Fuzziness on the road to physics' grand unification theory

October 6, 2008 |

Leave it to hypothesized gravity to weigh down what physicists have thought for 30 years. If theoretical physicists, led by the University of Oregon’s Stephen Hsu, are right, the idea that nature’s forces merge under grand unification has grown fuzzy.

At issue are grand unified theories that first appeared in the 1970s. They have suggested that, at short distances or high-energy scales, electromagnetic forces, strong forces, which bind quarks in protons and neutrons, and weak forces, which drive nuclear decay, will coalesce into a single unified field. Indications of this idea could appear at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Hsu and colleagues applied advanced computations to qualities that might exist in quantum gravity in distance-shortened, high-energy interactions. Working with Hsu on the project, to be described in the journal Physical Review Letters, were UO doctoral student David Reeb and Xavier Calmet, a former postdoc in the UO’s Institute of Theoretical Science and now of the Center for Particle Physics and Phenomenology at Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

“The energy scale at which these three forces become equivalent is probably very high,” Hsu said. “We do not have a direct way to probe what happens. We cannot actually produce the energies or produce the particles necessary to directly test whether unification occurs, so we look for hints at lower energy scales — and look at how the interactions change. We have seen indications that these three interactions are starting to unify. If you extrapolate these trends to very high energy, it looks like, in certain models or theories, they could unify — all based on experimental data. If grand unification exists, it might be shown at the LHC.”

Enter quantum gravity. It’s not the physical law version as seen under of Isaac Newton’s apple tree but rather a physical theory about gravitational interactions of matter and energy that may be vital to grand unification. This is the realm of space time and its curvature. Hsu’s team looked closely at quantum gravity and the interactions of the forces at work using extrapolations built by mathematical magnification.

“It is believed that at short distances and high energies the actual structure of space time will start to exhibit quantum fluctuations,” Hsu said. “So there would be fuzziness in the nature of space and time. The scale at which this grand unification might occur is getting kind of close to the scale where quantum gravity might exhibit this kind of fuzziness.”

The fuzziness, researchers theorize, blurs the envisioned highway to unification. The blurring, they say, is brought about in the interplay of nature’s forces, where, in certain models of unification, there may be thousands of yet-unseen particles at the boundary, affecting the highway itself.

“The interplay of these forces, in our theory, creates more uncertainty than people previously though could exist in this whole discussion,” said Reeb, who performed much of the number crunching. “It’s an important result, because it is telling people that when you look at the low-energy data and you extrapolate them you may have to be much more careful than was thought.”

If grand unification is to be found, the discovery would move particle physicist closer to the proposed idea of supersymmetry, whereby particles at each level have corresponding qualities in another level as they spin. “Our research says there are more uncertainties to this argument than previously believed,” Reeb said.

The bottom line, Hsu said, is that as data is generated in the LHC, interpretations as to relationships to grand unification may be more difficult for particle physicists to pin down.

5 Responses to Fuzziness on the road to physics' grand unification theory

  1. russ maggio November 26, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    Solution to the Big Bang

    The purpose of this publication is to explain the existing conditions of the universe before the Big Bang. It is also to explain what caused the Big Bang to happen as well as the present condition of the universe. This version of the publication is written in laymen’s terms to promote conceptual understanding.

    Physicists state that the laws of physics break down and do not apply before the Big Bang. Studies of accepted physics proving all of the information leading up to that micro second before the Big Bang is important work. It is also important to understand what information these facts and theories of physics have not considered. The creation of the universe in the Big Bang theory explains the expansion of all matter and energy within the space of the universe. The key point not considered in the solution of the Big Bang is the space itself. In this solution the space containing all of the matter and energy of the universe was not created by the Big Bang. It existed before the Big Bang, and it also caused the Big Bang to occur. It is inconceivable that all of the matter and energy of the universe can exceed or create the space that contains it. It is also inconceivable to simply assume that the space was just already there. The creation of space and what it actually is solves the Big Bang. The important property of space is that it is dimensional. In fact it is three dimensional. No longer considered Einstein statements of time being the fourth dimension and present day string theory predicting numerous dimensions beyond three changes what space actually is. All of the multi dimensional manifolds, points outside of points, and curled up dimensional geometry are still explainable as being contained in a three dimensional universe. A larger or smaller area of height, length, and depth, three dimensions, can still contain them. The solution begins before the Big Bang and also at the point where and when space and the dimension began. The initiation and onset of space, a three dimensional space, can be explained as follows.

