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What are particles made out of?


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#1 Kygron

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 10:33 PM

This is one of two examples I promised in this thread about how to make theories that advance physics. My goal here is not really to suggest this hypothesis (though it would be nice it it worked) but to show where I looked for it and how I developed it. As a layman, I'm not able to read the vast majority of the physics research, so this may have been suggested and rejected already, but I've not heard of it in common conversations, so it's either too boring/useless or it's just plain never been suggested.

An un-abstraction of the standard model
(it's long but really straight forward, feel free to speed-read)

I've suggested looking for un-abstractions when looking for new theorys. An abstraction is like saying "this is a rock", when scientists know that it's really a collection of atoms and mostly empty space. Still, it works so well to call it a rock that people didn't know about atoms until modern times. Part of an un-abstraction then is when you say "this rock is really a collection of little pieces all stuck together". The other part is when you discover that those pieces are fundementally different from the rock itself. You have more than just "little rocks", but an entirely different system of physics to work with, one that can produce "magic" if your mindset remains that of the reality of the rock.

A problem with this un-abstraction is that the physics can be so different that it may be difficult to figure out which properties belong to which abstraction level. A rock's shape and texture are it's own properties, it's mass is entirely a property of its atoms, and its solidity is actually a weak form of the solidity enherited from the atoms.

An advantage to looking for an un-abstraction is that you start from scratch and eventually build a complete physics system, so working on the project can be very rewarding, and measurable progress can be made along the way. This is assuming, of course that an un-abstraction exists and that your progress is in the right direction.

OK, on to the real suggestion. I've modeled this on the analogy to a tornado. Tornados are made entirely of air, or what the less scientifically minded might claim, "empty space". Air molecules are, however, moving very rapidly, and, with the right coordination, can throw cars into trees and get the local news to take pictures that look nothing like air.

In physics our "empty space" is filled with virtual particles. These are constantly interacting with other particles, and even mediate the forces between them. That means that there are lots (and lots and lots) of then entering and exiting other particles all the time. So lets make our hypothesis that ordinaty matter is (and ordinary forces are) the coordinated behavior of virtual particles in the area.

(Realize that I say "virtual particles" the same way I said "pieces of rock". Any attempt to formalize this should look for the actual "atoms" of this "rock". For simplicity in discussion let's continue to use the phrase "virtual particles" for now.)

So what are some properties? Mass is inherited, angular momentum is inherited but somehow quantized. Position is abstracted, simply add virtual particles to the left and remove them from the right to make it move left. Charge is entirely abstracted, with the EM field behaving like a megaparticle: further coordination of the virtual particles.

You'll note that black hole evaporation reminds us that virtual particles are entering and exiting black holes at all times. That leaves no ordinary matter immume.

Well, that's the concept, feel free to discuss specifics. On last thing, QM probabilities become the probability that the highly complex, but non-probabilistic system will spontaneously coordinate at a certain time/place. Someone go tell Einstein that "God does not play dice"!
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#2 Rocket Man

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 03:56 AM

it all depends what veiw you take, which theory you use to describe space.
Albert Einstien described space as a rubber sheet which is bent by mass
Nikola Tesla argued "how can nothing have properties?"
the largely unpopular aether model describes space as fluid and particles as self sustaining vorticies

when you describe mass as a property of matter, can you also describe it as a property of light? if you have a sufficiently energetic gamma ray, you can create a proton and an antiproton both of which have positive, non zero mass. for momentum to be constant, these are of course moving as is the atom which it stuck, but the photon was originally a massless particle.

so when describing properties of even fundamental particles, you need to think, "what is it made of?" mass is a function of energy. energy is about the most fundamental you're going to get, it has very few properties. mutual attraction is one of them.

to get away from abstractions, is to get away from matter. unfortunately, there is no way of observing pure energy, even a photon is an abstraction of energy.
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#3 fredrik

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 05:48 PM

Kygron, I am not sure if I got your exact point, but while I guess your ideas are expressed in an informal manner (which is sometimes necessary, because of lack of formalism - so it is not bad per see), some of the essence of your thinking as perceived by me are sort of all in line with normal quantum field theory.

If I borrow your word of un-abstraction.

To really simplify, one could see a repeating philosophy in history to guided by consistency, un-abstract to resolve the inconsistency. And typically this un-abstraction defines the existence of a new concept. This is repeated until all inconsistencies are solved. The worst thing that can happen is that you get stuck in a never ending loop, which creates a sequence of an infinite amount of these un-abstractions until reaching consistency.

These tricks has been used in the past. In GR as well as QED.

The consistency requirements of GR are to require invariance under so called diffeomorphisms. QED can be though to be implied by requiring local gague invariance of the phase in the complex phase. This is beautiful techniques. These consistency requirements often can be motivated on philosophical grounds. So there should IMO be no need to consider them all as ad hoc requirements if you use a somewhat combined axiomatic approach guided by human philosophy. Maybe it's not perfect, but it's the best we've got at times.

he technique can be powerful but must be used with care. The idea that particles are self-contained energy fields of some kind is loosely speaking well in line with commo thinking. So I think your thinking is sound.

The problem me be how to find sensible formalism, that is sensible and does introduce ad hoc stuff.

