Month Flat Week Day
Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 9:00 - 10:00
Categories: UPSC Calendar
Speaker: Melané Vivier

Institute for Wine Biotechnology
Department of Viticulture and Oenology
Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Title: The whole universe is in a glass of wine

Host: Izabella Surowiec

Place: KB3A9 Lilla hörsalen


From Richard Feynman: "A poet once said, “The whole universe is in a glass of wine".”

We will probably never know in what sense he said that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look in a glass of wine closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imagination adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secrets of the universe’s age, and the evolution of the stars. What strange array of chemicals are in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts - physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on - remember that nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let us give one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!