K is for kiss, no doubt about it.
As I was watching a japanese animated show called ‘Steins;Gate’ (this is the title, I am not kidding you), I saw scene that had me a bit giddy and melancholic. I saw a kissing scene, which involved the male and female protagonist of the story. The kiss had a specific purpose in mind, but it was obvious that it was also out of romantic affection.
As the characters kiss, the female protagonist kept an internal monologue of what she felt:
Time is passing so quickly. Right now, I feel like complaining to Einstein. Whether time is slow or fast depends on perception. Relativity theory is so romantic. And so sad.
This quote hit me. For the first time, Physics made me feel something about it; something peculiar, vague, lasting and vibrant. For the first time, I found Physics quite romantic. Also, time is said to stop when you kiss someone, as if all the unbreakable laws of nature bowed down to your favor, and just succumbed to your hopes and wishes. Some would attest to this and remarkably, as would I.
Some may find it odd. Some would say that I lost my head. But no, dear reader, It actually does make sense. That beyond the thick, mushy, and cheezy connotations we have with kissing, there is a harmonious sense that backs it up. To that feeling you have during a kiss with the one you love, that fleeting moment in time in which you might think the stars have stopped in their tracks.
Going back to the quote, the female protagonist in the story had all the right to blame Einstein for her fleeting moment into the edge of happiness; as the moment itself felt like lightyears into time. According to Einstein, in his Theory of Relativity, time is not always constant and that it is relative to its observer. For example, one’s measurement of a minute on earth will be different to a person travelling in space, by certain margin. In addition, Einstein also claimed that that as a certain moving body approaches the speed of light, the fastest possible speed in nature so far, time gives away and slows down. (This is best explained by Dr. Michio Kaku and best narrated by Morgan Freeman, in the show ‘Through the Wormhole’) Of course, I will not go over the math, and this is not a lecture. But his ideas gave birth a to a revolution in science and how we think about the world.
But what has kissing got to do with it, you may ask. Simple. The key is PERCEPTION. In a rough similarity to Einstein’s theory, when we kiss, our perception of time slows down. Even with heartbeats accelerating, our sense of time gives way, as our minds accelerate even faster. Senses are dulled, a second turns to an eon and a minute almost to an eternity. Quite poetic, and somewhat cute, is it not?
So yes, I can say that physics is romantic. Some would say otherwise, but I feel that it is. That beyond the nerdy, brain-melting, nosebleed-inducing concept was something quite unexpected, but beautiful in its own right. 🙂