    The closest conceptualization of a three dimensional space is a simple cube. A cube is not necessarily a perfect square, it can be deformed, but consider it for now to be the basic eight points. Infinite points can be added deforming it beyond spherical shape, but right now that is not the point. As a side issue why would three dimensions have eight points? Nine points would seem to fit better mathematically. The relationship between three and nine is prime. Consider the ninth point to be the geometrical center of the cube. The ninth point can be considered the inception point, but just as with other laws of physics for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So now consider a sixteen point cube, a cube within a cube, a tesseract. The concept of this tesseract behaves as follows. At the inception and expansion of a cubic three dimensional space there is also the inception of a cubic three dimensional space contracting within it. This occurs on an infinitely multiple geometrical scale, but still surrounds the original inception point. Eventually the size and weight of the expanding dimension creates pressure and turbulence on the contracting dimension. Compression on the contracting dimension eventually morphs it into its strongest geometry, spherical. No energy, wave, mass or anything else yet exists. There is not yet gravity, electromagnetism, nor are there strong and weak nuclear forces. There is no light, no dark energy or dark matter. Existence before this universe, before the big bang, is exclusively dimensional. The Big Bang is the spontaneous reaction to critical dimensional compression. Our universe is born out into the macro dimension by the reaction of critical dimensional compression on the micro dimension.

    Now here are some bullet points:
    · Space and everything in it is measured cubically yet much of matter is viewed as spheres like stars, planets, moons, and atoms. This is the effect of turbulent compression that causes rough spin and spherical formation and interaction. All spin can be traced back to dimensional turbulence and released as a complex spherical relationship.
    · The age of the universe is argued to be 13.7 billion years old and higher. This represents only the visible universe. The only time we can consider is the sum of all of the matter and distance we now perceive.
    · When technology allows us to measure the true sum of all matter and energy in the universe we will be able to calculate the precise point of dimensional inception and the place and time where and when the Big Bang occurred.
    · The makeup of the original pre Big Bang dimension has a root relationship to everything existing within it. It will not be fully deciphered before everything in the universe is, and not necessarily then either. The dimensional makeup may retain unique qualities not expressed, or expressed outside this universe.
    · The three dimensional model does not exclude additional dimensions, existences, or non existences. It does include additional dimensions, multi-verses, or anything else existing within it.
    · The dimensional model may produce additional and variant Big Bangs.
    · The simplified formula: D-U=B with D being the past size of the dimension-U being all contents of the universe-B being the Big Bang that created it.
    · I believe in God. God will always be a matter of faith unless God initiates disclosure.
    · Further information is available and collaboration is invited.

  2. Anonymous April 3, 2009 at 12:23 pm #


    EMAIL theooo1@aol.com


    Please allow me to begin with a short digression about an author of one of my childhood
    science books, explaining how some early scientists didn’t believe in the presence of oxygen
    because they couldn’t see it, what would chemistry be today if oxygen had never been
    acknowledged? The most brilliant people in the world haven’t been able to unify the forces,
    certainly not for lack of intelligence, it was because they always began with insufficient information. A permanent structure can not be completed without a solid foundation,
    change is inevitable, but just how much change will surprise you.

    We know that groups of molecules and energy under the right conditions create what we
    know as a critical mass and explode outwards in all directions. These explosions can and
    have occurred on many different scales, the vast size of some may be hard to comprehend,
    creating many different sizes and shapes of existing molecules and their basic components,
    energy and mass all traveling outwards from the initiating force, creating pressure from the
    inside of the event pushing outward. Utilizing the law of inertia, the outside of the
    expanding particulate would want to stay at rest. The particulate closest to the center of the
    event pushing on all existing particulate creating different pressures, graduating stronger at
    points closer to the center, to weaker at the outer edge of the expanding events. These
    explosions create asymmetrical particulate much smaller than what we know as “atomic
    structures” also creating residual pressure, these smaller particles (field particles) make up
    most of the known universe in what is thought of as the void of outer space, all in
    pressurized contact with each of its surrounding particles.

    Field particles transmit all wave lengths of energy, consistent with a rack of billiard balls
    transmitting energy almost instantaneously, except in a omni-directional manner. Energy
    can not travel as waves though nothing.
    Energy cannot be destroyed or created, only its form altered, I found this statement to be
    very interesting, it involves energy changing form. Energy could not decide what to create
    next, therefore another source must dictate the outcome. That source is non spherical or an
    asymmetrical mass or particle, interrupting the directional flow of energy through field
    particles. As energy waves circumfluent larger, surrounded, non spherical particles, some of
    the energy must be placed into a feedback loop, continually orbiting indefinitely around an
    inner particle or particles as long as there is an energy feed or until the particle or particles
    change shape, canceling the energy system. If the same energy were to travel around a
    spherical shape, all energy would reach the back at the same time canceling the potential
    orbiting of energy. The direction energy travels and orbit frequency is dictated by the shape and size of the surrounding particles and the shape of the surrounded particle or particles.
    It is the direction that the orbiting energy travels that dictates the outcome of the energy
    creating a quantum form as mass. Different shaped particles coalesce in different densities
    forming different elements, the same shape particles coalescing in the same manner every
    time to create the same element. The manner in which particles coalesce is created by energy
    orbits traveling in opposite directions at the point of approach and the finite frequency of the
    orbiting energy, as the two particles or masses meet the energy at the point of approach
    will try to assume one another’s orbits, creating a weakness in the static barrier at the point
    of approach allowing field pressure from opposing sides to push the two structures together,
    the two separate orbits of energy becoming one, excess energy being cast away. In the
    opposite effect, if the two particles or masses had orbiting energy traveling in the same
    direction at the point of approach, the energy would be projected back towards approaching
    structures creating a repulsive effect. This explains the basic principles of molecular cohesion
    and magnetism.

