Things are energy!

Science tells us today that there are four fundamental forces of Nature: Gravity, Electromagnetic interaction, the Weak interaction and the Strong interaction. Out of these gravity is the least and electromagnetic, comparatively, the most understood force by man. The mathematical theory that gives logical description of all the known elementary particles and their interactions called the Standard Model of Particle physics deals with all these forces except gravity and 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. It 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 invariance 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 Einsteinian 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.

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