quarta-feira, 1 de agosto de 2012

feynman 1


If a piece of steel or a piece of salt, consisting of atoms one next to the other,
can have such interesting properties; if water—which is nothing but these little
blobs, mile upon mile of the same thing over the earth—can form waves and foam,
and make rushing noises and strange patterns as it runs over cement; if all of
this, all the life of a stream of water, can be nothing but a pile of atoms, how much
more is possible? If instead of arranging the atoms in some definite pattern,
again and again repeated, on and on, or even forming little lumps of complexity
like the odor of violets, we make an arrangement which is always different from
place to place, with different kinds of atoms arranged in many ways, continually
changing, not repeating, how much more marvelously is it possible that this thing
might behave? Is it possible that that "thing" walking back and forth in front of
you, talking to you, is a great glob of these atoms in a very complex arrangement,
such that the sheer complexity of it staggers the imagination as to what it can do?
When we say we are a pile of atoms, we do not mean we are merely a pile of atoms,
because a pile of atoms which is not repeated from one to the other might well
have the possibilities which you see before you in the mirror.


If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass
of wine, this universe, into parts—physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology,
and so on—remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all
back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final
pleasure: drink it and forget it all!

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