Physicists today use linear and circular particle accelerators as high-resolution microscopes to study the pieces of atoms, so small, to not been seen without.
Astronomers, using a dozen or so new supersize telescopes, also study the same tiny particles, but theirs are waiting for them in space. This strange collision can be saw as a unification of all four forces of nature: electromagnetism, weak force, strong force and gravity.
The same forces used to understand what let the past be what we saw today.
The Greek Philosopher Pythagoras was one of the first scientist of the past that proved that abstract mathematics could be applied to the real world. Then Isaac Newton discovery on the motions of planets and falling apples are worth to be mentioned as relied to gravity notion. The Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell – as well – created a new era of physics when the principles of magnetism and electricity were unified together by its equation that let begin the electromagnetism theory.
At the turn of Albert Einstein, we assisted on a great unification of matter, energy, space, and time.
By his work the history of physics give a new twist in its events and implication about the origin and the nature of the Universe. Today our main challenge is to fulfill the gap that inter lapse between the unpredictable (even if we have now our ideas less unclear than yesterday) world of quantum mechanics and the big world seen through a telescope.
It is possible to say that the daydream of physicists is to get very close to a coherent and resilient “theory of everything” that accounts for the fundamental law of nature and the unified field theory.
Today Physics have still unsolved questions. So, let’s start their analysis from the most popular topic, just to “Be ready” on what – in fact – is tickling less others curiosity.
Dark Energy: This kind of element is the third component of the cosmos. Ordinary matter and dark matter can be seen as two fundamental “ingredients” that shaped the structure of the Universe. How do we know about it? Well, was Albert Einstein the first scientist that theorize the potential of all matter present in the Universe, to alter the shape of space and time around it, cause it was governing the mass and the energy within it. Nowadays, the field of astrophysics show us that the rate of expansion of the Universe is increasing due to a repulsive force that pushes outward on the fabric of space and time.
Well, how this repulsive force field is produced is a bit complicated to explain!
But we can agree on what quantum theory says us: virtual particles can live for millisecond before turning to nothing again…The metaphor here heard lots of time, is the one of a “vacuum” space that wants to underline that the latest is characterized by low-grade energy created when virtual particles and their antimatter twins popped in and out, by living behind an infinitesimal field of vacuum energy.
Neutrinos Mass: The reaction that take place in the nucleus of the atom creates elements with a considerable mass and a considerable number of ghostly subatomic bits known as neutrinos. They belong to a larger particles family called leptons, such as the electron (yes, that one known by Rutherford and Bohr models!), the muon and the tau particles. Let me define Neutrinos as some sort of scientist that due for a little “shy” attitude, do not interact with ordinary matter, but thanks to this attitude they can be a key instrument to let physicist have a direct glance into the heart of a star!
Not bad, actually. Not long ago physicists thought neutrinos were mass-less, but recent advances indicated that these particles have a small mass and that confirmation is another little piece of the puzzle that wants to find a gold path between electromagnetism, strong and weak force.
Ultrahigh-energy particles: Ok, sometimes when people read the suffix ‘ultra’ or ‘super’ something… the first association is the one with fiction, am I Right😊?
Well, in this case this is not fiction at all because ultrahigh-energy are the most energetic particles of space. They include neutrinos, gamma-ray photons and various other bits of subatomic fragments called cosmic rays. They “assail” the surface of Earth all the time! Yes, even now that you are in train of reading this article. Cosmic rays are fully energetic, cause they must be born in cosmic accelerators fueled by cataclysms of staggering proportions. They are like X-Particles, you see…Scientists suspect some sources: Big Bang itself, shock waves from supernovas collapsing into black holes, and matter accelerated as it is sucked into massive black holes at the centers of galaxies. Knowing where these particles originate and how they attain such colossal energies will help physicists understand how these violent objects operate.
Last week I read an article talking about the need of a new explanation of light and matter to explain what happens at very high energies and temperatures.
Well, let’s go a little bit backwards of high energy and its effects known as a visible trail of radiation, especially in the form of gamma rays, the “hyper energetic” cousins of ordinary light. Since three decades the field of astronomy defined that the community of gamma-ray bursts, better known as brilliant flashes of rays, arrive daily from random directions in the sky.
More recently, astronomers recognized the possible location of these bursts and make provisional to identify them as massive supernova explosions, or neutron stars colliding both with themselves and black holes… But even now nobody knows much about their precise “way and date of birth” because when so much energy is flying around predictions cannot be systematically and unequivocally pointed out.
Matter grows so hot that it interacts with radiation in unfamiliar ways, and photons of radiation can crash into each other and create new matter. The distinction between matter and energy grows blurry… Moreover, we must not forget the problematic factor of magnetism, that despite its dipole moment (A magnetic moment is a vector quantity, with a magnitude and a direction. An electron has an electron magnetic dipole moment, generated by the electron’s intrinsic spin property, making it an electric charge in motion) is a big deal for physicists, who can make only rough guesses about what happens by what is usually described as hellish primordial frame.
To be continued…