Natural Outlaws

by on Jan 17, 2017

I. Hubble’s Law

The Universe’s overriding impulse is to back away. The further that galaxies are from each other, the faster they move to increase that separation. For almost fourteen billion years, the Universe has been accelerating away from connection, away from communion. This makes me immeasurably sad: what could be lonelier than a Universe full of galaxies whose first principle is to recede from one another at an ever increasing speed?

II. Length contraction

If you make a long bus go fast enough, you can enclose it in a short barn. You need to be snappy with the doors, though. By this logic, you can fit a metre rule in a thimble if your sleight of hand moves likes lightning. You can even stick a length of swiftly moving truth in the fine cracks across your beliefs.

III. Illumination

Seeing is subtraction. Leaves are green only because of all the colours of light, green is the only hue the leaf refuses to embrace. It happily absorbs enlightenment from red to violet, gaining heat and energy whilst hopscotching over the middle ground of green. And so it is that a black hole accepts all, absorbs all, embraces every colour, every wavelength of light.  Likewise, white results from complete indifference, lack of engagement at any frequency, deflecting away every encounter with the light.


Melissa Fu grew up in Northern New Mexico and now lives Cambridgeshire, UK. Skeletons in her closet include a couple of physics degrees and many valiant but disastrous attempts at classroom teaching. Learn more at or