The Dying Sun by Sir James Jeans

The Dying Sun by Sir James Jeans




Sir James Hopwood Jeans (18774-1946) was a British astronomer. physicist and I mathematician. He applied his mathematical knowledge to astronomy and physioc. lnhis ‘ way he succeeded in solving numerous problems. i-le, along with Einstein and someone i scientists of his age, also proved helpful in the development and expansion of the famous meow of relativity. His main contribution, however, is in the held of cosmology. Sir James Jeans wrote for common men and the men of science separate books and discussed logically the nature of the universe, its distant past and 1:5 am, in as famous book 'The Mysterious Universe“ he has dedared: ”The universe begm to leak more iike a great thought than like a great machine. Th's statement makes its stating-point of his research, as wel as its end point.
As man's exploration of himself and his surroundings is expanding, it is. in fact. bridging the gap between science and religion. Oce they were regarded two contradictory fields but now people are convinced that they actually supplement each other. Sir James Jeans‘ views in "The Dying Sun" --a chapter from his famous book "The Mysterious Universe“ -are a sort of compromise between science and religion. His findings clearly support the claims made by almost all the revealed religions.
Sir James Jeans is of the view that our planetary system, of which the earth is only a part. came into being at a later stage of the development of the cosmos. He‘holds the' Opinion that a wandering star passed by~ the sun and its attraction caused the sun to throw off its pieces into Space. Some of them started revolving around the sun ever since and they are the planets of our solar system. The earth is one of them. Sir James Jeans calls this whole process an accident.
With the passage of time the earth began to cool down and gave birth to life. This atso happened accidentally. The chance is that only the earth sustains life because it is at he rig! distance from the sun and the sun is its only source of light and heat. Sir James Jeans believes in the evolutionary process of life and says that man enjoys the supreme position in the chain of life. Life that we see on earth cannot exist anywhere else.
Therefore, the probabiiity is that the rest of the universe is devoid of life.
The universe is so vast that we cannot imagine its boundaries. it is made up or innumerable stars of huge size. These stars are the burning bodies of tire. Aroum them the temperature is so high that we cannot think of it. These numerous stars are scattered in space in such a way that nowhere any two stars come dose at a hailing distance. This universe is millions and millions of years old As I compared to such an enormous universe. the earth is of quite insignificant size and age. it looks like a millionth part of the grain of sand. Another thing that makes the earth insignificant is that it is a planet, not a star. it does not have its own heat and light. it depends on its nearest star, the sun.
How did life come into existence on earth?
There are two speculations about the creation of life on earth. The hrst of these is that the earth was very hot in the beginning, as was the sun itself. Gradually it cooled down. In the process of cooling down. it gave birth to life by chance. No one can say how, when or why it happened. it started in the form of simple organisms who could reproduce themselves. From these simple beginnings came a stream of life which grew more and more complex Ultimately. came the final product of this chain of life the human beings.
The other speculation is that life came into being as a result of another accident. Atoms found in living organisms (carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen. etc.) got unified by chance and gave birth to life.
Anyhow. no one can give a clear idea how life on earth came into existence.
Why ls life like ours possible only on the earth?
Life can exist only in a moderate temperature, i.e., a temperature neither too high, nor too low. This temperate zone is available only in a narrow belt surrounding the burning stars. Closer to the stars, life would be burnt. Away from them, it would be frozen. Fortunately, the earth is placed in this temperate zone. it is a planet and as such does not have any heat of its own. it is at a safe distance from the burning sun. Moreover, its revolutions around the sun as well as its own axis are very important. They keep its atmosphere moderate. These are the conditions necessary for the existence of life. Such conditions are not available anywhere else. Therefore, there is no chance of the availability of life anywhere else.
Why Is the carbon atom Important for life? OR Can life be artiticially synthesized?
The material constituents (120 of a living body are mainly ordinary chemical atoms like carbon, hydrogen. oxygen and nitrogen. Every kind of atom necessary for life Was available on the new born earth. With the passage of time. these atoms perhaps happened to arrange themselves in the way as we find them in living cells. Life is actually a combination of these atoms put together in the form of diherent . molecules plus “life force". This is why scientists hope that they would be able to synthesizelt life artificially.
Among these atoms in the living cells, carbon is the most important. it has six electrons. Two of them are placed in the first shell and four in the outer shell. As such, it can absorb four electrons from other different atom. If needed, it can also give its outer four electrons to other different atoms. So it has the natural tendency of combining with numerous other atoms. In this way, far bigger molecules can be formed. The addition of carbon with hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen gives a variety of combinations:
What is the future of life on earth?
The essay "The Dying Sun” actually describes Sir James Jeans‘ views about the dying sun. He is of the opinion that the sun is losing heat with the passage of time. A time will come when its radiation will not meet the requirement of the life on earth. Under these conditions, survival will be possible if the earth moves closer to the dying Sun. But the careful . study of. the rotation of the earth tells us that it is drifting still further away. This suggests that the low temperature on earth will bring an end to the stream of life. This will be the inglorious end to all life.
Sir James Jeans' views are based on speculations. What he calls "accidents" are intact. divine interventions (aim) according to religions. Almost all the religions Predict that life on earth will be terminated at last. Now scientibts have also started realizing this.

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