Believe in tomorrow

| July 15, 2021

In ancient Greece of 400 B.C. there was a brilliant philosopher named Democritus, who proposed the Greek word atomos, which means uncuttable. And so as he explained, all matter was eventually reducible to discrete, small particles or atomos.

Ernest Rutherford was the first person to knowingly split the nucleus, in 1918 at Manchester University where he bombarded nitrogen with naturally occurring alpha particles from radioactive material and observed a proton emitted with energy higher than the alpha particle. Now, as we are aware, the atom is composed of many other smaller particles, waves and radiation of various types.

The Gossamer Albatross is a human-powered aircraft built by American aeronautical engineer Dr. Paul B. MacCready’s company AeroVironment. On June 12, 1979, it completed a successful crossing of the English Channel to win the second Kremer prize worth £100,000 (equivalent to £510,000 in 2019). Until that time it was thought that such a feat would be impossible for a human because of the required muscles not being available.

The 1953 British Mount Everest expedition was the ninth mountaineering expedition to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest, and the first confirmed to have succeeded when Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary reached the summit on 29 May 1953. Led by Colonel John Hunt, it was organised and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee.

News of the expedition’s success reached London in time to be released on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, on the 2nd of June that year. This year, for instance, the impossibility of climbing Mt Everest was achieved twice by a woman before the end of March. In fact there is often a line of climbers waiting near the summit for space in which to take the selfie.

In 2019 Ford partnered with Agility Robotics to create Digit, a two-legged robot that could deliver your packages straight to your door in the future. Ford claims this robot can carry packages up to 40 pounds, navigate stairs, and go around unexpected obstacles. Until that time, such a feat was considered impossible for a robot.

As humanity advances and science becomes more accurate in understanding the structure of the universe we are finding that things which appeared impossible in the past are now seen as normal. Once a task has been achieved, it seems that people find it much easier to repeat it.

Philosophers in the past have stated that humans can achieve anything provided one has the belief in oneself. Tibetan monks have accomplished amazing practices, withstanding cold, lack of food or oxygen. Some say they can levitate simply by entering a state of meditation where belief in themselves becomes paramount.

It would be nice to have that much belief in oneself, but this requires years of training which the majority of us would not be prepared to undertake. However, more people are proving to be willing to accept challenges which would have seemed foolhardy in previous years. Maybe, with the many challenges with which we are faced, humanity can take a great leap forward to triumph over them and our self doubts.

 

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