Aram Harijan

Much ado about nothing

Month: February, 2012

Cosmos the Magician and the Greatest Cosmological Trick EVER.

The fun of magic is in the mystery in the appearance of impossible.

It’s one thing to be awed at something we think should be impossible. It’s another thing altogether to figure out how the magician pulled it off.

To know how magic works doesn’t take the fun away! If we figure out another guy’s trick, then it allows us to perform “magic,” too.

All of applied science is this. Nature is a mysterious magic, but when you figure out its trick, then you get to mess with it and do awesome things.

Like building a fire, keep the saber tooth tigers away at night, surf the ocean seas, build the biggest depository of human knowledge, talk to someone over a thousand miles away like they are right next to you, fly like a bird, spin atoms in a giant magnetic tunnel and smash them together and giggle.

The Biggest Trick of Life, Cosmos, and Everything we have yet to figure out is the illusion of time.

The picture is from Hubble Deep Field North.

When we look into the infinity of space, we see the oldest of galaxies – the smallest, faintest, red dots – back when the Cosmos was not even billion years ago.

The paradox of light-time is that we never see the true essence the Cosmos. The smallest reddest dot, that’s what a galaxy looked like 13 billion years ago.

Those small red dots, they definitely don’t look like that NOW.

In fact, the only thing close to realtime are the things that we see on Earth, other objects in orbit around the Sun, and the surface of the Sun.

But the Sun, It lies, too.

The light that begins at its CORE takes AT LEAST 10,000 years to reach its SURFACE and flies for 8 minutes to reach Earth. If the core stops its nuclear fusion process today, the Sun’s still going to shine for another 10,000 years – more like 500,000 years.

The nearest stars we can see with bare eyes are Alpha Centauri, A/B and Proxima. That’s if we lived in the southern hemisphere.

Those stars are 4 light years away – and we are only seeing their surface conditions. We’ve no idea what’s going on inside. We think the Sun will go on for the next four billion years because that’s what stars appear to do. And we have been watching stars with scrutiny for only 400 years.

We’re just assuming that Comos works in a reasonable way, but sometimes it does some spooky things to prove Einstein wrong – like dark matter, dark energy, lack of observable black holes nearby, etc.

The nightsky, it’s a Cosmological Magic. Don’t believe anything you see.

Truth lies beyond its appearances.

Who knows, maybe there really is a Prankster God beyond Big Bang Horizon rolling on the Holy Floor laughing Its Belly Button off, outside of Time, while watching the telescope monkeys scratch their heads.

We’re going to find this Thing, and IT’s going to have a lot of explainin’-to-do.

Then again, it’s most likely gonna be this thing we figure out about space-time-matter and say, “Duh… of course it is!” and feel stupid for believing the whole damn trick.

The ramification of understanding gravitation is that human being will be able to do godlike-things. It’s not about traveling to another galaxy.

The reason we need to figure out gravitation is so we can build levitating hover boards!


A Bridge Street Stroll

A Bridge Street Stroll

My February night self
Lit a cigarette
stared into the darkness of the sky
seeing nothing except light
uh… and also love.

Oh, Mother, Father!
In the infinite wisdom of your soul
have you brought
kindly life breath
narcoleptic puff.

Oh, Saroyan!
Did you cry for me
or was I hearing coincident
grandfather mustache laughter
childhood escapades?

Ah, Mystery…
Free young how innocently curious the soul
Beat suspending consciousness
Light beneath the Big Shadow
Why am I here?

A Word to Young Physicists from a Madman

Good day, young Physicists.

How are you?  It’s nice and sunny out here in California, and I hope that it’s just as pleasant wherever you live, as you crank up the accelerator for the day.  Or, if you already left it running many months ago–as you go to your desk to watch cat videos.  I love cat videos!  No sarcasm intended at all.

That’s research sometimes.  You work very hard to set up a machine and/or program, and you must wait patiently.  Run a program, look at a cat picture.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Well, that’s what I used to do anyways.

I don’t want to leave out my favorite of all physicists – astrophysicists!  I hope wherever you are, it’s cool and clear outside.  What do you look at nowadays?  More of the same?  Anything new?  Do you see galaxies disappear at the edge of the universe?  You know, one dude said, “Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.”  I think you’ll inherit the physics of the 21st century, if you stay humble.  Keep finding shit that other physicists can’t wrap their mind around!  Go you!

Oh, you string theorists aren’t invited.  You suck with your nonsensical, “this is the truth, but you can’t understand it.”  Truth is, you can’t understand it.  You, more than anyone else, should know:

Truth ∝ 1 / (# of Words)

Einstein explained the most fundamental principle in nature with E=MC².  Where is your algebraic formula for explaining the Grand Unified Theory of the Mystery of Existence?  Also, why do you persecute other physicists?

