Energy, Knowledge: Only relative!

    Science tells us today that there are four fundamental forces of Nature: Gravity, Electromagnetic force, the Weak interaction and the Strong interaction. Out of these four gravity is the least and electromagnetic, comparatively, the most understood force by man. A little knowledge – awareness – of science is needed to understand the world we live in.

  The mathematical theory that gives logical description of all the known forces of elementary particles and their interactions – called the Standard Model of Particle physics – deals with all these forces except gravity.

It predicts the existence of twelve kinds of particles or fermions. These fermions consist of neutrinos (electron neutrino, muon neutrino and tau neutrino, that is, neutrinos interacting with electron, muon and tau respectively) and six quarks. All fermions are force-carrying particles. Protons and neutrons within the atomic nucleus are made up of ‘up’ and ‘down’ quarks respectively, and electrons in the outer casing of atoms are made up of fermions called leptons. The weak interaction is carried by the bosons that, unlike photons and gravitons, have large masses. The weak interaction acts on both quarks and leptons and has short range of action.

The weak interaction is closely related to the electromagnetic interaction and, according to the works of 1999 Nobel Prize winners Geradus Hooft and Martinus Veltman, electroweak interaction unites them together. The strong interaction between quarks has been difficult to understand, as it has not been possible to produce free quarks. They exist in the aggregates of two or three in the form of, say, a proton. However, each quark, in addition to a quantified electric charge, has a quantified colour-charge, a property that is conceptually similar to color. Quarks carry the color charge labeled as red, blue or green and each quark has its opposite an antiquark, which carry color charge ‘anti-red’, ‘anti-blue’ or ‘anti-green’. Aggregates of quarks, which exist freely as protons or neutrons, are color neutral. The force between quarks is carried by gluons, which like photons have no mass but which unlike photons have color charge. In the case of gluons also there are color charge and its opposite anticolour charge.

  It was thought for long time that it would be impossible to find a theory that could explain and calculate the effects of strong interaction between quarks. David Gross, David Politzer and Frank Wilczek have explained this effect in their theory for which they have been awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize. They discovered a property of the strong interaction (or color interaction in Quantum Chromo Dynamics) that explains why quarks may behave almost as free particles only at high energies. According to them gluons – the force carriers of quarks – interact not only with quarks but also with each other. This means that closer the quarks come to each other, the weaker the quark color -charge and the weaker the interaction. Quarks come closer to each other when the energy increases and therefore the interaction strength decreases with energy. According to Einstein, kinetic energy can be transformed into new particles, say, into quarks with mass and kinetic energy. These quarks are created very deep within the process and very close to each other but moving away from each other at an extreme speed.

  Their discovery made it possible to complete the Standard Model of Particle Physics and constituted a significant step in unified description of all the forces of Nature working at the tiniest distances within the atomic nucleus to the vast distances of the universe.

  This is one aspect of the problem of grand unification of all fundamental particles into one single force.

  There is yet another aspect to the problem that raises new and serious questions, and calls for deeper understanding of Nature.

  Each particle has three fundamental properties, viz., its Charge, Parity (of spatial dimensions) and (direction of) Time, called C, P and T. According to the standard model, particle interactions must be invariant, that is, their symmetries must be conserved. In other words, if combined operation of C, P and T is made in any order, its result must be invariant. In Nature, we find that each of the said fundamental particles has its antiparticle, which is its mirror image.

  And, science tells us that not only the particles must obey this law of conservation of symmetry but their respective antiparticles also must obey this law. In other words, where a particle is reversed into antiparticle, that is, its direction of Time is reversed, it is reflected in space in a way that all its spatial dimensions are reversed and its charge is conjugated, then C, P and T of this antiparticle must also conserve symmetry. However, recently small asymmetries in quantum mechanical systems were observed by scientists.

  This in-variance of symmetries of particles and antiparticles in Nature tells us that there are two opposite worlds existing side by side in nature.

  Now, we know that there are certain universal inherent relationships between two opposite entities. Firstly, the two opposite entities attract each other. Secondly, if these two are allowed to come together as a result of their mutual attraction they cancel each other resulting in annihilation of both. Thirdly, if the two opposite entities are to maintain their respective separate existence, then there is the requirement of an intervening centrifugal force to counterbalance the force of attraction. And, fourthly, this counterbalancing force is not an integral part of any of the two opposite entities but is the product of some outside force that fuels the mechanism of nature.

  Then, why particles and their antiparticles do not smash into each other and mutually annihilate? Obviously, they do not smash and annihilate. Then, what is that centrifugal force that keeps the two apart? And, what is that third force that sets this mechanism into motion?

