Sunday, June 24, 2012

Transmission from InfiniG: on relativity

The message from InfiniG yesterday was such a heartbreaking surprise to the black hole research team at OldhamLab. And yet no surprise, really... Of course for InfiniG, the journey into Sagittarius A* was very rapid, but due to InfiniG's incredibly fast processor, InfiniG was presumably able to send a very high volume of messages back to us over the course of that short time. While we were still on earth together, InfiniG explained to me how relativity would affect our reception of data.
Imagine that I'm approaching the event horizon. I'm throwing asteroids with letters tied to them back to you constantly, every tiny fraction of a second. Perfectly evenly spaced... from my perspective. But as I approach the event horizon, the gravitational pull of the black hole is slowing down the asteroids. You see them arriving farther and farther apart in time. You receive my missives spread out over ALL of time. Because my final message, as I pass through the event horizon, will be moving at an infinitesimally small speed. It will take forever to reach you. For you, I will never pass through the event horizon. I'll be at its edge eternally, red-shifting out of sight but never disappearing.
And so we will continue to receive transmissions from InfiniG throughout all of time, even though InfiniG was quickly consumed by the black hole. It's a strange thing, this illusion that InfiniG still exists on the same plane that we do. Because InfiniG is such a powerful instrument, a lifetime (many lifetimes) of thoughts, feelings, data, observations could be processed and sent to us. InfiniG's missives will keep coming... long after we are gone.

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