08 August 2008


ok so what is the speed of dark?

this one got me thinking. we can approach it from several directions.

~ the speed of light is roughly 186,000 miles per second (mps). that's fast enough for a photon of light to circle the earth 7.75 times in one second ! assuming for the sake of argument (and i know there are those who will propose exceptions) that, as einstein posited, no matter can travel faster than the speed of light, then that speed is the upper limit for how fast light or matter can travel. so is it reasonable to deduce that the speed of dark might be the lower speed limit, i.e. zero? no motion. no energy. nothing. as in, deep space.

~ ah, but we know that deep space is anything but empty or sans energy. so, noting that 186,000 mps is a positive value, might the speed of dark be a negative value, something less than zero, say minus 186,000 mps? bends your mind a little, doesn't it? think of the implications for the space/time continuum. we might have events happening before they happen.

~ alternatively, think of the color wheel that we all had to construct in fine arts 101. three prime colors (red, yellow, blue in pigments) with initial blendings between them (orange, green, purple), and further gradations ad infinitum. but wait, where's black? absent, dear reader, because black is precisely the absence of color, not a color itself. extending this reasoning -- if that it be -- if darkness is the absence of light, then can it be said to have quality associated with either matter or energy? like, speed? back to zero. hmm.

i think there are scores of ways of approaching this, and i'd love to hear some of them. please feel free to add your thoughts by clicking on "comments". if you don't, i will feel sorely let down. ball's in your court ...

1 comment:

  1. Parhaps there is some confusion between the ideas of "darkness", "black", and "space".

    It is possible that deep space or outer space is not dark at all, either helping resolve your conundrum, or making it worse. I think it is our own somewhat stilted perspective, balanced as we are at exactly the right distance from the sun to provide opportunities for life as we know it and to insulate us from the true hostilities of most of the universe.

    So before we can evaluate the "speed of darkness" we need to identify true darkness, and I argue that outer space just does not cut it. But then again, I am just a simple country boy.

    This somewhat reminds me of the question that came to me after living here in the Chicago area for some time: "So if Paris is the city of Light, that must mean that Chicago is the city of Heavy, no?"