Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Crappy theories.. brush'em aside!

(Let me forget my philosophy for a while!!)
I read one of the NYTimes articles of 1982 regarding the first of the new unified theories, the Weinberg-Salam theory, which views electromagnetism and the weak interaction as aspects of a single ''electroweak'' interaction. The electroweak interaction would have governed among particles when the universe was at the furious temperatures that existed only during the first hundred-billionth of a second after the big bang! Wow! What an imagination!! The first hundred-billionth of a second after the big bang! Hahaha.. I cant control my laughter. Excuse me please!

(For your information, I wrote to Prof. Steven Weinberg at Texas-that major physics Prof, who wrote the theory that I stated above. Pretty cool dude...I never expected him to reply, but he actually did!)
Disclaimer: Anyway, no offence meant to the Prof or the theory.

All theories begin with an explanation that looks somewhat similar to this:" When the universe was but one billion years old, we watch the galaxies being born in a blaze of blue-white infant stars."(Hahaha.. I am really amazed at the capability of the human mind to imagine such a thing. Hats off!!)
"The universe in these first moments was in a state that physicists call a 'false vacuum' - a state in which it contained no particles but was permeated by energy - out of which the particles precipitated like raindrops congealing from a cloud"(hahaha). For Newton, the vacuum was but nothingness, an empty stage upon which the cosmic drama unfolds.
Who believes in the big bang? It is just an assumption so that based on this, these 'jokers' move ahead and "try" to explain scientifically about the evolution of the universe; haha..

(Ok, serious now.. no more laughing)

Anyway, be it the electroweak interaction or whatever, it all starts from one point- the beginning or big-bang or vacuum or blue infant stars or quantum foam or mass or anything similar. But how do you explain the 'existence' of this mass? (Dont ask me what I mean by existence.. I already told you in the beginning- Let me forget my philosophy for a while!!)
How could this hot mass or whatever have emerged? Does physics have an answer? Or even, talking about the minute sub-atomic particles that constitute matter, how minute are they? How minute can they get? (I know, they keep getting smaller and smaller for no reason!!) Do these exist?

You call them leptons, hadrons, quarks or whatever. Heisenberg's uncertainity principle proved that you can't really predict where you can spot the electron if at all such a thing exists. He himself was unsure! So, how do you explain all this- the origin, the existence, the particles within all these matter? Is it true that the key to understanding the fundamentals of matter and energy lies in understanding the infancy of the universe? Well, in that case, we would never understand it. As Einstein said: "God doesn't play dice"!

Dont give me a crappy reply that you have seen an electron or a quark.. Show me if you have seen one. I can point you to something that makes more sense than that!

Take the minutest particle that science has ever tried to explain. The last time I read about it, it was called the 'quark'. Well, it has been quite sometime since I read about it, so you never know, they might have found something smaller than that and given it a name!! You can go on dividing it till you reach a limit or you can go on expanding something or tracing back something to its ancestor till you reach a point from where you can't go further.

I am not saying that such theories shouldn't be believed. They all can be believed. The big-bang, the electroweak interaction, the theory of parallel universes (Hmm.. its another interesting theory), the sub-atomic world, the quantum physics, the theory of evolution and whatever your mind can imagine. I might create another theory today and will be able to convince more than 90% of the people, I am sure. Believe them- all of these theories, but also know that they are not self-sufficient. Of course, they are all true upto a certain point- till the point where YOUR MIND CAN REACH. Science stops there. Physics stops. The world stops. It looks for a help- an apparent external help at this point.
And what is that, which explains everything? What is that knowing which you feel comfortable that you have found a satisfactory explanation? What is that in which "alone" you can rest? What is that reaching which, you cannot(well.. "need not") go further? Thats the INFINITE! And can you really know it? Well, yeah, but not in the sense of 'knowing'!

We all know that theories don't help and discussions don't help. And.. and... the most powerful electronic/sub-atomic microscopes dont help;-)
Well, you know what I mean..


Samhita said...

I have slided into this blog through Orkut. It took almost a month to skeak through all the posts..

And this article is the most commendable one. The last line about microscope n physically perceivable devices says it all that even our means are limited.

Nyaya , Vaisheshika , Sankhya , Yoga , Purva-Mimamsa and Uttara Mimamsa- considering them different levels of perceiving things, we got to judge- what forced the modern scientists to drive the whole science towards 'proof only by tangibility'.

Your posts are quite refreshing. Keep writing. I'll use my available 'mind' to understand stuff.

sundeep said...

U mean to say the entire statistical mechanics, quantum theory(rather entire physics)is pig shit????

u always need a starting point to derive things.But when this starting point is supported with theories,proofs watever...It becomes obvious..Once u start believing that it is obvious... then u get to see things like nuke reactors,VLSI,high speed digital systems,ur mobiles which are very much visible and and do exist!!

One more thing...Heisenberg was never unsure!!He was sure about the
unsure ness(uncertainty) of the simultaneous measurement of the conjugate quantities(position)...

Its indubitably a nice food for thought!!

i 7 said...

was an interesting read, some science stuff i have read recently!