Notes for Winter Days

"A Selection of Notes from the Universe".  Lino cut with hand painting on card.  7 x 20 cm  

"A Selection of Notes from the Universe".

Lino cut with hand painting on card.

7 x 20 cm  

I celebrate the beginning and end of every year by making a bookmark. Here is my design for this year, titled "A Selection of Notes from the Universe".

When the days are at their shortest and darkest and colour is hard to find, it is cheering to think of the other colours in our world. The Universe is populated by a myriad of oscillators, each beating out a particular resonant rhythm. My lino cut ladder is decorated with a selection of these notes.  Traveling upwards, each rung represents a frequency beating one hundred times faster than the previous one. At the very bottom are the great waves of matter and light at the beginning of time, beyond are our earth cycles, the beating heart of a whale, a hummingbird, all sound and all light.  The full list is below.

Happy New Year.

From the top:

1. A gamma photon. The high energy vibrations of light made when two protons collide in the Sun.

2. The seven colours of our rainbow. Electromagnetic vibrations of visible light.

3. An FM radio station. Electromagnetic vibrations of invisible light.

4. The hydrogen 21cm line. An electromagnetic radio wave produced in hydrogen when the electron flips its spin, space is full of hydrogen and this radio wave.

5. A particular vibration of a quartz crystal; the timekeeper of so much of our world.

6. G8 sharp; the pressure waves in air of a musical note.

7. The flickering beat of a hummingbird's heart.

8. The momentous heartbeat of a blue whale. Beating every 6 seconds and heard 2 miles away.

9. The gigantic resonant waves of matter inside our Sun.

10. The Earth's twice daily tides.

11. Our planetary years.

12. The great oscillations of matter and light that cycled every one million years at the beginning of the Universe.