Tales of The Universe

My Top Medium Articles 2019–2020

This is a collection of 12 of my most popular Medium stories and a little reflection on what made them popular.

1. We All Travel Through Spacetime at the Speed of Light

28K views, 9.7K reads, 277 fans, 130hr 20 min reading time (Dec 2019)

My most viewed and most-read article is about speed through the 4D Minkowski spacetime. Everything travels at the same speed if we include the 4 dimensions of spacetime, hence the three spatial dimensions and one temporal. The faster your travel through space, the slower through time. If you stand still in space, you travel at maximum speed through time.

2. How to Rewire Your Brain

13K views, 6.9K reads, 628 fans, 201hr 34min reading time (Dec 2019)

On second place for both views and reads, but with the number one most number of fans, most time spent reading, and my most earning article is this piece on neuroplasticity. Our brain can be rearranged in three ways: by generating more neurons, create new synapses to connect neurons, and strengthening or weaken existing connections. Read some tips on what this means for you, and how you can use this knowledge for self-improvement.

3. Time Might Be Nothing but an Illusion

12.5K views, 3.2K reads, 188 fans, 152hr 50 min reading time (Oct 2019)

Third place in views, and second place in reading time and earning, there is my piece about time. Inspired by the book “Your Brain is a Time Machine: The Neuroscience and Physics of Time” by Dean Buonomano, I describe the concept of time from three different perspectives: Physical, biological, and neurological.

4. Isaac Newton Discovered Gravity While in Quarantine

11.4K views, 2.5K reads, 43 fans, 5hr 18 min reading time (Mar 2020)

I wrote this piece at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown this year. I was reading about Isaac Newton and his discovery of the laws of gravity while he was in isolation because of the plague in 1665–1666, and it inspired me to consider a lockdown as an opportunity to do some inner reflections and deeper thinking and not always be “producing” on the outside. The piece had a lot of external clicks from google search and therefore, while it received a lot of clicks, it had a relatively low total reading time.

5. Tachyons: The Hypothetical Faster-Than-Light Particles in Physics

8.7K Views, 1.7K reads, 102 fans 113hr 59 min reading time (Nov 2019)

These hypothetical faster-than-light particles may sound more like science fiction than science, but this is based on theoretical physics. According to relativity theory, no particle can accelerate to faster than the speed of light, but there could be hypothetical particles that were born (in the Big Bang) with FTL-speed. Those would not be able to decelerate to below the speed of light — it’s a two-way speed limit. Those particles would have other weird properties like an imaginary mass, and only travel backward in time, hence they would be seen before they were created.

6. We Might Be Nothing but a Temporary Fluctuation

6K views, 2.4K reads, 149 fans, 104hr 07 min reading time (Sep 2019)

Yet another partially philosophical piece rooted in science. This article deals with the energy sum of our Universe, which might balance out to a total zero, summing the potential and kinetic energy of everything —The Universe might be a zero-sum game. We have temporary fluctuations in the empty space, where energy seems to come from nothing, all the time. Is the Universe nothing but an extreme fluctuation?

7. Feeling Blue the Day After Drinking?

5.3K views, 2.8K reads, 52 fans, 17hr 16 min reading time (Oct 2019)

Most of us know the feeling of blue the day after drinking. I got curious about what was going on in my brain on such occasions and this article is the result. Read if you are curious about neurotransmitters, how your brain chemistry is affected by alcohol, and what you can do to make it better. From the popularity, it seems like I was not the only one wondering about this effect and looking for some answers, but from the reading time, it seems like the alcohol might have affected the attention span as well.

8. 3 Cases of Faster Than Light Travel

4.8K views, 1.4K reads, 125 fans, 129hr 42min reading time (Sep 2019)

Yes, it’s possible to travel faster than light, and in those three cases, it’s neither hypothetical nor science fiction! Pay close attention … The point still stands that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in vacuum through space. What this article deals with is particles traveling FTL through a medium (not vacuum), the expansion of space itself, and “spooky action at a distance”.

9. The Science of Tenet Time-Reversal

3.2K views, 823 reads, 42 fans, 10hr 23 min reading time (Sep 2020)

Christopher Nolan‘s new movie, Tenet, came out in 2020. It deals with time travel backward in time, by reversing the arrow of time using the second law of thermodynamics and entropy reversal. With way more views than reads, it might be too sciency for a typical film lover, but if you are interested in the science of entropy, antiparticles, and a different theoretical cosmology model including an anti-universe, then read on here.

10. Best Was to Start Your Day

3.2K views, 1.3K, 12 fans, 2hr 21 mins reading time (Dec 2019)

A feel-good post about morning routines and creating good habits for a fresh daily start. A quick and maybe inspirational read, if you need to take a break from all-science. The low total reading time (and hence low earning) indicates that this is a quick read that is easy to skim, and also demonstrates why I get more satisfaction from writing about curious science that readers tend to dwell on longer.

11. Into a Black Hole

2.4K views, 1.3K, 75 fans, 39hr 58 mins reading time (Oct 2019)

Curious about how it would look and feel if you travel into a black hole? Does spaghettification hurt? What happens when you pass the event horizon? Read on here.

12. Virus Have No Color — Not Even Gray

2.2K views, 1.1K reads, 36 fans, 14hr 13min reading time (Mar 2020)

I cannot leave 2020 behind without a piece about viruses and why they are colorless. Those tiny things are smaller than the wavelength of what we see as visible light. Therefore, they are not able to absorb and reflect electromagnetic waves in the range that is visible to us. They would mainly be see-through even if we were able to zoom enough to “see them” through a microscope. Instead, viruses can be observed via an electron microscope.

Thank you for reading!

That’s it for now. The majority of these pieces (9 of 12) are from 2019, and this has most likely two reasons: For one they had more time to accumulate views, and second, I was more active on Medium in 2019 than I was in 2020.

Soon, 2020 will be over and I plan to continue with more writings on popular science with a twist in 2021.

If you are interested in joining me in my quest for more curiosity in the average adult life, then you are welcome to join my Facebook group, Science and Curiosity, or sign up for my newsletter to get updates on new articles or other news from me.

Thank you for reading, stay curious, and see you in 2021!

Computer scientist and almost-astrophysicist. Curious about life, the universe, and everything. Are you too? https://www.facebook.com/groups/scienceandcuriosity

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