And after the earth dies, some 5 billion years from now, after it’s burned to a crisp, or even swallowed by the Sun, there will be other worlds and stars and galaxies coming into being – and they will know nothing of a place once called Earth.
People didn’t treat me as someone with science ambitions… They treated me as someone they thought was going to mug them, or who was a shoplifter. I’d be in a department store and security would follow me. Taxis wouldn’t stop for me. And I was just glad I had something to think about other than how society was treating me…
Teachers would say ‘You should join this or that team’, not the physics club. My fuel tank had been stoked since I was nine, but it took some energy to overcome this resistance. I wondered if there was a lost generation of people who succumbed because their fuel tanks were a little smaller than mine.
The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful, it would not be worth knowing, and if nature were not worth knowing, life would not be worth living.
Jules Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) French mathematician.
When I look up at the night sky and I know that, yes - we are part of this universe, we are in this universe. But, perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact, I look up - many people feel small, because they are small and the universe is big - but, I feel big! Because my atoms came from those stars. There’s a level of connectivity. That’s really what you want in life, you want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant, you want to feel like a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That’s precisely what we are… just by being alive.