Space to speed

January 30th, 2019

I have always been passionate about the prospective of building things.  As a young boy I entertained building forts, houses and occasionally small castles.  Assembling forts taught me that knowledge and experience with structure was just as important as imagination; perhaps more so if the fort is to remain standing.  I did better later with houses and never got around to those castles.  At first the idea that you could only do a task a certain way with any real success felt like a huge limitation.  Soon I learned to cheat (imagine it differently) and with lots of practice generated successful outcomes.  I learned two things in that long trial and error period: intuition was not always right and you could often circumvent or improve on current rules of structure.

It’s a good thing that Aristotle was a philosopher and not a contractor.  His ideas about the universe were very intuitive but not correct.  For him space and time were absolutes.  Today the philosophical views and science have changed and perhaps cheated on a lot of those old intuitive constructs.  Welcome to the “no absolute” world but we still appear to have lots of rules and structure.  Is this appearance just a product of intuition not catching up?  In 1905 the structure started its move towards relativity (Einstein) and away from absolutism.  But is not the speed of light a constant (Maxwell)?  If we take a close look at this limit, which marks the maximum speed of a wave (magnetic, electrical, light, etc.) in the universe and step out of the intuitive concept of speed, like speed limits for vehicles, we discover a bigger concept.  As we approach this limit in movement the universe gets smaller.  We run out of space and not speed.  A car that could drive 120 MPH cannot move at all in a closed garage.  Speed and space are relative and mass a contributing factor to speed.  Very counter-intuitive now but intuition matures slowly and will catch up over time as a bio-product of the evolutionary mandate guidance.  

As an example, look at the rule E=mc2 where E is the energy, m is mass and c is that fun little speed limit that is in reality a space limit.  Time to tune up your intuition with a party.  You are invited, along with a few mutual friends, to a wine drinking event by my backyard fire pit.  I will carefully weigh all the firewood and put a protective screen over the fire to salvage all the ash.  We chat, drink lots of wine and stay warm by the fire until it expires.  Later, when my head feels better,  I may weigh all the ash and determine exactly how much mass was spent to sustain the fire.  It will be a very small amount but we can figure the mass consumed.  All the heat and light went everywhere imaginable.  But everywhere imaginable is a just a space, filled with the heat and light waves and defined by the parameter c times c or c2.  This is a very logical and intuitive idea because you were in that space and you felt the heat and witnessed the light.  It is all relative but well defined.  Grandpa would have never understood this concept.  A statement of evolution.


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