The Speed of Dark

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Hi everyone! This blog goes out to all my science-minded (nerdy or geeky) friends, especially my Science North friends. Don’t be ashamed! I love you for your nerdyness!! And to my SN friends – just think, the summer is less than half over – lots more to come! And if you are not required to work 16 days in a row, count yourself lucky! (I am looking forward to Wednesday, my first day off since July 3, more than I look forward to Canada Day, Easter and Christmas combined!!) Have a great summer! 🙂

I know that many of you were taught in school that light is the fastest thing in the universe. It travels at 299,792 km per second (in the vacuum of space), which we all agree, is very fast. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that light is the fastest thing in the universe that we’ve been able to measure. If we had a way of measuring the speed of thought, for example, we might find that it is in fact so fast that light seems turtelian in comparison (look it up in your dictionary – you will not find “turtelian.” You will find turtling and tortellini however. Turtelian is my word for turtle-like). Another phenomena that we would discover is faster than light by a hair is dark. Dark is certainly faster than light, as I will now prove, but the problem is not in knowing this, but in measuring it. I will attempt to prove this knowing, although I do not have at my disposal the 20 billion dollars and participation of 4 or 5 countries to build the apparatus that would be needed to measure, to prove conclusively, that dark is in fact faster than light.

Consider this: when you turn the lights on in a completely dark room, the dark is gone before the light is visible. Right? You cannot see the dark retreating, it is so fast. Therefore it is faster than light. This faster-than-light phenomena is also evident when a laser beam is turned on. The dark retreats out of the way of the light faster than the light can penetrate it, again proving that dark is faster than light. Perhaps the starship Enterprise uses this fact somehow in their faster-than-light travel using warp fields and subspace. More research is needed to support or refute this theory. When attempting to measure the speed of dark, remember that your eyes use light to see, therefore it is actually impossible to see dark, just as it is impossible for your eyes to see radio waves or x-rays (other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum). This, of course, does not prove that dark is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum, just that it is not visible to the human eye. We are not sure at this time if other animals, especially nocturnal ones, can use dark to see – further testing is needed at this time (that would be part of the 20 billion dollars needed). You will, of course, note that when in a completely dark room, all you can see is dark and that in fact no features of the room will be visible. This will seem to be in contradiction to my previous statement that dark is not visible to the human eye, but it, in fact, is not. This is also why I would need 20 billion dollars to study dark; specialized dark-detectors would have to be engineered to allow us to “see” dark and display the results on wall-sized, plasma-screen displays which utilize ordinary light to enable us to see them (the results that is).

Consider also that dark is perhaps the least-studied phenomena in physics today; scientists have measured the frequency and wavelength of light, in its many forms, and have learned to manipulate it with mirrors, lenses, and other advanced aparati such as lasers, masers, phasers, and hazers (the latter research being done primarily in laboratories known as frat houses). Yet we know very little about dark; it stands as a mystery to all that is science. We don’t know how fast it travels, although we know it is faster than light. We do not know if it is a wave or particle or some type of wave-particle duality. We do not know if it has different frequencies, wavelengths or energies. All of these values seem impossible to determine quantitatively. Qualitatively, it would seem to have different energies, as the dark of your bedroom on a Sunday morning has far less energy than the dark in the room when the power goes out half way through a scary movie. All of these things need to be studied in detail before more conclusions can be drawn. I think we’d all agree that discoveries relating to principles of dark could be the biggest discoveries of the 21st century. Compared with nanotechnology and artificial intelligence, the importance of dark is more fundamental, like studying neutrinos (building blocks of the universe) or why Captain Janeway’s hair is long in the first season of Star Trek Voyager and then short in the later episodes. The study of dark is so important, it may in fact affect the future of our planet; with climate change affecting the amount of cloud cover on the Earth, it is believed that there will be more dark on our planet, the very material we know so little about. If nuclear superpowers should get a little too anxious on the Big Red Button, our planet could experience a nuclear winter, which again, brings upon us more dark. During a severe thunderstorm or hurricane, which have been more frequent and severe on our planet lately, the sky turns – you better believe it – dark. It has been proven that people who live in northern climates can experience depression associated with too much dark in the winter. There is no end to the importance of the study of dark and its impact on society as it relates to physics, chemistry, cosmology, medicine, abyssology, sociology, psychology, and psychopathology.

I’m sure you’ll agree that dark is the most exciting new field of research today. Think about how you too can help uncover more of the mysteries of dark. If you have any discoveries to share, feel free to leave them in the comments! 🙂

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