Well, I'm glad this has appeared so fully formed from the ether dear Roland! X

Posted 4 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

3 Months Ago

Hi Jaime. Have you seen Rick Peutter's poetry and his essays? They're here on Writer's Cafe, and if .. read moreHi Jaime. Have you seen Rick Peutter's poetry and his essays? They're here on Writer's Cafe, and if you engage him in discussion, he's very willing. He's a physicist.

3 Months Ago

Hi Roland, sorry been off grid. I've not come across Rick, but I will now! Thank you, and I hope you.. read moreHi Roland, sorry been off grid. I've not come across Rick, but I will now! Thank you, and I hope you're well dear , sir! X

Yes, indeed. That's called creation. A very appropriate haiku.

Posted 4 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

4 Months Ago

Thanks, Rick. So is Higgs Boson actually a particle like I stated in my intro, or is it massless ene.. read moreThanks, Rick. So is Higgs Boson actually a particle like I stated in my intro, or is it massless energy? In other words, how should one refer to it?

4 Months Ago

There is something called wave-partial duality. So all these fundamental entities are both. Photon.. read moreThere is something called wave-partial duality. So all these fundamental entities are both. Photons are waves and they are particles. Electrons are waves and they are particles. So are protons, neutron, mesons, gluons, muons, quacks, vector bosons, gravitons,...everything. This strange behavior is because certain physical quantities are what are called conjugate variable. These pairs of properties obey certain relationships. Here are some pairs: (position, momentum); (time, energy); (angle, angular momentum). And the list goes on. Now I going to get a bit technical, but I want you to see that this relationship runs very deep. We knew about conjugate variable pairs even in classical physics. And they are the same pairs. One interesting property is that if you multiply a conjugate pair together, e.g., position and momentum, you get a quantity with the physical dimension of "action". The product of any pair of conjugate variables is always action. And there is a very important physical constant that also has the dimensions, and that is Planck's constant. To early researchers, this immediately suggested some important quantum mechanical relationship. I could go on, but it would get increasingly complicated. But it turns out that when you try to develop a mathematical model to describe quantum mechanics basic consideration force a wave-partial duality. And all of the conjugate variable have their own Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It just falls out of the mathematics you're forced into. And, of course, this is also observed in Nature. Now that was a big digression, so let's get back to the Higgs boson (bosons are integer spin particles) or the Higgs field, if you want to emphasize the wave aspects. (BTW, and forces are carried out by exchanging integer spin particles, and all matter affected by the forces are half-integer spin particles. These are respectively called bosons and fermions, after the scientists Bose and Fermi.). The interesting thing about the Higgs field is that its vacuum expectation value is not zero, which means that even when no Higgs bosons are around the Higgs field is not zero. We currently know only one other field like that, and that is dark energy. Every other field/particle has an average value of zero if no particles are present. Which is another interesting thing. I said in a vacuum the average value is zero, but that doesn't mean for short periods of time it actually is zero, and in a vacuum, particles are continuously born and then decay, and this is done in accordance to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, i.e., time and energy are conjugate variables, so (delta t)x(delta E) ~ h, where h is Planck's constant. So if you need to create a particle spontaneously in the vacuum, and its mass is m, then mc^2 x (delta t) ~ h, to the time that this particle can exist before going away is (delta t) ~ h / (mc^2). Yeah, this sort of stuff is magically mind-bending, but that's exactly what is observed in Nature. And to finally get back to you Higgs question, first, the Higgs is not massless. The reason we couldn't detect it before is because we needed to build a particle acceleration with enough energy to create the particle. Yeah, the energy, E, had to be big enough, E=mc^2, where m is the mass of the Higgs boson. So that's why we needed to wait for the Large Hadron Collider. But Higgs is both a particle and a wave, just like every other fundamental energy. And according to String Theory, these are all loops in an 11-dimensional Universe, in which 7 of the spatial dimensions didn't expand like x, y, and z in the expansion of the Universe. But that's a story for next time.

4 Months Ago

While I can't pretend to have understood all of what you have just presented, I can't wait for the n.. read moreWhile I can't pretend to have understood all of what you have just presented, I can't wait for the next story!

