Monday, May 27, 2013
The Poet, the Chemist, and the Physicist.
The trio met one day over some wine and discussed matters of rhyme, thyme and time. Soon the conversation turned to the notions of nothingness and emptiness - what is empty? The poet finished his glass, and pointed to it --- as far as I am concerned this glass is empty, as it is devoid of wine - the sparkling grape, the drink of gods. Hold on a minute! --- exclaimed the chemist --- surely it's not empty as it contains air - we'd have to pump all the air out of the glass, creating a vacuum in it, and then and only then would it be empty. It wouldn't make any difference to me --- replied the poet, shrugging his shoulders. Please let me interject at this juncture dear fellows --- interjected the physicist --- and let me put an end to your obvious confusion. Vacuum, as you describe it doesn't cut it at all, since we know that even empty space is a breeding ground for virtual particles whose immediate annihilation results in what we observe and call vacuum energy. The poet looked at the physicist with a frown of suspicion --- I know nothing when I see it good man, and I won't let anyone tell me otherwise - let the bartender settle this matter - haloo, good fellow! Another round please!