Planets. Life. Silent music.

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When NASA announced its discovery of the TRAPPIST-1 system back in February 2017 it caused quite a stir, and with good reason. Three of its seven Earth-sized planets lay in the star’s habitable zone, meaning they may harbour suitable conditions for life.

But one of the major puzzles from the original research describing the system was that it seemed to be unstable. “If you simulate the system, the planets start crashing into one another in less than a million years”, says Dan Tamayo, a postdoc at U of T Scarborough’s Centre for Planetary Science.

Tamayo and his colleagues seem to have found a reason why. In research published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, they describe the planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system as being in something called a “resonant chain” that can strongly stabilize the system. In resonant configurations, planets’ orbital periods form ratios of whole numbers. It’s a very technical principle, but a good example is how Neptune orbits the Sun three times in the amount of time it takes Pluto to orbit twice. Since the two planets’ orbits intersect, if things were random they would collide, but because of resonance, the locations of the planets relative to one another keeps repeating.

“There’s a rhythmic repeating pattern that ensures the system remains stable over a long period of time,” says Matt Russo, a post-doc at the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) who has been working on creative ways to visualize the system. TRAPPIST-1 takes this principle to a whole other level with all seven planets being in a chain of resonances. To illustrate this remarkable configuration, Tamayo, Russo and colleague Andrew Santaguida created an animation in which the planets play a piano note every time they pass in front of their host star, and a drum beat every time a planet overtakes its nearest neighbour. Because the planets’ periods are simple ratios of each other, their motion creates a steady repeating pattern that is similar to how we play music. (1)

Huge planets orbiting one another.

Matter in harmony inside a vast cold space.

And in this vastness, life.

Born from the silence, noise.

The forest is not empty any more.

The forest is full of music.

Heard by beings who are meant to do more than hearing.

Pythagoras was right.

There is music in the world.

But music not made of notes.

It is music made of silence.

The truth. NOT as 1+1=2… [Pythagoras, Hippasus, Silence]

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Physicists avoid highly mathematical work despite being trained in advanced mathematics, new research suggests.

The study, published in the New Journal of Physics, shows that physicists pay less attention to theories that are crammed with mathematical details. This suggests there are real and widespread barriers to communicating mathematical work, and that this is not because of poor training in mathematical skills, or because there is a social stigma about doing well in mathematics.

Dr. Tim Fawcett and Dr. Andrew Higginson, from the University of Exeter, found, using statistical analysis of the number of citations to 2000 articles in a leading physics journal, that articles are less likely to be referenced by other physicists if they have lots of mathematical equations on each page. (1)

Mathematics is a far too accurate tool to depict the truth.

The truth is elusive.

The truth is subjective.

The truth is mystical.

Look beyond 1+1=2…

Look beyond the equations…

The meaning of what you want to say, cannot be said with numbers. The essence of what you want to express, cannot be expressed with words. First of all we need to understand. How we express what we understand comes afterwards and is a matter of choice.

Back in the days of Pythagoras, members of an elite cast discovered that not everything can be expressed as numbers. They decided to keep the secret safe. They even murdered in order to accomplish that. They succeeded. For too many years people believed in numbers. For so long, people believed in the ability to articulate the “truth” with words and mathematical expressions.

We live in the days of quantum mechanics and consciousness research dead ends though. We are now starting to believe that perhaps not everything can be said.

Pythagoras was right about silence.

It is not just a matter of keeping secrets. It never was.

Is IS the tool which reveals truths!

Only if you stand long enough and listen to it…

Listen…

Hippasus’ silence is deafening…

The sound of atoms… The sound of the universe…

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What does an atom sound like? Apparently it’s a “D-note”.

That’s according to scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, who have revealed in a new study that they’ve captured the sound of a single atom.

“We have opened a new door into the quantum world by talking and listening to atoms,” study co-author Per Delsing, a physics professor at the university, said in a written statement. “Our long term goal is to harness quantum physics so that we can benefit from its laws, for example in extremely fast computers.”

For their study, Delsing and his colleagues constructed an artificial atom 0.01 millimeters long and placed it on the end of a superconducting material. Then they guided sound waves along the surface of the material, bounced sound off of the atom, and recorded what came back using a tiny microphone located on the other end of the material. (1)

The whole universe is a symphonic orchestra.
The scientists got that right.
But we are not just listening.
We are part of that orchestra!

We are mathematicians.
Playing a tune as we formulate reality.
A sacred reality we are honoured to be part of.

Open your ears.

Listen to Pythagoras.

His silence echoing through the aeons…

More deafening than ever.

Maths, genes, anxiety, silence.

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A new study of math anxiety shows how some people may be at greater risk to fear math not only because of negative experiences, but also because of genetic risks related to both general anxiety and math skills. The results don’t mean that math anxiety can be blamed solely or even mostly on genetic factors, the researchers emphasized. In this study, genetic factors explained about 40 percent of the individual differences in math anxiety. (1)

So this could also mean the reverse: that love for maths is attributed to genetic factors as well.

Who decides which of the two if best?
Who decides that maths are to be loved?
Who decides if this are the eyes through which we should look at the world?

Is love for maths natural? Or unnatural?
Believing in any of the two is weird…

Perhaps that is why Pythagoras used silence…

Saturn rings, meteors, Pythagoras…

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Meteors sent ripples to Saturns rings. (1, 2)
Oh, how delighted would Pythagoras be.
To actually see the Universe play with its cosmic musical instruments…
Imagine hovering in the dark space, watching the rings move.
Listening to the silence!