Nature’s Night Light
Sometimes known as the sea-firefly, Vargula hilgendorfii is a species of ostracod crustacean that only inhabits coastal waters off Japan. It is a nocturnal creature that rarely grows longer than 3 millimetres, with a beautiful transparent shell—but it’s best known for its bioluminescence. When disturbed, it secretes a luminous blue substance through a process similar to many other bioluminescent creatures: a chemical reaction of the substrate luciferin and the enzyme luciferase. The maximum wavelength of its light depends on the pH and the salinity of the water, and varies between 448 and 463 nanometres—meaning that the light is coloured various shades of blue. In World War II, the Japanese collected these creatures and crushed them in sand and water to produce their blue luminescence, which ingeniously served as light for soldiers read maps and messages at night.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
The Cat’s Eye Nebula, taken again by Hubble.
What is Quantum Physics?
Quantum physics is a branch of science that deals with discrete, indivisible units of energy called quanta as described by the Quantum Theory. There are five main ideas represented in Quantum Theory:
- Energy is not continuous, but comes in small but discrete units.
- The elementary particles behave both like particles and like waves.
- The movement of these particles is inherently random.
- It is physically impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time. The more precisely one is known, the less precise the measurement of the other is
- The atomic world is nothing like the world we live in.
While at a glance this may seem like just another strange theory, it contains many clues as to the fundamental nature of the universe and is more important then even relativity in the grand scheme of things (if any one thing at that level could be said to be more important then anything else). Furthermore, it describes the nature of the universe as being much different then the world we see. As Niels Bohr said, “Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it.”
Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.
The story of cats.
Well played, Al.
One way to get the message of acceleration due to gravity!
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