Saturday, December 25, 2004

Silent light, holy light

I thought I would share my artist sister's Christmas e-card. Her sources of inspiration are rather more eclectic than mine, ranging from eastern religion to Buckminster Fuller. She is an avid reader of Scientific American, and science often figures in her work.

Here she takes off from the information that "Five million high energy solar neutrinos pass through every square centimeter of your body every second." The neutrinos have their origin at the center of the Sun, where hydrogen nuclei fuse to form helium, turning part of their mass into pure energy. Neutrinos are a byproduct of the reaction. They pour out of the Sun in every direction (they hardly interact at all with matter), race across space and pass through the Earth "like dustmaids down a drafty hall." During the day they pour down through your scalp. At night, they pierce you from underneath the bed.