"Knowing the path is not the same as walking it," said Morpheus to Neo.
Peter Higgs didn't know he was going to discover a particle.
Higgs proposed that broken symmetry could explain the origin of mass of elementary particles and of the W and Z bosons in particular. This so-called Higgs mechanism, proposed by several physicists besides Higgs at about the same time, predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson, detection of which became one of the great goals of physics.[8
(Photo courtesy Leslie C. Bertrand)
Boson = a particle of force, a mediator of some kind, an ethereal being in the quantum foam. Gluons (they hold our quarks together) and Photons come into this category. Particles that are something definable, are fermions - quarks or leptons, of which matter is made. But bosons - there are two kinds, scalar and vector. Confused?... well, here's the BBC:
Scalars have a size, while vectors have both size and direction. When adding vector quantities, it is possible to find the size and direction of the resultant vector by drawing a scale diagram.
W and Z are the vector (gauge) bosons and Higgs joins them as a scalar boson. The only one, at time of writing, that accounts for there being any scale in our universe at all. Thinking on this....
If there were no scale, created by asymmetry as Higgs' original proposal (above) says it must be, the forces and the material elements would have no form to take that physical observers could recognise.
Quarks (you're made of those) and neutrinos (they fly through you all the time) oscillate - change from one thing to another. Why? What for? Well, these questions seem important enough for people to find particles that fit the boxes. And if you read this from CERN, you'll find the quark and neutrino sharing a stage. The weak force - miniscule in spacetime, massive in effect. And the Higgs, another force altogether. High-five to the field, where the Higgs comes out to play - may the Force be with you that pieces reality together, the constructive cement that mass depends on, but which of itself is - what? Energy? The Higgs has something to do with asymmetry...
You've followed the white rabbit far enough to know there are answers to questions many people don't even want to ask. What's more, you're unique, with reason to be drawn to this track in the first place. Our planetary play is now well into Act lll - we're working out what it means, where to go from here, how to live with what's to come. Physics is a guiding light, a beacon of reason, the nuts and bolts of the reality construct. Do we really have room for so many constraints?
Questions are being asked of consciousness. Suggestions have been made that there's a particle to account for it. To quote Cern (from behind the picture here of a Higgs interaction:)-
At the subatomic scale, the universe is a complex choreography of elementary particles interacting with one another through fundamental forces, which can be explained using a term that physicists of all persuasions turn to: elegance.
Over at Quantumology (the Facebook group), live discussions are going into the mix so that we can look at these anomalies more deeply. Physicists are there, along with those who've never been a physicist, and some who never wanted to. Everyone is on the same quest - to dig into these questions deeply enough to find some serious answers surfacing from the digging. Come and check out the excavations!
Live Videos every Monday at 6.00pm GMT
Spontaneously switching on the TV, I found a guy called Luis Elizondo talking through remarkable revelations about UFOs in American airspace. Some of the footage during the show was reconstructed. But not all. Some, it seems, was taken during the actual events witnessed from the plane.
50 seconds into this YouTube vid, a UFO they called a 'tic-tac' flies straight through the aircraft. That piece of film was taken by someone who was actually there. Unless someone says otherwise, of course... Flying straight through matter is something reserved for quantum-mechanical objects such as neutrinos.
The raison de tre behind Luis's mission involving top-flight Government officials and aviation experts surrounds the potential threat of advanced aircraft following American military exercises. I noted the absence of any suggestion that a civilisation capable of advancing its technology way beyond our punitive attempts at mechanics has survived the armageddon ours is potentially heading for. They have genuinely evolved. If they were hostile, that would mean they want something from us. Do we have anything that such a civilisation would want? If 'they' have the capability to breach matter by means of quantum propulsion, they have the capacity to travel in ways we have convinced ourselves (on the whole) to be impossible. We're still stuck with the speed-of-light constraint. Having said that, science has come round to admitting that it might be 'variable'.
Participants were not actors, but passionate contenders with top-flight credentials in a fight for transparency. My only bleat is with their insistence in fearing a presence that demonstrates to be so much more advanced, and so much more benign, than our ego-driven efforts at 'civilisation' could possibly contend with. Capacity to build something with quantum capability gives freedom of movement a whole new meaning - if they wanted to be destructive, they would have gone in for the kill by now.
Taking the above as evidence that other, more advanced civilisations are keeping an eye on us, what could we possibly do to step up to a plate of comparative interest? Three fields of social importance could be forerunning in the strive to spiral upwards, avoiding a terminal crash.
Few scientists, I expect, come to read this website, for it's a long way from conventional physics and argues with attitudes scientific academia has harboured for eons. But if a wish was good enough, I'd wish that some would defect from the privy coffers of institutions and installations, take some risks and give us some information that enables us - as a collective - to step into a future with fewer constraints, where we can learn to approach the precipice of global destruction with some version of common sense. A version based on quantum mechanics with potentials we all share.
Having worked with quite a few companies and seen the efficacy of quantum principles in operation, all the collectives in my experience have demonstrated a sound understanding of behavioural systems in relation to their environment, and take positive action from that understanding having also understood the principles behind those behaviours. People effect culture change through personal choice - giving orders doesn't work, it makes things worse. Improvements that sustain themselves are made through learning and working with principles which are on the one hand inescapable and on the other, indispensible.
Some relationships are characterised by a residue, an imprint if you like, of love that was real but could not reconcile with material reality. The anguish and grief accompanying certain stages of these relationships is, in hindsight, essential for fresh growth and whilst those living through it have to learn to let go, after-burn will tell you what you needed to know, illuminating aspects of the connection you never thought possible before being struck by this kind of lightning.
Relationships emerge from a point in spacetime wherein we have no choice. The whole question of choice is fundamental to our relationships - with ourselves, with others, with our concept of reality. Taking responsibility for reality is a tough call. We tend to blame others for the situations we face, and consequentially fail to take action that could change the situation. A bedrock of personal responsibility (and the freedom it brings) leads us to depths running far beyond anything we might once have wished for, allowing us to experience quantum-based connections that transcend anything we might consider to be 'normal'. From there, everyone's path is unique.
What connects these three groups? Intuition? The ability to shine leading light? It might even be fair to say that a passionate sense of purpose shared by these social systems could drive them into quantum realms not just to make sense of technology, sociology and personal energy, but to contribute to a global track of ascension en route to becoming one of the civilisations that made it past the point of self-destruct. One of the few.
I'm just making the point that if we seriously want to upgrade, we've got to look past the metal boxes we're so dependent on and investigate new levels of reality right here at our fingertips - to study the things we can change in knowledge, culture and relationships given the realms of quantum mechanics that haven't yet been given a chance to really shine... to take us beyond the reach of Fermi's black hole and guide us into clarity, community and continuation for our children's generation.
If we don't make it through, it'll be because we weren't smart enough - if we think we're smart enough, we'd better start taking on some chasers.
Kathy is the author of Quantumology. She met quantum mechanics in 1997 and pledged allegiance to its sources thereafter. These are her personal thoughts and testimonies. For professional testimonials please see Programmes.