Read Andrea Rassell's introduction to Stellar Atmospheres.
From the first moment I listened to stories about the night sky, I fell in love with astronomy and physics. Not just the stars or galaxies but also the why and how of it all.
What happened before the Big Bang? What are we made of? How will the universe end? I am not a scientist, just eternally curious and have made scientific research the basis for a great deal of my poetry. The cosmos is endlessly fascinating. And writeable.
I have been fortunate enough to work alongside inspiring scientists and have read and listened to many more. Scientists regularly and successfully use vivid storytelling and poetics, using metaphor to weave into their factual narrative. It can be an indispensable tool, helping us understand something like Newton’s second law of thermodynamics or dark matter.
Sometimes, adding abstraction (poetry) on top of abstraction (difficult to understand scientific concepts) can feel like you’re going on a side quest. In those splinters of time, I hope you stay with me.
Physicist Niels Bohr said, ‘What is it that we humans depend on? We depend on our words. We are suspended in language. Our task is to communicate experience and ideas to others.’
With this, I am humbly grateful and thankful to be suspended in language with you.