I dedicate this site to the memory of my stepdaughter, Heather, who was murdered on Thanksgiving 2017. I want to chronicle some of the events and spiritual insights that happened. It is my hope that this may help some other souls who stumble upon this site. Maybe some good can come off this after all (read more here).  ~ May 2018

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Stretching space: The theory of Relativity visualized using the Vertigo effect

Edited Status
This text has not been edited yet, so there will be mistakes. I ask you to forgive this, and find the meaning nonetheless.

In Einstein’s theory of relativity, space and time stretch with regard to gravity or movement, that is, really fast movement, like near the speed at light.

In an upcoming article, I'll explain more about this.  

But today, just as I was thinking more about the stretching of space, this great video came into my life.  It shows three young men on top of mountain flying their drone video camera doing the "vertigo" or "dolly out" effect.  I mean, there are other videos doing this effect, but this one is the nicest I have seen.

drone vertigo
Amazing video of a drone doing the vertigo effect.  I found it posted on twitter by Dr. Garvin Buckingham, I assume he is the author.  Thank you for posting this!

I tried to embed it from Reddit, but it did not work well, so here is the link for it. If you click the images it will take you there.


To me, besides being amazingly beautiful, it also an analogy to show and explain the concept of space stretching or contracting.   But remember, this is not space stretching but only a visual analogy for the point of understanding.   Yet, just as in relativity, it is indeed based on movement, in this case of the camera moving away from the focal object, while still zooming in on it to keep it at the same height/width within the frame.

This visual effect was first developed by Alfred Hitchcock for the movie Vertigo.  Since then, it was used in many feature movies, and it is always a treat, used to show us how reality is changing around us, and not what we may think it is. ( If you are interested, here is a nice explanation, including the use in movies, on youtube https://www.youtube.com/embed/Amj6RiGiTOE )

So this is how it works:   as you [the camera] move backwards, that is within 3D/4D space (space + time),  you keep the scene in the foreground constant, that is, you  change the focus of your lens from more wideangle to telezoom.  

So, moving back + zoom in = stay focused on element while background is “shrinking”

Image the effect from infinity:  reality UNFOLDING and enfolding, space stretching.

But let’s play with this a bit.

Image  you could go to infinity, while still zooming in on the focal point.  Obviously, we can’t do this,  it is one of those “Gedanken” Experiments ( a though experiment) that Albert Einstein liked to do.  But we can imagine it.

As we move towards infinity, you don’t have any more light rays that are congruent on the lens, that is like a light cone or a bundle of rays focusing -- say like this:  >  --  but more like a narrow laser beam where all light is parallel.

In that case, the whole background gets hidden behind the foreground focal element – it would eventually only be a dot of the chest of the person in the middle of the frame,  as big as a laser beam.  Clearly, all the surroundings  are still there, but not visible anymore.   All you would see is the foreground object that we focus on.

That is, you focus on it narrowly.

Moving out towards infinity, it would be like space gets condensed, and enfolded into that object.  That is sort of the effect you see in the movie, only because of technical limits, we can’t show it further…

Moving backwards, the other way, from infinity towards the objects, you zoom out (going to wide angle), and it would appear, as if the whole world around the object would come into existence, flowing out of the object.

The point is, as we talk about relativity, we talk about stretching space.  Everything is fluent.

This is a wonderful visual analogy, where we get a sense how space can be pulled towards an object and compresses, WHILE THE OBJECT’s experience itself is unchanged:  It stays in focus.   That is exactly what I talked about in the other article (still to be published).


The part containing the whole, visualized.  The part pulling the whole into itself, and the whole unfolding from the part.   It actually shows aspects from relativity and quantum mechanics (wave=whole, particle=part) very nicely.



Namaste — I bow to you and the Divine in you.

Related: Read these before

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