- a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system’s thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.
- lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into disorder.
Since the universe began an estimated 14 billion years ago, it has been turning, and twisting its way from its ‘perfect’ low entropy origin and evolving ever onward towards greater and greater disorder. One force became the 4 (known) forces of nature: Gravity, Electromagnetism, The Strong and The Weak nuclear forces.
We thrive in this environment – Engines of entropy processing the order around us into ever greater and greater disorder, paradoxically using the laws of thermodynamics to avoid our own inevitable fall into thermal equilibrium.
As we were born, grow, age and then die, so does the universe. Its own fate determined by the same laws of physics as we. This should not surprise us, for we are the universe, and the universe is us.
Though while we go about generations and generations in the blink of a universal eye, the universe itself passes much more slowly. So slowly that for most of human history it was believed to be immortal and unchanging. Einstein himself believed it to be so, and took pains to modify his equations to make it so (one of a few cases where he was wrong).
We are precious sand compared to the universe. Tiny and insignificant yet rare and amazing in that we could know some of its secrets. While our knowledge is not nearly complete, we can use what we have to look ahead beyond our years, into ages long passed the time of man and the time of stars. Into the future of black holes, proton decay and, ultimately, nothingness, where even time may cease to have a meaning.
This album is my document of this. It was inspired by this constant turning, this winding down of the universe into greater and greater entropy. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Inspiration and further reading:
The Five Ages of the Universe
by Fred C. Adams and Greg Laughlin
From Eternity to Here
by Sean M. Carroll
Cycles of Time
by Roger Penrose
All Songs Written and Performed by NoiseTheorem
Album Design: ShootWithHeart (@ShootWithHeart)
Image Source: NASA / GSFC