Laugh and the World Cries with You

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Some of you may get the impression that I watch a lot of films; wrong, I watch a lot of everything. I have just watched the series, ‘Genius’. No, it’s not about me, but that’s very kind of you to say. Remember Albert Einstein, relatives, I mean relatively, I mean relativity, well actually ‘the general theory of relativity’. Now you’re asking; it has something to do with the sun, gravity, time and a big white mesh that the sun sat in. There was lots of writing on blackboards, lectures, imaginary flashes of brilliance. It was all so wonderful. E=MC2, there you go, it’s all explained now. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared; it’s all clear as day to me. If I understood correctly; can you doubt it? Mass and energy are the same thing and can be changed into each other. That makes perfect sense. Let me explain it all by the use of thought experiments, Einstein used these all the time. You just imagine things and I will explain really complicated physics to you; honest.

Picture the scene, a large flabby man sitting on the sofa watching TV. The doorbell rings; it’s the Pizza delivery. Suddenly the whole of his physical mass is converted into energy; the man springs from the sofa and dashes to the door. Before you can say, ‘deep pan with extra cheese’ he has paid, grabbed a beer and is back on his seat by the TV, almost at the speed of light; E=MC2. There has even been an increase in his mass; perhaps he picked up some extra energy on his trip around the house. Not convinced? Here’s another thought experiment. Imagine the scene, you’re probably getting good at this by now. It’s a beautiful sunny day, a family are enjoying a picnic. The children have finished eating and are running around. Mum and dad are lying on the picnic rug checking their social media on their phones; this is a typical family. A wasp lands on mum’s arm; she doesn’t notice. You thought she’d scream. It moves on, upset at the lack of response; just like you. Trying its luck on dads’ nose; there it finds success. The seeming inertia of his immobile mass, is instantly converted into screaming energy, as he leaps to his feet. We need to pause here for a moment. Because there is another of Einstein’s theories to look at; nuclear chain reactions. Don’t worry, all will become clear; you can put your exercise book away. Back to the family at the picnic. Not understanding why her husband leapt up in shock; mum joins the affray. Seeing their parents running around excitedly, the children don’t want to miss out on the fun. Soon all four are leaping and running around, screaming and batting their arms wildly. I don’t know what nuclear fission looks like close up; maybe like a family fighting off a wasp. But then again perhaps not, who can say? Will all the physicists among you please calm down; I am joking.

Is it time we looked at Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle? No, I don’t want you to rush off and get lost in my explanation and me not be able to find you.

You are all wondering why I called this blog, ‘Laugh and the world cries with you?’ So, am I, whatever came over me? I must have been having a bad day; or was there an idea floating around that just floated off? It does happen you know. Of course, there’s always the possibility that it started out as one thing and then changed into another at the speed of light squared. Or that laughter and tears are also the same thing just waiting to have the potential to turn into the other. I give up; why did I call it that? Anyway, I will be back with more lectures on physics and chemistry in the future; or the past, or present.

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