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A broad look at Nature


As above so below: This is a famous saying which crops up in a couple of Eastern philosophical systems. I am sure that many of my readers are familiar with the phrase. Not only above and below, but everywhere can you find surprising similarities in function or structure or other qualities. This fact is the main burden of the songs (in prose, why not?) in this book. The most interesting, unmissable similarity for what is happening above being (faithfully?) reflected below is this one. Going ‘below’ dives into the depths of matter, says the atom. Soaring ‘above’ goes up to the solar system. The meaning is obvious to any student of science at the school level. Let us fill up the dotted lines anyway. In the standard model for the structure of an atom, there is a center called nucleus deep, deep inside. Around this nucleus, electrons orbit continuously at various distances. This is astonishingly similar to the structure and functioning of the solar system! Replace the nucleus with the sun, and the electrons with the planets. Just as the planets unceasingly orbit around the sun, (being held in its grip) electrons orbit around the nucleus (being held in its grip). Along somewhat similar lines, we see that our earth spins on its axis. Looks like everything spins everywhere! (Just a wee bit of poetic exaggeration, only a tiny bit.) Go below once again. Science buffs speak nonchalantly of the spin of electrons and other particles as a matter of routine. It does not much matter here if their definition of spin and yours (and ours) do not match fully. A spin is a spin. (Every cricket player agrees with that. Baseball players agree with that, though may call it a curve.) From the depths of the atom, come up to the familiar surface. A gyroscope spins, often at fantastic speeds; there are a good many gadgets and technical instruments which utilize that principle of the gyroscope. Rise up, as before, to greater heights into space itself. We and our solar system are a part (tiny) of the great Milky Way galaxy. The galaxy also is spinning, astronomers assure us. So do many galaxies, neutron star-couples, and so on. If you observe the range from that of the electrons to the locations (and sizes) of the galaxies, it is mindboggling. (An irreverent, if not irrelevant comment by The Brat, whom you are going to meet quite often in these mental peregrinations. Brat enquires with false sympathy, “Does your head reel?” and then proceeds without waiting for a retort, “That reminds me of vertigo. It is a kind of spin. Either physical or mental or neurological. It is a spin and spinning exhibits are not only up there in the skies, but inside our skulls too!” Better be acquainted with him.) We reluctantly have to admit that he has got a point there. Strings: Strings hold up or keep things from falling down. That clothesline in your backyard is an everyday example. Strings bring things together. Look at a garland of flowers or a necklace. Strings can hold things in check and can manipulate them too. You only have to look at a harness and witness a puppet show. Strings can vibrate and give out music. (Quiz: How many stringed musical instruments can you name? Hurdy-gurdy, bouzouki, rebab, komuz, ghaychak, huobosi…) Already a parallel here: the poet insists that hearts too have strings and can be pulled

Book Details

Book Type: Print & Digital

ISBN-13: 9781648508851

ISBN-10: 1648508855

Edition: 1

Publisher: Notion Press


Language: English

Pages: 374

Interior: BW

Keywords: , , , ,


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