Sunday, February 22, 2015

Galilean moons

When I was a kid, I dreamed of seeing the four moons of Jupiter, just as Galileo did 400 years ago. I always wonder what Galileo was thinking when he looked at Jupiter's moons at night. Did he realize that he is the first one spotting some little secrets of the universe? Did he ever doubt what he found out?

But, the price of a decent telescope was kind of an astronomical number for my family and I never thought of owning one.

Last Christmas, I bought my son a telescope and my daughter a microscope. For the first time in their life, they can see the moons rotating around Jupiter and the cells underpinning the life on the Earth. To my disappointment,  they don't seem to be impressed. I hope they would remember such a moment someday.

Human brain can only intuitively understand a very narrow spectrum in terms of space and time because it's been evolved in such environment. The imagination of nature is far, far greater than the imagination of manIt is science that broadens our understanding of the universe. Scientific thinking should be a way of life for anyone living in the new millennium.

The value of Science by Richard Feynman 

I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think.

There are the rushing waves
mountains of molecules
each stupidly minding its own business
trillions apart
yet forming white surf in unison.
Ages on ages
before any eyes could see
year after year
thunderously pounding the shore as now.
For whom, for what?
On a dead planet
with no life to entertain.
Never at rest
tortured by energy
wasted prodigiously by the sun
poured into space.
A mite makes the sea roar.
Deep in the sea
all molecules repeat
the patterns of one another
till complex new ones are formed.
They make others like themselves
and a new dance starts.
Growing in size and complexity
living things
masses of atoms
DNA, protein
dancing a pattern ever more intricate.
Out of the cradle
onto dry land
here it is
atoms with consciousness;
matter with curiosity.
Stands at the sea,
wonders at wondering: I
a universe of atoms
an atom in the universe.