Emergent Gravity

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I was watching on internet a public lecture by Erik Verlinde on Entropic Gravity which he recently gave at Perimeter Institute in Canada. Apparently physicists are struggling with some great cosmological mysteries. He has a new theory on gravity often taught as a fundamental force in physics textbooks. According to him, gravity is an emergent phenomenon which arises from entangled quantum bits. It is emergent because it is not a fundamental force, but arises out of more basic and microscopic fabric of the universe. Being a computer scientist, I am intrigued by the central role of entropy, that is, information content, in this new perspective. Only with time, further work and observations, we will know whether the new ideas will prevail. All part of scientific progress.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. ” Famous quotation by Albert Einstein. We are restless beings, propelled onward by desire to understand, create, express and explore.

M’illumino, d’immenso; by Giuseppe Ungaretti. I flood myself with the light of the immense. Beautiful exclamation by the poet.

What we understand about the universe is literally based on the light of the immense! But visible light makes up only 0.005% of the universe. Next 5% is matter, and the remaining 95% is complete mystery.

Even though it may be all very mysterious, it is great tribute to human mind to reach this stage in which we can formulate these mysteries and propose new theories. The light of the immense will continue to make us march onward!

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Kabir on Transience

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Had-had tape so auliya

Behad tape so peer

Had-anhad dono tape

Wako naam Fakir.

-Kabir

One who transcends limits is protector

One who transcends limitless is spiritual guide

One who transcends both limits and limitless

Is called Fakir.

-Kabir

Kabir, the ultimate Fakir and a renowned mystic poet from 15th century India, saw clearly how temporary everything is.  As children growing up in India, we had Kabir’s Dohe (couplets) in our textbooks. Here is translation of one of his poems Mat Kar Maya ko Ahankaar, Mat kar Kaya ko Abhimaan. Liberty is taken not to translate verbatim but to capture the meaning. It was fascinating to read 500 year old Hindi.

Kabir first tells about a powerful king in past and how small is human life span in backdrop of flow of time.

There was a strong emperor

All powerful and ruler of lands

Elephants in his majestic court

All in the end

As ephemeral as dew drops

Then Kabir reminds us that we all face grief over losses due to impermanence of things.

Parents and family

And all attachments

Why feel grief over loss?

Everyone eventually passes away

As ephemeral as dew drops

Finally, Kabir tells us that message of humility is what one should learn.

Don’t be so arrogant of wealth

Don’t be so proud of looks

This body is more frail than clay

Just a gust of wind, even a small one,

Can turn you into dust

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