Thinking Cosmologically

Like a lot of us, I’ve always been fascinated by the some of the big questions like why something rather than nothing? Or Where does space end? Or When did time begin?

Growing up you read about the big bang. Maybe you heard something about inflation. You probably heard something about quantum mechanics and exotic subatomic particles and maybe something crazy called string theory.

This mini passion started out way back when I was getting my B.S. in Electrical Engineering. I had really not liked the two physics courses that I had to take. They were both calculus based. The first one was basically Newtonian; so blocks and friction and velocity vectors and all that jazz. The second was circuits and basic electro-magnetism. I took a more indepth course later on that and I wish I had appreciated it more. I actually worked with Maxwell’s field equations but never really understood their beauty. It was only much later with the help of a Youtube channel that I stood in awe.

There was a requirement for a modern physics class that I put off until my senior year. It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable of my 5 years. I took an extra year to get a double degree with the other being in German and Russian, but that is another story.

The Lorentz transformations are amazing things. I wish I could tell you that I fully comprehended the math at the time but so much of the pedagogy was and is today what you call “Pump and Dump.” But the topics included what was known at the time in the mid 80s and it was mind blowing. Since then we have basically discovered what Ygritte kept telling Jon Snow. “We know nothing.” Dark Energy and Dark Matter were still on the horizon. We have different values for expansion depending on how you measure it that are very troubling. There are hints that reality is not what we think it is although “spooky interaction at a distance” should have been a good warning.

It used to be that I would read a book to investigate all these strange and exciting things. Now I just use Youtube. All this is to say that the bits and pieces that I have acquired over the last five and a half or so decades has made me an expert enough to be dangerous. I hope that doesn’t show too much in the Trilogy that I am writing because the backstory is a fantasy trope that tries to cloak itself in some of the current ideas in modern cosmology. One of the most unsettling ones is Eternal Inflation or the multiverse/bubble universes concept. I’d like to think that the Etherflow (Aern) might be some rare instance of this where all the variables and constants are fined tuned to create its nodescape.

This blog post was prompted because I just watched an episode of Closer To the Truth that I have been enjoying for a long time. If you are into cosmology and deep thoughts about the hows and whys of existence then you should check it out. You don’t need any math but a good background in the big ideas is helpful.

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