Shades of Gray
Matter, dark matter; energy, dark energy, and anti-matter
By Duane Dunkerson
It is bad enough that matter, still without a suitable definition,
is heavily relied on to fulfill the particle physicist's expectations
for approaching the penultimate line for representing the total
of all particles. The particles they know of are in transitional
states, ever ready and able to become energy.
In truth, it would appear "energy" is the term in need
of definition. It has supplanted the ages old discussion of matter
and how is it defined, sensed, made into an agent of cause- though
inert, pressed into service as a substratum, and obscurely dealt
with via unknown negativity. Energy is the replacement for occupancy
at the utmost explanatory peak of the slippery slope of the description
for reality. Energy is all there and then it is packaged into
particles. How such packaging is initiated and why it should be
so are mostly of little concern to the particle physicists. Reality,
for them, is the particles that they assay by means of collisions
of extraordinary ferocity.
They don't work with energy, they aren't energy physicists, after
all. They have fashioned an end to reality, the Grail is secured
by nailing together the particles in certain places. Get the particles
and you've got it. To them, the mathematics of it is indispensable,
actually, for them, it's inexpressible without the mathematics.
Yet within the mathematics are infinitesimals and they ruin it.
With them, the number of particles will tend to increase. What
they call particles probably number in the thousands and we will
know of a few. So, then, where is the reality?
Another group of scientists, the cosmologists and astrophysicists,
have got their reality also. It is presumed the particles aforementioned
go to make the Universe in its shades of gray. Presently, there
is dark matter to be dealt with as well as dark energy. They are
much beholden to our own visual apparatus in so designating matter,
some of it, to be dark and energy having a dark zone to it. We
can see some of the Universe's matter they affirm with the energy
to be seen as slight even though it too can be darkened.
There isn't a bit of gray for antimatter. It could have been
composed of dark particles - a negative vs. our particles of positivity.
It would have been a ying and yang to fundamentally set us in
action; a mating of opposites to engender the world. Antimatter
must be anatomically correct and then in collision with us before
we get the offspring. But then the offspring can produce the parents.
Such a confusion could be lessened by acknowledging that there
are particles made up of particles and units of energy made up
of energy. But then E = mc-squared and m stands for mass (matter).
A drifting tension seizes you as you struggle to identify a way
clear of the dark, anti-, material bog that is a tar paper pit
of sticky consequences:
1. We can't find cosmological anti-matter.
2. Never can you produce only a particle or only an anti-particle.
They, if produced, are inseparably paired.
3. But then some particles are their own anti-particles. A photon
of light cheats on the one from column A and one from column B
twinning. But then the photon is really one of those units of
energy and dubious as to being a particle's particle.
4. Apropos of 1., Big Bang enthusiasts assert once we had equal
amounts of matter and anti-matter a very long time ago. The particle
physicists are chagrined by the now rather obvious preponderance
of matter. If it had been as it should have been, then you had
an equal opportunity complete devastation via mutual annihilation.
This should have occurred because matter and anti-matter now blast
one another on contact. But it is plain we have come through,
while anti-matter survives briefly at a particulate creation and
is then heard from no more.
5. To overcome our being here, the particle physicists bring in
symmetries - of charge, parity, and time. None of these is symmetrical,
we are told. Putting charge and parity together as CP allows for
a violation of CP, enough to get us the upper hand there long
Historically, before the sticky goo of what is and what might
have been our lack of a future in the most early universe, physicists
had gone into the ether and down into it in Pearson's case, into
sinks of ether, a kind of negative matter. Hicks, in the 1880's
using atomic vortex theory, also had a negative matter that displayed
anti-gravity. In 1898 Schuster actually used the words "antimatter"
and "antiatom". He too felt that a repulsion of the
norm and the anti- would occur. He even went so far to comment
on the annihilation of colliding matter and anti-matter. In those
days they were asking if the ether was a substratum for matter
or was it matter and then into the ether? In any event Michelson,
Morley, and Einstein destroyed the ether. If ether there be, it
could only survive as a convenient field for the spiritualists
who tap tables, eke ectoplasm from it, and ask the dead for pithy
Spiritualists were not in residence at the California Institute
of Technology in 1932. In that year Anderson found the anti-electron
in a cloud chamber. No mention of ether was to be found in the
front page of the New York Times in October of 1955 as Segre got
credit for coming up with the anti-proton. From particle to even
more came in 1965 as an anti-deuteron was observed. Anti-atoms,
courtesy of CERN, were in evidence as anti-hydrogen. There were
nine of them. A more productive attempt is to be made and 100
anti-atoms per operational second is hoped for. The oven of the
Sun bests this method. Solar flares can bake and shake off a pound
of anti-matter. Some anti-matter is stored in the Van Allen belts
of Earth. Gas giants like the planet Jupiter could also have anti-matter
The storage requires the presence of magnetic fields. These fields
are well accepted. One also speaks of easy familiarity with gravitational
fields. The Higgs field isn't so well known. But it has been proposed
to account for mass. That is, to account for the mass of particles.
Matter enters if at all, in reverse from off-stage. Matter can
be mass-less. At least some particles are purported to be without
mass. But of those with mass then matter comes in via an alley
door off the thoroughfare. And it is constrained to remain backstage.
It is the field that occupies front row, center. Furthermore,
it is the Higgs field. If mass there be, it comes from an interaction
with the Higgs. Field. And, in particle physics, if you've got
a field, you've got to have a particle - the Higgs boson.
Newton had no knowledge of anti-matter, dark matter, and bosons.
