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A Grain of Salt

By Revathi Balaga


In moments of solitude, I wonder.


How limited we are in our understanding of the world we live in. How ignorant in the way we look at things happening around.


Had the height of the atmosphere been a little more or a little less, scattering more or less light thereby, the sky would’ve appeared a totally different colour- purple or green, perhaps. But we fell deep for the beautiful blue.


Most of the developments in science we’ve achieved till now hang on certain basic theories. Now we’ve come to accept them because they seem to provide explanations to most of the physical phenomena we observe. From Dalton, Thompson, Rutherford and Bohr to Schrödinger, we’ve seen the gradual changes in our view of the possible structure of an atom. Each kept improvising on the previous ones or bringing to the fore new possibilities hitherto unseen. And here we are now. Awaiting an even better theory to answer the questions left untended to by those existing today.





Same goes with the nature of light. The particle theory of light tended to fail in some experiments, giving rise to a new wave theory. Either light manifested itself into a wave when Thomas Young decided to perform the path-breaking double-slit experiment, and coiled back to being a particle when it was knocking out electrons from the surfaces of metals, under the instruction of some complex cosmic law, or we have failed bare in coming up with the correct explanation for its behaviour. For now, dual nature will do.


And then there are some things that strike me more philosophically than anything. How we run behind ideality, despite being fully aware of its unrealisability. How we strive for stability, just as happens at the quantum level.


There are as many numbers greater than 1 as are between 0 and 1. The reciprocal of every number after 1 yields another that is packed in between the first two whole numbers. An infinity within a confine. That’s how the big bang took place, too. Again, that is what we think we are, isn’t it? An infinite amount of knowledge packed into one being. But infinities are strange. What we think is infinity may just be a fraction of another.


As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it. ~Albert Einstein


What are the cumulative accomplishments of mankind in the magic of this universe, but a grain of salt in your glass of lemonade?


Specks of dust we may be, but very capable specks with the potential to question and to find answers.


Yet in this untiring quest for explanations, perpetually exploring the universe, we constantly fail to understand the one within.


By Revathi Balaga





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