(SNN) It is a paradox of science that before any breakthrough there is often a f’ed-up earlier stage. Out of this f’ed-stage have come some turkeys – turkeys that crossed the road to find something of value on the other side.
For the past two hundred years scientists have been fascinated by processes that do not run backwards. It all began with an interest in heat engines. A steam engine converts the chemical energy in coal into mechanical work – but you cannot run it backwards. You cannot reverse the process to make the mechanical work turn back into coal. “Why not?” scientists wonder.
Even boiling an egg is a process that can be run backwards. Of course this raises the question, why would you want to? But scientists don’t think that way. No matter how ridiculous an idea may seem, a scientist will want to see if it can be proven.
It was just last year that a scientist managed to successfully unboil an egg, removing it from the 200 year old list of processes that cannot be run backwards. This new technology in micro fluidity then led to the successful unboiling of a Brussels sprout, which was of particular interest to the British due to their propensity to boil the heck out of these unfortunate vegetables.
This brings me to Murphy’s Law, which was discovered at Edwards (U.S.) Air Force Base in the 1950s. As everyone knows, Murphy’s Law states that if anything can get f’ed up, it will get f’ed up. And what better place to be gobsmacked by this fact than at a flight test facility, with a manned rocket sled hurtling down a length of railway at speeds faster than a speeding bullet? We could credit serendipity for the relatively minor trouble that day, and the over-reaction to it by one Capt. Ed Murphy. But in actuality, things have been getting f’ed up since the Dawn of Man.
Scientists are always striving for the next breakthrough, and string theory is a current example of this. Understanding string theory is a work in progress which was formerly being led by cats. You can observe this yourself by dangling a length of yarn or thread. Any cat will demonstrate an endless fascination with how these strings are made up of invisible strings, until the time comes for another nap.
In science one thing is obvious – that next breakthrough is as hard to come by as a carton of turkey eggs.
Photo: CCO Public Domain. Source: Pixabay.
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