FRANK LAWLOR’S PAGE

 

A Saga,  Part 2

     In ancient days

When great things happened,

    Poets sang,

Bonfires Erupted.

Folks in the streets

 Rejoiced

and

Danced.

Over the last generation

A very great thing

happened

Quietly,  hardly

  Noticed.

  The Universe,

As we knew it …

All of all

that exists,

Expanded.

Beyond anything that had ever

     Been imagined!

New giant eyes

    Were hurled

Beyond mists, clouds, air

     To startle, amaze, awe,

Humble us with unexpected visions

      Of god’s face,

His body, his existence!

Hubble reached out,

and out,

and out …

   Fuzzy pink blobs

Resolved into gaseous

mountain scapes

    Where a valley between

 broiling Everests

Of eternal flames

gaped

     Ninety million light years

Across!

A glowing mist

 Resolves

Into a billion nebulae

  Each a froth of a

Thousand million stars

All

Singing the hymn of

Existence!

And, marvel

for all beholders,

 We intimately share

With all,

With each,

      The same, the very same

Existence!

Our earthly, space bound,

     Tools, instruments …

Extensions of our senses,

 Say the unthinkable,

To us

Billions of light years of miles away

The same stuff

That makes us

 To be US

     The atoms out there,

Are not strange, foreign, alien,

     They are identical to

everything

That surrounds us,

That IS us!

To exist here on Earth

    Or beyond the most distant

Horizon that has ever been

     Conceived

     By the mind

      Is the same

Because matter is identical

       Where-ever any-thing

EXISTS!

The matter

That is us

did not

Begin

In

us

Each And every

Atom

That in total

Are

Our bodies

Has Existed for

Billions

Of earth Years!

Do you mean

That there

 Is

Nothing

New

 In

me?

Yes,

Nothing,

Not even One

Atom!

Not only that,

But

Not even One Atom,

Of the

Billion trillion

That

Is you

Or

Has beenYou

Will cease

To

Exist

When you Are

Gone!

Never cease?

No

Never!

Per omnia

Secula seculorium!

(AsThey say

In church)

Do you Mean To suggest

That these

Billion trillion

Atoms

Oncè upon a time

Gave

Something else

Or

Someone else

Existence?

Yup,

Millions of

Else’s!

Both before

And After

A brief

You.

But now

At

This

Moment

YOU

EXIST!

This

Is your

Primary

Experience

Undeserved existence!

Never

Asked for …

Rejoice,

You

ARE YOU!

You

Share this existence

With all else

That

 exists.

In

A gut way

You

know

That this,

Your

Existence

Is not

An act of

Your own

Willing.

Is

Not your

Own

Accomplishment.

But,

It is yours

To

Savor,

To love,

To rejoice in!

However,

As life goes on,

You

Know,

In your mind,

That

This precious

Life

This

Existence

Will

End.

You must

As everyone,

Man or beast,

Cease,

Die!

Truly

Incomprehensible

Fact.

Inevitable,

Barely

Imagineable,

Unacceptable

But

It

Will

Come!

Is

What follows

Comforting?

That we all

Bequeath

Each

Of our

Trillions of atoms

To

The

Future?

This

Is our

Gift,

Ourselves,

All

That we

Are

And have

Been.

It

Must

Suffice!

As it has been

And will always will

Be.

As a poet

Has

Said,

“There are tears

At

The heart of

Reality.”

 Frank Lawlor

July, 25 2013

At Baddeck,

Cape Breton Island

Nova Scotia

 

The following hymn is a saga.

Telling,

In a new way,

An ancient story:

One told by:

Celts and

Babylonians and

Inuit and

Hebrews and

All peoples and tribes ….

Of how matter,

Things,

reality

Arose

From pure energy.

How it persisted,

Evolved,

Into complexity.

Always insisting

on its own survival.

Until Becoming …..

SELF!

 

And, now the new song:

 

In the beginning,

there was ONE.

Before it,  ONE.

 

ONE only …

No   time.

NO.   before or after

NO     change.

NO      other.

 

All that is.

ONE!

 

NO “how long”

NO    “where”

NO      “how big”

NO        “how small”

NO          “parts”

 

Only – A SINGULARITY !

 

Then –

change …..

a many,

time begins,

space begins,

where begins,

size begins …….

