Vast Dynamic Energy

Just what you wanted on a Friday night – a physics lesson!  Whether you love or hate physics may have depended on your teacher.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to read every word, you could just scroll through to the lovely pictures if you prefer.  For those who want to look over this, I have tried to make sure the key points are in bold type.

I am no expert, but my pea-brain is wired mathematically – lock in me in a room for several hours with a pen and paper and you will probably find I have filled the paper with as much of the Fibonacci Sequence as space would allow rather than a story.  So I find that my mind laps up physics and maths…and I often find myself staggered by the order, the genius, the laws that have been there far far before humans began looking up at the stars.

Goodness, I’m typing with a terrific thunderstorm erupting outside – it’s breathtaking.

albert-einstein-1933340_640Photo credit ParentRap @

In 1905, Albert Einstein published a paper that was considered to be a mathematical footnote to his special theory of relativity. It contained the formula now synonymous with his work:


This famous equation tells us that the amount of energy released when an atom is split equals the loss of its mass times the speed of light squared.  Easy yeah?




ctimes speed of light squared

cmeans c times c, or 186,282 miles per second times 186,282 miles per second

Because cis an enormously large number (34,701,000,000 mi2/sec2), a small amount of mass can be converted into an enormous amount of energy. When an atom of uranium is split, it quickly forms two smaller atoms but also loses about 0.1 % of its nuclearmass; that tiny amount converts into a vast release of energy.

Is it only uranium that we may associate with nuclear energy that this applies to?  Well the principle is the same with all matter or substances.  Here are some interesting ways of explaining what it would mean if it was easy for us wee humans to extract and harness the energy from any substance around us other than by setting it on fire:

Just 450 g of any substance completely converted into energy equals:

  • usa.jpg11 billion kilowatt hours
  • the power needed to drive a car around the earth 180,000 times
  • the power required to propel the largest oil tanker around the world 400 times
  • the electric power needs of the United States for one day


 The reverse is also true. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to “materialize” just one atom.   But this is basically what happens in a cyclotron – a type of particle accelerator. Matter is produced by colliding particles at high energy. The resulting mass of all particles produced in the collision is greater than the two particles that collided. In other words, matter has been created. That is why enormous energies are required in the cyclotrons.  Think about that: an enormous amount of energy is needed to make a tiny amount of matter.


Modern science is aware that matter can be changed into energy and energy into matter.  Our sun provides an example of matter being converted into energy. Every single second, the sun converts about four million tons of matter into sunlight and other forms of radiant energy. The small fraction of that energy that reaches us is sufficient to sustain life on the earth. It is quite simply mind-boggling to contemplate the tremendous power and energy that were required to create not just the sun but also all the other billions of stars.

I love this verse penned three thousand years ago, long before Albert Einstein was born.

 “Lift up your eyes to heaven and see.

Who has created these things?…

…Because of his vast dynamic energy and his awe-inspiring power


As I mentioned in a previous post…not all see the physical and scientific information in front of them in the same way.  It is not my place to belittle anyone else’s views.  There is no way I would mock anyone for their sincere beliefs.  However, it is not at all difficult to understand why so many billions give glory to a Creator.

Through my eyes, I see abundant reasons to ascribe glory to an intelligent mind, a wonderful, purposeful, incredible mind behind the existence of the material universe. As someone who loves science I find it hard to understand why some are dogmatic and close-minded in their view that it was all one big accident.  Mathematically that is more than preposterous.

When I look up at the stars…aah!  My oh my, it’s really hard to find the words. I’m in tears. I can’t explain the surge of love and wonder and utter esteem and admiration…it fills me with energy to live my life (forgetting anything that has hurt me) convinced this power will be used to put all matters right.  It’s an astonishing thought, but there have been times when I felt so alone due to the challenges I was facing, that it was only because of Him I found the fight to keep breathing.  I remember it that night in the park.  I remember seeing stars above me and not knowing what was happening…but sensing an urgent order that I had to keep breathing.

Now, if you think any of the physics above was complicated, then check out the many helpful explanations that have been published of what goes on inside one of these cyclotrons.  Of course if you watch Star trek regularly you probably understand all of this!

Have a wonderful weekend…I am heading out to dance in the rain with my friends!


I Have No Time For People Who Are Dogmatic

When I was at high school I had a miserable and grumpy physics teacher.  The class regularly descended into anarchy because our teacher had no control of the class.  I regret this very much, especially since I realized shortly after leaving school that physics really is fascinating.  I remember suddenly being ravenous for information about the laws of the universe and since I had a head for maths my appetite for astronomy and physics just grew and grew.

Today’s picture prompt from The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith has sent me mind off in many different directions.  I had about five ideas but I have settled on two subjects.  So… I am thinking I may end up publishing two separate posts, rather than one huge one.  A lovely blogger kindly told me some of my posts were too long.  I quite agree.  I am trying to limit myself.

I think it makes sense to publish this one first, because I don’t want anyone to think I am dogmatic or disrespectful of anyone else’s treasured beliefs.  Many a thing has been said about Albert Einstein.  I am aware of a lot of quotes ascribed to him.  Since I was not there to hear him voice those words…I am going to shy away from quoting him directly. However, I don’t think anyone would argue that Albert Einstein was a true scientist.  He asked questions and searched for answers.  I read this of him:

IN 1905, a 26-year-old patent clerk named Albert Einstein published four scientific papers that altered the way we view our universe​—from its tiniest building blocks to its most massive galaxies. Some of these papers also became springboards launching many of the life-altering inventions produced during the past 100 years.

“There is scarcely any important fundamental idea in modern physics,” says Nobel laureate in physics Isidor Rabi, “whose origin does not trace back at least in part to Einstein.”


Photo credit ParentRap @

As with other friends I have been very close to, I quickly detected where Goldfinch and I might have differing viewpoints on some of life’s big questions.  I have been brought up to be respectful of other people’s opinions.  I am more than happy to discuss big questions with friends and workmates from different cultures and faiths.  You know questions like:

  • Is there a Creator?
  • What is the purpose of life?
  • What happens when someone dies?
  • Why is there so much injustice and suffering?

I am not afraid of any of these questions.  Why should I be?  We are all in exactly the same boat.  We are human.  We exist.  We are alive.  We have a mind that asks questions and is hungry for answers.  I love to hear what others think on these subjects and hear the reasons behind their beliefs.  I find it fascinating to hear where someone else is coming from…and the way their mind runs.

It concerns me when someone does not care at all and is far more interested in the latest designer handbag they want or what the score is in some sports match.  I have started to wonder if some people are either mentally exhausted by their busy life to be able to ponder.  Or are they are so afraid that the answers to those questions might show them up and make a fool out of them and their lifestyle?  I don’t know.  I would hope that at some point they will become hungry for answers…like Albert Einstein had a hunger to understand.

fruit cakeBut what concerns me even more is people who have made their decision on what to believe and become monstrously dogmatic in the way they speak on these subjects. People who think that they are right and that anyone who does not share their opinion is an utter fruitcake!  If you have ever had the misfortune to be belittled by someone who is dogmatic and will not allow you to get a word in edge-ways then you may agree with me.  Ay karumba!

What I love is reasonable, mild people who converse with a humble approach.  You know the type that are not gullible, they don’t just go along with popular opinion, they like to see some evidence and logic.  But they are willing to court roomacknowledge that there may be more than one way to see evidence.  They are good at recognizing bias and don’t just accept the word of someone who is charismatic or couches their words on such a high intellectual level that Joe Bloggs cannot possibly understand them.  Just as in a court case, people giving their testimony might describe seeing something differently from another.  As an impartial juror, you might start to detect the sentiments or motives behind the person delivering their testimony.

I love talking with people who are as hungry as I am for answers.  I totally understand why some might have strong feelings.  I know some who are seething with rage about hypocrisy or corruption within religious organisations.  I know some who felt the pain so deeply in unimaginable cases of suffering that they cannot reconcile themselves to the thought of someone with the power to prevent suffering existing.  It’s clear how much anger within some have whenever they talk about any of the subjects I have mentioned.

