From miniscule quarks to the vastness of the universe, from tiny to humungous, how do you explain it? The Theory of Everything.
Galacti muses over a few simple questions based on proven scientific fact: How can an ever-expanding explosion come from a pinhead? If there are four forces that govern the explosion, what is the force behind this phenomenon, the force that caused the initial inflation of the universe?
In other words, why wasn’t the explosion of elementary particles homogenous like a bowl of creamy asparagus soup (Galacti’s favorite), but rather like chicken soup, with bits and pieces agglutinating and floating all over the place? And how does gravity play a part?
To begin to answer these questions, Galacti completes his diagram from the “digital library” of the universe by presenting the four forces that govern our entire universe from the most miniscule to the most gargantuan (see diagram below).
In particular, we can see that gravity has been added to the Grand Unified Theory to produce the theory of everything.
As much as the GUT can be mathematically demonstrated and is a proven—although not a universally accepted—reality, the theory of everything is only an evasive illusion, like the medieval Philosopher’s Stone that works only in the
Harry Potter books. Scientists in the 1970s boasted that they would have the theory of everything by 1999.
By contrast, in 2013 scientists admitted that they may never attain this perfect mathematical equation that fuses the four forces into a coherent Explanation of how the universe functions.
We have all the mathematics to explain the three micro forces of electrons orbiting atomic nuclei in clusters of molecules as well as the mathematics for the fourth force of planets orbiting suns in clusters of galaxies, but we can’t tie them together.
Simply explained, the problem is that if we apply the micro forces’ math to the macro bodies, planets would collide with their suns! As astronomy professor Dr. Pamela Gay is fond of saying in the weekly podcast Astronomy Cast, “The math breaks down.”
We know it works but we don’t know how it works. So far, the theory of everything is an elusive theory with a sense of assumption and conjecture. This is not to say that it doesn’t exist, as scientists might actually prove it, but as of yet no one has discovered a convincing Explanation.
Let’s add a thought to this. The theory of everything refers to our physical, visible universe. That which is observable, testable, and measurable. Anything metaphysical is outside of this theory.
How is it that the conditions of the Big Bang resulted in life on Earth? How is it that humans developed on Earth to ponder these questions? Why do we ask these questions and turn to people who we think have the answers? Why is it that my brain invents Galacti as a way for me to visualize the Big Bang and to ask these questions?
I’m not alone in this: every scientist discussed here, including Einstein, Arno Penzias, and Robert Wilson, shares this behavior and these thoughts. By reading this book, you show that you do as well.
As I mentioned to Galacti, our goal is to break the “métro, boulot, dodo” workaday experience and expand our horizons, as well as open our mindscape to wider perspectives.
The Galacti perspective shows us that the world doesn’t revolve around you or me or us. We’re participating in a cosmic story, and yet we don’t know what it is! We’re adrift in a sea of phenomena.
An instant before Big Bang, these phenomena weren’t there. An instant later they existed, and they do exist now.
As invisible as they are, they are real. They gave rise to point particles, quarks, leptons, protons, atoms, molecules, elements, land, water, air, flora, fauna and . . . you and I. But no authority can tell us conclusively why or how—and everyone on Earth believes different authorities.
Science gives us the big physical story of where the Earth and sun will be in five billion years.
Religion tells us that only those that belong to their religion will be in some sort of heaven.
Mythology gives us more-or-less make-believe scenarios of future worlds.
Some schools of philosophy tell us that our existence is here and now, and that there is no future beyond this life.
Leaders in society are interested in today and the immediate future. Their mandates are at the maximum for their lifetime.
Can we know? Are there answers? Is there one answer? Imagine the unimaginable. Look at the dot on this “i” and consider all the mass and all the heat of all the thousands of billions of galaxies—each containing thousands of billions of stars in the vastness of the universe—condensed in that miniscule dot.
One-billionth of a second prior to Galacti’s post-Big Bang broadcast, that dot containing the primordial soup with the conditions for life in this universe didn’t exist.
Why? Give us The Explanation.
Be prepared to pull up anchor for our voyage. Rather than being adrift, we are setting sail through the phenomena of the universe.
This post is an excerpt from chapter 1.10 of Inventory of the Universe.
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