Oh, and all you physicists–please tell your friends to stop with all this “Philosophy-is-dead,” “Religion, theology and to some extent, philosophy, have contributed nothing to our understanding of the Universe” bullshit.  The public looks at the lot of them and think, “What an arrogant bunch of fools.”  Really, you don’t need to suffer because of what your smart, yet unwise friends are doing.

Now that I got that off my chest, I want to tell you about something I’ve been working on with light and space.  All in my mind, of course.

Remember Ole Rømer?  He postulated that light had a finite speed in 1676 with Io’s eclipses.  Then Maxwell said it’s a EM wave and propagates at ‘c’.  Then Einstein said, Shoot, let’s use light as a ruler to measure everything else by.

In fact, that’s what we do.  We measure the weight of the Universe by light.  You measure everything else by it.  How old is the Universe?  How fast are we moving away from all  other galaxies?

Well, it’s been more than a century–and we keep finding shit that we can’t explain!  What caused the Big Bang?  What caused Inflation?  What causes Accelerated Expansion?  What’s up with Dark Energy?  What’s up with all this shit that we can’t explain?  All physics did was collect observable data and try to fit them into the existing paradigm.

No, you string theorists stay out of it!  You were not invited!  Isn’t that what you tell to nonstring theory people at your super-secret-string-theorists-only meetings?   I never want to talk with any single one of you.  You can’t even tie your damn shoes.  Or lie with a straight face!  You can’t even convince yourself of the shit you feed other people.  You make me feel like I’m talking to a used car salesman.  No straight answers–never!

What was Einstein’s single greatest assumption?  That the speed of light is finite at ‘c’ in a vacuum.  And this got us quite far!  We went from Newtonian to GRT and GUT in a snap of time!

But again, assumptions build themselves on observations.  As we know, observations are limited to our perception of the Universe.  As our perception of the Universe improves, our past assumptions eventually become outdated.

For instance, what the hell is Dark Energy?  Nobody can say for sure–but some claim it’s a force that moves everything away from everyone else.  But gravitation was not a force.  It’s just another dimension to space-time that mass modulates.  So is Dark Energy–it’s not a force that pushes everything apart from every point.  The things move apart on their own, but new vacuum keeps occurring between them.

When the Universe began–BOOM!  Inflation.  New shit just started flying everywhere that used to be nowhere and between each new shit was space!  (I know a lot of you don’t think this way, but the public does, so entertain me.)  Then, it occurs again–now with expansion.

The fact of the matter: Our ideas of vacuums have become too antiquated.  You can’t just sweep it under the rug and ignore it.

We have to start thinking of space like it’s water.  Very thin water.  Almost no viscosity.  Almost no resistance to movement.  But “Almost no” isn’t quite “No,” is it?

Why is it that a photon or a mass particle can’t travel faster than ‘c’?  Well, what’s in space that keeps light from going faster?

In water, there’s a viscosity. In air, there’s a viscosity. In space, there’s a little bit of viscosity.  So what’s up with liquid helium?  What’s with the viscosity?

You know how you can explain some things in a way that fits what you’ve known in the past, but you’re just doing patch work?

I have several tears in my shoes.  I was thinking about duct taping it, but realistically, it’s going to rip more and more to the point where my shoe will be covered in duct tape.  And you can’t wash duct tape shoes.  You just can’t.

Stop putting duct tape on General Relativity!  Go back and look at the assumptions.  Those assumptions fit well to the best of our knowledge back then.  But they don’t fit anymore.

From the edge of the universe – a photon that started soon after the Big Bang, moving toward our direction, has to travel through enormous amounts of space at finite speed ‘c’.  A photon is a fast Roadrunner, but the Universe is the longest trail that continues to grow longer–so much longer that we should be able to see the faintest of galaxies drop off!  Have we found one?  (Honestly, I didn’t find much on Google, so I made the assumption that nobody’s published this paper to the point that the news media got interested.)

The vacuum is  like a 3D tectonic plate of vacuum–except it’s not vacuum, and it’s not a plate, and it’s between every single point.  You call it dark energy.  I like the name, “Vacuum synthesis.”  I think someone got shunned for his ideas on vacuum.

Say I live in the U.S., and you live in Europe.  Currently, we move away from each other because our locations moves apart from the new-1D space that just got created by the tectonic movements.  Well, Alpha Centauri and everything else moved away from us right now because new space just got created in all degrees of freedom we observe.

If we use light as a ruler with property ‘x’ in ‘vacuum,’ we can’t measure vacuum.  Space is not a passive thing, so why aren’t we messing around with it more?  We need to spend more resources, energy, intellect, and creativity in approaching vacuum.  And stop funding all that string theory research for now.  We don’t have a use for it yet.

Figure out how or if the Universe currently creates space.  It might be God making more space–in which case we’re screwed.