A beginning ……

All things begin …….

The first instant …….

 

The Big Bang!

 

The Big Birth!

 

Of ……. Every-thing!

Of …….  Of the mother of all the matter/energy that will ever exist

Of …….    Of all that matters!

 

From a center,  the only and newborn location

 

Outward …… always every-where

Always every-thing

 

All that is, all that will ever be,  explodes outward.

 

Forming

an expanding bubble of

radiating energy,

photons to scatter light into the void

Quarks and

muons and

gluons,

the stuff

of all reality,

of all that will ever be.

Not,  at first

is there an atom

of this metal or

of that gas –

none,

no thing

In this new every-where

no atoms.

But, yet to be….

Too hot!

Molecules are far off

Yet to be …

in the cooler future,

long after still impossible atoms.

It is all,

all of all that which is,

or will ever be …

a seething globe of energy

Inconceivable heat,

temperature beyond anything

Imaginable

in our now,

new

universe.

 

 

Seen nowhere before

but then,

And now,

For the last

Thirteen billion earth years,

everywhere and

Everything!

 

 

How long till this explosion

reached the size

of a winking mote of dust in a sunbeam?

Long …..

in what measure of time?

In our seconds or

billionths of one?

Or, in what might seem,

if we could be engulfed in such an event,

As a millennium?

A thousand millennia?

Could there even be

a measure of size or

of time?

 

When the expanding bubble

of all that exists,

Not yet a thing,

An energy.

reaches the size of a grape

That is,

The size of a grape in our universe ….

That grape is all of space,

the size of the only universe

Open now to our instruments.

Outside of which

there is nothing!

Imagination stumbles,

staggers,

falls short of reality.

 

Ultimately

expansion

can be measured

in terms

of cooler temperature

But unbelievably

hot in terms

of our conception

of cool ….

 

Simple,

primitive atoms

emerge

as binders of energy,

coalesce as

protons,

with orbiting electron fields.

 

Now there is stuff,

something.

We call this proto-matter

Hydrogen: one elusive electron,

surrounding

a single proton

 

 

The elementary

building block

of everything

that will ever be.

Massive amounts

of this simplest

of all stuff and

still within

the expanding,

The cooling

Primal explosion.

 

And then ….

Bits of

its daughter helium,

two electrons,

two protons …..

a beginning of complexity.

 

Now there is matter,  something.

Born of chaos,  born of pure energy,

Itself a compact

Persisting thing,

As matter

is doomed to do

as a

concentrate of energy.

 

Explosions,

Hot,hot, hot

even the ONE

that is

all of existence,

Do one thing –

expand,

balloon outward

from a center

At unimaginable

speed …

Cooling as

it takes up

more space

As space itself

is thus created!

 

This “it” is

electromagnetic,

a plasma,

from light

to radiation.

And, and,

importantly,

a vast bubble

of hydrogen,

the stuff of

all future stuff.

Each hurtling

ultra microscopic

bit of matter

Whose mass is

the smallest of all stuff,

And

ultimately

the core of

all of

the big stuff

Non-the-less, it has

Mass.

And it does its “thing”

It PERSISTS in existence!

 

Hydrogen atoms

scattered throughout

space

Have two properties –

Mass and

Momentum,

which determine

The future fate of

what will become

 

Our universe!

 

Each hurtling H atom,

because of its mass,

exerts a gravitational force.

Distorting its space.

It interacts

with other H atoms.

They attract

each other.

Hydrogen Matter

begins to clump

in space

Vast clouds

of H form.

Becoming dense.

Their momentum

causes rotation

Into many

giant spheres.

spiraling inward,

Rotation

ever denser,

more compact,

hotter and hotter.

Then …

 

STARS!

 

Stars are born

when the heat and density

Combine

the primitive atoms

in a nuclear

fusion reaction.

As H atoms

interact

forming helium atoms.

Nature’s

hydrogen bomb!

Each fusion

releases vast

quantities of energy

Photons and

elementary radiations

burst outward from

the dense

Hydrogen/Helium sphere.

This is

A star at work!

 

 

The Big Bang,

the Big Birth

was not stingy.

Millions of stars,

billions of stars continue

even now to

burst into “life”!

