Pages

20130220

Everything is Information

Think about it, really. Stop whatever it is you're doing (when you read the end of this paragraph), and think of this: Everything you see, touch, hear, know, think, remember, feel, is but some form of information. But more! Everything that is or could ever be - every atom, every molecular gas cloud, every star, every planet and person and even dog that has ever or will ever live is but a collection of information - ones and zeroes. Dots and dashes. Numbers on scales. Literally. Consider vision - an important human sense. Witness above how the human eye gathers light. Once focused, it strikes a collection of differentiated cells of the optic nerve, and that nerve transmits data to the brain. The data? Lightwave frequencies. The brain takes this data and transforms it into red, or green, or blue, or some combination thereof, and that in turn is what we see. And remember. It's a wicked cool trick!
Colors exist because the material through which light passes and strikes differs. Water is different than stone, a tree different than a car. Low different than high, hot different than cold, and so on. These differences give birth to all color, as the light is reflected, refracted, blocked, twisted, or otherwise changed in different ways based on the conditions. Above you see the spectrum in part, based on the density, temperature, and speed of the water, coupled with the differing angles of light. Below,
an amalgamation of movie poster colors by year - oldest at the top. Notice the color shift! And consider it - you see this shift through a screen over the internet, clearly nothing but data which comes alive with meaning in your mind. Hence!
False color astronomy. Defined as the addition of color where there was no color in the original image. This is an X-Ray shot, after all, and alas! We humans cannot see in X-Ray. The original image is greyscale, but in that scale is revealed the different frequencies of X-Rays, and if you follow the following logic: Low end of frequency equals red and high end equals blue than here you are - false color, but real in its way. It represents something very real and meaningful - especially meaningful to us, viewers of color, as we can tease meaning out of an image in color that we cannot in grey. For the best example:
The CMB: Cosmic Microwave Background. These globes represent the temperature of the UNIVERSE at approximately 300 million years old, which is a trifling number when you consider the estimated age of the Universe (14Billlion give or take). It is near this point that light first escaped the cosmic creation soup and traveled freely across space. And thus the map - different areas of hot and cold. Where the differences are like miniscule but enough over time to shape the infinity of galaxies that make up our ever expanding reality - red areas represent places of higher density and thus matter was attracted and here was built, everything. Blue less dense areas, now representing interstellar space, and it is vast and only getting ever vaster.
Once again, but numbers, which we translate into colors, shapes, texture, form. We are the creators of everything, since everything is but a bunch of numbers and long ass formulas n' shit. Consider in closing this image - our star, "The Sun"! In neutrinos, captured by a "telescope" buried deep under a mountain. You see, neutrinos don't care about our matter so much, and pass right through. Right now there are trillions upon trillions - seriously! - streaming right through you. Yet we found a way to measure them, and so here's the sun in False Color, neutrino style. Pretty dang sweet, science. Also too, eyes!
Finally, yay art! Previous post photo setup - not my picture, but alas I don't know who to credit. Whoever you are, rock on!

It's awesome what people can make out of all this information.

2 comments:

Madeline Ashwell said...

Wow, great post!

I've been thinking about this lately as well, and it is truly amazing.

Thanks for sharing. (:

Redshirt said...

Thanks Madeline. It is a mind blowing subject - consider further: Our very brains are made of elements, atoms joined with other atoms, all adhering to the laws of physics. Us studying space, studying reality, is also space, reality studying itself.

Whoa.