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The Tale of a Photon
Sep 1, 2009

I do not know where I should start to explain my life story. Perhaps the best way is to start from the time I was brought to this life. I am a particle of light, a photon. The place I was created was extremely hot-approximately 15 million degrees C by your measure. My present place is the center of the sun. I was created from the energy stored in hydrogen nuclei during the creation of the universe.

We photons are the envoys of the sun. Our duty is to carry the energy that was stored in the sun during the creation of the universe to the earth. In the sun’s center, during the nuclear reaction called fusion, four hydrogen nuclei form one helium nucleus. The mass of four hydrogen nuclei is 4 x 1,6726 x 10 -24 grams (i.e. 6,6904 x 10 -24 grams); the mass of one helium nucleus is 6,6447 x 10 -24 grams. It is clear that the mass of one helium nucleus is a little smaller than the mass of four hydrogen nuclei. If we calculate the difference: 6,6904 x 10 -24 g – 6,6447 x 10 -24 g = 0,0457 x 10 -24 g. This small mass difference is transformed into great energy by order of the Creator, and in this way we and our relatives, neutrinos, are created.

Our Lord has created us as the fastest particles in the universe. We cover 300,000 kilometers in a second. Although we move so fast, the sun’s center is very dense. The density is about 150 times greater than the density of water (1 g/cm3). Thus, as soon as we move, we crash into the hydrogen and helium nucleuses around us. They swallow us, but then they immediately set us free; then yet another strike waits for us immediately. In every collision, our energy is reduced a little, and we divide into several light particles with lower energy levels. Most of our lives-perhaps 100 thousand years-is spent in these collisions.

If we left the center of the sun without any collisions, the earth would be blasted to pieces in a moment when we hit it. As a result of the collisions, we, who have a high energy level in the beginning, are converted into low energy level light particles.

So many of us are created in the sun that at every second a four-million-ton mass is converted into energy. In the sun, which is 5 billion years old, approximately a hundred times the mass of the earth has been converted into energy up to today.

While we are created in the center of the sun, we reach the outer layer of the sun, the photosphere, by passing slowly through the layers from the center to the surface of the sun. On leaving the surface, our energy decreases, our number increases, and our temperature goes down to 5,800 degrees C. You may consider this temperature very high, but you should not forget that our temperature in the beginning was 15 million degrees C.

We pass the 700,000 kilometers from the center of the sun to the photosphere layer in 100,000 years. The photosphere’s density is so low that it is only one percent of the atmosphere’s density at sea level. We leave this layer fast without any collisions. To reach the earth, there is 150 million kilometers of space ahead of us. Here we show our speed, which we did not have a chance to display earlier because of the collisions we have inside the sun. We travel the 150-million-kilometer distance in 8.5 minutes and reach the earth. There are some of us with extremely high energy levels who can cause damage on earth. The ozone layer is responsible for picking them off. The non-dangerous ones among us reach the face of the earth by traveling through the 100-kilometer-deep atmosphere in 1/10000 of a second. Finally, it is time to deliver the energy we have carried to you.

Every photon has a duty. Some of us heat the earth; some of us vaporize the water in the seas to bring the merciful rains. We have many other duties as well as these. Perhaps our most important duty is to be swallowed by the chlorophyll in plant leaves, so as to provide the energy in the food you eat and in the oxygen you breathe.

Possibly the energy that you have used while reading this essay was obtained from a bean you ate in your lunch. Do not forget that we brought from the sun’s center both the energy in the bean you ate and the energy in any plant that was food for any animal whose meat you have eaten.

We also carried the energy that was in the gas of the truck that brought these pages to you. If our brothers that came to the earth a million years ago had not brought energy to the plants at that time, could those plants have been transformed into oil or coal by decaying underground?

Our Lord gave us light particles a mission to carry the energy that is stored in substances so that the energy will be a source of life for you. We fulfill our duties without any error so that you might think and learn a lesson from these facts.

In your next meal, consider looking at the blessings on your plate from the following perspective: “I am about to eat energy that was heated approximately 100,000 years ago at 15 million degrees C in an oven in the sun’s center and later cooled and made appropriate for the bodies of human beings.”