Minimalist yet flashy wire frame earrings representing lightcones in Minkowski space. This pair features gold-tinted brass wire (with gold plate earwires) and snowflake obsidian as the “worlds”. This original design was inspired by and for my sister based on a shared appreciation for astronomy.
Lightcones: a brief, simplistic explanation
Lightcones describe the area through which an object (such as a photon of light) might move through space and time (Minkowski space). They’re a 3D graphical representation: space – the physical location of the object – stretches on the horizontal axes (with 3D space collapsed into 2D for squishy human brains) and time is on the vertical axis. The axes all meet at the central narrow point of the cones, which represents where an observer (like you)… well… observes the object. In the present. Downwards moves back through time, and upwards moves forward through time. A world line, such as the ones poking out of the bottoms of the earrings, describes the path an object takes through space and time.
A bit of prose
When we look up at the stars, we’re staring into the past. All of those points of light from stars (or reflected off other objects) left their star at some time in the past. How long ago depends on how far away it is. We’re not seeing stars as they are now, rather we’re seeing them as they were when they shed that light. With the right equipment, we can see billions of years into the past.
We’re forever at the center, staring down through the bottom cone with the future above us, surrounded by the invisible.
- Length: 6 cm (2.4 in)
- Not adjustable.
- Weight: 3.6 g