 

Just as

the scattered Hydrogen

interacted gravitationally

Now the small and

The medium (like our sun) and

super massive stars

cluster,

They form

enormous gravitationally interacting

clouds of stars.

As many billions of stars as earth

has grains of sand

On all its beaches.

 

Galaxies are born!

 

Billions of galaxies

form,

cluster,

in turn interact

gravitationally.

The singularity

has become a universe.

Which evolves

as it has evolved

from scattered Hydrogen!

 

Each star,

each hydrogen bomb

is on the way

to birth helium.

As the H

is depleted

in the fusion reactions,

More complex fusions

begin to take place

Oxygen,

Carbon,

Lithium

atoms are formed.

Each subsequent fusion

releases energy

birthing heavier,

more complex atoms

As the star ages

it collapses

from its own density.

Gravity concentrates

the matter

raising the temperature.

 

Until finally …

The star dies

A spectacular death.

A Supernova

is born,

lighting up its whole Galaxy.

And,

most importantly,

exploding

its vast store of matter

Outward

at unimaginable velocities.

This “little Big Bang”

Forms the rest

of the heavy atoms

Iron,

lead,

gold,

uranium …..

All of these elements

Are now

Scattered out

into space.

Matter,

in all of its

Hundred and more elementary forms,

is complete.

 

Matter …

Complete,

but scattered

Speeding thru space

In isolated,

lonely

trajectories

Now massive,

each atom

huge in comparison to

The ancestor

progenitor H

But the ancient

gravitational dance,

Emerging

from the inspiration of

Gravity and momentum

Again begins…..

 

Here

and there

In the vast reaches of space

Within the matrix

Of star systems

And galaxies

 

The heavy atoms,

Especially iron,

Speeding to nowhere

Distort space

And gather,

Coagulate into

Space rocks,

Asteroids…

Collide,

Grow planets

Accumulate into moons

Captured into star orbits

Here and there

By the millions

 

Solar systems are born!

 

And here,

Where we are,

A watery planet spins,

And orbits

A star itself birthing Helium

Therefore bathing the blue

Mass of rock and water

With its atomic shower,

With photons

The byproduct of its atomic fusion

Of H into He

 

Creative distruction,

And finally …..

providing the power

To generate something

Radically new,

LIFE!

 

And the dance,

Continues …

The self complexifying

Urge of matter

To survive by changing

By adapting

Defeating stasis

Which is death,

The fate of the unadapting,

The Unchanging

In a changing universe.

 

Life is change,

Adaptation

 

Life is matter challenging

Entropy.

 But that is another

 STORY!

Advertisements

9 comments on “FRANK LAWLOR’S PAGE

  1. Tony Lawless says:

    A story so complex can best be told with the fewest of words.
    This is masterful, Frank, and thank you. The mind is reeling, spinning, rejoicing.
    Tony

    • flawlor@bluecrab.org says:

      Thanks Tony.
      I find that there is a poetry in things, even a poetry in the probings of reality by science.
      Perhaps this poetry is most powerful in the probings into the reality of our material selves. I would like to express that if I can.
      Frank

  2. Leon Krier says:

    Bravo!! Greatly appreciated “Saga!”

    Since you ended on

    “Life is matter challenging Entropy” and

    “Another Story,” I share these comments to continue the journey with you.

    I recommend the following article regarding the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Entropy..

    “Entropy is Simple—If We Avoid the Briar Patches”
    Frank L. Lambert
    Professor Emeritus (Chemistry)

    http://entropysimple.oxy.edu/content.htm

    Some highlights are the following:

    * The Second Law of Thermodynamics (“energy spreading out process”) is always operative unless “hindered.”

    * Life, and really anything that exists, is an “obstruction, “a hindrance,” in this ongoing process of the Second Law.

    * In order for life to exist, there must be a transfer of energy. For example, I eat an apple… the energy in the apple is transfer to my individual organism. This transfer is the Second Law in action. Entropy is the measurement or quantifying of that energy transfer.

    * It is the Second Law that is both a threat-to-life and a life-saver. What “saves” us are “activation energies.”

    Thanks so much for your gift of poetry.

    Leon

    • flawlor@bluecrab.org says:

      Leon,
      Every time I think that I understand the concept of entropy I find that I did not quite “get it”. This happened most recently while reading “Four Laws that Drive the Universe” by Peter Atkins. He says,”… it is also a foundation for understanding those most exquisite consquences of chemical reactions, the acts of literary, artistic and musical creativity that enhance our culture.” Imagine, all this from the lowly steam engine! And, “S is a measure of the quality of that energy…” – an interesting approach.

