Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Table's End

Where does the table effectively end?

Infinitesimally, atoms of solid wood turn into flowing atoms of air while from my point of view, there is a surface of solid wood. But is there?

We know that however polished that surface is, if you look close enough, it is rough and ragged. And at the atomic level, there are places that are wood and places that are not. There's even a level of uncertainty on what is part of the table and what, is part of the room's air.

We also know that this solid wood surface is constantly being modified by traveling molecules and electromagnetic bombardments and other contacts with solid objects. And that atoms and molecules of the table are constantly let loose from the solid. We also know that some particles can even go through that solid wood table.

What's interesting it that there is no exact frontier between the table and the air, even though from my point of view, there seems to be one. Then my assuming that there is a trustable interface between solid and gaseous would be "close enough for rock and roll".

So for most of us, most of the time, approximate assumptions are more than enough for functional living. If it wasn't for challenges and curiosity.

No comments:

Post a Comment