Monday, July 18, 2005

Book One, Chapter One: Tracking Reality--Matter and Antimatter; Correlated Behaviors; What We Think Is Real

Future News
Book One, Chapter One: "Tracking Reality"

Section I: "Matter and Antimatter"
Section II: "Correlated Behaviors"
Section III: "What We Think Is Real"

July 18, 2005
Physics and Metaphysics
Bill Tenuto

Matter and AntimatterThe universe around us always obeys the laws of mathematics, sometimes in ways that are both surprising and bizarre. An example of this is the mathematical discovery of antimatter in 1928 by the English mathematician and physicist, Paul Dirac.

At first, Dirac refused to believe the results of his own computations. His equation (known to this day as the Dirac equation) proved that antimatter had to exist, but as a scientist Dirac was concerned. He felt that if antimatter did exist, it would have been observed already in the laboratory. In 1928 Dirac published his findings, but he stopped short of proclaiming with complete certainty that antimatter existed. Four years later, in 1932, American physicist Carl Anderson observed actual, antimatter particles in a laboratory experiment, proving the accuracy of Dirac's equation.

"Dirac realized that the vacuum of space could be filled with negative-energy electrons"
"…when Dirac published his paper containing the electron equation…in 1928…he was on the verge of anticipating the existence of antimatter…."
"Dirac foresaw…the discovery of…a new kind of matter, namely 'antiparticles.' "
(Tom Siegfried, Strange Matters, [New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2002] pp. 44ff. For background about Tom Siegfried, see the footnote below.*)

Dirac soon expanded on his understanding of the nature of antimatter.

"As Dirac soon realized, it makes no sense to say that only electrons have antimatter counterparts. The same mathematical reasoning applies to every sort of particle as well. All other particles discovered in later years have antiparticles, too. (If you count the occasional odd case of certain particles, such as the photon, whose antiparticle is exactly the same as itself.)
(Siegfried, p. 57. Note: light consists of partcles called photons--B.T.)

Dirac's discovery of antimatter may open to question some of our commonly held beliefs about what is real. But there's more.

We now know that the universe creates itself. Matter and antimatter particles are created from what physicists call vacuum energy (Siegfried, p. 173-174). We also know that these particles don't last very long. When they are in proximity to one another, matter and antimatter particles annihilate each other in less than a second.

"Because quantum physics allows it, particles can pop into existence out of thin space all the time. But they appear in pairs: a particle is always created with its antimatter counterpart."
"Soon after their appearance, the matter and antimatter particles bump into each other and disappear in a flash, returning the energy they had borrowed from the vacuum to fuel their ephemeral existence."(Siegfried, p. 116)

As quickly as they appear, matter and antimatter particles bump into each other and annihilate each other. Because of this, the material things in our universe--the galaxies, the stars, the planets and our own physical bodies--would not exist at all were it not for the literal explosion and subsequent expansion of our universe which occurred at the time of the Big Bang. This initial, rapid expansion of the universe widely separated the first matter and antimatter particles, preventing their mutual annihilation.

At the time of the Big Bang, our universe created its own material forms out of the vacuum energy of space, and it is from this material stuff--from the particles of matter that survived annihilation--that the galaxies and the stars and the planets and our physical bodies are made.**

We human beings have evolved out of the vacuum energy of space. This energy is the energy of creation which has formed each of us and is accessible to each of us.

In our universe, matter can change forms back and forth from matter to energy to matter to energy. Albert Einstein expressed this truth in his famous equation, E=mC2. (Energy = mass times the speed of light squared.) Surprisingly, particles of matter are, in reality, not solid objects but are instead unique configurations of energy. These particles of matter connect to each other to create larger objects, such as our physical bodies, which may appear solid but are, in reality, also configurations of energy.

Our senses are "trained" to perceive some of the configurations of energy around us, but not all. I have foreseen that we human beings one day will evolve into a new state of being in which we will have taught our eyes to see configurations of energy that seem invisible to us now. Significantly, we will learn how to see the configuration of light energy which accompanies the human body.

Correlated Behaviors
Back in the 1930s, Albert Einstein came up with one of his many, surprising, mathematical discoveries. He was looking into the behavior of particles of matter as governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. His discovery revealed the existence of a universal force that might account for our connection to one another and to all that exists.

