Ben’s update from the road

hey peeps. Sorry I’m not done the awesome “twin paradox part 2” article. I worked on it for a couple hours tonight. and it’s coming together but it’s a real piece of work.

here is a quick preview of it…

As a quick aside, we call it the speed of light because it’s the speed that light travels at in a vacuum. Specifically, it’s like the speed a wave travels at if there’s no internal fiddley mechanism that take time to transmit the wave. augh. this explanation is taking too long. Okay, so Imagine you are trying to knit a scarf. and you are as agile as you can be, but your fingers are too wide and keep getting in the way. so (use your magic to…) make your fingers narrower. now you can knit faster. but the needles are too wide and keep getting in the way and slowing you down. so you get narrower needles. and you can knit faster. but now the yarn is too wide. get narrower yarn. now your fingers are too wide…. etc. So you keep getting narrower, and you keep knitting faster. What speed would you be able to knit if your fingers, needles and yarn all had zero width? you’d knit at the speed of light. In any case other things travel at the speed of light. like gravity!

anyway, I’m still on the road. I’m in waterloo, ontario attending the “Cosmological Frontiers in Fundamental Physics” at the perimeter institute. I got to meet stephen hawking the other day. well… I ran up to him, shouted my pedigree and told him that i loved his book “Large scale structures of spacetime” so much that it was pretty much my favourite book. and then i ran away. I also met Lenny susskind who is a gentleman and a scholar and he explained (after a very interesting talk) the continuous inflation cosmological model as best he could to a poor dope like me.

I’m thinking about gettin’ into cosmology, and this conference has really opened my eyes to all the things i don’t know. humbling but fascinating! i wish i could age a quarter as fast as i do, and i wish i was 8 times smarter; just so i could keep up with all these geniuses!

anyway. i’ve got a looong drive home tomorrow.

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