I am a carbon-based life form, apparently – and if you’re reading this, the chances are that you are one as well.
I’m allowing my inner geek out to play today, as you may have surmised.
So in one of those joyful and wide-ranging musings I can indulge in before the usual workload restricts me to short bursts of random wonder, I have started to ponder the relationship between two apparently disparate entities – myself and a resistor.
I came to resistors late in life. I still feel mildly irked that such wondrous little objects had remained hidden from me for so many decades, although I suspect the fault is at least partly my own.
You see when I was a mere 14 years of age, my teachers gave me the option of dropping certain educational subjects and focusing on those that bemused me the least.
Anything of a scientific or technical nature was instantly jettisoned. Yes, OK, they did insist I paid lip-service to some sort of science, so I chose human biology. It seemed slightly less perilous than the rest, in that I had a nodding acquaintance with at least some of the contents of my body, but none at all with the contents of chemistry or physics textbooks. However in that ill-advised moment, I shut the door to the world of electronics, and only in the last year or so have I thus discovered the little wonders that are resistors.
As the illustration shows, they are tiny, pretty coloured beads on pieces of wire – looking like small exotic beetles. Their coloured bands vary according to the amount of carbon they contain.
So already, you see, there is a connection between me and the resistors – we are both carbon-based.
Now as I understand it (and please, if – as is highly likely – your knowledge of electronics is wider than mine, feel free to correct me, so long as you use short words and no symbols or abbreviations involving a small z) the carbon inside the resistor steps down the amount of electrical current passing through.
In this way, it magically allow the flimsiest and most delicate electronic circuits to safely incorporate whatever current is deemed necessary to make them work. Without the resistors – the patient Californian who once helped me build a modest robot explained – the circuits would fry.
My musings now drift to my own carbon-based structure.
Invisible, yet strong currents of energy course through me as surely as they do in the valve pictured here. Under certain circumstances this energy can be photographed or measured. If it will help, I’ll show you a picture of my own energy field: