LIGHT – PARTICLE OR WAVE? Rock Music For Nerds

Recent years have brought about an amazing change in humanity.  The internet and the algorithms governing our search terms and the information available at each of our fingertips is exponentially changing the trajectory of culture as well as our individual experience in learning something new every day.  Breakthroughs in science and medicine race ahead like never before as we work collectively together like ants to advance our civilization.

solar flare

But that also means there is a lot of information available at your fingertips that can scare the shit out of you.  Take the sun for example.  I am admittedly a HUGE nerd and follow a lot of science and technology related websites, NASA included.  So when I saw an image of a recent mega solar flare that was about 40 times the size of the earth (that was just the flare), the feeling of being a bug crushed under an uncaring thumb came upon me.  What if one of these monsters shot off in our direction?  That´s a lot of radiation and heat since the flare is more than just photons.  OMG!

light_bendingAt the time, I was also re-reading Stephen Hawking´s “Brief History of Time” and was thinking a lot about how gravity bends space and how that causes light to “curve” it´s way through the cosmos because massive bodies like planets and stars warp space-time, making it hard to travel in a “straight” line.

Then it hit me…the irrational image in my head of a super-powerful beam of radiation surfing its way through the gravity skate-park of space-time all the way to my doorstep to fry me in my boots, leaving nothing but a Klyde-shaped shadow burned into the ground next to my smoking, empty footware (why the hell would the boots not get fried?  Like I said…irrational).  Where could you hide?  Maybe in an underground  government disaster installation?  We´ve all watched enough movies to imagine something that might work.  Certainly standing in the shade under a tree wouldn´t save you for a minute.

Of course, it is not really like this.  We are 149,668,992 Km away from the sun and even though is it a huge ball of burning gas hotter than the billion fires of hell, it simply doesn´t have enough energy to send a killer fireball all the way to earth (or so says NASA).  Electromagnetic fluctuations from solar flares can screw with satellites and mess with communication equipment or electrical grids, which can be a problem for pilots or astronauts, but probably won´t even be able to give you a better suntan.

Still, that irrational thought of a killer beam of light stuck in my head and kept rattling around in there until this song came out:

Admittedly I don´t get very technical in the lyrics.  There is the beginning of the song that tries to create a “floating peacefully in outer space” sensation with a pretty cool sitar effect right before knocking you over with the full driving force of the song when the whole band kicks in with full distortion power.

I would love to fill the lyrics with all the things I´ve been learning about and that actually inspired me to write the song in the first place: magnetic fields, gravity, relativity, curved space-time, the 50 trillion solar neutrinos zinging through your entire body right this very second and every other second before and after that, throughout your entire life (yet never interacting with you)…all very cool but pretty tricky to work into song lyrics.  As it is, I´m quite proud I was able to work in “particle or wave” into the lyrics in the first place.  I can´t even think of good rhymes for neutrino (maybe casino or Filipino?).

particle_wave_dualitySo, OK nerds…what do you think?  Would this be a good song to have playing in the background at CERN while smashing atoms?

Rock Blog by Klyde – Daze of Dawn

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