A LITTLE EUCLID, PLEASE
I don’t know where this posting is going to go, but if you don’t mind taking a rambling walk in the Tunnel with me, I sure need to think my way through to some peace and order around here.
It all started with a little phone call from my C.P.A. last week. He wanted me to answer One Simple Question. And so for two days I’ve followed my now-absent Hubbie down the rabbit holes of his mind, trying to retrace his steps and locate that “one simple answer.”
I’ve tunneled through his files and boxes of his files, creating numerous piles of papers everywhere in the house. I’ve driven to three offices which generated more paper, and then paid dearly to have some of those papers faxed across the country. . . . I’m not sure if the answer has been created yet, but I’ve left a trail of disorder and messes throughout my house.
Which is why this photo seemed so attractive to me tonight:
It is, of course, the Large Hadron Collider in Europe where they’ve been trying to find the Higgs boson, and just like me, they’re not sure if they’ve created an answer yet. I enjoy watching them try, though.
Here’s the graphical representation of the blue-green-antiblue, etc. motion of one of the quarks in question. You may not have read the latest comment by Krauss and Dent, two scientists in Louisiana who said enthusiastically: “The standard model says that the fields of all fundamental forces should merge at extremely high energies, meaning there is also a unified, high-energy field out there. The new scalar field would have zero energy density, but it can use the Higgs to link up to this high-energy field, and in the process it acquires energy of its own.” “Should merge” !! Amazing! (If true.) (As reported in New Scientist today.)
Well, if you can’t muster up enthusiasm for that, maybe you can “see” the beauty of a representation of a gluon plasma.
Or if you skipped high energy physics in school:
(I’m teasing you, of course.)
The field is exciting, though. Really. And if you just look again at the Collider, you can see the beauty of the machine they’ve built. Some journalists who don’t know what they’re doing call the Higgs the “god particle.” Looking for the god particle that holds us all together.
And the big irony of it all is: the scientists built a beautiful machine to look for “god.”
Where’s my next step? England. And the Church. Faith and reason, working together, creating Beauty, to find God.
Pythagoras and Euclid and other great Greek mathematicians, as well as Plato and other philosophers understood that mathematics, geometry, and music are all linked to the reality of God. When the Church scholars, the religious scholars, of the Middle Ages studied their writings closely, they recognized that link, and went on to apply such relationships to their architecture, among other things.
The above picture is England’s Salisbury cathedral, built over 700 years ago. It doesn’t look quite like the Large Hadron Collider, but you can – or at one time you could – reach God there, where He was physically represented in the beauty of geometry and proportion. The below picture is the outside. . . .
In fact, the cathedral is geometry and mathematics set in stone, and is, then, a place where the reality of God meets human intellectual endeavor.
It’s not a place to “feel” your way to God, but to use your intellect and reason to discover the God that reveals himself to you. If you could only “hear” the mathematics inside the cathedral –
“The primary dimension is 39 feet by 39 feet (at its main transept at its easts-west axis…) and is the basis for all the cathedral’s remaining dimensions. Both the length and the width of the nave’s ten bays is 19.5 feet, exactly one half of “39.” The nave itself consists of 20 identical spaces measuring 19.5 feet square and another ten spaces measuring 19.5 by 39 feet….” You’d have to see the blueprint to get the full impact. Or be there, inside.
Or at least try, with your mind, to reach a God who combines our faith and our reason to apprehend such Eternal Beauty….
I think a little Euclid tonight is just what I needed.