Socks and The Expansion of the Universe

There's no mystery about what's powering the expansion of the
universe: it's the mutual repulsion of paired socks. Everyone knows
*that*. It's a universal phenomenon of course, but is best seen
with the particle accelerator that one finds in every home, namely a
washing machine. You put a pair of socks in it and after the particles
have accelerated and decelerated one sock is found to have been ejected.
Maybe it's a version of the twin paradox.

Incidentally the * uniform nature of the expansion* of
the universe (the rate of expansion seems to be the same everywhere,
down to the limits of measurement) strongly suggests that socks are
uniformly distributed. Since socks are artefacts created exclusively
by intelligent life, it follows that intelligent life is quite
widespread in the universe---and fairly uniformly distributed. There
is a simple inverse relation between Hubble's constant and your
expected distance to the closest inhabited planet. The calculation is
quite hard, since it relies on various quantities that are poorly
constrained (it is not known, for example, whether or not the force
experienced by the socks decays over large distances with the same
inverse square law that it obeys over short distances) but the
closest-distance parameter seems to be of the order of hundreds of
parsecs.

Currently, at least! It is interesting, in this context, to note that
subtle measurements suggest that Hubble's constant is increasing over
time. Since this means that the number of socks is increasing over
time, it suggests that new advanced civilisations are appearing faster
than old ones die or blow themselves up. This is an encouraging reflection!

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