    With molecular cohesion proceeding from micro to macro the same principle is still in effect,
    with the energy system being relative to the size of the mass and the redistributed pressure
    from the displacement of surrounding smaller field particles also energy release from the
    mass and surrounding energy sources. it is the redistributed pressure that facilitate orbit in
    masses. Gravity is similar to the sum of factors in an equation. Gravity is not an elemental
    force, it is an outcome of circumstances created by the pressurized particle field.

    In masses different shaped particles coalesce in different densities and decay at different
    rates, facilitating the regulation of energy release. If the outside of the mass is too dense for
    the trapped energy on the inside to be released and the pressure from the field particulate
    collapsed the outer surface, an explosive force would be necessary to stabilize the event and
    the process begins again.

  3. Fred Bortz October 7, 2008 at 7:36 am #

    Our brains are hard-wired to see sharp distinctions even when we really have only fuzzy information about the world. It’s a necessary survival skill, since our not-too-distant ancestors did not have time to ponder whether that motion in the periphery is a predator. It was act quickly or be lunch.

    (For fun, see my review of Man the Hunted.)

    So we have a hard time accepting that our constructs in physics such as momentum and position are just that–mental constructs. When we allow our scientific mind to ponder these things, we develop quantum mechanics, which includes the uncertainty principle that tells us that momentum and position are not absolutely definable, and that the uncertainty in our measurements of the two are inter-related and nonzero.

    It is the same with spacetime, according to this proposed way of viewing the universe. Just as we had to change our view of space and time to accommodate the observations and theory of relativity and our views of particles and waves to accommodate the discovery of the quantum universe, so we now may have to reconsider our view of spacetime as granular rather than as a continuum.

    Eventually, someone may come up with mathematics that describes Nature in a grand unified way. But I see this “fuzziness” not as a problem but rather as the way Nature is, even though our minds are better adapted to seeing the behavior of our universe as “clockwork” and phenomena as non-relativistic and non-quantum. In other words, our brains evolved under circumstances where we don’t experience relativistic or quantum effects. When we probe Nature as it is, it seems fuzzy to our inherently absolutist minds.

    This philosophy underlies the approach of my Physics: Decade by Decade in the Twentieth Century Science series from Facts On File (2007).

    My website also includes a list and reviews of a number of popular books that address that history and more recent developments.

    Happy reading!

    Fred Bortz — Science and technology books for young readers (www.fredbortz.com) and Science book reviews (www.scienceshelf.com)

  4. Anonymous October 7, 2008 at 2:35 am #

    I thought science was all about clear and reproducible results. We Must Have Absolute Answers!

    Fuzziness? What, reality insists on retaining room to manoeuvre? There is uncertainty of outcome?

    It seems free will wins from predetermination at the smallest scale. What madness next?

    Well, that’s ok by me. It sounds more interesting than a grand celestial clockwork. In fact, confusion seems to be the most natural state in the universe.

  5. darkwingnightmare.com October 16, 2008 at 11:27 pm #


    Home Page
    Link-Entity in Space!
    “Dark Bang” Theory
    Take a Minute
    Unification Theory
    The Entity
    Dark Flow
    Unification Theory
    Unification theory attempts to reconcile the understanding of the four forces of the universe. Electromagnetic, the weak and strong nuclear forces, and gravity. The presumption is that gravity is that weakest of the four forces. Yet it can control the positions of the largest structures in the universe. How can that be?
    Here is how.
    The big bang theory contends that all of the materials in the universe once existed in a very small space at a singularity before the big bang occured. For all of it to have existed and be held there at once there must be a force that is greater than all of the combined forces and energy combined. What force could have done that?
    Gravity did.
    Did the big bang defeat that binding gravitational force? No.
    The same gravitational force that maintains the control of the positions of large structures over vast distances now is the same that held them in close quarters then.
    Gravitational spiral theory which is another of my own ideas like this theory is, may again return them to, and possibly beyond their original positions.
    Is the position of those structures random or chaotic? No.
    They are inflationary representations of their original positions before the big bang. They were systematic in relation to each other before the big bang, and are systematic now.
    The measurements to prove this are already partialy seen in the behavior of elementary particles and will be proven for light, strings, extra dimensions, waves, and all else. The gravitational forces do not become weaker for smaller or lighter waves and particles, it becomes stronger. How else could they be contained and held at the singularity when it should be that their properties would make them more difficult to contain?
    Gravity becomes stronger at smaller distances and with lighter subjects which relegate the other three forces to sub-forces of gravity, and is supported by observing their behavior.

    The real question is this:

    What force defeated gravity and triggered the big bang?
    It actually was not defeated, but forced into its flux control of inflation at the points we prove through physics.

    And the force that ignighted the big bang and began inflation was?

    Stay tuned for the answer.

    Copyright 2008 2008. russell maggio. All rights reserved.

    Posted by darkwingnightmare at 10/10/2008 1:54 AM | Add Comment

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