. That’s not to say religion hasn’t done any good for us as a species, but it just needs to evolve, not too stay 400+ years in the past. I hope I can explain myself without getting shot by some religious punk out there. Just cause I don’t believe what you believe, doesn’t mean I don’t believe in your right to have your beliefs. Just like I have the right to believe what I believe.
So Galileo was the dude that figured out that the earth wasn’t at the centre of everything. So we all know that the earth is round, I hope. Altho there is a chance that there is some flat-earthers reading this, but seriously if you are a flat-earther, you need to get out more. Well after watching the sky for many nights, like seriously years. Galileo figured out that some of the ‘heavenly bodies’, where in fact moving in a pattern. These ‘heavenly bodies’ would later turn into the sun, the moon, and all of our planets. I’m actually not sure if Galileo figured it out, but that sounds about right. Anyways, Galileo figured out the way in which they move across the sky. These patterns mostly had these weird ‘8’ shapes, meaning if you traced their movement, you would end up with in a figure eight.
Well Galileo figured out in a move of sheer brilliance that we were on a planet orbiting the sun, just like mars and Jupiter which had its own moons. With that piece of brilliant thinking, he went against the common belief of the church at the time. Putting the sun at the centre of everything. Whilst the church (and everybody else) had the idiot’s view that was that the earth was the centre of everything. With that the church and all their power had him sentenced to prison. I actually think that they tried and failed to send him to his death. Anyways this is the start of my hatred of the church. I learnt this when I was eight from my little friend Winston who did a school project about him. Again, the education system’s fail (The school system failed to teach me this).
Anyway, with that little statement he pretty much he opened the door to astronomy (the study of the stars). So somewhere at the start of physics class discovered about Isaac Newton. Newton created the laws of motion. These laws include things like every force has an equal and opposite force. Therefore if you hit my face, my face is also hitting your hand. Very painful for me and my face, but it could also hurt your hand. That any object with motion will remain with the motion until a force has its way with it. This means that unless you hit my face, your fist will keep moving in the direction of which it is thrown and probably put you off balance.
Newton also came up with a theory of gravity, apparently he was sitting under an apple tree when an apple did fell on his head. Newton thought in an instant that some force must be acting on it, and when he went back to his den and started crunching some numbers, and it was this theory that turned into Gravity. Newton’s laws could explain the orbit of the moon and earth and all that jazz. Good work Newton.
Newton also thought about a satellite (like the moon to earth). He proposed a thought experiment. If you were firing a cannon from the top of the highest hill, it may go, let’s say a kilometre. So you put a bit more gun powder in and fire that one, it goes let’s say 10 kilometres. So you put it a whole heap more gun powder, then it goes half-way round the earth. Then you really load it up with gun powder. Fire it, and without air resistance, it would keep falling towards the earth, but its velocity keeps it ‘floating’ above the earth. So he was a really smart man. I love it how that was all that Galileo saw before him, and a little bit further.
Isn’t it funny how all these people have just seen a little bit further than the people before them? I think that is excellent, I really wish everyone got taught that at school. Everyone should know that. Everyone I’ve encountered and I’ll talk about in this book except Nikola Tesla [but he was a freak; that I love with all my heart] just figured out a little piece of the puzzle of life. As for Tesla, why didn’t you let him keep his project J.P. Morgan?! Your greed has cost us (every man, woman, child, animal and this planet) dearly; even if it didn’t work it would still be better than not trying I’ll come back to this later on in this book. Yet everyone has just seen a little bit further than the person before them. Also Newton invented the putting of letters into equations. Thus algebra was born. He also did some cool stuff with mirrors and invented the reflective telescope; so pretty much the satellite dish sticking out of your roof, got its plans from Newtons reflective telescope.
Newton was the first person lazy enough to think about and invent the cat door. No cats have looked back since then. I wanna tell you how much I love cats. When I was smaller we had a dog named Harry. He was a golden retriever. I really liked harry, he was a good dog. A lazy dog, but a good dog for a family with growing kids. So after my mother had my brother and my parents became parents. So my mum’s gift was my brother, and my father’s gift: the lazy dog.
Actually, fairly funny story regarding my dog. Well one day we were sitting out the front of our place at Portsea which overlooks the bay from the top of a cliff. These cliffs were great to climb when we we’re kids, I spent nearly an hour on them [that’s a lot of time for a nerd like me]. They weren’t steep cliffs, but a cliff all the same. One day Harry (the dog) was chasing seagulls (birds): running at them barking, having a bit of fun. So he wasn’t paying attention to the fast approaching cliff... I’m sure you can tell at this point where this story is heading. So anyways he broke his leg and we had to give him a ride home in a wheelbarrow.
