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Chaos of Delight Episode 6

 

Charles Darwin wrote wonderful sentences, beautiful books and fabulous phrases and one of my favourite is when he describes his mind being a ‘Chaos of Delight’ after seeing many of the splendid lifeforms in a Brazilian forest.  And we have asked everyone who’s been involved in this App when they experience that ‘Chaos of Delight.’ – Robin Ince

It’s something that I treasure and try to experience as often as possible.

 

When I first learnt about…when I was at university and I learnt about things like quantum theory, it’s just incredible.  It’s stranger than Alice in Wonderland,, you know, the reality at a deep level is stranger than that.  I do remember…it was almost like a religious experience…and I was at university in London and I can remember the buses going past outside and I thought, ‘I’m learning this amazing stuff and all these people on these buses, they don’t realise’.  So I had, ah…that was wonderful.

But I was a…I worked as an astronomer and I got to use telescopes once and they had a device which collected individual photons, individual particles of light, and we turned on a loud speaker so we could hear the photons arriving.  And we turned the telescope to a galaxy called a Seyfert galaxy and Seyfert galaxies have supermassive black holes in their cores and generate a fantastic…they’re incredibly violent.  And it was like listening to a machine gun.  And just the visceral feeling of hearing photons arriving from this powerful galaxy, you know, that was 20 million light years away was incredible.  And then a cloud went past.  And I thought, ‘My God, those poor photons.  They spend 20 million years in space and they were only a hundred metres from making a difference and a cloud got in the way.’