What’s in a name?

thermodynamics

I haven’t written very much in a long time and that is the main purpose of starting a blog. My current main outlet of creativity has been limited to work, volunteering, and Facebook. I’m sure you can understand why I might need more.

But before I can really get started, there are certain steps that must be followed. One of the first is coming up with a name. As Joey says in Hackers, “I need a handle, man. I don’t have an identity until I have a handle.”

But choosing an identity is no simple task.

Do I reuse an old handle such as one from my few years in radio?

Do I steal from my creative writing – a character’s name or a title?

In the end, my inspiration came from a news story – I think first heard on the radio then followed online – about scientists finding a way to bring a substance to absolute zero. That’s zero on the Kelvin scale, previously believed to be impossible to achieve because at that temperature, all thermal energy (including the vibrations of atomic particles themselves) was theorized to cease.

Yet these scientists found a way to think beyond the linear, literally.

They took the linear idea of temperature (cold rising to hot) and said, “What if it’s not a line but a cycle?” In this idea, below zero is the same as going above infinity. It’s a negative state where things don’t work the same as they do here. Some work in opposite ways, but I don’t believe it’s a direct mathematical interpretation, rather anecdotal.

From that, I began to think about myself. About my life. About my goals for this blog venture.

I began to think about cycles – something that comes up a lot in thought working where I do and volunteering at a natural history museum – and about how from zero to infinity, things go the way you expect them (even if you don’t like the outcome) but below zero and above infinity is where something different lies.

That’s where I hope to go.

“Absolute Zero? Scientists Push Atoms Colder, To Record-Setting ‘Negative Temperature’ Realm” article and video on Huff Post Science

“Quantum gas goes below absolute zero” on Nature

Copyright 2013 by T. E. Wilson

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