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At the beginning to the last century, a complacent Physics was transformed by the twin discoveries of Quantum Mechanics and of Relativity.
As we move into a new millenum, Physics faces a new challenge: the discovery of Domains, entire subsets of matter which obey different laws and different logics.
In this article we review Domain Particle Physics: exactly what is meant by the term Domain? How does Domain Physics fit in with earlier ideas? And if our understanding of Domain Physics does not yet contradict Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, can we be confident that a total synthesis is still within our grasp?
Table of Contents
MATTER WITHIN OUR DOMAIN
Physics is the study of Matter. This may seem a oxymoron: for five millenia at least, Physics has dealt with ordinary matter - the everyday matter of which the Earth and our own bodies are composed.
This study has been successful. The bases of matter have been uncovered - and found to be blindingly simple. One of the most beautiful and moving discoveries of the last century was that the truely fundamental particles which make up ordinary matter are ranked in a simple and sparse order.
The Standard Model of elementary particles has it that there are three (and no more than three) "generations" of fundamental particles.
See for example the explanation of the Standard Model at the Fermilab site.
Only the first Generation of these fundamental particles are stable in macroscopic time. The second and third generations decay to the first.
(For simplicity, the anti-particles are assummed to be described by the particles: thus "electron" above subsumes electron and positron, and so on.)
FORCES WITHIN OUR DOMAIN
There are three types of fundamental forces by which these particles interact:
- Weak Nuclear force
- Strong nuclear force
All particles feel the Weak nuclear force
Quarks and leptons (electrons-muons-taus) feel the Electromagnetic force
Quarks feel the Strong Nuclear force
These forces are carried by four types of force carrying particles or Vector bosons
the Z and W bosons carry the Weak force
the gluon carries the Strong force
the photon carries the Electromagnetic force
(This is complicated by the fact that the Weak and Elecromagnetic forces are different aspects of the same force. In fact the W boson is electromagnetically charged and interacts with photons.
Of these force carriers only the photon is massless, and so only the Electromagnetic force can propagate over macroscpic distances.
HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF MATTER WITHIN OUR DOMAIN
Matter is always hiererchically structured.
At each level of the hierarchy the energies involved become weaker, the structures built become physically larger and more complex.
Within our Domain, the hierarchy goes as follows:
- Nucleons Up and Down quarks combine to form nucleons. There are only two stable nucleons - neutrons or protons
- Nuclei Neutrons and protons combine to form nuclei. There are many thousands of stable nuclei.
- Atoms Nuclei and electrons combine to form atoms.
- Molecules Atoms combine to form molecules
Thus the Standard Model.
But by the turn of the century it was becoming clear that only a small fraction of the matter in the Universe was "normal" matter, in the sense we have defined above.
The Universe appeared to contain enough mass to be gravitationally closed (that is, ultimately to slow its expansion to a stop): but the amount of normal matter within it was much less than 10% and perhaps as little as 0.5% of the amount required to do this.
This missing, invisible, matter became colloquially known as Dark Matter
There were many theories about Dark Matter. Some held that it was merely ordinary matter in condensed form - dust, gas, "Jupiters" in interstellar space, mini-black holes. Others though that the mass/energy was some sort of strain in space, or vacuum energy, the Cosmological Constant first hypothesised Einstein. Still others thought it composed of light, fast ("Hot") particles like neutrinos.
But as the second millenium drew to a close, it appeared to be clear that the model becoming dominant was that of Cold Dark Matter combined with a Cosmological Constant
It appears that about 60% of the Universe's mass is contributed by the strange tension of the vacuum known as the Cosmological Constant: and that between 1% and 5% is ordinary matter.
The rest is Cold, or slow-moving, matter of an unknown type.
Theories of the nature of Cold Dark Matter abounded. But the most popular belief was that it was composed of exotic slow, heavy, stable, particles (such as monopoles or neutralinos) which did not interact with ordinary matter. In the absence of direct evidence a multitude of such theories arose
These theories were very close to the truth.
CONTACT: THE DARKS
Everyone knows that experiments designed to detect Dark Matter were finally successful. (1)
More than successful: it became apparent that the Dark Matter was intelligent; or rather that entities evolved out of the Dark Matter were intelligent, and willing to enter into communication with us. (2)
Details of the Dark Transmisions remain classified: but we may remain confident that it is the single most significant event in the history of the human race. The Cosmic Silence has been ended: ended by a union, not of the inhabitants of separate stars, but of entirely different segments of reality.
