The Universe Is Weird July 21, 2012

The Universe Is Weird

We interrupt our regularly scheduled ranting about religion to bring you this awesome (and, according to physicists in the comments thread, accurate) song:

The lyrics are below, in case you’d like to sing along:

A quark can never exist by itself in isolation
Something very odd happens when you try to sepparate them
The energy it takes, to break up those two best friends
is just enough to create two more to join back up with them

A photon has no mass…and thus travels at light speed
If you’re able imagine going that fast, and if you try I think you might be
You’d be emitted and absorbed in the exact same instant
even if you travelled from a star 13 billion light years distant.

I’m kinda freaking out
What the heck is this all about
Infinite unbounded sets
and hadronizing gluon jets
We’ll never understand
Half of what we have at hand
At least that’s what I fear

An electron has a strong charge, as strong as a proton
And a tiny mass but not nonexistant like the photon
You might want to take a seat now, cause this might hurt your mind
It has mass and charge, yes, but not, apparently, a size

There’s a lot of stuff all around you right now
Your chair your friend your planet and your sister’s neighbor’s cow
Mundane mass and energy is all we know and undestand
but it’s only 4% of what the universe has at hand

I was driving in a van with my brother and I said
John, hey, guess what, like, dude, NO EDGE!

Because the universe does not exist in any way we can conceive it
No center, no edge, no none of that, whether or not you can believe it

Once upon a time, in a gassy liquid stew
A molecule was like “hey, I turned me into you”
This may be the biggest mystery of all the ones in which we dwell
How the universe created a tool with which to know itself

Can you spot the Sagan quote?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ryan Jean

    I’m guessing it’s this:
    “This may be the biggest mystery of all the ones in which we dwell /
    How the universe created a tool with which to know itself”

  • Bram Kaandorp

    If I heard correctly, he sang;

    “We’ll never understand
    Half of what we have at hand
    At least that’s what I fear”
    Hope that helps.

    Great song.

  • Well… not recognizing where the center or edge of the Universe is represents a failure to visualize the Universe, but it can, in fact, be visualized with some practice, so the observation that we can’t conceive the Universe isn’t true.

    Otherwise, all the points seem consistent with our current understanding of things.

  • beatlefreak9

    Thumbs up for the Nerdfighters reading this!

  •  I thought the point was that the universe literally has no edge or centre.

  • In three dimensions, as we typically visualize things, that’s true. However, as a four-dimensional structure, the Universe has a center (t=0) and an edge (t=now). Visualizing a four-dimensional universe takes some practice, but is definitely doable.

  • Galdre

     I believe that when Hank says the universe has no edge he is referring to the fact that there is no physical edge. Yes it has edges when you consider the fourth dimension (time) but when you consider only the three physical dimensions it doesn’t have an edge.

  • Phil Bellerive

    I’ll stick with my old Monty Python standby:

  • I think that’s what I said 🙂

    And believe me, I’m not getting on his case for the lyrics, just making a mildly pedantic point in a forum where a few members might appreciate it.

  •  DFTBA!

  •  Also, NO EDGE!

  • I_Claudia

    You’re right. Thanks for the heads up. Updated!

  • Nerdfighter

    French the Llama! I love this song.

  • Lsautter

    Is anybody on the Friendly Atheist crew a Nerdfighter?

  • Yes, indeed!

  • kev_s

    Are the 2 ‘p’s in ‘sepparate’ (sic)  quantumly entangled so they can’t be separated?

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