Tomorrow at 18.00GMT a six-part series of Live Videos concludes with a roundup of particles and forces covered so far, and what the implications are for our perception of reality.
Where all this is taking us is what Quantumology is all about. How we think about our reality really matters. The quarks and electrons that make up our bodies, together with the neutrinos, gluons and exotics shifting in and out of phase in a manner suggesting multiversal transit, must have a bearing on what we are and what we perceive.
Who we are has a bearing too, for only if this stuff draws you in the first place can you hope to gain a picture of what's really going on in any facet of a scientific sense.
Living in the Now is a mindfulness thing; I've come through a maelstrom of suspicious mental health to emerge 27 years later still passionate about this stuff, having learned about it from sources and circumstances pushing hard at any known boundaries of belief. For sure I'm bound to talk about it one day, but here and now we're here to talk about particles that probably really aren't.
W and Z particles affect the twist and thrust of what goes on, transforming and kicking things into action. Photons regulate energy levels, and are involved in most exchanges and decays (or perhaps more accurate to say, transmuted multiplications) of particles in flux across the quantum fields.
Gluons stick things together and hold that bond while allowing those bonded the freedom to change from one thing to another. Neutrinos, flying through all this and also turning from one thing to another, potentially connect everything to everything else via yet-to-be-determined information exchange.
So in the course of human experience, what could this mean for us? Change happens all the time. One mood, event, contact or priority to the next in a seamless stream of personal data. While this is happening, consensus is tuned towards a consciousness at work with which we exchange information. Most of us are pretty sure there's a Source of some kind, and whatever you make of choice v. destiny, that's a paradox that stumped the very best of those scientists working out quantum mechanics in the early days, who all thought about this stuff too.
We become bonded in relationships and raise/lower our energy levels like electrons do, according to our mood and environment. When motivated, we're Up; demotivated, we're Down. When we are curious, it's Strange and when inspired, that's Charm at work. Really appreciating lets us see Beauty and when the quest reveals itself, that's when we get to the Truth.
Here's a Glossary of Terms mentioned in the previous videos, as commonly interpreted in English:
Up for seeing where this takes us, with so many physicists coming together to share thoughts and observations without prejudice in a closed group, it's strange to me that we've come this far in the course of scientific history without illuminating the New Physics everyone's been whispering about for some decades now. As you'll have gathered if you've been watching carefully, I'm no alumni physicist but I know there's one out there who's going to crack this nut, and if they can bring themselves to trust that I'm sane, some beautiful truths are quite likely to spring from the thinking. See you there...
Autumn. Early September brings early mists and early evenings to this patch of the planet I occupy. Walking the dog through rich golden light, blackberries beckon and we stop to take graciously, finding that the fruit is sweet, but the seeds are bitter, and wondering if that means something in the general scheme of things.
Beyond an ancient, crumbling railway bridge long lost to the annals of history, open fields to the east accede to these last rays, burnished rows of slender harvest waiting to be claimed by those who think they own them.
All I see is caused by the construct of reality. Photons allow me to appreciate the colours, phonons then arrive to let me hear the birds. Electrons have the power to propel me on my feet and - what of the breadth of it all?
This 3D environment I'm walking through is dependent upon scale. Without scale, there would be no height, depth or width. All measurement interdependent, my whole life is governed by positional features I must avoid or appreciate depending on the circumstances.
The tendency to think that quantum mechanics doesn't apply to the 'macro world' because it's 'too small in scale' is so ludicrous as to be laughable. Look down from a plane ten minutes after take-off and you're nowhere to be seen. From the Moon, even an electron microscope wouldn't catch you.
Postulation is easy, in quantum mechanics, while painting the bricks with colours and assigning them charges, watching them spin and entropically materialise into something else entirely (and most probably more of it) to satisfy the apparent universal demand for infinite expansion. Howsoever this may be, only one particle satisfies the necessary criteria to be responsible enough for the task at hand. Only one carries the highest of credentials (unwittingly bestowed upon it to the fury of physicists who'd hastily dumped Beauty and Truth). That particle is the Higgs Boson, and we know full well what everybody calls that.
Alone in this world, and of course the universe beyond it (the known universe, that is, that we peer at with telescopes), is the Higgs, the scalar boson. As without the photon we would not see, so without the Higgs we would have no dimension in which to exist, with sole dependence upon the height and breadth of everything. When we stop considering ourselves as so big that we count for something, maybe then we can start working out the math. Or rather - somebody else can.
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Kathy is the author of Quantumology. She met up with quantum mechanics in 1997, pledging allegiance to its sources thereafter. These are her personal thoughts and testimonies.