Cause and EffectPosted: May 28, 2011
Over coffee last month, i was discussing some of the philosophical aspects which emerge from science the way scientific knowledge stands. As you can understand, the topics were revolving around Quantum Physics, and Relativity (not that i understand either, but my friend Sanjay Sethi does, quite a bit). And as you can imagine too, this was a discussion which was very interesting. At least those parts i wasnt talking. Without getting into the discussion we had (for the simple reason that i cant remember one half, and couldnt understand the other half, and there are no more halves to tell), Sanjay recommended reading a book on Relativity by Albert Einstein. I have been looking for the book, but it doesnt seem to be available. Few days back, i had a boys evening out at Landmark. Sonny got a nice Toy Story 2, and a wonderful book about Eagles (birds, not band), and i reluctantly asked if they had this book in stock. They did. But it didnt end there. After that, the guys at the shop had quite a time trying to find where it was.
So why am i writing about this? Simple. This brought to mind a thought i had for some time. What is the relation between a cause and its effect? Is it not that the relation between the cause and its effect is built through the passage of time? I someone doesnt shave, then he has a beard. But this needs to be given time. Now the question is, as Relativity points out, time is not constant, which means that due to time dilation, the passage of time slows at speeds close to the speed of light. Now, does this mean that at the speed of light, the relation between cause and effect doesnt exist? If someone travelling at the speed of light doesnt shave, will they still have a beard? Or can we look beyond the material manifestation of this relationship to another relationship between cause and effect which is unvarying, constant, Ultimate?