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I look at life with detachment and distance, like a window shopper. Not only I study the window but also my own reflections in it.

Fit In With The Past & Predict Future

Sunday, May 22, 2005 0 comments

What are the facts that a theory of structure of space (e.g. my hypothesis) will have to satisfy? In addition, what are the verifyable new predictions that could be expected from it?
Facts to be satisfied: -

  • It should integrate within itself all the four fundamental forces.
  • It should generate a satisfying theory of gravitation and prove/disprove General Theory of Relativity in this regard.
  • Electromagnetic Theory about propagation and properties of Electromagnetic waves should be a by-product of structure of space.
  • It should fit-in with the Special Theory of Relativity about the Mechanics at speeds near the speed of light.
  • Quantum Mechanics should also be a natural by-product of this theory.
  • It should fit-in neatly with (or supplant) the prevalent theory of particle Physics.
    • In particular it should explain the existence and properties of Quarks and Gluons, which make up the Nucleus.
    • Moreover It should reduce the large zoo of fundamental particles as given by present theories, to a smaller number of sub-space entities (these may not be particles - lets not hazard a guess).
    • Then it should also explain how various particles acquire mass and various properties designated by various quantum numbers.
    • It should explain how such sub-space entities give rise to various particles seen in experiments and in nature/ cosmic rays.
  • It should be able to fit-in (or supplant) the theories of the origin of the cosmos (Big-Bang, inflationary Universe).

Despite all the above, I would not call such a theory as Theory of Everything (TOE) - the term is rather too obscene to be Physics!

Predictions that could be expected: -
It should be a verifiable theory and should generate some new predictions - which should be provable by experiments: -
  • What about predictions for use of weak and strong nuclear forces as a source of energy for everyday use?
  • How about generating energy by direct sublimation of particles with mass into sub-space mass less entities without fission or fusion.
  • How about direct conversion of electron into charge less mass less sub-space entity?

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Nothings And Knots Make Things!!

Saturday, May 14, 2005 3 comments

To make sense of the above non-sense, do nothing, but insert spaces between the words. Now read it:
Dont walk quickly stop.
Its still hard to make unambiguous sense, but spaces between the words, help us to make sense of written language. Same is the role of pauses between the spoken words. Without these spaces, language is not possible.
Punctuation further help us in understanding the language. Spaces by themselves are not sufficient. In fact shifting spaces and punctuation, within a series of characters, can change the whole meaning of the sentence.
Don't walk, quickly stop.
Don't walk quickly, stop.
Punctuation is something between a character and a space. Punctuation is not pronounceable like characters - in that sense its more like spaces. In spoken language sound inflexion and stresses on certain syllables, serve the purpose of punctuation.
In the same manner, space between the nucleus and the electron and between the atoms, defines the material world. If space between the words, is like the space between the nuclei, electrons are the punctuation. Space alone isn't sufficient, electrons are also necessary. Electrons are entities which are neither matter nor space. Unlike other particles having mass, electrons are dimention-less, point entities. In that sense, its just a knot in space.
Nothings and knots make Things!!

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The Fly In The Cathedral

Sunday, May 01, 2005 0 comments

Reading above named book, by Brian Cathcart, about "How a small group of Cambridge scientists won the race to split the atom" (Viking 2004), made me realize that reading a well written popular science book could be a very moving experience?
At the climax of the book I felt the same lump in the throat that I normally feel after seeing a Hindi Film of mushy romance.
The size of nucleus in an atom is like a "Fly in a cavernous cathedral". Please also see my earlier post about "Atom is full of Empty".
The book relates the dynamically evolving race to split the atom (transmutation is the correct term), using particle accelerators based on Hi-Voltages of the order of a million volts.
The heroes are Cockcroft and Ernst Walton. Ernest Rutherford, the Director of the Cavendish Lab comes across as a clucking hen, laying eggs of ideas to be incubated by others.
The book describes the history of nuclear physics as it unfolded mainly at Cavendish Lab, from Plum-Pudding model onwards. It opens with a "Just a boy" Ernest Marsden discovering the rebounding alpha particles off a gold leaf, indicating a hard nucleus instead of Plum Pudding.
It highlights the crisis at the lab where Rutherford had failed to produce anything spectacular for two decades.
Numerous scientists in the continent, England, USA and Russia, people the story like a Tolstoy Novel. The science of nucleus progresses like a ping-pong game between these players, in small steps, each one leading to another.
Max Born's Quantum Mechanics, Pauli's Exclusion Principle, Heisenberg Uncertainty, Schroedinger's equations, Bohr's planetary model impregnate each other iteratively. The thing that set the cat among the pigeons was George Gamow's application of shroedinger's equations, to Nucleus, showing alpha particle's chances of invading a nucleus.
It then traces the work of Cockcroft and Walton that was inspired by Gamow's work. The story has twists and turns, over three years that they took to build a particle accelerator. In retrospect they missed the chance of making the discovery two years earlier and went for a two yearlong wild goose chase.
The race hots up when it is seen that Lawrence with his cyclotron in USA, Merle Tuve with Tesla Transformer and later with Vaan Der Graaf apparatus (also in USA) and a team in Berlin were also working on developing particle accelerators and were poised to pip Cavendish team at the tape.
In parallel the personal lives and romances go on in soft focus. As an aside James Chadwick at the lab discovers neutron, from the same set of results that Joliot Curie in France published. This is a shot in arm of Rutherford ending his two decades of dry run.
Finally the Cavendish team is able to fire protons at lithium and correctly interpret the resulting dots on the scintillation screen as breakup of lithium nucleus onto two helium nuclei, leaving other teams way behind. They get Noble Prize for it after 20 years.
Ah! Ah! I enjoyed it and could not put it down till the end.
I hope I have not spoiled your appetite to read this book.

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