“ That you may live in an interesting time. "
- Confucius -
We live in a mysterious and fascinating Universe!
While we remain here in this isolated corner of our humble planet, we surrender in to the charms of the Universe and the wisdom of Nature. And as his faithful disciples that we are, we try at all costs, monitor and understanding the intelligence of the Universe that involves us.
If we were to be observed by Nature with consciousness, what would she say about our progress? ... Are we learning well our lesson?
Indeed a complete theory of Nature requires a great effort on the part of humans ... but people infer and think that the events are not devoid of relation and explanation, so it seems that they are on the right track ...
This is the message that we would like Nature to send us!
And so they persist and go on, and still men continue in their incessant search, tireless in their research for a theory for the Cosmos!
The current purpose of science is to create a unity between all particles and forces, including and describing them in a common equation.
A Unified Theory would have the ability to give us a full understanding of the physical events that surround us in our Universe, and even of our own existence!
A formulation of a Grand Unified Theory lists various properties of reality and Nature, merging them into a single equation. It fields of application would be universal and we will not have to change the theory or the equation to address different problems.
Such an elegant theory would be a genuine work of art!
Only a few great thinkers, guided by a very deep understanding, put the fundamental problem of the structure of the Universe in the center of their thought. And with that in mind, they want to know everything. Those are the real looters of knowledge.
So the ambition persists, and the conquest continues ...
Currently, the general description of the Universe is divided into two parts: First, we have the Theory of General Relativity, and on the other hand the Quantum Theory.
The quantum physicists are entirely satisfied with Quantum Mechanics and the astrophysicists are also happy with General Relativity. The Theory of Relativity describes the Universe in an astronomical scale, and quantum theory describes the Universe on a subatomic scale. It is, inexorably, two major intellectual achievements. Both theories are very successful within their area of expertise and each one is supported by an impressive catalog of experimental and observational evidence. However it is known, unfortunately, that these two theories are mutually incompatible. Both theories do not have common solutions that may be applied to the entire Universe!
We know that reality has to be related in some way, so we deduct that there is a missing ingredient, a hidden variable, a property misunderstood, or something that nobody knows. The problem is that everyone knows that we need some changes, but nobody knows how or what kind of change that can make it work.
What I have to present to you here today, is the change that works!
The main science research focuses on the current search for a new theory that integrates both, that joins together Relativity and Quantum Physics … what all the physicists wish to achieve is a Quantum Theory for Gravity!
There are several models for a theory of Quantum Gravity. Most of them are pure mathematical conjecture without any real physical meaning and purpose, or at least its intelligibility is beyond our reach and understanding. Other, more interesting, use some physical concepts.
Not long ago, in the time of Newton in 1700, it was possible for a person educated assimilate the entire human knowledge ... all human knowledge ... at least in their more general features. Since then, however, the crazy pace of scientific development has made that impossible. Few are the people who can keep pace rising from the frontier of knowledge of the XXI century, always in rapid change and expansion.
What we know now, is probably already outdated and obsolete due to the emergence and flourishing of new discoveries and inventions. As theories are constantly being changed, being updated, acquiring a degree of specificity increased and bigger, all this knowledge and information is the exclusive territory of a specialist and only by him it can be properly assimilated, but even then, they can only hope to assimilate a small part of a model, a very specific and restricted part of a theory with more general concepts.
How can we want to get a proper perspective, the global view, the overall picture, the complete scenario, if we continue to spread the knowledge?
Branches, subdivisions, specifications after specifications, developments that pursue rigorous detail, and for this we stay away from the overall coherence, we delete the relationship between facts, we lose the perspective, we extend our knowledge with new theories, we invent new disciplines … and we keep subdividing Knowledge ... And, frankly, I must confess ... the Science is exhausted! And full of information!
While this route may seem reasonable and natural, maybe we could include a new branch in this infinite list of new disciplines … the Interdisciplinary Science!
No one is quite sure why 'c' was chosen as a symbol to denote the speed of light. Perhaps because it is the maximum of the universal constants, or because it has its origin in a Latin word 'Celeritas', which means celerity and rapidity.
But why do our universal constants have the specific value that they have? Why these values and numbers and not others?
Of all the cosmic numbers that define the architecture of our Universe make us realize that a slight change in the value of these constants, however small it was, would have a major impact in the final scenario of our Universe. The final result would no longer be the same and our Universe would be a very different place.
Nobody knows why the fundamental constants of Nature take the numerical values that they assume. These constants are the genes of our Cosmos. This information appears us to be pre-determined from the beginning. These constants seems to have been introduced right from the start, made ‘a priori’, and it makes us assume an existence of a pre-defined logic that includes and induces a hidden intention to move forward with this magic Universe making it to be the way it is today, and leaves us to believe that there could have exist an ‘Architect’ for our Universe! Some people think that what makes our Universe the way it is today is related with what they usually call as ‘The Anthropic Principle’!
It is surprising that there is no 'Theory of Constants'!
Maybe it was necessary to clarify what is the real role of these constants in the context of Physics, explaining their origins and their impact on the Laws of Nature.
Probably the only physicist who has spend some time to write a book specifically dedicated to the universal constants have been Gilles Cohen-Tannoudgi. This scientist defends and argued that the fundamental constants, in fact, represent epistemological thresholds, and that their strong connection with the major theories is directly dependent on the proposal for those essential constants as well as the consistency of the choice.
What is the meaning of these constants and what do they reveal exactly? How many are, after all, the real fundamental constants necessary to describe all the Physics?
We say that our Universe is defined by its constants, but we still do not know exactly how many!
We declare that these precious constants are the cause and origin of the interactions of all the fundamental forces that we observe in Nature, but we still do not know specifically which one!
The list of our constants is very long …
We could start by mentioning c = speed of light;. then h = Planck constant, then e = electron charge, then perhaps G = Gravitational constant, and why not the most recent discovery α = fine structure constant ... And from here we could continue or we could stop to think and start to ask some serious questions. Why choose a particular set of constants over others?
Currently there are physicists who recognize that the fundamental constants that fall within our Standard Model of Physics are not three, not four, not five, but there are nineteen fundamental constants according to the physicist Michio Kaku, and John Baez more recently estimated that these constants would be twenty-six!
Maybe it would be best if we could review what is our concept of 'universal constant', otherwise, in an increasingly list of new constants always rising, it will set serious restrictions, and it will be very hard to move towards a process of unification and convergence in to a final formula of a Fundamental Theory for the XXI century Physics.
Summarize, simplify, and reduce things to their essence. What we should be searching was for only one constant: The Fundamental Constant of Nature! The magic number that would reveal the secret and the identity of our single Cosmos!
We say that a universal constant is a numeric value, a scalar quantity, which reflects an invariable property of Nature. As such, it is considered as a fundamental essence because it reveals evidence and a guarantee of a particular physical process.
That’s what makes these constants unique and strictly universal.
We must never forget that the universal constants are related with physical concepts and not just units. Concepts and different properties of reality are related in such a way that can be merged into one, making disappear a large part of our constants.
Without hesitation, we should proceed and make a good filter, starting with justification, without ambiguities, the link in all our individual constants and their integration and real relationship with a fundamental physical theory.
This selection requires some care and consistency, and great patience, not to proceed and conclude hastily that a particular choice is more important than another. Even more if this options that are chosen because there is not an appropriate theory to match.
On one way or another, we must take risks and make a radical criterion for selection. In the end, we will see that the number of our constants has considerably decreased until a number that is irreducible, making disappear most of the constants and revealing a single and unique constant: The Fundamental Constant!
Our Fundamental Constant of Nature will have to establish a link between time-space-matter. But unfortunately, the whole construction of Modern Physics is embargoed by a Quantum Theory of Gravity that everyone searches but no one can find!
We exist. Why do we exist?! Was it all a coincidence?
The doubts run over us. Few thinking people will not be asked at some point in their lives if this whole existence could not be a mere fantasy, an illusion!
The more we dissected this world, these atoms, and these particles, the most we found that the apparent strength is a chimera!
The table on which I’m writing is an interlacing of molecules, of atoms … its constituent particles are part of a core that is 10.000 times smaller than the diameter of the atom! … ten thousand times smaller.... Among all this space reigns a penetrating Vacuum, permeated only by fields of forces severely strong. What kind of Forces prevails in these fields?
After all, Mass is not the dominant part but the Vacuum is, it is the greatest and the dominant field! And we know so little about the vacuum!
This is a case to think! It is amazing how we can think with a brain 'almost' empty!
But, however, things appear to be solid, why is that? What is the secret of matter and Gravity?
To achieve a more definitive conclusion we need to focus on our issue. As such, it is necessary to start with the next question:
What is matter? What is mass? … And it is around this little question that all takes place ...