Quantum gravity physics based on facts, giving checkable predictions

Monday, October 17, 2005

Higgs field and aether

Dr Peter Higgs suggested in the early 1960s that the spacetime fabric is a kind of ideal non-viscous fluid, causing mass. By non-viscous, I mean it causes no continuous drag, just an opposition to acceleration (inertia) and deceleration (momentum). [It works a bit like Aristotle's arrow in air as described in his book Physics (350 BC), where he confuses an arrow for a fundamental particle, and air for the spacetime fabric. The spacetime fabric pushed out of the way by the particle pushes in again behind it, returning the energy it has taken, and keeping it in motion!] It is vital for the Standard Model, since it is the mechanism for every piece of mass in the universe.

Quantoken, renowned expert on everything, has pointed out that Einstein's principle of equivalence between inertial and gravitational mass in general relativity tends to suggest that if gravitons (spin 2 bosons) are responsible for gravity, they must also be responsible for inertial mass. Why not just have the Higgs field?

The Higgs field is vital to explain the massiveness (80 GeV) of the Z and W particles that carry electroweak force interactions. The electroweak theory comes from independent work in 1967 by Steven Weinberg and Abdus Salam. The high mass-energy of the Z and W particles is due to their short range. They were both discovered experimentally at CERN in 1983.

I want to have a second shot at deriving the strong nuclear force law. Heisenberg's uncertainty (based on impossible gamma ray microscope thought experiment): pd = h/(2.Pi), where p is uncertainty in momentum and d is uncertainty in distance. The product pd is physically equivalent to Et, where E is uncertainty in energy and t is uncertainty in time. Since, for light speed, d = ct, we obtain: d = hc/(2.Pi.E). This is the formula the experts generally use to relate the range of the force, d, to the energy of the gauge boson, E.

Notice that both d and E are really uncertainties in distance and energy, rather than real distance and energy, but the formula works for real distance and energy, because we are dealing with a definite ratio between the two. Hence for 80 GeV mass-energy W and Z intermediate vector bosons, the force range is on the order of 10^-17 m.

Since the formula d = hc/(2.Pi.E) therefore works for d and E as realities, we can introduce work energy as E = Fd, which gives us the strong nuclear force law: F = hc/(2.Pi.d^2). The range of this force is of course d = hc/(2.Pi.E) .

When we compare F = hc/(2.Pi.d^2) to coulomb's law of electromagnetism, we see it is 137 times stronger. What is occurring physically is a shielding by the polarised spacetime fabric around the core of a fundamental particle, so the core force is filtered and attenuated by 137 times as seen from a great distance.

The strong nuclear force is supposed to be carried by pions, as predicted by Yukawa around 1935. In this sense, 'strong nuclear force' refers to the force keeping the protons confined to the nucleus without the nucleus exploding by electrostatic repulsion.

However, with the development of quark theory, the confinement of triads of quarks led to the suggestion of a more elaborate strong nuclear force theory, called quantum chromodynamics, in which confined quarks each have a different colour charge (red, green, and blue, for example), making the whole baryon (neutron or proton) colourless. These forces are supposed to be mediated by 'gluons'. It might sound weird, but colour charges just don't excite me much. Can't we unify forces without having colour charge? Which of the two otherwise identical upquarks in a proton has which colour charge? This just seems very artificial, very ad hoc to me! I know it works, but so did Ptolemy's ancient cosmology with its epicycles...


At 2:11 AM, Blogger nige said...

'It should be admitted quite frankly that, at the present time, the mathematical applications of wave mechanics have outrun their interpretation in terms of uncerstandable realities.' - Professor Samuel Glasstone, PhD, DSc, 'Sourcebook on Atomic Energy, 3rd ed., 1967, p82.

Now Glasstone taught basic classified nuclear weapons design at Los Alamos in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1940s he wrote a textbook on the application of quantum mechanics to rate reactions in chemistry. He later wrote a standard textbook on nuclear reactor engineering. He started off as an English chemistry lecturer in the 1920s, and authored school chemistry textbooks, gave BBC radio shows on 'chemistry in daily life', and wrote them up as a book with the same name.

In 1950 he edited the 456 pages long technical 'Effects of Atomic Weapons' with Los Alamos physicists for the US Atomic Energy Commission. Born in 1897, he was 70 years old when he made his comment that the maths of quantum mechanics had outrun their physical understanding, but he was not so old in the 1920s when he was able to observe the origination of quantum mechanics.

Two other guys have comments to make on this point. Over to you, Isaac:

'I design only to give mathematical notion of these forces, without consideration of their physical causes and seats.' - Sir Isaac Newton, 'Principia Mathematica', 1687 ed., preface.

Well said, that man!

Now we get a heckler shouting:

'It is now a full quarter of a century since physical science, largely under the leadership of Poincare, left off trying to explain physical phenomena and resigned itself merely to describing them in the simplest way possible.

'To take the simplest illustration, the Victorian scientist thought it necessary to 'explain' light as a wave-motion in the mechanical ether which he was for ever trying to construct out of jellies [elastic solids] and gyroscopes [Kelvin's vortex atoms, or Maxwell's gearbox-type displacement current]; the scientist of to-day ... has given up the attempt and is well satisfied if he can obtain a mathematical formula which will predict what light will do under specified circumstances.' - Sir James Jeans, MA, DSc, LLD, FRS, 'The Universe Around Us', Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1929, p329.

At 2:13 AM, Blogger nige said...

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