We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out – and we have only just begun.
-Neil deGrasse Young
I’ve been meaning to read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I’ve seen it in stores and had always felt compelled by the cover but couldn’t find the passion within myself to pick up a book and read about the cosmos and the universe (mainly the science parts). Fast forward a few weeks later I felt compelled to try and understand how the universe came about. So one night while shopping for totally unrelated things at Target I made the impulsive decision to buy the book.
I challenged myself to read one chapter a night. So when I got home that I night, I picked up the book and dove in. The preface was enough to make me wonder how our universe came about. Haven’t you ever looked up at the night sky and think about how all this happened? How and why we are the way we are and what all this means?
Once I started chapter 1, I was MIND BLOWN. So much had happened, so much to understand, and only one-trillionth of a second had passed! Yes, one-trillionth of a second! I was going to stop because it presented some pretty heavy physics information. Too much science that I didn’t understand. But how could I set the book down when only one-trillionth of a second had passed and so much has happened?
I forced myself to reread the physics parts until I could understand the basic information being presented to me. Once I got over that hurdle and finished chapter one I was again MIND BLOWN. By some off chance, an imbalance of a billion and one to a billion would allow the one single hadron to survive and would become the source to create our universe: planets, galaxies, and stars. All this had happened, and only one second had gone by.
Chapter one forced me to open my eyes and to see the things that we choose to ignore because it doesn’t make sense. It forced me to broaden my understanding.To understand that within one second, a lot can happen, like whole solar system can begin to form. It forced me to question everything in existence. Is there a higher source of energy? Are we in a computer simulation as Neil suggested? Or are merely puppets for aliens? I guess we’ll never know.
Most importantly chapter one gave me hope and relief. Hope that Neil and many others wonder about the universe and have questions just as I do that could probably never be answered in our lifetime but hopefully will be answered someday. Relief that I’m not the only one who wonders about what lays beyond the 96 percent of the universe that we have yet to explore.