I just uploaded an update of my 10-page summary of what—paraphrasing Wittgenstein—I think might be the case. 🙂 So what’s that? It’s a basic description of what I think of as reality—at the most fundamental level, that is—in terms of a concise set of (classical) equations that speak to us (or to me, I should say). Needless to say, that set of classical equations includes an interpretation of the Planck-Einstein relation: E = h·f or E·T = h, in which T is interpreted as the cycle time of a particle.
The reader who hasn’t read me before will probably raise his (or her?) eyebrows here: the cycle time of a particle? Seriously? What do you mean by that?
Well… I won’t try to explain, really. The gist of it is this: think of it as a clock. The frequency of that clock is either on or off—relative to what we may refer to as some fundamental frequency of spacetime. If it’s on (the same frequency), our particle will be stable. If not, it will disintegrate into stable(r) constituents—electrons, protons, photons or neutrinos. Or—if we’re talking much larger conglomerates falling apart—some stable configuration of them: think of a neutron inside a nucleus, a hydrogen atom, a simple naked nucleus, or an actual atom (but here we’re entering the realm of chemistry—as opposed to elementary physics).
As a result, the paper has become a bit longer. Well… More than a bit, perhaps: it’s 20-25 pages now. The point is this: I feel it’s pretty complete, but I am left with the following issues and questions—or ‘clusters of analysis’ as I’d say in my line of business (which is finance and project management—not QM!):
- Is the (electric) charge inside an electron – and a proton—any matter-particle, really – a fractal structure or not?
- What is the nature of the ‘stronger’ force inside of the proton: I vaguely distinguish between the fundamental frequency and one or more higher modes of spacetime – but that needs to be ‘translated’ into a better ‘visual’ image of what might or might not be going on.
- Electron-positron pair creation/annihilation. Or—more generally speaking—the question of the fundamental nature of anti-matter in general.
I have a few preliminary thoughts on that, but I’d like to invite comments—because I am really puzzled by the above and talking about it surely helps! My guts instinct tells me this:
1. The idea of the zbw charge inside matter-particles being some fractal structure is appealing and not. It’s appealing because the radius of the zbw charge inside a proton must be smaller than the classical electron radius – so some fractal structure (to explain the origin of mass) is definitely something to consider.
—But then it’s also not appealing because it keeps that ambiguity: is Nature continuous or not? Is a charge some finite structure or not? Perhaps we should just accept the idea of a charge combines all of our concepts: force, mass—and the idea of (in)definiteness? 🙂
[I am joking and then I am not: I often feel the Uncertainty Principle is where the Pope thinks God might be hiding, so if we abolish that, the Vatican will need something else, right?]
2. The idea of the ‘strong’ (or ‘stronger’) force grabbing onto the same charge (i.e. the electric charge) is great because it greatly simplifies the analysis. The idea of a strong force grabbing onto a strong charge is appealing (we had already invented a unit for the strong charge) but it hugely complicates our thinking of the proton as some unitary particle. Why? Think of this question: what force grabs on what charge, and how exactly, and how do the two charges then relate to each other? – no strong charge needed! I really must thank Giorgio Vassallo here for pointing out I should try to simplify as much as possible when thinking about the QCD sector. [I hope Dr. Vassallo appreciates the compliment—can’t be sure of that coz he’s rather taciturn. :-)]
3. The third of the three questions is the most difficult one. From all of Dirac’s formal or informal remarks on the state of our knowledge, it’s clear he struggled very much with that too. The gist of the matter is this: our world could be an anti-matter world. We may think of that as a mathematical fiction: who cares if we write q or −q in our equations? No one, right? It’s just a convention, and so we can just swap signs, right?
Well… No. Dirac had noticed the mathematical possibility early on—in 1928, to be precise, as soon as he had published his equation for the free electron. He said this about it in his 1933 Nobel Prize Lecture:
“If we accept the view of complete symmetry between positive and negative electric charge so far as concerns the fundamental laws of Nature, we must regard it rather as an accident that the Earth (and presumably the whole solar system), contains a preponderance of negative electrons and positive protons.”
The carefully chosen ‘preponderance’ term shows he actually did imagine some stars could possibly be made of anti-matter, and he said as much in the very same lecture:
“It is quite possible that for some of the stars it is the other way about, these stars being built up mainly of positrons and negative protons. […] The two kinds of stars would both show exactly the same spectra, and there would be no way of distinguishing them by present astronomical methods.”
Strangely enough, he doesn’t mention Carl D. Anderson who – just the previous year (1932) – had actually found the trace of an actual positron on one of his cloud chamber pictures of what happens to cosmic radiation when it enters… Well… Anderson’s cloud chamber. 🙂 Anderson got his own Nobel Prize for it – and one that’s very well deserved (the reader who’s read our previous posts will know we have serious doubts on the merit of some (other) Nobel Prizes).
The point is this: we should not think of matter and anti-matter as being ‘separate worlds’ (theoretical and/or physical). No. Pair creation/annihilation should be part and parcel of our ‘world view’ (read: our classical explanation of quantum physics). So what can/should we do with this?
Nothing at all, perhaps. If we stare at the equations long enough, they all start making sense after a while, don’t they? Especially when enjoying a Belgian beer or a good glass of wine. Feynman quoted an unknown poet in one of his introductory lectures to his Lectures:
“The whole universe is in a glass of wine.”
Again, after having deified Feynman for decades, I regret to say that I now have to think of Richard Feynman as being a very complicated personality defending mainstream thought rather than trying to revolutionize scientific thought. Having said that, I still fully agree with most of his metaphorical statements, and the one above surely tops my list. 🙂
One thought on “The End of Physics?”