How does space-creation fit into supersymmetry breaking?  Go back to standard model.  Space and gravitation are more ancient than particles and the other fundamental forces.  We can’t see these things because they are the foundation upon which the particle are built.  The older it is, the closer to Truth it is.

We have plenty of stuff we gotta do.  Like going to the moon.  Drop life on unoccupied planets.  Become the race of intergalactic Johnny Appleseed.  Also, we have a very tiny window to say hello to our nearest galaxies which are flying away at a faster and faster rate–unless there’s something really, really big we’re missing.

Yes, this letter makes me a condescending narcissistic madman, but there’s truth in what I just wrote here.  We do what’s right because it is true not because who is true.  I don’t have anything to prove except the mystery of existence, and I already died once.

Thanks for listening to this mad mind.  You’ll do great things!  Let’s all go to the moon for a picnic one day!



What is a Human Being?

What is a human being?

Well, who’s asking?

To a door, a human being is an animal with opposable thumb with a desire to compartmentalize spaces for various needs (social, enviromental, etc). It also cares that our wrist pronates and supinates. It also knows that we like to pull on handles and push on plates.

To a capitalist, a human being is a laborer whose time can be used to leverage the economy of scale.

To a politician, a human being is a vote.

To a benevolent politician, a human being is a voice.

In the kingdom of life, a human being is a parasitic/symbiotic mammal that’s on top of the food chain.

To virus, it’s a host.

To the planet, it’s a fierce single species of mammal that found dangerous, as well as creative and constructive, ways to will the powers and elements of the nature.

To the Universe, we’re a hope in 14.5 billion years in making – to oppose entropy and make the Universe more beautiful than it already is.


But the most important question is this:

What is a human being to you?

What does your answer say about yourself?

Gravitation, Nucleosynthesis, and the Function of Life in the Cosmos.

Of the four known fundamental interactions, gravitation stands out as the least understood and most interesting in terms of thermodynamics and entropy. This “spooky action at a distance” is what makes the visible matter possible in the Universe.

I am talking about the process of nucleosynthesis – the gravitation-dependent process through which higher complexity baryonic matter are created in the otherwise homogenous and cold Cosmos.

Gravity is the hammer that anneals atoms. Our body – as well as the visible Universe – cannot exist without it. The nuclear fusion process, through which hydrogen atoms are fused to helium and gives off light – our Sun and other stars, happens because gravitation exists.

In terms of thermodynamics, gravitation tries to minimize entropy in the Universe. If we consider net cosmic angular momentum as “free energy,” then gravitation creates complexity at the cost of decreased angular momentum (all depending on macro vs microscopic perspective).

Though we cannot necessarily understand the purpose of Life, it is abundantly clear that function of Life can also be described in terms of thermodynamics. In any given scale, Life is just a heat engine.

Let me repeat this important concept:

Life is just a heat engine.

Now what is a heat engine? A heat engine does two things. It takes energy (heat) and turns it into work.

How is Life a heat engine? Life takes free energy and uses this free energy to create more and more complexity. The most obvious and significant example of this is plants.

Photosynthesis is a process through which photons are absorbed to drive the conversion of carbon dioxide and water to form carbohydrates. A leaf is a very complex heat engine.

In the solar system, photosynthesis is the most entropy-decreasing chemical process. Of the sun’s energy that ends up on the surface of our planet, it uses approximately 1/1000th of the free energy that would have been otherwise absorbed and given off as a black body radiation of our planet.

For the 99.999999% of the history of our planet, all other activity in life was a parasitical heat engines which used photosynthetic process except for chemosynthesis in deep ocean that uses geothermal energy to create complex, biologic carbon-based molecules.

I say 99.999999% because, in the recent planetary history, a species came to existence that bypassed photosynthesis altogether to use free energy for Life-heat-engine activity.

That species is us, homo sapiens.

In the past century, one member of our species came to cognitively understand how to harvest free energy of the sunlight directly. This person communicated this discovery to the rest of the species. His name was Albert Einstein; his discovery was the photoelectric effect*, whereby a method of converting sunlight directly into a readily consumable form of energy -> electricity.

So this is what we do that Life does. We are heat engines that take free energy of the sunlight and do amazing things that Life was purposed to.

Human as a single species of Life as we know it are game changers in thermodynamics and the Cosmos. We are catalysts for the Cosmos to make the impossible happen – oppose entropy in a systematic and fundamental way.



*Einstein and photoelectric effect: Many historians of the 20th century physics expound on the fact that Einstein won the Nobel Prize for the photoelectric effect and not the theory of general relativity. The reason for this was somewhat political and true. However, the significance of Einstein’s discovery of photoelectric effect has been fairly under appreciated. Only time will tell, but it may turn out that Albert Einstein’s most practical contribution to future generations of human beings may actually be the discovery of photoelectric effect.