  We do not have the answer, but these questions indicate that Nature is deeper in its intention and work than we expected.

  This unmistakably points to a deeper law and secret purpose of Nature. This deeper law, when discovered and harmonized with the Einstein’s Relativity, would change the man’s way of thinking completely.

  As ever, horizon of the unknown is distant, as distant as it looked when man for the first time discovered that pebbles are not pebbles but weapons, and its expanse infinite.

  There is great contribution to mankind’s efforts of unraveling the mystery of creation by scientists like Einstein and Stephen Hawkins who, in their quest for truth, have brought our knowledge to a point where the western and eastern wisdom seem to converge. Albert Einstein’s discovery of universal relativistic principles operating in Nature gave a rude shock to ‘common sense’ of man and exposed the falsity of his rigid and absolute notions about common things of daily life.

  He said that there are different versions of truth of a single thing for different persons who observe it from different relatively moving frames of reference. This statement is greatly profound in its impact on our way of thinking and allows the entry of a bridge in ‘scientific field’ that may one day connect our knowledge of material world with that of Divine things.

  What does Einstein mean by his concept of ‘Frame of Reference’?

  Bergmann in his ‘Introduction to the Theory of Relativity’ says: “We imagine that conceptually at least, a framework of rods which extends into space can be rigidly attached to the reference body. Using this conceptual framework as a Cartesian co-ordinate system in three dimensions, we characterize any location by three numbers, the three co-ordinates of that space point. Such a conceptual framework, rigidly connected with some material body or other well-defined point, is often called a frame of reference. Some bodies may be suitable as frame of reference bodies, others may not be….Even before the theory of relativity was conceived, the problem of selecting a suitable frame of reference played an important part in the development of science. Galileo, the father of post-medieval physics, considered the choice of the heliocentric frame to be so important that he risked imprisonment and even death in his efforts to have the new frame of reference accepted by his contemporaries. In the last analysis, it was the choice of the reference body which was the subject of his dispute with the authorities….

  “We can describe nature and we can formulate its laws using whatever frame of reference we choose. But there may exist a frame or frames in which the laws of nature are fundamentally simpler, that is, in which the laws of nature contain fewer elements than they would otherwise. The laws of motion of the planets become basically simpler when they are expressed in terms of the heliocentric frame of reference instead of the geocentric frame… Once it was clearly recognized that the choice of a frame of reference determined the form of law of nature, investigations were carried out which established the effect of this choice in a mathematical form”

  With the advent of this relativistic concept, the first casualty was of the simultaneity of events in time and it lost its sacred place of ‘absolute truth’.

  In the realm of time things became relativistic fluid. Bergmann put it thus:  “When two events occur close together in space, we can set up a mechanism somewhat like the coincidence counters used in the investigation of cosmic rays… If the two events occur a considerable distance apart, the coincidence apparatus is not adequate. (By following the experiment described by the author) we conclude, therefore, that two events that are simultaneous with respect to one frame of reference are in general not simultaneous with respect to another frame… (. ..) Not only the simultaneity of events, but also the result of length measurements, depends on the frame of reference.”

  This concept was uniquely wholesome and complete, and it had its cascading effect on everything else with which human knowledge is concerned.

  Einstein was acutely aware of the revolutionary character of his theory. Finally, it dawned to Einstein that only a revision of our fundamental ideas about space and time would resolve the impasse between theory and experiment. Once this revision was proposed by him, the principle of relativity was extended to the whole of physics.

  This is now called the special theory of relativity. This theory establishes the fundamental equivalence of all inertial systems and still preserves fully their privileged position among all conceivable frames of reference. The so-called general theory of relativity analyses and thereby destroys this privileged position and is able to give a new theory of gravitation.

  Now, let us look at our universe. The most distant objects in universe we know are more than 13 billion light years away from Earth, that is, light takes 13 billion years to reach to Earth moving with its speed of about 300,000 kilometers per second. It is a huge distance. Astronomers have found that all galaxies, comprising stars and their associated orbiting planets, are running away from one another. This makes us to come to the conclusion that at some point of time in past they all were close together.

  How much close together were they? Physicists tell us that at the initial stage they all were converged into a single point in the form of a super dense clump of matter, a condition of matter that is named Black Hole. At that stage, this super dense clumped matter was contained within narrow radius. This combined matter of the whole universe, pulled by its own gravity, further squeezed into a very small space that is determined by the scientific principle known as the Chandrasekhar Limit.

