history of ignorance of math and science hasn’t diminished my interest,
and I have frequently found myself searching the internet reading articles
that stretch my comprehension.
Triggered by a science fiction idea I wanted to flesh out, I found an
article by Alexander G. Petrov from Bulgaria’s Institute of Solid State
Physics called Flexoelectricity of Model and Living Membranes. The
proofs were beyond my pay grade, but the ideas hum.
The biomembranes that contain DNA and delineate our living cells have what
the scientists term ‘degrees of freedom’. The ability to thin, thicken and
twist would be three degrees of freedom. Petrov’s work is focused on
degrees of freedom such as the polarization fields generated by flexing in
Having visualized cells as bubbles, it astounded me to find that the
surfaces twist and buckle, and in doing so, create electrical fields to
use in their complex purposes. Basically, we have degrees of freedom
creating degrees of freedom.