      I must see what Lambert has to say. Thanks for your comments. That other Tony, Tony Equale and I had some interesting exchanges on the topic of entropy a few years ago. I have found his insights on many topics enormously helpful and stimulating. His most recent effort “Religion in a Material Universe” is his best!

      Thanks,
      Frank Lawlor

      • Leon Krier says:

        Frank,

        Thank you for your helpful reply.

        I watched a couple of YouTube videos of Peter Atkins today (he’s my type of thinker). Afterward, I ordered his “Four Laws that Drive the Universe” (Amazon). I look forward to reading it and comparing it to F. Lambert’s approach.

        If I may be so bold, I would recommend “Neurobiology and the Art of Walking Paris.” As a poet, you may appreciate this article on neuroaesthetics.

        http://neuroaesthetics.net/2012/07/17/neurobiology-and-the-art-of-walking-in-paris/

        I have read all of Tony Equale’s books and most of his blog.

        Wishing you the joys of spring and this awesome, wonderful and useless universe as Atkins says!

        Leon

  3. flawlor@bluecrab.org says:

    Leon,
    What really excited me about what Frank Lambert had to say in extending our comprehension of entropy was his section on blood. Amazing! Activation energy is not a concept I had encountered.
    Thanks!
    Frank Lawlor

  4. Leon Krier says:

    Frank, Hi!

    I’ve completed Peter Atkins’ Four Laws That Drive the Universe. It certainly was a worthwhile read and again “Thanks” for the recommendation.

    Atkins does get heavy on the mathematics and equations; his illustrations are helpful but there is a paucity of examples a la Lambert. Atkins uses the terms “order” and “disorder” which Lambert suggests are in the “briar patches.” Overall, I prefer Lambert’s approach

    However, there are some gems:

    “Wherever structure is to be conjured from disorder, it must be driven by the generation of greater disorder elsewhere, so that there is a net increase in disorder of the universe….” (p. 77)

    But my favorite is the following:

    “According to the second law, a spontaneous change is accompanied by an increase in entropy of the universe. An important feature of this emphasis on the universe is that a process may be spontaneous, and work producing, even though it is accompanied by a decrease in entropy of the system provided that a greater increase occurs in the surroundings and the total entropy increases. Whenever we see the apparently spontaneous reduction of entropy, a crystal forms, a plant grows, or a thought emerges, there is always a greater increase in entropy elsewhere than accompanies the reduction in entropy of the system.” (p. 82)

    Whatever exists is but a momentary constellation, an obstruction, a hindrance, a temporary concrescence of “matter’s energy” …what we humans describe as “existence.” “Existence” is the sub-story… the main story is the dispersal and spreading out of “matter’s energy.”

    Wishing you enjoyment of our “useless universe!”

    Leon

  5. Neil Sullivan says:

    Frank,
    Thanks for Saga part 2. It comes as a happy coincidence. I’m reading (and trying to grasp) what Lawrence Krauss is talking about in his Universe from Nothing. The atom-sharing notion is powerful as it is incomprehensible. As I have complained to Tony, I’m still whining (his word) about the loss of me- my consciousness. Sharing atoms is one thing but what happens to me?
    Hope all is well, Nil Sullivan

    • flawlor@bluecrab.org says:

      Neil,
      You are correct, you and I and all others do not want to let go. It is how we experience and express that most powerful of all urges, instincts, drives, what Tony calls the Conatus. We love life, we want above all else to continue to be ourselves, to exist as self aware individuals, to have that self consciousness. Aside from its personal power, it has magnificent effects. It is responsable for all of the astonishing diversity of life forms, from “no see-ems” (ouch!) to whales whose tongues are heavier than an elephant. It is interesting that we actually willfully surrender our self consciousness every day for about eight hours. It pleasantly fades away and returns in the morning ready for another sixteen hours of conscious existence, of being “me”. We also recognize that the body can persist in functioning without a continuation of self consciousness (a situation we fear more than death of the body). This speaks to the nature of self consciousness and its delicate, fragile reality.
      Peace,
      Frank

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s