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Critical Thinking in the Philosophy of Physics

Further clarification to outstanding questions in physics and philosophy may proceed from reconsidering already-accepted laws to create new ideas or eliminate those that may be scientifically incorrect. For example, consider creating a new quantum field based on the phenomenon of energy delocalization and localization. Chemists, for example, are very well knowledgeable about the aromatic character of the benzene ring (C6H6), a hexagonal flat molecule of carbon atoms alternately double-bonded to each other. In it, there are three pairs of specialized bonding electrons called pi (π) that appear simultaneously shared between the atomic orbitals of all six carbon atoms forming the ring (Morrison & Boyd (1973). These electrons behave distinctively to those forming the single carbon-carbon bonds called sigma (σ). The quantum field theory explains that the π electrons are capable of moving above and below the flat hexagon ring in circular motion because they are energetically capable of being shared simultaneously as a consequence of the sp2 hybridization of the molecular orbitals of the carbon atoms. This behavior opposes the σ electrons, which appear “confined” between the atomic orbitals of only two carbon atoms. In the quantum theory of molecular orbitals, it is said that the π electrons are delocalized (Morrison & Boyd, 1973), whereas the σ are localized (Levine, 1991). By delocalization it is meant that the energy of the π electrons is spread over a larger number of energy levels and thus allowed to be found in several places at the same time, whereas localization means that the energy is spread over a smaller number of energy levels, and thus allowed to be found in less places at the same time. A closer look into physics demonstrates that the property of delocalization is due to the wave nature of the electrons, a consequence of duality. The concept of delocalization is tied to resonance, a phenomenon well known in chemistry and physics, especially in modern applications such as electronics. The importance of electron delocalization to life includes the fact that the frequency at which π electrons move in the porphyrin molecule of chlorophyll is what is responsible for capturing the ultraviolet (uv) light from the sun in order to initiate the biological process of photosynthesis in autotrophs organisms such as plants and algae (McGraw-Hill, 1994).

Let us consider introducing a new quantum field based on the concept of delocalization-localization to determine whether the properties of a system, such as the energy, would be spread over a larger or smaller number of energy levels. I drew this idea from the 1800’s physicist named Maxwell who unified the electric and the magnetic fields through a set of four mathematical equations (McGraw-Hill, 1994). In physics, it is said that a moving charge generates a perpendicular magnetic field (Serway, 1986). It is curious, but I share with other scientists the impression that the flow of information in textbooks creates in our brains ideas that flow in one direction, in this case, by explaining that the mass of an electrically-charged particle is responsible for creating the perpendicular magnetic field. However, with a little critical thinking, I reversed the flow of the thought and tried to re-interpret it backwards by rather considering the possibility that the magnetic field creates the charged-particle. I have a citation to Maxwell’s work that gives me the hunch that magnetic waves have something that the electric charges do not have.

In the equations of Maxwell, there are two concepts for the electric and the magnetic fields called field strength and density. About those Maxwell said that “the first equation says that electric flux lines, if they end (my emphasis) at all, will do so in electric charges”. The second states that “magnetic flux lines never terminate” (my emphasis). In an effort to re-interpret Maxwell conclusions, I went to a Merriam Webster dictionary of English and found that the definition of the word “end” is “the parts of an area that lies at a boundary; a point which marks the extent or limit of something or at which something ceases to exist; a ceasing of a course; the ultimate state”. For “terminate” I found “to bring or come to an end; conclude, finish, or complete”. From Maxwell and these definitions I drew an analogy between the word “terminate” with the concept of localization, whereas the phrase “never-terminate” with the concept of delocalization. This leads to the conclusion that the generation of an electric charge may be a consequence of localizing electric flux. Since magnetic flux lines are never localized, therefore, they are always delocalized. This could also be seen by saying that the electric charge is a consequence of spreading electric flux over a lower number of energy levels. Therefore, my hunch finds evidence in the fact that what the electric charge is missing is the ability to be delocalized or spread over a larger number of energy levels as in the case of the magnetic field. We can also hypothesize that the electric charge proceeds from a state of delocalization as the magnetic field, to account for a possible preference of spreading energy over higher number of energy levels, and thus giving a sense of supremacy or superiority to the delocalization state of the magnetic field.

If we consider a charged particle, from Maxwell and the above analogy, we may say that the charge proceeds from a quantum attenuation of the delocalization field responsible for terminating electric flux. We may speculate that the degree of localization is responsible for the size and the sign of the charge of the particle. This may explain how particles acquire charge: depending on the degree of attenuation in the localization of electric flux among lower number of energy levels, in which the degree of localization is controlled by the delocalization/localization quantum field. Likewise, we may apply the same reasoning to explain mass allocation in a particle. Let us introduce a violation to Maxwell second equation by allowing some extent of the magnetic flux lines to terminate or become localized by spreading its energy over a lower number of energy levels, as in the case of the electric flux lines. In this case we may hypothesize that the mass of the particle proceeds from a quantum attenuation of the delocalization field responsible for terminating magnetic flux. We may also speculate that the degree of localization is responsible for the amount of mass of the particle. In summary, the different electric and magnetic localized energy that builds our solid, material universe may proceed from a pure energy, wave-like matter source which energy may be 100% delocalized, 0% localized, and theoretically showing no duality or no particle-like properties. The model implies that particles may have different degrees of duality and that pure matter may have to move faster than what we call the speed of light to account for the larger spreading of energy over a larger or infinite number of energy levels. This kind of totally-delocalized energy can also be associated with the hypothetical particles called tachyons, which arise in quantum mechanics from a mathematical consideration of the expression for the energy and momentum given by special relativity (Feinberg, 1991).

In summary, mass and charge can be defined as the resulting observed vibrations from localized electromagnetic energy proceeding from a parent source or matrix that resembles the antique philosophical ether. It is worth to mention that Max Planck, 1918 Nobel Prize winner in physics and considered another of the fathers of quantum mechanics, mentioned that in reality there is no matter like atoms, that matter originates from a force that brings a particle into vibrations, and that behind this force exists an intelligent mind which he considered the matrix (my emphasis) of all matter (Planck, 1944). Some recent new ideas about the constant acceleration and expansion of the universe seem to correlate with the matrix concept presented here (Ruchvarger, 2011).

In quantum mechanics it is well known that the duality shown by all matter is a consequence of the wavefunction being composed by terms of both particle and wave, and hence the name duality (Granatstein, 1991). Quantum theory explains through the Heisenberg uncertainty principle that there are properties of particles than cannot be simultaneously determined, like the position and the velocity (Levine, 1991). In the HVB theory, this is explained by saying that there are two different kinds of fundamental energies, one is delocalized and the other localized. The difficulty of measuring both with precision arises from the fact that the delocalized portion is spread over a much higher number of energy levels than the localized. This includes the possibility that the delocalized energy must be evaluated based on speeds higher than the speed of light. There may be the possibility that the mathematical models that humans have used to measure energy are not entirely adequate to measure delocalized energy.

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  1. […] Critical Thinking in the Philosophy of Physics […]

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