I will try to review things again myself, and reproduce some of the historic derivations to start with, but it remains a fact that so far physicists has not been able to resolve all consistencies. Wether it's because we are missing something even more fundamental or because we have applied the techniques wrong remains to find out.

Also I sure haven't bothered reviewing every single attempt that has been done in the past either. Considering the amount of research that has been done to resolve this, you can easily waste a lifetime to just review the stuff. I have no intention to do that. I'll rely on my philosophical standards and ignore something that has clearly started off wrong. String theory included.

There may be an advantage to keep your brain clean from unsound logical patterns, at the price of some ignorance perhaps :)

/Fedrik
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#4 Martin

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:13 PM

Kygron asked: What are particles made of?

Good question. Keep asking it. There is a new book coming out this year from Cambridge University Press which will have some recent research into the possibility that matter emerges from microscopic detail in the geometry of spacetime

Real theories are mathematical so (as I think you know but I say it anyway) it is never advisable to take a verbal analogy at face value-----nevertheless here is a verbal analogy.

Think of macroscopic smooth geometry of space or spacetime as COMBED HAIR.

Then think of particles as microscopic TANGLES in the hair.

Sometimes two knots can interact and unknot each other or make a new knot---so, to continue the unreliable analogy, the interaction of particles can be like the interaction of little bits of tangle, kink, twist, braid, or whatnot.

This is not string theory because it includes space itself as a dynamic player. In usual string thinking you have a fixed smooth spacetime manifold which does not get into kinks or tangles---and you have stringy particles living in that preconceived rigid world.

What I am talking about is so-called BACKGROUND INDEPENDENT or non-string Quantum Gravity, in which the geometry of space itself is like a basic substance from which everything else arises. There is no fixed preconceived spatial geometry (as in the string case.)

And one does not have 11 dimensions or suchlike complications. One has the basic 4, or an embedding in 5D as a convenience to handle curvature. (A 4D deSitter spacetime is convenient to build in 5D---but essentially we are not talking extra dimensions.)

The Cambridge book is written by twenty or so QG scientists and edited by Daniele Oriti who is at Utrecht University. It is called
Approaches to Quantum Gravity: Towards a New Understanding of Space, Time, and Matter

a major goal of non-string QG is to understand how matter, and the interactions of matter, arise from the quantum dynamics of spacetime geometry.
in other words to get at the fundamental degrees of freedom---the basic descriptors.

it's a journey. don't expect immediate answers.
but I do think we are going to get there :-)

=============================

Kygron, I think the most enlightening book on the market today, about the fundamental physics of the universe, is

http://www.amazon.co...ie=UTF8&s=books

Smolin's book. It covers a lot of interesting subjects. The key portion of the (full) title is and What Comes Next .
It is also one of the easiest-to-read books of it's kind I have ever seen. He is remarkably skillful at translating what he has to say into accurate words and faithful mental imagery---so the book uses no math formulas but gets the ideas across without them!

At this point I think someone interested in what particles are made of should be reading that Smolin book.
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Loll quantum gravity SciAm
http://www.signallak...uantumJul08.pdf
cosmology SciAm
www.mso.anu.edu.au/~charley/papers/LineweaverDavisSciAm.pdf
http://www.einstein-...logy/index.html

#5 YT2095

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 06:33 PM

OR there`s also Another idea of everything being a Single particle zipping around very fast and changing attributes as it does.
a little bit like a TV picture is made made up by a single dot moving along and down as if reading a book, Very fast and creating a single image.
like a infinately small point, being stretched out to a line infinately long and connecting the 2 ends. this forms a circle in 2D.
then spin this circle infinately fast to form a sphere.
now turn this sphere inside out.
everything outside the sphere is the Universe as you know it.

or at least it`s Something like that anyway :)
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#6 Kygron

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 07:36 PM

In his rare arogant post:

Rocket Man: I'll have to read it, but Einstien said GR had all the properties (but one) of the aether, so Einstein says I'm right :D

fredrik: I'll take the philosophical role, we can let the physisists take the formalization role

Martin: Yes, we have described precisely the same form. I'm glad that there are physisists formalizing "my" philosophy :D

YT: That was my "old" theory, but you needed extra dimentions to get it to loop right and needed to string together so many of those circles that I figured I'd call it "string theory" and claim that those string people were working on "my" theory. :D

Alot of good they did with it... hopefully Daniele Oriti's people will handle my current one better :D
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#7 khenemetre

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:08 PM

I think particles come from the fabric of reality (aka space-time continuum) itself. After all, is not matter merely condensed energy or space-time, according to E=mc^2? And I heard this once, if a particle stops moving altogether, it ceases to exist, fading back into the universal field, I don't know if that's correct though.
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#8 Kygron

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 10:22 PM

I think particles come from the fabric of reality (aka space-time continuum) itself. After all, is not matter merely condensed energy or space-time, according to E=mc^2?


Believe it or not, this is just what Martin meant when he said:

Think of macroscopic smooth geometry of space or spacetime as COMBED HAIR.

Then think of particles as microscopic TANGLES in the hair.


And also what I alluded to in the OP, though I stopped short.

Lucky you, there're physists working on your idea at this very moment!
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