A universe on a grain of sand, a billion years in a microsecond?

After my last post on Composing an effective blog post title, you’re probably scratching your head wondering what on earth this post is going to be about. Well, it’s just a trip into fantasyland. I’ve wanted to get this one off my chest for a while so here goes. If it’s not quite your cup of tea, please have a look at the recent posts listed in the right column instead.

We all daydream. When I was a kid, I remember thinking about these two wacky ideas. Perhaps you have too.

A universe on a grain of sand

Sand grains

If any of you have see the movie, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, you may remember the opening sequence focusing in on a snowflake and the fantasy world on it. It reminded me of my childhood daydream. Is it possible that there could be a universe on a grain of sand? We all have some concept of really small and very large. Naturally, we compare things to our own size and everything is relative to that – bigger or smaller. An atom is so small we can’t see it and the universe is so huge we find it hard to imagine its size too, but is that just because we’re viewing things from our own size perspective? What if we viewed things from the perspective of the infinitesimally small, is there any reason why this different concept of size couldn’t present a universe on an atom or a grain of sand?

This guys barking mad I hear you mutter. Well, I came across a website recently which MakeUseOf blogged about – The Scale of the Universe. Nice site looking at the scale of things from the  ‘string’ to the Universe, but in the comments were some thoughts similar to my own:

Universe on a string

And when you look outward from our perspective of scale, is our own universe just one of an infinite number of universes perhaps on a grain of sand… in another universe?

A billion years in a microsecond

Funnily enough, my childhood daydream about scale went on to ponder about time. Just like size, we think about time from our own perspective. We know that a second is pretty short and a century is longer than most of us will live for. But does everything share this perspective of time? Is it possible time could move at a different ‘pace’?

Putting these two thoughts on space and time together, is it possible that the universe on the grain of sand could experience a life of billions of their years in a fraction of one of our seconds?

Okay, this piece  may be a little wacky and perhaps not argued particularly well from a scientific point of view, but it’s thought provoking nonetheless. Most probably, it’s all nonsense and certainly most religious teaching would quickly dismiss it out of hand.

But if you’re interested in hearing some more thoughts about the vastness of it all, have a listen to a great podcast on Radiolabs – The (Multi) Universe(s). Are there an infinite number universes out there?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

Normal service resumed next week… maybe!

Image credit: Tina Jimenez – noemi Ji

2 Responses

  1. Ducky Says:

    I too have pondered these things…

    Tying into the last one, what if when you die, your last thought lasts forever as if time had slowed to a stand still in your head.
    This way, every religion could be right as it’s all in your head…
    Sadly this theory falls down when you realise that depriving someone of their senses like that for a long period of time will turn them absolutely batshit insane :P

  2. Daniel Says:

    Fantastic! To most what you have written would be absurd, but i rekon it’s a great theory, even scientists don’t know how the universe was created, the bigbang is just a theory. All i seem to do is wonder about the mystery of the universe. I also ponder on how we came about, not just the evolutionary stand point, but how lucky and random it is. From being the right sperm and egg to our mother and father meeting to dodging our mothers periods or our fathers masturbation times. It just keeps on going, my goal in this life is to take it easy and relax because as you say, we may just be a grain of dirt within a grain of dirt and so on. Since no one knows how when or why this all came about it’s any ones guess.

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