Sunday, July 22, 2012

quantum marriage

Good morning everybody.

This entry is related to this post in my dream journal.

The idea in my first dream of the father choosing between two men to decide who will marry his daughter comes a lot from this music video for "Milik Siapakah Gadis Ini," which is by the Malaysian pop artists Jinbara and Fiq. The video shows two blindfolded guys in love with the same girl. At the end of the video, the guys take off their blindfolds and see the girl standing before them.

It's pretty easy to see how the squares come from the images of film in this video.

But I think that a lot of the images from this dream, as well as images from other dreams come from my reading in Brian Greene's book on Superstring Theory, The Elegant Universe. The theme of The Elegant Universe, as I understand it so far, is that the concepts of relativity physics and the concepts of quantum physics don't reconcile with one another. So a search has been going on in the history of physics to reconcile these two theories. There's also a documentary of The Elegant Universe, which is pretty entertaining, and is on YouTube.

Greene begins his book with a short discussion of what we know about the various particles of the universe so far. He then moves into a discussion of relativity physics, giving a whole lot of really interesting discussions to illustrate the ideas of relativity. After this, Greene moves through a discussion of Newtonian physics, to help us understand the ideas of gravity. Greene then explains gravity in terms of relativity -- again, giving a lot of really helpful visual examples. Greene then moves on (and this is where I finished my reading yesterday) to various concepts of quantum physics.

One image from the book that struck me was the idea of the photon clock, which Greene represents as two mirrors set parallel to one another. A single photon will bounce from mirror to mirror, and, since the speed of light is constant, time can be measured by the bounces of the photon from mirror to mirror. Greene then uses this photon clock idea to illustrate that time will appear to be the same for two photon clocks, one at a fixed standpoint and one moving at a constant velocity.

This is a really weird image to fix into a dream about two laundromat owners vying for a woman's hand in marriage. And I'm not sure how the heck it fits in. But it definitely fits in.

An image from the second dream that comes from The Elegant Universe is the "second ending" of my dream, where I imagine myself passing out of the building altogether and ending up in the next place I'm supposed to be immediately.

This comes from Greene's funny situation of the H-Bar, an allegorical bar which illustrates some of the various aspects of quantum physics. In Greene's H-Bar, ice cubes pass through glasses and people can walk through walls. Obviously, that led me to the "second ending" of my dream, where I pass through walls myself.

The final image I can see obviously coming from The Elegant Universe is just the simple word "quantum," which led me to think of the television show Quantum Leap. I'm not sure why I thought of Marilyn Monroe or the Marilyn Monroe episode of Quantum Leap. But I did.

One last image I'd like to discuss from my dream. Last night, before going to bed, I read the first 40 pages of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein. The book takes place on the moon in the year 2075. The main character, Manuel Garcia O'Kelly, is a computer technician sent to the moon to deal with a computer who is a bit of a practical joker. Once up on the moon, Manuel forms a friendship with the computer, who he comes to believe is alive. But Manuel also gets caught up in a Socialist-type revolution taking place among the 3 million or so colonists of the moon.

In one scene of the book, a miner talks about how much harder it is getting for miners to locate ice under the surface of the moon. (Apparently there's ice under the surface of the moon.) But the miners are still getting paid the same for the ice they bring up. In other words, their profits are all going away.

I think this passage from the book influenced the image of the "water table" in my third dream from last night. I can't say why it's in there. And the image in my dream is definitely not about ice. It's about water. The water could potentially flood the building. The room itself reminds me, now that I think of it, as a strange distortion of an Ancient Egyptian tomb. When I think of Egypt, I think of the Nile. Again, I think of flooding and heat, not of ice. But the "water table," or level of water, reminds me of the ice level idea in the book.