Many questions are asked by people all over our green and blue and fantastically beautiful globe. Why is the sky blue? Where do babies come from? Is there indeed a God? These questions are often asked by puzzled children, dazzled by their own curiosity and innocence. These inquiries enlighten us to the beauty of a child’s simplistic but fertile mind, open to impressions and yet very eager to learn. Even today, as an adult, I find myself back at that tender age, constantly asking questions that my under used brain is unable to answer. But like my youthful self, my mind is still able to absorb information, to ascertain the facts of the topics I wish to understand. It is this drive that has taken me to university to study Physics, this vitality that has compelled me to write this blog, to learn everything I possibly can.
One question, that I think everyone has thought about in their lives, is this. What is the meaning of life? What is our purpose? Why are we, clumps of carbon, sat on this insignificant rock, floating aimlessly around a monotonous star? Is there a greater purpose? Maybe a higher power is governing our very actions, playing big brother in our irrelevant lives? Now, do not get me wrong, the human race has had a good stab at answering this insurmountable question. Every religion thinks they have the answer within their holy books, others think that we are in harmony with the universe, that we and the universe are one. Some people even claim they have travelled the universe, asked a giant computer what the meaning of life is and have discovered it to be 42. Has anyone seen my towel? Even Monty Python have had a go at answering this question in ‘The Meaning of Life’.
See, while everyone is searching for an unreachable truth, I have come to the conclusion that there is not a definitive answer, but rather, a concept. There is no reason for life, no meaning, just a concept. Not in the spiritual or religious sense, but a fundamentally logical sense. And this concept is simplicity. And simplicity is intrinsically the purest beauty there is. The reason I believe this is so is because everything we know about science, slots together. It is simple. It is not fragile and open to contradiction, it is simply fact. And like most things, science has a language; mathematics. And this is where the clarity lies. Take the wave equation for example. Any wave, no matter how complex, will be a solution for the wave equation. You can see examples of this all throughout physics, biology and chemistry.
To explain to you what I mean, I will ask you to consider the refined theory that is gravity. The idea started with one Galileo Galilei, and was later developed by Sir Isaac Newton. This sophisticated idea explained a problem that was leaving many people in the 16th century scratching their heads, and that was how we are still standing on this spherical planet that is spinning at high velocities. Now, the beauty of this is that many years later, this same theory helped to described another phenomenon; the formation of the stars and planets. Divine science like this crops up time after time, and as our understanding of the universe grows, the complexity of it decreases.
Surely simplicity is the meaning of life, the fact that the very atoms that we are, were the very first stars of the universe. I mentioned earlier that some people think we are one with the universe, and in a sense they are right. Because every atom, every miniscule particle in our body breaks through the barriers of mortality and continues to exist forever more. Every loved one you have ever lost will be part of a new star. Part of a new world. Part of a new universe. You can feel consoled in the idea that when your far future offspring look up at the sky, they may be looking at a part of you. I take comfort in this, and I will be discussing why this idea is more appealing than life after death in my next blog.