"In 1935, through a disarmingly simple mathematical analysis, Einstein (with two colleagues)…proved that either quantum mechanics is an incomplete theory or, if it is complete, the universe is--in Einstein's words--'spooky.' Why spooky? Because the theory would allow widely separated particles to correlate their behaviors perfectly (somewhat as if two pairs of widely separated dice would always come up the same number when tossed at distant casinos)."
"Decades of painstaking experimentation have confirmed quantum theory's predictions beyond the slightest doubt. Moreover, in a shocking scientific twist, some of the more recent of these experiments have shown that Einstein's 'spooky' processes do in fact take place (particles many miles apart have been shown capable of correlating their behavior.)"
"It is a stunning finding, and one that reaffirms Einstein's uncanny ability to unearth features of nature so mind-boggling that even he couldn't accept what he found."(Brian Greene, "One Hundred Years of Uncertainty," The New York Times, April 8, 2005. For background about Brian Greene, see the footnote below.***)

What would cause particles, separated from each other by many miles, to dance this dance together, to behave identically to one another? There must be some kind of configuration of unseen energy which connects and guides the behaviors of these particles. Physicists refer to a configuration of unseen energy as a field.

"Basically you can think of a field as something sitting in space--inseparable from space--that affects the other things in space."(Siegfried, P. 176)

A gravitational field and a magnetic field are two commonly known examples of a field. A field is an unseen force, but nonetheless it is real.

The Force of The SpiritI suggest there is an unseen force in our universe, perhaps the same as, or related to, the creative force of the vacuum energy, with the potential to connect and guide the behaviors of not only particles of matter, but also people, while simultaneously allowing for separateness and individuality. Just as Einstein's particles were separate and individual, we experience ourselves as separate, individual beings. And just as Einstein's particles were capable of correlating their behaviors while separated from each other, I believe when we align ourselves with this force, we will be capable of correlating and "co-relating" our own behaviors while maintaining our individuality in the organic, human community on the earth. And when we align ourselves with this force, we will awaken our dormant ability to communicate telepathically with one another.

As all of us unveil our eyes, our minds and our hearts during this time of preparation for our human, evolutionary leap, we inevitably will become more conscious of the existence of this force. Another term for this force is spirit.

As we continue walking on our current, evolutionary path, we are in the process of learning, even now, how to align with this force to enable us one day to live in harmony with each other and with the earth and in accordance with the way we human beings are meant to live on this planet. This force may be that which links all of us in spirit to everything else that exists.

What We Think Is Real
Dirac's and Einstein's inquiries into quantum mechanics have challenged our conventional perception of reality. Their discoveries challenge us at least to ask if there are any limits to what is possible, and perhaps the only limits to what is possible are the limits we impose on our own imaginations.

"Today's technological wizardry (computers, M.R.I.'s, smart bombs) exists only because research in applied quantum physics has resulted in techniques for manipulating the motion of electrons--probabilities and all--through mazes of ultramicroscopic circuitry."
"So the next time you use your cellphone or laptop, pause for a moment. Recognize that even these commonplace devices rely on our greatest, yet most puzzling, scientific achievement and--as things stand now--tap into humankind's most supreme assault on the idea that reality is what we think it is."(Greene, The New York Times.)

The world of quantum mechanics consists of a haze of multiple realities and a multiplicity of possible futures. Our perception of reality, I think, must be open to change if we are to continue to evolve as conscious beings, and as we evolve we soon may discover we always have had the potential to change the reality in which we find ourselves.

The force of the spirit, I feel, consistently makes itself available to show us the way, to join us together and to correlate our behaviors in our human community on earth. Our survival as a species relies on our remembering how to align ourselves with this force. The memory of how to do this lies deep within each of us. The answers are there. The question for me is whether a sufficient number of us will discover these answers quickly enough to stop the destruction.

The predicted time of destruction already has begun, and I will discuss this further in Chapter Three. We need to find out how to stop the destruction before we destroy our planet and ourselves. The future can be changed provided we are not too late to change it?
*Tom Siegfried is a science journalist who served as the Science Editor of the Dallas Morning News from 1985 until 2004. He is currently Journalist in Residence at the University of California at Santa Barbara and a member of the Board of Directors of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. In addition to Strange Matters, he is also the author of The Bit and the Pendulum: From Quantum Theory to M Theory--The New Physics of Information."

**Note: particles of matter and antimatter also are created, even now, around black holes where conditions also are just right to prevent matter and antimatter from annihilating one another. New galaxies are forming around some of these black holes. (See Siegfried, p. 116. In addition, see the results of research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Press Release, July 16, 2003, "Black Holes and Galaxies--Missing Link discovered in our own backyard," at

***Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University and author of The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos.

© 2005 by William L. Tenuto


Blogger Deb said...

Bill, this is an excellent article. I don't know if we, as a species, will be in time or not; but the particles will do their dance with or without us. And energy never disappears; it just changes form.

I hope we are in time. Many thanks for all you do.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 11:02:00 PM  

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