The sledge, or how to load one million tons of cargo into a small, wooden sledge.
Sledge or sled? Sledge in the British usage, sled the American. The sledge was first used in northern Europe about 500 years ago. The modern sledge was invented by Prof. Peregrine about 200 years ago, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hence they used the British term sledge and retained this name even after the move to America one hundred years later.
How does the sledge work?
The sledge is a wooden box built of larch wood, measuring, in feet, 32x8x8. But the outside is not important, it is the inside that counts. What is inside the box is a mini-universe with its own space and time. Access to this is through a hatch on the top of the sledge. The hatch has a gravitational field separating the two universes.
Inside the sledge are 48 floors each one mile long by a quarter of a mile wide, giving a floor area of 160 acres per floor. The total floor space on the sledge is therefore 7680 acres or 12 square miles. This area can comfortably accommodate one million tons of cargo giving a load of only six pounds of cargo per square foot of floor space. To this has to be added the racking of super-light alloy at four pounds per square foot, giving a total load of ten pounds per square foot.
How did a mini-universe end up inside a sledge?
Professor Peregrine worked out the theory of the universe in a sledge sometime in the 18th century. However the problem was actually finding a mini-universe he could use.
It was while reading a bedtime story to his children that he realized the answer could be found in folk tales. You all know tales such as Rip van Winkle who goes to sleep and wakes up 100 years later. He realized that what was being described was an encounter with a mini-universe with a different time to our own. Somehow the folk in these tales had stumbled into another universe, wandered around aimlessly for a few hours and emerged 100 years later. So, to find a mini-universe all he had to do was to track down the origin of one of these tales.
Years of research later he ended up in Scotland because several of the tales could all be traced back to an ancient Scottish legend about the village of Brigadoon.In Brigadoon the passing of a century seems no longer than one night. Peregrine's problem was, there was no such village on any map. He traced the original story back to a village in a remote highland glen. There he discovered another folk tale about a cave in the mountain above the village. The cave was cursed, anyone who entered it was never seen again. Needless to say he climbed the mountain and entered the cave. There, in the depth of the cave, in total darkness, he found his universe. The story of how he survived that encounter, captured the universe and caged it in a sledge would make a great story if Peregrine ever told it. But if you ask him he waves his hand and says "Too complicated for you to understand boy." Tactful as ever. Readers should note that the story of Brigadoon is replicated in several places around the world, including the German village of Germelshausen. This could indicate that mini-universes on our own planet are commoner than we think.
OK, a couple of quotes from someone who actually knows what he is talking about; Sean Carroll, cosmologist and theoretical physicist at Caltech.
"I actually think that the fact that we can observe the early universe having such a low entropy is the best evidence we currently have that we live in a multiverse, that the universe we observe is not all that there is, that we are actually embedded in some much larger structure." Quoted from 'Why does the universe look the way it does'.
"A universe could come into existence in a corner of your living room..." quoted from memory from a radio talk I heard him make.
Check out Sean's cool book, From Eternity to Here:The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time.
To watch a couple of his online video talks search for: 'Why does the universe look the way it does?' and 'Distant time and the hint of a multiverse'.
Please note that I am only quoting Professor Carroll, with his permission. However he in no way endorses anything I say on this site. Thanks Prof.
And now a view of the universe from the 14th century.
"And God showed me a little thing, the size of a hazelnut , lying in the palm of my hand, as it seemed. And it was as round as any ball. I looked upon it with the eye of my understanding, and thought, 'What may this be?' And it was answered generally thus,'It is all that is made.' I marvelled how it might last, for I thought it might suddenly have fallen to nought for littleness. And I was answered in my understanding: It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it. And so have all things their beginning by the love of God."
The Lady Julian of Norwich 1372