However, I don’t understand how a scientist can be dogmatic about the physical evidence in front of them.  In fact, I have read of scientists reaching completely opposing conclusions from other scientists. Sometimes I wonder are they at looking at the same thing?  Physical or scientific evidence seems to be interpreted very differently by the so-called “experts”.

all in the same boat.jpgWhat I think I am trying to say is this:  We are all human. We are all in the same boat. We are all bombarded with information from various sources telling us what to think, what to believe.  As impartial jurors, we have to listen with shrewdness.  I have become more and more cautious as I have aged…I do probe a bit to find out why someone may feel so strongly about what they claim is the truth, always aware that my own understanding is limited and I should be prepared to recognize where I am wrong.  I am always respectful of other’s opinions, but I preserve my reasoning ability by analysing the logic and the evidence in what they are telling me.  If they tell me about information they have read or some physical evidence they have seen, I want my own eyes to behold it before I will accept it as authoritative.

One night I was walking along with Goldfinch…and listening to his viewpoints respectfully.  He spoke with strong feeling on some matters.  I could empathise with him, although I did not necessarily agree with him.  I had only known him for a couple of weeks at the time.  So I explained to him pretty much what I have written above (although I managed to compress in into a a few sentences somehow) and then I told him about what someone showed me many years ago and I thought it was one of the fairest and most reasonable three questions about our universe I had seen.  For me it summed up the situation I have referred to.  We are all in the same boat and at one time may ask:

Our Universe

↓                ↓

Had No Beginning            Had a Beginning

↓                          ↓

Without Cause           Was Caused

↓                                  ↓

By Some THING               By Some ONE

I remember the same person mentioning to me that if someone does not want to be reasonable…well, there is not much you can do.  It certainly is not much fun discussing life’s big questions with someone so dogmatic and arrogant that they can’t see past the end of their own nose.  I just don’t have time for someone completely dogmatic and brutally disrespectful of what others sincerely believe.

I am certainly not going to tell someone else what they ought to believe.  Although I am more than happy to discuss these subjects and explain the reasons for my own beliefs.  I know what I believe after reading and asking questions and discussing with others and thinking over things, following the logic and the reason.  I am not going to mock what someone else believes if it is different to my own conclusion.  However, I applaud those who have a deep conviction based on carefully and eagerly searching for the answers to their questions.  I know some sincerely want to help others change their minds perhaps.  It’s so important to be tactful, kind and respectful of someone else’s thinking though.  Just avoid dogmatism…because it is so….

Now for those who love physics like I do…my next post will be a bit more on the scientific side of things!

You Think It’s Hot???

It’s coming, it’s coming, the rain is on the way!!!  The weather forecasters claimed that today is the last day of this intense heat here in the UK – or I have renamed this group of lands WISE (Wales, Ireland, Scotland & England) as I think it makes us sound better.  I am going to hold them to their word.  I keep looking for signs of a cloud in the sky like Elijah’s servant!  It is coming, I am sure the weather forecasters are not teasing us.

This week at work, we had several patients wander in with obvious signs of severe dehydration.  We promptly carted them off to the nearest NHS Emergency Care Center.  I think for most residents of WISE, it is the hottest summer of our life-time and we have a newfound respect for what the sun can do, and a deeper appreciation for rain and cold.

I am preparing another post about Albert Einstein and in my research I came across this quote which bowled me over:

How powerful is the sun? At its core, the sun is about 27,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit (15,000,000°C), which I cannot even comprehend.  If you could take a pinhead-sized piece of the sun’s core and put it here on the earth, you could not safely stand within 90 miles (140 km) of that tiny heat source! Every single second, the sun emits energy equivalent to the explosion of many hundreds of millions of nuclear bombs.

This heat is a tiny tiny minuscule fraction of the tremendous power the sun is kicking out at any moment.  Our sun is one of countless billions of stars doing the same thing.  I literally feel humbled and over-awed when I contemplate this phenomenal universe.

I can’t miss the chance to play another Muppets clip: