Fuzziness on the road to physics' grand unification theory

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 thoughts on “Fuzziness on the road to physics' grand unification theory

  1. 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.

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