I just realised I’m meant to be talking about my love for cats, and I’m talking about my dog. You idiot KP. So my aunty had two cats. They were old but extremely cool. I used to love going thru her cat door when I was little; until one year I broke it. My bad. So my dad moved in there (with his sister) when he got kicked out of home, which I think was extremely nice of her. One Easter I was round there and had just gotten my fists around a giant chocolate egg. Like I’m talking BIG; one kilogram of pure chocolate bliss egg. I was however more interested in pulling the cats tail. To which of course, the cat ran away, and my aunty got really annoyed at me. She picked up my huge Easter egg and dropped it on a table. It made the most fantastic noise! Highly recommend it to everyone that ever gets a huge Easter egg. Punishment was well received by both parties, with lots of laughter. So anyways I will defiantly be bringing up cats again. Just be warned. God I love their little pointy ears.
Going back to physics, well scientists about at this time where deciding what the elements where. As in gold is always gold, but diamonds and coal are both carbon, just different forms of carbon. So they were doing experiments that where discovering the element’s list, also known as the periodic table. I should also mention at this stage that I did physics for the excuse to get out of class, not for the physics side of things. However I was more interested in the ‘How the fuck do they know that?’ part of physics. So excuse me if I get it all this wrong, but again I don’t want to reference anything (or lookup anything, I can’t be bothered). This is what I think happened, but I just don’t know. I just feel like this will be educational to you; it was to me.
So they discovered pretty early on that that there were positive, negative and neutral charges in the atom (the smallest particle, coming from the Greeks). However, all of these were part of the atom. They were sitting in a type of ‘soup’ or the atom. Rutherford spent his day figuring out what was happening with radiation, as in, what the hell it is. So on his quest he figured out the lead was fairly good at absorbing radiation. This is probably because it is so dense but then again what would I know... So he took a bit of a radioactive element, and encased it in lead, except for one hole at the front of it which lets the radiation thru on a narrow beam, like a torch.
So with his torch of radiation, and a bit of photographic paper: which was a new thing at the this time. I’ve got no idea how it works, that’s chemistry, and I have no idea about chemistry. Anyway he first of all fired the radiation thru a magnetic field (from a magnet), he found that there were two types of radiation one that was deflected by the magnetic field, and one that had no charge and therefore wasn’t deflected by the magnet. He dubbed the two types of radiation as ‘alpha’ and ‘beta’. This was pretty good for science as a whole think smoke detectors which use alpha radiation to detect smoke, and believe me, he didn’t stop there.
So one day Rutherford was sitting around wondering what else he could use his radiation torch on. He decided to shine it thru a bit of gold foil, a very, very thin piece of gold foil. Just 400 atoms thick, so that is really quite thin. Remember how I told you that an atom at this stage was a soup? a sweet, sweet soup with all your favourite bits inside? I think that it was called the plum-pudding model come to think of it. Well anyways that doesn’t matter. That was all about to change with Rutherford and what he’d do next.
So he shone his torch of radiation at the super thin bit of gold foil, and started taking photos of where it scattered. Because he thought for some reason, I forget now, but it had something to do with the elusive electron, which was a component of the soup. Anyways, he predicted a result that the radiation should go straight thru the foil. Just like it wasn’t there at all. However being a true scientist, he didn’t change his results to prove his point. Good boy. So his little experiment showed that particles were getting deflected in every direction. In other words, it was like shooting two balls at each other, and they hit each other and bounced away.
So Rutherford took his results and did some maths. That I’m guessing was pretty complicated for him to do because they didn’t have calculators back in his day. He figured out that there must be a ‘nucleus’ that the radiation was hitting, but most of the time it went straight thru. He therefore noted that the electrons where travelling outside of the atom, like the earth orbit the sun. With this piece of information we welcomed in the Nuclear Age. Sorry if I’m shit at explaining all this, I never thought I’d have to explain it to anyone.
I really wish I could end this physics lesson here, but as we went travelled right into Q.E.D (Quantum ElectroDynamics) you’re just going to have to stick with me for a bit. I promise I won’t go into the full details (like I have been) but that is for your benefit if you want. I know how much physics scares people. I feel it is so important to be curious to know how everything works. So I’ve gone down the road to help my artistic friends understand it. Remember understanding something like physics doesn’t mean you have to figure out all the maths behind it. All you need is an understanding. For instance you can understand that lifting something up is harder work than putting it down: Yet it is only physics goes into the potential and kinetic energy transfer of it all.