56 – E=mc2 and us (Part III) …

Theoretically, we know that atoms are the most basic stuff we are made of, yet we think of them as something alien, something that belongs to another realm, something that has nothing to do with us.

Early in the Twentieth Century, our Solar System was used as an analogy to understand and visualize the structure of atoms. Most of us still cling to this analogy.

The analogy does point to some obvious similarities. As planets in our solar system circle the Sun in relatively stable orbits, so electrons in atoms circle a nucleus in relatively stable orbits; as the combined mass of planets and Sun is miniscule in relation to the entire size of the solar system which extends to the outermost reaches of the Oort Cloud, so the combined mass of the electrons and nucleus is miniscule in relation to the total size of the atom; as the expanses in which planets and sun interact appears to be ‘empty’, so the expanses in which electrons and nucleus interact appears to be ‘empty’.

Where the analogy is completely misleading is in our assumption that the expanses in which the components interact is empty. It is not. It is Energy. But because energy is invisible to us, we cling to that assumption and force it into our understanding of reality.

The universal scope of e=mc2, as explained by Einstein, is that the mass of a body (or system) is a measure of its energy content. [1]

In other words, no matter how big or small, simple or complex a system might be, its mass content (the combined volume of its components) must be equivalent to its energy content. The two contents complement each other as they interact with environments; they are the Fundamental Complements of all physical systems in Nature.

Mass is condensed energy, and energy is liberated mass.” [2] The contents fluctuate as the body develops, but they must remain in relative equilibrium – one always a relative measure of the other – for the body to sustain a continuous form of existence. The body disintegrates once it can no longer sustain equilibrium. This process, so essential to our survival, is mostly instinctive and beyond our awareness; we only become aware when, for instance, we feel the need to eat and rest to replenish the energy spent on a stressful day. The body is re-balancing.

Our bodies evolve by seeking balance; without it, we distort and infringe.

We are out of balance: Our exponential growth and level of consumption are altering the chemical equilibrium of the Earth, and we either readjust or pay the consequences for our infringement.

Yet powerful, dominant forces, ignorant in their greed, want us to continue growing and consuming as if there is no tomorrow.

Will we let them?

[1] Parenthesis mine.

[2] Unknown source

Revised October 2018

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