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An Amazing Illusion




“Blind are those... who have eyes... Coz they see only with their eyes.” Take a moment, and close your eyes to feel how life on earth would have been without eyes. What do you perceive??

Concentrate!! To know that you are a receiver of not just what you see with your eyes or what you hear with your ears. Isn’t this thought worth thinking that we have eyes to make us blind and ears to make us deaf?? To distract us from reality to the material world?? Do we really need to believe the existence of something by only what we see?? Or only by what we hear??

Let us dive into it...

“Consider a human eye, a masterpiece of complexity. It's more complicated than any device ever crafted by human intelligence.”

---Neil DeGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist)

Light is the fuel for our eyes to work. Our eyes need light to help us see what we see. While there is only a spectrum ranging from 400-700Nm (known as visible light; color ranging from violet to red) that can be observed by our human eye, the radiation ranging beyond the specified spectrum cannot be seen by our naked eye. But we cannot deny the existence of such a spectrum that we cannot see right? Similarly, a human ear can receive a frequency of vibrations ranging from 20Hz to 20KHz. Implies sounds beyond such limit are not received or heard by a human ear. But we cannot deny the existence of such frequencies that cannot be received by our human ear. So, is the world really being what we see or what we hear?? Do we need to believe the existence of something only by what we see through our eyes or by what we hear through our ears?

Let us dive deep into it...

Light travels at a speed of approximately 3*108m/sec. Implies, light travels a distance of 3*10 power 8 meters in a second. Let us scale it down to 1 m/sec. Imagine standing in front of the mirror at a distance of 5 meters. Switch on the light. The light rays that hit your body, reflect & travels towards the mirror at a speed of 1m/sec. Covering a distance of 5 meters, it reflects back from the mirror to your eye, to let you see. This implies, the light traveled a total distance of 10metres (5+5, starting from you to hitting the mirror and hitting you back) to let you see yourself in the mirror and it took a time of 10seconds (traveled 10 meters at 1metre per second speed) which implies, you were not able to observe yourself in the mirror as soon as you switched the light on. Instead, you saw yourself in the mirror only after a mere gap of 10seconds. But since light travels at an epic speed of 3*10 power 8 m/sec, you have never experienced such a recognizable delay or lag ever. Now imagine our celestial sun that lights up our earth every day with its heavenly rays. Sun is at a distance of 149.6 million km from the earth which means photons emitted from the surface of the sun take a mere 8minutes to reach Earth (our eye) traveling across the vacuum of space. Now, at present, when we see the sun with our naked eye from the earth, we don't exactly see where the sun actually IS, but where the sun actually WAS 8 minutes before. We may say the sun is exactly where we see, but in reality, the sun is not where we see, it's 8 minutes towards west.

Now imagine Andromeda, our neighboring galaxy which is at a distance of 2.537 million light-years from Earth. It means light emitted from that galaxy takes a mere 2.537 million years i.e, 25,37,000 years to reach earth. When we are staring at the Andromeda galaxy from the Hubble Telescope, we are not seeing the galaxy exactly where it is, but where it was before 25,37,000 years. We may debate that the galaxy is right where we are seeing it, but in reality, it is far ahead by a time of near 25 lakh years. A star from that galaxy may have died and vanished within this time span, but we will still be able to see the star for 25 lakh years after its death, as the last ray of light that left the galaxy is still traveling towards us. It’s dead, but you still see. How? What is it? Is it a ghost?

In the same way, when the hypothetical aliens who are millions of light-years away, stare at earth now, they might feel frightened to come to earth. Frightened? But why? Because they are seeing what we were millions of years before, but not what we are now. They might be seeing the dinosaurs, or they might be seeing the molten state of newly formed earth. Who knows? A similar concept applies to sound which travels at a speed of just 343m/sec which is way slower compared to the speed of light. The best example to connect both of them relatively would be the ‘Thunders’. When thunder strikes, we see the thunder light first, and only after a mere gap we hear the sound of the thunder. That’s because light travels faster to our eyes than the sound to our ears. Hence, the reality is not absolute, it's only our perception. The world today is only about the war of perspectives; coz we always perceive ourselves to be the epicenter. No! we are not! So never believe/unbelieve what we don’t know and never be cocksure & arrogant of what we know, coz there is always more than what meets the EYE and what meets the EAR... Time to reconsider our thoughts... Coz the world we live in is full of such amazing illusions.


---Sai Nikhil Etikyala (Exploracer)

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