Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stellar Phenonmenon

Borrowed from wikipeda entry on Battlestar Galatica

The opening narration (spoken by Patrick Macnee) is as follows:

There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. They may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive somewhere beyond the heavens..."

When this narration was spoken, the viewer could see scenes of nebulae and other celestial phenomena

So wow now check out the Double Helix Nebula as shown in today's issue of the journal Nature.


Jon said...

Cosmic coincidence or evidence of divinity? Einstein went to his grave firmly clutching the notion of an overarching order to the universe, from the quantum to the celestial. For this reason, he could never bring himself to accept the notion of Chaos Theory. In a famous debate with physicist Niels Bohr he stated, "I do not believe in a God who plays dice with the universe".

To which Bohr retorted, "Who are we to tell God how to run his universe?"

Now it is accepted, thanks to Schrödinger and others that we cannot observe without influencing so therefore predictability is an illusion and our universe is in fact composed of matter existing only in a “foam” of probability. Chaos indeed!

But wait! Just over twenty-five years ago, Benoît Mandelbrot inadvertently showed us order within this cosmic maelstrom; in the form of modern fractal geometry. As it turns out, it is everywhere… and everything… It is infinity… Alpha and Omega! A simple Mandelbrot set is infinitely smaller than the smallest sub-atomic particle, and infinitely larger than the universe itself! All the while, it looks the same, whether observed with a microscope or telescope.

Astonishingly, all of nature seems to adhere to its patterns. What was once considered random and indescribable mathematically is now child’s play for your laptop (compressed jpeg anyone?). So, am I surprised at the existence of stellar phenomena that bear a striking resemblance to our own constituent molecules? Absolutely not. Do I think its one of the coolest things I have ever seen? Fuck yeah I do!

Jack said...

Unfortunately Dr. Einstein did not have the opportunity to roll the dice 100 billion times. Or to ever see a fractal. If he had, he would have instantly realized what we now take for granted: Dice is a 100% predictable game. (Stweart, Does God Play Dice: The New Mathematics of Chaos)

For every roll I will get an integer between 1 and 6. Occasionally, for one reason or another, it may roll of the table or land on the edge (a zero), but still, that's predictable too. I will never, ever, ever, get a 5.2.

Infinity itself was once considered incomprehensible and now we use it as a screen saver.

Nothing is something and everything contains nothing. Everything still looks like everything no matter how close or far you get.

Inspired sculpture or silly dust cloud? Superposition allows me to believe both can be true. Maybe it's our logo.