Thursday, July 09, 2015

[ixjzxtbx] Destroyer of worlds

Oppenheimer's quote from the Trinity atom bomb test is an agglomeration of two somewhat separated sections of the Bhagavad Gita, though both are about the same (very important) character, the deity Krishna.

The first part, about the radiance of a thousand suns, is from chapter 11, verse 12.

The second part, about the destroyer of worlds, is from chapter 11, verse 32.  However, the quote is ironically somewhat of a misquote.  The atomic bomb has very high power: a lot of energy is released in a very short time.  The Bhagavad Gita quote is about the inexorability of time (not strictly death) and its ability to literally shatter worlds if you wait long enough (though the Bhagavad Gita was probably not anticipating proton decay).  This requires energy far greater than all the atomic bombs the world has ever produced.  However, the power output of "Time" is extremely low, exactly the opposite of an atomic bomb.

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