Thin Film (4)
Trying to imagine the thinnest film possible, I came upon the idea of the zone on the surface of an overfilled glass of water. Curving slightly, it contains the potential of the water to flow over the edge. It’s a sort of balance really, between the pressure of air and the demands of gravity.
I was thinking that there was a gravity of a different sort to the image of images in Lucretius. If objects far away push their thin film through the air, they increase in pressure as they travel. Thus, objects far away hit with increased force and weight. I think we often view history that way, and ignore what is recent in favor of a deeper past. Objects that are closest to us hold the least amount of pressure, create the smallest disturbance.
Oliver Wendell Holmes sees these films as streaming too, traveling in waves. Nearest to us they are faint ripples, but as they build and multiply they build up not only pressure but also layers. The thin film is one of many, arrayed like leaves in a book. The further away, then, the denser the volume— the more complicated the impressions are to read.
Arago seems most careful of all. Don’t disturb the thin film, or the image will be destroyed.