The Bold Voice of J&K

Matter may after all be only in the mind


The famous Higgs boson, discovered in 2012 at CERN, helped explain what gave matter its mass. The elusive ‘God’ particle paradoxically endeavoured to render ‘God’ redundant as suggested by Lawrence Krauss, a renowned theoretical physicist. ‘The quest for the Higgs boson, and its ultimate discovery, neither proves nor disproves God. Science isn’t trying to disprove God. Rather, strive to offer an explanation for the universe that would make a divine creator redundant,’ he said.
Humans, with their remarkable tools and brains, may have succeeded at least partially in transforming metaphysical speculation with empirically verifiable knowledge. But can science really provide all the answers? A stubborn, relentless reductionist approach to investigate the constituents of matter leads only to the conundrum of an even more mysterious subatomic realm. The human intellect grapples with logic and reason to find answers. And just when science feels it is tantalisingly close to the truth, all it finds is just another Matryoshka doll in the belly of its predecessor. Just as mysterious and unfathomable. Scientists have evolved quantum physics mathematical equations that have been ratified by successfully applying them in lasers and electronic devices. They, however, have no clue about how these calculations could throw light on the nature of reality. Most quantum physicists are unconcerned about the nature of reality. Their motto is ‘Don’t ask. Just calculate and carry on with the mathematical deliberations’. The Quantum Field Theory believes various fields, like the electromagnetic field and the Higgs Field, fill space. Particles are merely excitations in this field. A perturbation in this field corresponds to a particle of matter. But scientists are totally clueless about what a field is made of. Another theory postulated is the String Theory. Physicists who work on String Theory say that everything is made of vibrating ‘strings’. All subatomic particles are incredibly tiny bits of energy. And yet, the dilemma of what are the strings made of remains.
‘Matter and energy are the two sides of the same coin; they are not two distinct entities at the subtlest level,’ opined Hans-Peter Duerr, emeritus president, Max Planck Institute, Munich, who succeeded Albert Einstein and Werner Heisenberg. Trying to look at matter at its subtlest level for the last 55 years, Duerr eventually concluded that there is no real matter. Quantum physics has largely replaced the ‘gun to your head either-or’ paradigm of classical Newtonian physics with the blasphemous heresy of simultaneity. The photon now exists simultaneously as a wave and a particle. And that’s where the ever-seeking intellect will eventually have to surrender. A compromise that’s a simultaneity of comprehensibility and incomprehensibility.
Deepak Ranade

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