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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Contemplating the relationship of mass and time

The other day I was at the mall of the University of Maryland between classes. It was a little chilly but warm enough to sit comfortably in the sun, and I did so on a bench while I did some reading for my class in History of Science and Technology.

As time for class approached I moved about 50 yards across the mall nearer to the lecture hall where my class would begin in a few minutes. There I stopped momentarily and looked over at the empty bench where I had previously sat. Based on the pictures of myself a few days ago I have a pretty good idea of what I look like, so it was easy for me to visualize myself sitting there on the now empty bench.

I don't remember ever have done something like this before, and I think it had something to do with reading about physics and relativity for the class. A recent news story may also provide some insight:

"A NASA probe orbiting Earth has confirmed two key predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which describes how gravity causes masses to warp space-time around them. The Gravity Probe B (GP-B) mission was launched in 2004 to study two aspects of Einstein's theory about gravity: the geodetic effect, or the warping of space and time around a gravitational body..."

I actually don't know shit about this stuff.

Anyway, today I took this picture of the general area from a favorite vantage point on campus. The position is on the hill northwest of the McKeldin Library, overlooking the mall with the steeple of the Chapel visible in the center background.

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