Saturday, March 10, 2007

summary of universe ain't grey

hotcold summary

i think the point is:

Why couldn't Earth just be a random mash of evenly dispersed neutrons, protons and electrons? See, the universe goes through cycles. Matter flows through these cycles of alternate cooling and heating.

See, the universe starts out ultimately compact with only energy at a very high temperature. Then it expands and cools, and as it does so protons and electrons condense out. But now it is too cool for the nuclear forging to take place to stick these protons together and form the wealth of elements we got. But then gravity kicks in and pulls protons together and heats them up again. They jostle around and bang into each other and stick together to form the 96 different distinct nuclei that our Earth is made of.

So the star blows up and spews all its new made elements into the clouds of space and as they cool, they can no longer fuse, so we get the wonderful mix of DISTINCT atoms that make up earth.

Now they cool even more and no longer make up a plasma and electrons can once again settle back in place around nuclei and make atoms. But too cool, and they will never be able to join and make interesting arrangements. So again they may settle into the local equilibrium well unless we heat them up a little so they get some activation energy and they can form new bonds and finally settle into the molecules with the lowest potential energy.

Still, our immediate response to this Earth with its 14 different kinds of elements would be, that if you cobbled 14 different colored clays together in a big gob and mixed it, you would get a boring grey gob of clay. but we aren't dealing with dumb clay. This universe is not created by a distinction making god-artist out of dumb clay.


then you have a mash of molecules and ions interacting, does it all get homogenous? no, energy flow through the system creates more heterogenaity so that the minerals are not mixed. gravity gradients separate things out dense, solid, ocean, atmoshphere.. convections cells, biological cells, organisms.

it's an ode to why the universe is not grey.

No comments: