Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Parallels. Where would we be without them?
In my attempts to find a path through the forest, I allow my thoughts to meander and, whilst doing so, surprises happen.
Euclidean geometry allows for the future boffin to 'allow' parallel lines to meet when Euclid and Einstein meet at last.
5th bloody Postulate.
If two lines are drawn which intersect a third in such a way that the sum of the inner angles on one side is less than two right angles, then the two lines inevitably must intersect each other on that side if extended far enough. This postulate is equivalent to what is known as the parallel postulate.
Ok. Enough. I am lost in this language.
The curvature of space was first introduced to me by my dad on walks over the hill between our house and Dervaig, on the Isle of Mull. We agreed that the infinite nature of our space lent itself to loose and creative interpretation but I favoured a Klein Bottle. It allowed for easy visualisation and understandability in three dimensions.
The bottle shape can be understood as a scientific/theoretical possibility simply by adding a third dimension to a Mobius Strip.
From here, it is a fairly simple leap to the understanding of other 'shapes' existent in the fabric of space and I was open to the concept of 'Wormholes' (as described by Robert Heinlein in 'Tunnel in the Sky' for example).
This great piece of 'Junior' science fiction (The main character is 17 years old) was written in the year I was born and has stayed with me since my teens. It describes a coming of age ritual as played out on a hostile planet, accessed via a rift in space/time and from which no return is possible. Peter Pan for the space age.
No going back from that wonderful, frightening place once demons had been conquered and savage wildlife tamed.
Exit childhood. No rapprochement. As practiced on her own children by Melanie Klein.
Round and round we go.. if we want to......