I was wondering why the upenn tag suddenly exploded.
But then I remembered that today is the day for regular decision.
Congrats to my fellow UPenn class of 2016’ers! I’ll be seeing some of you next year! :D
- everyone: yolo
- rory williams:
…subtitled, “Wait, time slows down? How does that work?”
Special relativity is one of those things that is super complicated and has lots of high-order mathematics, but can be distilled down to a fairly easy-to-understand explanation.
So first off, what, exactly IS it?
Put simply, special relativity states (among other things, but most fundamentally) that the speed of light is the same for all frames of reference. That might sound simple but it is profoundly revolutionary. No other speed is like that.
Think for a moment about ordinary speeds that you or I are familiar with in our daily lives. Say, the speed of a car. A car’s speed is NOT the same for all frames of reference. If you are standing still on the side of the road and see a car drive by going 50 miles per hour, that car’s speed appears to be 50 miles per hour. But if you are in another car traveling 45 mph and a car passes you at 50 mph, that car’s speed appears to be 5 mph, because you yourself are moving. If you are approaching each other, each of you going 50 mph, then the other car’s apparent speed from YOUR frame of reference is 100 mph. If you are inside the car, the car’s relative speed is zero, because you are moving with it.
These observers, the stationary one, the ones in motion, the one inside the car, occupy different frames of reference, and the car’s relative speed appears different to each one. What special relativity states is that this concept, which is so obvious and intuitive that no one ever thinks about it, does not apply to the speed of light. The speed of light is everywhere constant, no matter the observer’s frame of reference (this also answers that old “if you’re in a car traveling at the speed of light and turn the headlights on” question).
That’s special relativity. But it has a lot of interesting implications predicted by the mathematics, the most famous of which is time dilation, i.e. “time slows down as you approach the speed of light.” How’d they get to THAT?
Okay, I tried to find some good diagrams for this and couldn’t. Use your imagination and stick with me.
Imagine a train and two people. One of them, call him Reginald, is standing next to some train tracks, watching the train go by. On board the train is someone else, call him Fernando, with a flashlight. The train is traveling near the speed of light.
Now. Fernando, on board the train, points the flashlight at the ceiling and turns it on. The light travels up to the ceiling and back down to his eyes, straight up and down, traveling a distance 2x, where x is how far it is to the ceiling. The light takes some amount of time to travel 2x. To get velocity, we take distance divided by time. So the velocity of that light is 2x/time.
Now think about Reginald, watching from the side of the tracks. He sees Fernando turn on the flashlight and sees the beam travel up to the ceiling and back. Except from Reginald’s perspective, the train ALSO moves forward while this happens, so the light from the flashlight doesn’t travel straight up and down. It travels in a triangle, the height of which is x, and the base of which is how far the train traveled. So to Reginald, it looks like the light traveled a lot further than it appears to travel to Fernando.
Remember the speed of the light from Fernando’s perspective? It was 2x/time, right? Well, if Reginald sees the light travel farther in the same amount of time, then it must be going faster, right? If the time is constant but the distance is greater, the speed must be greater. Right?
The speed of light is constant for all frames of reference. That means that the light CANNOT be traveling slower, or faster, or any other speed except the speed of light. So if the light travels further, but its relative speed cannot change…time must be slowing down. But only for Fernando, because he is the one moving at near the speed of light. His time frame is moving more slowly than Reginald’s.
This is not theoretical. Time dilation has been measured experimentally with atomic clocks and supersonic aircraft flying at varying heights. It is a real thing that was predicted by Einstein with the revolutionary idea that the speed of light is independent of inertial frame of reference.
Science. It works, bitches.
I hope that made sense!
(ETA: Don’t ask me to get into the math or the theoretical details of this. Maybe I could have done that in college but definitely not now.)
And not just any angel. An Archangel. The Archangel Samael. Bear with me, will you?
Crowley (the Supernatural kind, so my apologies to Good Omens fans) has never been an ordinary demon on the show:
- We’ve never seen his eyes flash red
- Or seen him smoke out
- Furthermore his powers more resemble an angel’s
- You know, that weird thing where he can just appear places and disappear like angels do
But that shit is small fish when we get down to business. Let’s talk about the angel Samael,
who is accuser, seducer and destroyer
says Wikipedia. Who else do we know that seduces characters for his own gain? As King of the Crossroads, Crowley spends his days messing with people to get their souls - which destroys them.
However, Samael also
has been regarded as both good and evil
something that Crowley could be viewed as. Yes, we know he’s a demon and therefore evil, but we wouldn’t have stopped the Apocalypse without him, right?
Speaking of the Apocalypse, you guys remember Lilith? She led an interesting life, like that time Lilith
Yep, that’s right. Samael has been described as Lilith’s “husband” and therefore “King of the Demons”. And who did Becky tell us was possibly Lilith’s lover? Ding ding ding, the answer is Crowley.
And what’s more interesting, though this is a stretch, Moses once saw Samael right, ok? And got freaked out, cause let’s face it, dude’s intense. When another angel saw this he explained that Samael is the one,
who takes the soul away from man
who else takes souls away from men? This is straight outta the Talmud baby.
Of course, in this case Samael was actually the Angel of Death - an important role he plays in Jewish lore. It’s not quite the same as Crowley bartering for souls, BUT STILL.
Or is it? Remember that time Dean and Crowley were going to find Death?
Crowley knew where Death was, more or less, but first suggested they get some pizza.
Why. The. Fridge. Did. He. Do. That.
It was innocuous, it was a throw away line right? But then, Dean and Death did get pizza.
How did Crowley know about the pizza? Why would he suggest that? How the double stuffed oreo did he have Death’s scythe in the first place?
Either Crowley was just ridiculously good at his job of King of the Crossroads (which is likely), or the writers are using that as a red herring.
Crowley knew where Death would most likely be because he used to be the Angel of Death, Samael.