Saturday, May 6, 2017

Theory of Everyone !

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I admire Stephen Hawking for his intellectual abilities and also his strong determination, no matter whatever the odds. It was no wonder then that I bought a book on 'Quest for Theory of Everything", written about him and his theories by Kitty Ferguson. In the first few pages, I read about the difficulty in predicting the position and velocity of an object at the same time. I also read about the expanding universe which implies that the dark matter or space between macro objects keeps on increasing. In other words, the stars, the galaxies are moving moving away from each other. The universe is this 'large', or probably infinite due to this expansion and most likely no forces of attraction to hold these galaxies together.

Compare this with the micro particles which stay together but maintain their distance. For example, protons and neutrons are held together inside the nucleus whereas the electrons are outside the nucleus revolving in fixed orbits. It shows the existence of forces of attraction as well as repulsion, which more or less balance each other. As we probe further, we find that individual atoms may form bonds with other atoms of same or different elements. The force of attraction is maximum in case of such bonds. At micro level, the force of attraction is more easily seen as compared to macro level objects.

These two distinct scenarios, though related to micro physics and astronomy and celestial bodies, convey a deeper meaning for our society too. Whether it is iron age or today's computer age, humans have have always shown a tendency to move away in search of relatively greener pastures; the search for exoplanet is only but natural. The universe and we (human species) as a part of universe, no wonder, always try to expand our horizons. This possibly arises due to strong repulsion and out of our need to eat more than we can digest. We spread because we cannot be contented at one place with one another.

Our social structure though encourages cohesion and coupling, also exhibits intolerance and violence that spills over countries and continents too. Most probably these are balancing forces as long as there is some system in the vast chaos, but there is discord in between which shows repulsion getting stronger. In a society or a section of society, where there is peace and harmony, it probably shows more attraction than repulsion. Interactions between humans has reduced and has got replaced with interaction with hi tech gadgets, but never the less, its attraction between human and gadget. Overall the entropy remains constant.

The funny part is that if energy and mass are constant in nature though interchangeable, then in the case of humans also it is true. Those who consume more mass need to spend so much energy in order to keep their balance. Also the fact that if we take more then we must give back more too. Quantum physics surely holds true for us all.

Reading the book made me think of the similarities in humans and micro physics, and the dissimilarities too. Nevertheless, what if emotions are bosons and quarks, then surely there is an explanation to the human behavior too.

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