4 Months Ago

Well, I'm not terribly surprised. It's complicated stuff and very non-intuitive. It's so non-intui.. read moreWell, I'm not terribly surprised. It's complicated stuff and very non-intuitive. It's so non-intuitive that Heisenberg famously warned "don't try to understand quantum mechanics, it will only get you confused". I have some close non-physicist friends that are fascinated with things quantum mechanical, and we have a long-running conversation about such stuff. This conversation always restarts with a specific question and that results in a long wandering conversation because one needs a lot of background information for the answer to make sense. So after an hour or so of conversation, my friend says, "Oh, that's amazing. Very interesting." When we meet again and another question is posed, I have to begin all over again because my friend has forgotten almost everything I told him last time. That's not surprising because it is hard to remember things that don't make any sense to you and violate your intuition. It took me a decade before I started to feel comfortable with quantum mechanics. And sorting it all out was difficult, and my fellow grad students were having the same problems I was having. So no worries.

Oh, looking back at our conversation, I now realized that you ended your last note in a way that was.. read moreOh, looking back at our conversation, I now realized that you ended your last note in a way that was perhaps an invitation to say a bit more about string theory. So I'll say a few words. But I am certainly not an expert on string theory. I have not worked in this field and I never had any classes on this in grad school. So being curious about this myself I read the beginning chapters of several books on the field. So here is the motivation and the gist of the field. First, physics are always trying to see some patterns in the laws of nature. They love organizing principles. They understand that at first they are just making wild guesses. They are just trying to find something that works. Once they have something like that, they will ask whether this new "theory" has and any consequences that weren't obvious at first and whether it makes predictions that can be tested experimentally. If the new theory predictions which are confirmed experimentally scientists start to think that there may be something to this theory. But the testing keeps going, of course. People try to show there are more things the theory predicts that prove to be true. The best of all, of course, is to show the theory is wrong. That makes you pretty famous right away, and it will probably show how to build a better theory. Now people have been trying for a long time to make a good theory for the fundamental particles. We need something that explains why there are families of particles and why the families are different and why there are a particular number of members of each family, etc. Right now there is something called the "standard model" for elementary particles. It has such a plain name because we already know it can't be right, but we don't know how to fix it. The most promising candidate to replace the standard model is string theory. String theory was proposed because it is quite a rich language and is capable of encompassing many different possible theories. But the basic idea is that the particles we see are the consequence of the geometry of our Universe. It is very much the same kind of idea as in General Relativity, i.e., that gravity is a consequence of the geometry of space-time. Now one property of geometry is you can "see" it. We can "see" there are three spatial dimensions, and in a way we can "see" (experience) time. So the first hurdle is to explain is if there are more dimensions to our Universe, why don't we see them? Well, we do sort of see them, we see the particles and forces that result from them, be we can't move through these dimensions. That can be solved, however, if those dimensions are microscopically small. After all, our three spacial dimensions started off small at the Big Bang. Maybe some spatial dimensions never expanded with the Big Bang. Could this be? Why not. We know time behaves differently than space, and we even think there are things in our Universe that act like an infinitely small point, like a black hole. So people started working out what would be the consequences of such a Universe. And you find that you can make things like particles that have natural families that are related to oscillations of strings which oscillate and form loops in these small, "folded" dimensions. The best models right now suggest that to get particle families of the type that are seen requires seven additional spatial dimensions. So is string theory correct? Well people are trying to work out the consequences of string theory to see if it makes any predictions that can be tested. That's proving to be a bit difficult. Most of the consequences would require energies very much what can be achieved in the foreseeable future. But people are still working on it. If you'd like to read more about this, here is a Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/String_theory

4 Months Ago

Thanks for taking the time, Rick! All the things you write help to expand my limited grasp of the un.. read moreThanks for taking the time, Rick! All the things you write help to expand my limited grasp of the universe the way it is. This fills spiritual need; faith and belief are not only not necessary, they are nowhere near as fulfilling.

4 Months Ago

My pleasure. Feel free to ask question at any time.

Every type of school I went to was in a different country on a different continent: primary school in England, junior high in Ethiopia, high school in Lebanon, and university in the United States. I'v.. more..