Our local AAA baseball team is called the Isotopes (yup, you got it...after the ball team on the Simpsons). After the original team called the Dukes were sold (that team had been named in honor of Albuquerque's nickname, the "Duke City") they decided the new team name needed to be more updated and trendy.
It took a while to grow on me, but I certainly love the team's mascot, the ever adorable and entertaining Orbit, an unidentifiable friendly object who's sort of a cross between an alien and a teddy bear.
|Darth Vader makes an appearance with an Isotopes player in his |
special Star Wars jersey. Orbit is at the right.
It was a beautiful New Mexico evening and though the Isotopes didn't win the game, it was still a highlight watching the after-game fireworks show set to the music of Star Wars.
|A beautiful evening for the Star Wars celebration at Isotopes Park.|
Unfortunately, my attempt to film the absolutely awesome Star Wars Fireworks Show was a big, fat FAIL due to problems with my cell phone's microphone, apparently. I'll try to see if I can come up with a better video and post it later.
Exploring the Science of the Force
So while I'm on the subject of Star Wars, it seemed a good time to delve into a related science-speculative topic.
Some claim that Star Wars isn't science fiction, but actually science fantasy because of the inclusion of the hand-wavery known as the Force.
But does that make it so, Number One?
Maybe not. Let me refer to the phrase we often bandy about regarding advanced technology appearing to a more primitive society as "magic." True, that. And with what we're just now starting to discover about our universe, I'd say we're still a pretty primitive civilization by Star Wars standards.
So is the Force really "just magic" or the application of advanced technology and/or capability?
Let's take a look into some cutting edge science. Researchers are slowly beginning to understand two "forces" in our universe called Dark Energy and Dark Matter. What are they exactly? As Yoda would say, "Difficult to tell." Because we can't see or detect either, we don't really know what they are. We only know from the dynamics of how the universe works and behaves that they have to be present.
So how do we know this Dark stuff is even there?
In order for galaxies to not spin apart, there has to be something they call Dark Matter that accounts for the mass and the gravity that holds it all together, and in order for observations from deep space (which also means deep time) to make sense, there also has to be something stretching the universe apart--and that was dubbed Dark Energy.
In tandem, Dark Energy and Dark Matter create the theoretical dynamics that explain how the universe functions as it does when normal mathematics say it shouldn't function at all. (Either that or we need to throw out everything we understand about physics and start over.)
But here's the kicker.
Nearly ninety-six percent of the universe has to be made up of Dark Energy and Dark Matter! That means all the stuff we can see and detect only amounts to between 4 to 5% of the universe. The tangible elements are in the vast, vast minority, so the stuff we can't detect is actually what most of the universe is filled with.
Even though we can't detect it, scientist believe that dark matter forms a web that causes the galaxies to form the patterns they do and penetrates matter as we know it...like our own planet. But experiments to find particles of dark matter via WIMPS (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles) have so far failed. So we still can't detect it.
Or can we? Maybe I should say, or did we...once?
Now we veer off into my particularly favorite part of the discussion--pure speculation!
Long ago, ancient civilizations built pyramids all over the world, not just those in Egypt and South America, but also many now buried pyramids reported to be in places like the Ukraine, China...even Alaska. But pyramids weren't the only important sites, there were also the Nazca lines, Easter Island, and Findhorn in Scotland, to name only a few.
Some believe that these important sites were part of a grid that tapped into a mysterious, invisible energy source along something called Ley Lines--which are theorized to be points on the Earth's surface where this "energy force" seems to be stronger. Perhaps points where the web of Dark Matter penetrates the Earth? If so, then these sites may actually have been part of a sort of global power grid and civilizations of long, long ago knew how to tap into this "Force."
So when Steven Spielberg first penned that descriptive explanation for The Force he probably didn't realize he might be giving a startling accurate definition of the effects of Dark Matter:
“It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”
If in the future humans could be trained to mentally tap into this "Force" and draw on its mysterious powers that bind and flow through everything in the universe, well...that's not magic. That's technology. And it moves Star Wars squarely back into the Science Fiction realm.
Have a great week.