Phish.net > Charts > Narration Chart: "Harpua", 2017-07-30

Credit: phish.net team
Transcribed by Carol Wade, @velvet_c

[While Page and Fish continue the vamp, Trey and Mike take off their instruments and take seats in the center of the stage, chatting casually off mic, reading newspapers.]

TREY: Wow. That's amazing.

FISH: What?

TREY: There's lumps in the cosmic gravy.

FISH: Huuuhhh...

TREY:: No, seriously...there's lumps in the cosmic gravy!

PAGE: Yes, actually, he's right! The microwave cloud is laced with ripples of splotches. Lumps in the gravy...that's where galaxies and other cosmic structures form.

FISH: Ahh. Interesting.

TREY: Yeah, the lumps are born as microcosmic fluctuations during the first instant of time, and then, they're amplified into sound waves.

MIKE: That's actually right, Fish. And as the universe expands, matter and energy...they splosh around!

FISH: Wow! But, uh...I thought the universe consists mostly of, uh, dark energy that's expanding and accelerating outward. So, how does that fit in?

TREY:: Well, that's true, Fish. There is a lot of dark energy in the universe. But, umm, for the record, it's an infinite universe, and the waves in the cosmic fireball appear randomly around the sky at all sizes. But there seems to be a limit to the size of the waves.

PAGE: Yes! None of them extend more than, say, 60 degrees across the sky.

TREY: Wow!

MIKE: It's kind of like...if the universe were a guitar string, it would be missing its deepest notes, the ones with the longest wavelengths. The bass notes! Maybe that's because it is not big enough to sustain them! [Drum roll.]

FISH: Ooohh. I get it! So the fact that there appears to be an angular cutoff, like what Page is saying, hints at a special distance scale, in the universe!

PAGE: Yes, that's it. If we only emit radio noise from the stars in our own galaxy...

TREY: Well...then the universe appears lumpier in one direction through space than it does in another.

PAGE: Exactly. And if you comb the finer variations out of the map, the remaining large scale variations form a line across the sky.

FISH: WAIT. So, if the universe is finite in one dimension -- meaning, it's like a cylinder...

MIKE: Oh, yep...

FISH: Or...like...A DONUT!

TREY:: Wow, Fish, that's right! It's definitely a donut. There's a limit to the size of clumps that can fit in that direction. And it couldn't be bigger than the universe in that direction. So, it has to be a DONUT.

MIKE: A guitar string can only play a note solo, depending on its length. So, the biggest blobs would have to squish out in a plane in other directions. The way home around the donut would be perpendicular to that plane...

PAGE: It's cosmology, with shapes! Except sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between a coffee mug and a donut, because each object has one hole...

TREY: That's true...the two can be deformed into each other, so they're kind of...I don't know...topologically equivalent.

FISH: Ah! I see...so maybe the universe is a coffee mug? The way a figure-8 and a pair of eyeglass frames are almost the same?

PAGE: Haha! Yeah. 'Cause you know what they say..."The more holes, the more complicated the topology..." [All laugh heartily. Fish plays a rimshot.]

FISH: Page...you're a funny guy!

MIKE: Well...a three-torus is a donut wrapped in three different dimensions. So...

TREY: That's gotta be it...it's SO obvious.

PAGE: Duh!

FISH: Yeah. DUH. Three-torus...donut...universe...

PAGE: It's tough to visualize, but it's almost like a cube with its opposite sides somehow glued together.

MIKE: Exactly.

TREY: But...

MIKE: Definitely a donut.

FISH: No duh.

MIKE: No duh!

FISH: Yup, no question about it.

PAGE: The universe is a donut.

MIKE: Living in this weird universe is kind of like being inside a hall of mirrors. Though, you know,
instead of seeing new stars deeper and deeper in space, I keep seeing the same things over and over again. Light keeps traveling out one side of the donut, and back into the other.

FISH: Weird.

TREY: It's like light just keeps repeating; it's just repeating patterns created in the sky by light going around and around the donut-shaped universe.

FISH: And somewhere, there are four guys having the same conversation, except one of them is talking to his DAD...

MIKE: The dimensions are all curled in loops! And, of course the universe actually has 10 dimensions. Everyone knows that.

TREY: Of course! Nine of space and one of time. Not the four that people say it has.

FISH: Yeah, uh-DUH! Everyone knows that!

TREY: And the dimensions are curled up into sub-microcosmic loops!

PAGE: Like the threads in an uncut carpet pile! And if it wasn't a donut, there'd be no way to get the inflation to stop, or for there to be enough space big enough to house all the galaxies, but small enough to see within the observable horizon. [All chortle.]

FISH: That’s a good one… You’re full of them today. Well, that definitely proves it then...it's a DONUT.

TREY: Unless, what if the biggest, longest waves are created first, and the missing notes are the earliest ones, that would've been struck by an inflation's guitar? Maybe...?

MIKE: Nope, wrong...it's a DONUT.

FISH: So, should I be looking for circles in the sky?

TREY: Yes. You should be looking for identical circles on opposite sides of the sky, with the same patterns of hot and cold running around them.

PAGE: The size of the circles will depend on distance between the walls of the universe, which is, I supposed, shaped kind of like...A CAVE!

TREY: Ahh! Circles on the walls of the cave, if you will.

PAGE: I will! [Rimshot.]

MIKE: Oh, and by the way, on an entirely different subject...umm...Jimmy...?

[Trey and Mike leave their seats and return to their instruments]

PAGE: Yes, dad.

MIKE: I have some bad news…
PAGE: What is it, Dad?

MIKE: It’s about your cat, Poster.

PAGE: You mean Poster Nutbag?

MIKE: Yes… Poster Nutbag

FISH: Poster Nuthole

MIKE: You’re not gonna like hearing this…

PAGE: Well, what’s the news…

BAND: Your cat died!

[Remainder of song is generally normal with exception of “Poster is dead… and the universe is a donut”]
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