56 – E=mc2 and us (Part II) …

Theoretically we know that atoms are the fundamental 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 try to understand and visualize the structure of atoms. And most of us still cling to this analogy.

Although somehow misleading, the analogy does point to some obvious similarities. As the planets in our solar system circle the Sun in relatively stable orbits, so the electrons in atoms circle a nucleus in relatively stable orbits; as the combined mass content of the planets and Sun is miniscule in relation to the size of the Solar System which extends to the outermost reaches of the Oort Cloud, so the combined mass content of the electrons and nucleus is relatively miniscule in relation to the entire size of the Atom; as the expanses of space in which planets and Sun interact appears to be mostly ‘empty’ to us, so the expanse in which electrons and nucleus interact appears to be mostly ‘empty’.

Where the analogy is misleading is in the assumption that the expanse in which the components of the solar system and those of the atom interact is empty. It is not. It is Energy. But because energy is imperceptible to us we cling to that assumption, and then 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, solid or supple a system might be, its mass content (the combined volume of its components) must be equivalent to its energy content for the system to function as a cohesive and dynamic unit. The two contents (energy and mass) complement each other – one a reflection of the 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 absorbing and releasing energy sources as the body develops, but for the body to sustain a continuous form of existence they must remain in relative equilibrium, one always a relative measure of the other. The body disintegrates once this equilibrium can no longer be sustained. This process, so essential to our survival, is mostly instinctive and beyond our awareness, but we become conscious of it when, for instance, we feel the urgent need to eat and rest to replenish the energy spent on a hyperactive and stressful long day.

This is how our bodies evolve, by seeking Balance, because without it we distort and infringe.

We are out of balance: Our exponential growth and level of consumption and dissipation of energy sources 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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