Wolfgang Korsus Dipl.-Ing.NT, Astrophysiker
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For years, or rather decades, I have had the experience of listening to people, no matter what nation, faith or religion they belong to, all of them very interested in astrophysics, astronomy and the cosmos, and most of them listened in an understandable way.
But as soon as many of them wanted to pass on what they had heard and maybe understood, the „Casus Knacksus“ was born, nothing happened! ?
Then it is always „damned“, I think I did not understand that, or is everything gone again? …. many remembered…
I myself asked myself every time, what might be the reason for this?
Yes, after many years of experience I have now come to a conclusion….. and it is the following….ok ?……
For a „scientist“ it is very easy to accept, my previously mentioned topics are mostly highly complicated and have very complex contents.
So what does the listener do: „Listening yes, but telling others is difficult! That does not matter….!
To pass on modern research to an interested public is not easy!
I often fail to convey the damned high degree of abstraction and the lack of a simple illustration of the physical contents….. How do I convey this without some listeners‘ aversion?
For me it is not difficult, but it doesn’t get easier than that.
So I try to make it easier…It’s all about the damn interesting questions about the „biggest“ and the „smallest“.
Broken down it is nothing else than the universe as a whole and the hyper-fine structure of matter and exactly with that the said often leads into real abysses of unimaginability.
Careful, let’s not do that ! It could also be simpler. Let us just look up. There a mostly dark „sky“ appears to us at night.
But if you have a good view, in the „cosmos“ there are at least the lights of the shining star gas balls, because they are not beyond our imagination.
But again it becomes uncomfortable for many, immediately you are struck down with quantities of numbers. For example this gas ball, easy to see for living people ….the sun! This one, which has always accompanied us, is many hundreds of thousands of times heavier than the earth we know better, has a radius of 700,000 kilometres and is a huge fusion reactor. At its core, atomic nuclei fuse together! ….. imaginable ?
Even today – modern aircraft would take months to fly around such a giant. And there are actually more than a hundred billion of them, in our Milky Way alone. The Milky Way in turn has an extension of one hundred thousand light years. You, the reader, now say: this should still have something to do with comprehensibility, no tell someone else !!!!!!
On the contrary, I continue, everything in space is simply wonderful, if you have ever seen it before….. I am talking about the structures, objects and geometric shapes in the cosmos surrounding us.
……The spiral galaxies, the gas molecular clouds or the remains of exploded stars „supernova“….There are also masses of exo planets.
Telescopes all over the world, of every kind and construction, provide us with excellent pictures. Well caution, surely not everything what one sees is to be judged immediately correctly. Therefore, one should not immediately think of mysterious secrets or any mystical events in this infinite width of space……. and certainly not to forget the unimaginable depth of time.
In my opinion, the most absurd „assumption“ is when you just talk about it.
I can remember that people who look up at night are generally very impressed by the variety of suns (stars). When using a telescope or a professional telescope, this impression turns into a real exuberant enthusiasm. A very important fact usually does not even come to mind…….
What you see there, the past is not the „is“ …….
On our globe and of course in our daily life it is completely different, just think about it!
The observed universe has incomprehensible dimensions. Whoever thinks he is seeing reality, …. is wrong. He sees a reality that has already taken place…. is the past.
The simplest example in our closest environment is the sun, you see its radiation and start to rave, but the light is already 8 minutes and 17 seconds old!
The listener is shocked and amazed when he learns that the simultaneity of all cosmic events and their perception is simply impossible.
Even the sunlight that falls into our eyes is already eight minutes old. When the astonished listeners have to experience that a simultaneity of cosmic events and their perception is impossible, I have almost always looked into quite stunned faces.
I know, a layman can’t believe that even today there are guaranteed to be objects in the sky that in reality have not existed for a long time? To put it even more massively, the observer of the „starry sky“ will never know that, for example, the rays of the star closest to us just looked at in the evening were perhaps the last ones he saw. Because the light source may have been destroyed in an explosion many years ago. It is simply gone, although the observer can still see it.
If rays from our nearest star fall into our eye tonight, they may have been his last, if their source was destroyed in an explosion years ago. We humans are normally used to being able to rely on our six senses, how are they supposed to cope with this scientific truth now ???????
So, now I’m going to do one better !!!!!
Much crazier are the proven processes in matter. I let my acquired knowledge run free.
As all matter on earth is built up of atoms, so are, please remember, we are built up of it. However, as almost everyone should know, its tiny size is so unbelievable, that our imagination fails completely. One gram from the big toe alone is made up of the finest molecules of the skin, which in turn is made up of approximately one 10¹² times one 10¹² atoms. Which contributes to the fact that each of these atoms consists of an almost empty space filled with nothing. One speaks at most of certain residence probabilities and a very smallest core. Let’s stay with the nucleus, more exactly looked at, it turns out to be a nothing again. I simply ask cheekily, how can we bring this to humanity…… ?
…….and now pay attention, the greatest challenge for common sense is to connect the very largest with the very smallest, when the universe throws itself into its existence. This is the end of fun at the latest!
Or, to put it simply, perhaps not, perhaps it is precisely in the face of such borderline issues that we need to remember a deeply human quality: let us face the world with a healthy dose of humour! …or laughter.
After all, the absurdity of the abstract models of cosmos and matter is quite obvious. None of this has anything to do with our normal everyday world, and yet one could be happy that our mind, which has only been tested on this normal everyday world, is pushing itself to the limits of what is just somehow recognizable. And it obviously does so with great success. But why does it work so well? Why can man, even a part of nature, not only ask himself what nature is all about, why does he also find answers he can understand? ( Few, but understand !!! )
This opens up an important perspective for scientists, I prefer to say us scientists who go public. It is not just a matter of presenting all the details truthfully in the hope that everyone will understand what it is all about. It is rather about the power and strength of reason, about the possibilities offered by our consciousness. Here we challenge our very basic ability to transcend our normal senses and their views. A public lecture on factual topics of science can thus become a celebration of understanding and reason. Do not only trust your eyes and ears, do not demand immediate insight and view in the literal sense, but imagine that there is more than you can taste, smell, hear and see. Instead, just imagine that there is also what you can think. I repeat, what you can think. But, very importantly, not everything you think exists, …….. but a lot!