For him, in 1687, his Principia defined "The quantity of
matter is the measure of the same, arising from its density and
bulk conjointly". If it is, then it is matter. That is an
uncharitable summation. Modern day physicists do little better
since they too can hardly get beyond, get outside, a definition
of matter that isn't dependent on taking the definition and defining
it. We insist on getting beyond our everyday experience and appearances
and then we get into mass-less states.
The particle physicists don't bring in mass immediately. It awaits
in an antechamber almost backstage like matter. In the second
row is the Lagrangian, a mathematic function that puts across
the behavior, it is called, of particles. After that, the notion
of force makes its appearance and reverting to Newton : f = ma.
M is the mass, not the matter. Matter is not in the script. The
play features mass, Higgs, (field and boson) and the Lagrangian.
The mass they are getting at is the rest mass. Restless mass involves
kinetic energy. It is energy that is the real star of the show
but it is treated as a character act and is far from receiving
top billing. On stage, in one act, is the mystery of mathematics,
as much a mystery as politics, religion, and the weather. Yet
mathematics can only describe, the engine of explanation lies
elsewhere. This engine puts all in motion. Of motion itself, the
physicists haven't a clue.
But certainly gravity acts, on particles and energy alike. Gravity
is a field or it is curvature. For Newton it was action at a distance.
He and others then felt uncomfortable about a lack of mechanism
for gravity, but there it was, a lack of mechanisms need not trouble
the present day scientists. It is all done with mirrors, ah, no,
make that fields. Fields of energy. Certainly these fields are
not as tenuous as the good old ether. They are a good deal more
chunky as ether was like a creamy peanut butter and the newer
stuff is the chunky brand. The fields are like a thick stew of
chunky peanut butter. The chunks can be the particles. The rest
can be whatever one wants it to be - for example, energy too ill
defined. That ever reliable energy is listed as the source of
all particles. The Higgs field is an energy field. But the Higgs
itself gets apart from the yeoman status of energy and assumes
a leading role. The Higgs must give cachet to the particles if
they are to be particles. The particle physicists have found groups
of particles, at least three groups.
So why should energy, at least of the field variety, be limited
to three groups. Of course, it cannot be so. There are thousands
and thousands of particles and we can know only a few. Our "magnification"
puts the brakes on knowing more. It is like observing the lunar
maria with a small telescope and seeing that the surface of the
maria appear to be smooth. But increase the magnification and
the surface is seen to get rough and there are pits and more pits.
The surface can be transformed into nothing else but pits- if
given enough magnification. Our present "magnification"
gives us a few particles.
If we could understand faster, see more, do more, perhaps more
particles would be revealed to us. We would need to go faster
ourselves. But light goes as fast as we can be. Space itself can
go faster. Fast space would move us but would move the particles
too. There is only one causation. If we could have another, one
could be for us, another for them. Aristotle had four varieties
of causation. We have simplified things to the point of lacking
leverage to gain access to other realms of knowledge.
We know the hostility perpetuated by matter and its anti-. Rather
like a death wish. If anti-matter and matter's conjunctions could
be harnessed for power, bombs of great destructiveness could be
made. Also, space travel would have a mighty propellant. We could
foray farther into the Universe that is doomed to collapse or
doomed to expand. The inner workings of the Universe would be
lost to us as the scientists pursue instrumentally what is or
is not energy, matter, anti-matter, or dark matter.
There is more darkness. There is the dark energy. It repels.
It is free of gravity. If, to save the situation, we reduce gravity
from a force to a presence, we can't escape dark energy that is
indifferent, totally, to gravity. In any event, gravity may be
a byproduct of "magnification" - too little or too much
and no gravity. Dark energy puts us on notice that our light and
dark matter, our antis, and our former energy place us in a position
akin to movie makers who do movies about movies. We have theories
about our theories. The apple of Eden and of Newton is now genetically
engineered. One apple was Sin, one was the Moon, and another is
an apple, for the sake of appearance.
Appearances certainly are deceiving, aren't they? Locke thought
that in his time there was enough certainty. The telescope and
the microscope were misleading. Before you search for necessary
convictions and connections, there are none. It is arbitrary.
But once the search is commenced, the arbitrariness is gone. A
system once imposed, or found out- if you prefer, then one must
find connections or it isn't a system.
The system of the three families of particles spans a great range
of size. What is the real size or sizes? Some are more primary
than others? With so much variability, one looks for a lurking
infinitesimal and the minions it fosters. Variety is the spice
of life but it is a curse too as Shelly reports- "We see
a variety of bodies possessing a variety of powers; we merely
know their effects, we are in a state of ignorance with respect
to their essences and causes. These Newton calls the phenomena
of things; but the pride of philosophy is unwilling to admit its
ignorance of their causes."
Shelley's comment is bound by history. Certainly philosophers
today have no such pride. The scientists of today are still like
Newton in that, in the main, it is the phenomena. Yes, certainly,
shades of gray are a drag on depicting whatever is on the canvas
of the Universe. Something colorful could be more beneficial.
The light as opposed to the dark may not be fundamentally different.
How can we know? As Voltaire had it- "For your Cartesians
everything is moved by an impulsion you don't really understand,
for Mr. Newton it is by gravitation, the cause of which is hardly
For a Cartesian light exists in the air, for
a Newtonian it comes from the Sun in six and a half minutes".
Of course progress is always being made, darkness is in the air,
here. From the dark, Pamela ascends into orbit to search for anti-matter.
Within the dark, Milgrom's Modified Newtonian Dynamics is an attempt
to reduce the amount of darkness, there.