Quarks, Quotients, Quasars and Quetzals
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"A 1974 discovery photograph of a possible charmed baryon".
A baryon is a clump of quarks. On setting out to investigate the quantum world, the Quark is where I was given to start. Quarks are the building blocks of matter, with totally amazing properties. They have personalities which scientists call "flavors".
Quarks come in three pairs of 'flavors' - up and down quarks, strange and charmed quarks, and top and bottom quarks. But there is a story here. Once upon a time, when scientists were discovering quarks, they named them in accordance with their behaviours, not being very familiar with subatomic particles that could do amazing things.
Up and down quarks were first to arrive. 'Strange and charm', next in line, hinted at something more complicated. The last to be found were called Beauty and Truth. But it turned out that the Truth quark didn't live for very long (at least not in this dimension) - it exploded itself into other particles almost as soon as it appeared. Feeling a bit leery about being fluffy-bunny, they abandoned Beauty and Truth and opted for Top and Bottom instead. Strangely, though, and somewhat charmingly, it's hard to forget the original names for the third pair. Scientists get round this latent attachment by referring to them as 'T'and 'B' quarks for short.
The text above was written around about 2005. Now 2020, it seems the Beauty quark has regained some status.
Truth, though - well, that's perhaps a little harder to swallow.
See their latest feature on the NASA site (behind the pic).
Great-grand-daddy of black holes, is the ancient Quasar.
Quasars burn bright and distant at the very edge of the known universe.
Their disks span hundreds of thousands of light years across.
The Quasar is as vast and unfathomable as the quark is small and unfathomable.
Quasars were once proposed to be 40 billion light years away because that's how long the light takes to reach us.
But the Universe is only 13.7 billion years old... So on search engines nowadays, you'll find more conservative estimates.
Quirks in Quotients - The Golden Ratio 1.618
A zippy website with loads of fascinating bits is www.goldennumber.net where you can find the Golden Number, Pi, the Fibonacci sequence, and other associated universal quirks hinting at a conscious creative process.
There's an article which begins thus: "A major proof that the Universe is a huge computer program created by an intelligent agent...." and actually goes on to explore some interesting stuff without getting boring. Here it is: www.rae.org/goldennumber.html
The rose (alongside most other flora) subscribes to the Golden Ratio in formation of its growth. The Golden Number occurs throughout nature, on the planet and beyond it, therefore this number is important to the universal intellect and it pays, surely, to know something about its applications. You don't need to be a mathematician. I got 16% in my maths GCE mock exam (that was in the old days of O-levels, I have to stress) and they told me not to bother with the real thing, so I didn't.
And Jonas Quinn........
A short time later he was joined by Lord Apophis (Peter Williams) and Master Bra'Tac (Tony Amendola).
The link they forged with Quantumology is a dream come true for me. When the SG1 series was first published in weekly issues, we bought the entire set, and have watched them all through three times so far. Most cutting-edge quantum principles have appeared somewhere in the scripts (and it's fair to say that most of the male viewers are in love with Samantha Carter, who tends to deliver them). Can you imagine what it felt like to find these guys following me?
Quetzal is a name derived from the Aztec meaning "beautiful". These birds were sacred to the Mayans,
The feather structure producing their stunning iridescence is based on cone shapes adhering to the golden number, 1.618.
The Quetzal cannot survive in captivity.
Creator of life, guardian of beauty, the god Quetzalcoatl has an interesting biography, and you can catch up with him at lots of sites.
www.azteccalendar.com/god/Quetzalcoatl.html refers to him thus:
"As the Lord of the East he is associated with the morning star".