  The mass of this matter produced a huge gravitational force that did not allow anything, not even light, to escape its surface, and hence it is named Black Hole. This collapsing of matter into itself under the force of its own gravity produced an internal pressure that tried to push Black Hole’s matter outward. In this process, the first stage was when the gravitational force was more than the internal pressure, the second one was when both the forces became equal and balanced each other, and the third one was reached when the force of internal pressure exceeded the gravitational force. At that point there came a Big Bang exploding the massive clump. This happened in a split second, and with this our universe came into existence and its time began. How many times this phenomenon has repeated itself, no one knows; there is no way to know this secret. At the most, we can talk of only our own ‘Time’.

  Since this event (estimated by scientists to have taken place 15 billion years ago) clusters of chunks of matter, which we call galaxies of stars and planets, are rushing outward away from the center of explosion. This is the model of expanding universe, which is familiarly explained as clusters of galaxies being dots on an expanding balloon. Alexander Friedmann and Abbe Georges Lemaitre originally proposed this model of expanding universe in 1920s and George Gamow and colleagues developed its modern version in the 1940s.

  One of the current problems of Cosmogony being studied by scientists is the amount of matter in the universe. They have based their calculations on such things as the rate of the motion of galaxies and came to realize that there is some 90% more matter in the universe than can be seen. The matter that can be observed is termed as ‘bright matter’ and the other remaining 90% matter is termed as ‘dark matter’ by them.

  Whether or not this dark matter is of a kind different from the one of which our world is constituted, we do not know.

  With the explosion of Big Bang, was the entire amount of matter contained in Black Hole was thrown out and set on an outward journey of expanding universe? Or was there some amount of matter still left, which, with the internal pressure now released and gone, was captured back by the left out remnants of the erstwhile Black Hole?

  Let us come to our familiar model of expanding balloon with dots on its surface. In this balloon, there is an outward expansion of its surface, and of dots lying on this surface. If we observe these dots from the centre of the balloon, all of them are moving away not only from the center but also from each other. If they go on expanding in this manner, they would be distancing forever from each other and be destined never to meet again.

  Suppose these dots are able to crawl towards each other on the surface of this expanding balloon (under the force of gravitational attraction) and, as they come closer to each other, they rush to meet each other headlong with a velocity more than that of expansion. How would they look if observed from the center of the balloon?

  To us they would still look running away from each other. And, how would they look if we change our location from the center of the balloon to that of a dot and, while sitting inside it, observe the surrounding dots? Then, the nearby dots would be approaching us. However, in the case of a balloon we can change our position as we like, but in the case of universe we cannot do so. Obviously, the difference in results of our two observations has been caused by the change of our frame of reference.

  Today, it is possible to conceive that Nature is an ocean of universal unified field of fundamental energy wherein wave-particle structures are formed inside it as a result of some disturbance in its equilibrium state. This inside within the ocean is creation and the so-called dark matter is this very ocean.

  And this creation is self-contained world that may behave as the surface of a balloon. On the surface of this balloon, galaxies may seem running away from each other, if seen from somewhere in its center and they may seem coming closer to each other, if seen from somewhere near the periphery of the balloon.

  If such a thing exists there in the real Nature, how our universe would look like?

  Then, all the galaxies in universe, which are receding from each other from our point of view, would come together and meet at single point, though they would not descend back to the original point of Black Hole where Big Bang had occurred. Then, all the matter of universe coming together at some new point of space and time, a new Black Hole and new Big Bang would take place.

  Would it not look like planting a new seedling every time at a new place and time in universe, by the force that is there? There is no repetition of anything here, the concept of eternity is raised to still higher level and freshness is imparted to the whole process.

  One acute scientific observation points out that the two world constants which became the basis of all transformations in the atomic domain, the speed of light, c, and Planck’s constant, h, were discovered at the turn of the century. Neither of these is specifically related to mass, length or time, though they are both composites of the basic units. The dimension of c is cm/sec, of h, g. cm. cm/sec. In these, we can say that we have three unknown quantities but only two equations. A third equation, a third world constant, is thus requiring. Such a third natural unit of measurement would provide a basis for developing a system of units as complete as the gram-centimeter-second system. It would be logical and so more satisfying. Or, more exactly, it would be much more natural and fundamental. For dimensionless physics to become a reality one more independent natural unit is needed. When and if it (the third unit) is found it will most likely turn out to be the unit of length. Probability has been expressed by many theoretical physicists that such an elementary unit of length will reflect some new fundamental concepts of space-time on the atomic scale.

We have come of an age where we know that things in Nature are energy and our knowledge of them is only relative.

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