We have learned that here is more than one type of matter: Each separate type of matter makes up a Domain
THE NATURE OF OTHER DOMAINS
(much of the information that follows is drawn from the communication known as Dark Transmission V)
The matter of which the Darks are composed is not made of quarks and leptons: it consists of other types of particles, which interact with each other using different forces.
Our Domain is conventially known as Domain Briah, (a terminology arbitrarily borrowed from the Kabbalah).
The Domain with which contact was recently made is termed Yesod, an equally arbitrary borrowing.
We are informed that there are a large but finite number of other Domains.
The matter in our Domain (Briah) has three generations and three forces. It is impossble to investigate Yesodic Physics directly: but we have some information about it. The matter in Domain Yesod, if our communication is accurate, appears to have four generations and two forces.
All particles in Domain Yesod feel the Far force: but only yods feel the Close force.
It is certain (if only for theoretical reasons) that there are a large number of other Domains apart from Briah and Yesod.
Each Domain has its own type of matter, its own generations, its own symmetries, and its own forces. But so far we know only a very little (indeed, only what the Yesodic Darks have told us) about the other Domains apart from Yesod.
HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURE OF MATTER WITHIN THE YESODIC DOMAIN
Yesodic particles build up Yesodic analogs of molecules, solids, liquids, gasses, plasmas and living things: but in a different hierarchy from the Briahtic matter.
Exactly how this works is still a mystery, though it appears that all four of the Yesodic generations are stable in macroscopic time.
Unlike the Briahtic Strong force, the Near force does not saturate. Yods (unlike quarks) can exist alone: and yods do not combine to form Yesodic "nucleons" and nuclei. Rather, it seems, it is the heavy yods and the light Yesodic leptons which combine directly to form large extended structures like crystals and polymers.
Yesodic "chemistry", having more fundamental types of matter to combine, is therefore much more complex than Briahtic chemistry.
INDEPENDENCE OF DOMAINS
Since the matter in each different Domains feels a different set of fundamental forces, Domains do not normally interact except gravitationally.
We know that other-Domain matter interacts gravitationally because it forms the "Dark Matter" which gravitationally closes our universe.
But we cannot normally see or feel other-Domain matter because it does not interact electromagnetically or through the strong force.
It interpenetrates us without any contact.
Eerily, the Earth beneath us, and the air and sky around us, are full of living things; things that move through us and through what we see as solid matter without apparent effect.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN DOMAINS
Since, however, we have come into contact with another Domain, we must modify this picture.
Some Domains must have forces in common.
In fact, we believe that some types of matter in Domain Yesod also feels the Electromagnetic force - but weakly.
This gives us the picture of an entity in Domain Yesod partially interpenetrating us but feeling solid Briahtic matter, perhaps, as a sort of internal drag or damping field.
Information about how this works is sketchy. We believe now that one generation of the yod particles has a weak electrical charge. (3) When uncombined, these particles are unstable; but they decay only slowly, and they are about as common in Yesod as radioactive elements are in Briah. By manipulating these particles, the Yesodic Darks are capable of interacting with Briahtic matter in a controlled manner.
CONCLUSION: THE JEWEL
As Physics advances, it seems doomed to move through cycles.
Each new area of knowledge is simplified to its essence, but then serves as the springboard for a yet wider understanding. Complexity gives way to simplicity, which again blossoms into complexity.
The Universe now appear to us to be a single multifacetted jewel. We live and work within one facet, and it is the only facet we can sense.
Our job is to understand the whole jewel. The perplexities of the last century, when a complete understanding of Particle Physics seemed always just beyond our grasp, now seem like the antics of a man trying to jam a piece from one jigsaw puzzle into another that was nearly completed.
Of course we failed. Of course we did not see the whole picture. Supersymmettry, String theory, all tried to build models of the entire crystal, while being doomed to stare at its other faces through a prismatic distortion.
But we have friends now - friends found in the last place anyone could have expected. And perhaps, with their help, we can, at last, perceive the jewel that is the Universe, whole and complete.