Weird science

I love it when writing about space and technology means getting to consider trippy science that’s right on the edge of our understanding of the physical world.

For this co-written blog post for Space Angels on Quantum Key Distribution, which came out a couple of days ago, I got to read up about quantum entanglement—and wound up getting sidetracked thinking about parallel universes and the idea that they explain the weird properties of subatomic particles.

I’m currently working on another piece, for Open Skies magazine, about the first-ever image of a black hole captured by the Event Horizon Telescope and how it can be seen as evidence in favour of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

It’s soothing, somehow, to marvel at the idea of warped space-time and matter being exploded at the event horizon of a black hole billions of times more massive than the sun.

The topic lights up the same part of my brain that relishes imagining that quantum computers might draw their processing power from calculations taking place in other universes. I guess this is why I made the extremely impractical choice to study philosophy at university more than a decade ago.

Content that involves thinking about the fundamental nature of reality may seem like a very specific niche, but I’m hoping to write more about such mind-bending topics in 2019. And in a time of constant technological change, with commercial space exploration forging ahead and the fate of the planet hanging in the balance, it’s not so hard to find newsworthy topics that produce that mixture of chills and awe.

A lot of contemporary life revolves around getting caught up in the minutiae of our own existences and those of friends and idols; considering the bigger picture and remembering just how small we are can be both terrifying, and a relief.

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