“Albert Einstein changes the world - How Achilles could become an immortal hero”
The Core Curriculum made me think deeply about the relationship between literature and science.
In Literature Humanities, we read about Achilleus, who chose glory over living a peaceful life. It is unpredictable how deep Thetis’ grief was when Achilleus died in the Trojan war, and I tried to examine how he could have survived the eternal time.
In Frontiers of Science, we learned how Albert Einstein demonstrated that our perspective of time changes based on the curvature of spacetime. If I could demonstrate that Achilleus’ time gets longer from our perspective, he could become immortal.
Theory of general relativity shows that our time gets longer if we become closer to a massive object. Neutron star is the densest object in the universe, because it is a ball of neutrons. It forms after the supernova explosion of stars, and the strong gravitational force in the star forces the electrons and protons to merge and form neutrons. However, the gravitational time dilation in neutron star wasn’t enough to make Achilleus immortal.
As a next step, I calculated the distance from the black hole that Achilleus had to be in order to be immortal. In this calculation, I considered the effects from both Special and General relativity, since Achilleus’ time dilation must be a large number. As a result of the calculation, I was able to show that if Achilleus lived at 14.76km from the center of the black hole, he could become immortal from our perspective.
Throughout this core reflection, I am convinced that space exploration will be the key for Achilleus to become a hero of the new era, because his discoveries can bring bright futures for all human beings, and at the same time save her mother from great grief.
About the Scholar: Daiki Tagami
Daiki Tagami (CC’22) majors in statistics and biology. He entered Columbia University as an I.I. Rabi Scholar, and he is doing an independent research in neural stem cells at the Zuckerman Institute. He is also working on a collaborative research with the Center for Theoretical Neuroscience to develop a machine learning based system to analyze the 3D images of neurons.