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Foundations, HH 501 Georgian Court University September 9, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Foundations, HH 501 Georgian Court University September 9, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Foundations, HH 501 Georgian Court University September 9, 2008



4  Antares, 1000 light-years away, is the 15 th brightest object in the sky


6  Barred spiral galaxy  billion stars  100,000 light-years across  If it were 80 miles across, the solar system would be less than 1/10 inch across  Mass- measured in Mo (unit = mass of the Sun)  One Mo = 2 x 10(30) kg, or 333,000 times the Earth’s mass  The Milky Way is 5.8 x 10(11) Mo  Just in the part of the cosmos the scientists can see, there are 100 billion galaxies, each containing billions of stars


8  All the space, matter, and energy of the known universe contained within a single point  Birth of the universe in cosmic explosion E = mc²  4 forces of nature unified at first  Gravity - attraction of objects  Strong nuclear force - holds nucleus together  Weak nuclear force - Radioactive decay  Electromagnetic - attraction of charged objects, like electrons to protons and atoms in molecules


10  Gravity split from the other forces  Then the strong nuclear force split from the electro-weak, releasing enormous energy  Matter and energy “smoothed out”  Photons split into matter- antimatter pairs which immediately annihilated  “Quark soup”- quarks, leptons, bosons, and their antimatter partners  Quarks make up protons, neutrons, others  Leptons- electrons, neutrinos  Bosons- photons (light in particle form)  All the universe fit inside a grapefruit  Temp 10(30) degrees Kelvin  Time 0 to 10(-43) seconds  All forces unified- relativity and quantum mechanics indistinguishable  Black holes formed, disappeared, and formed again out of the energy  Space-time curved into spongy, foamlike structure  Era of unification - physics cannot explain (yet?)  All theories of matter and space lose their meaning

11  Further cooling and expansion  Electro-weak force splits into electromagnetic and weak nuclear force  No longer enough energy to make photons split, so matter- antimatter particles annihilate to form photons  Asymmetry at strong/electroweak force split, so for every billion particles of antimatter, a billion +1 particles of matter  One particle of matter left for every billion photons, and no antimatter, leading to physical universe as we know it

12  Temp now below 1 trillion degrees K, time 1 millionth of a second  Quarks become hadrons, like protons and neutrons  Electrons still roaming freely, scattering the photons- opaque soup of matter and energy  Hadron-antihadron pairs annihilate now

13  One second has now passed, temp 1 billion K  Electrons and positrons then annihilate with further cooling- one electron in a billion survives  At 100 million K, protons and neutrons form nuclei  90% hydrogen, 10% helium, also deuterium, tritium, lithium  Two minutes have now passed

14  Particle soup- nuclei, electrons, photons- for the next 380,000 years  Then, electrons snatched up by nuclei, complete atoms form as temp drops below 3,000 K  Universe transparent to visible light  Photons are today’s cosmic background radiation  Over the next billion years, matter gravitated into galaxies  100 billion of them, each with hundreds of billions of stars

15  Larger stars have enough pressure and temperature to make heavier elements  When they die and explode, these elements scatter across the cosmos, enriching the universe  After 7 or 8 billion years of this, the Sun was born from a gas cloud  Matter condensed and accumulated from this cloud, forming rocky planets, asteroids, and comets  For several hundred million years, comets and other debris kept the planets’ surfaces molten  As the amount of debris dwindled, the planets cooled, and Earth ended up at the right distance from the Sun for the formation of liquid water and the conditions necessary for life

16  Greece, 6 th century BCE  Physis - the essential nature of all things  Milesian school- “hylozoists,” or those who think matter is alive- no distinction between spirit and matter  Heraclitus- continuous flow and change- dynamic and cyclic interplay of opposites- pairs of opposites as unity  But- Eleatic school- Divine Principle standing above gods and men- unique, invariable Being- indestructible substance  5 th century BCE- atomists- atom as smallest indivisible unit of matter - indestructible building blocks- dead particles moving in the void- motion explained by “external forces which were assumed to be of spiritual origin and fundamentally different from matter”- origin of split between spirit and matter  This split persisted- Church and science dividing turf during Renaissance

17  Classical physics  Descartes ( )- extreme formulation of spirit/matter dualism- mind and matter- matter as dead and separate from the scientists- material world as huge machine- world can be described objectively without mentioning observer  Laplace - French mathematician  “An intellect which at a given instant knew all the forces acting in nature, and the position of all things of which the world consists- supposing the said intellect were vast enough to subject these data to analysis- would embrace in the same formula the motions of the greatest bodies in the universe and those of the slightest atoms; nothing would be uncertain for it, and the future, like the past, would be present to its eyes.”  Newton ( )- gravity- force between solid material objects moving through absolute space and time - connected with material bodies and acting instantaneously over a distance- particles created by God and therefore not subject to further analysis- universe made of particles set in motion, governed by force of gravity, and running like a machine since creation - giant cosmic machine causal and determinate  “It seems probable to me that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them; and that these primitive particles being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them; even so very hard, as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God himself made on in the first creation.”  “Absolute space, in its own nature, without regard to anything external, remains always similar and immovable.”  “Absolute, true, and mathematical time, of itself and by its own nature, flows uniformly, without regard to anything external.”  This worked to explain: the motion of solid and falling bodies, the motion of celestial bodies, the features of the solar system, the motion of fluids, the vibrations of elastic bodies, and thermodynamics.

18  Faraday and Maxwell- force fields- condition in space with the potential of producing a force  Light as electromagnetic field travelling through space as waves, like all EM waves  At first- explained as mechanical stress in ether  Einstein- no ether exists, the EM fields are physical entities in their own right, can travel through empty space, and cannot be explained mechanically

19  Quantum physics- atoms and other objects not solid anymore  Atoms made up of vast empty spaces - if a hydrogen atom were the size of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome (the biggest dome in the world), the nucleus of the atom would be the size of a grain of salt!  And even these particles aren’t solid- dual nature, wave and particle  At the subatomic level, matter does not definitely exist but has “ tendencies to exist,” and atomic events have “ tendencies to occur ”  And it’s not even probabilities of things, but of i nterconnections  Basic oneness of the universe  No isolated “building blocks” but a web of relations including t  No isolated “building blocks” but a web of relations including the observer- consciousness  Relativity: four-dimensional “space- time continuum”  Time and space not absolute  Time relative to observer position and flows at different rates in different parts of the universe  Space curves around large bodies  E=mc²  Mass is nothing but a form of energy

20  Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle- p osition or momentum, not both  Observer affects nature of particle & experiment- consciousness integral  A particle can only be understood in terms of its interaction with the environment- not isolated but an integrated part of the whole  “Isolated material particles are abstractions, their properties being definable and observable only through their interaction with other systems.” – Niels Bohr  “One is led to a new notion of unbroken wholeness … inseparable quantum interconnectedness of the whole universe is the fundamental reality, and that relatively independently behaving parts are merely particular and contingent forms within this whole.” -David Bohm  Entanglement - interconnection over distance- Bell’s theorem, EPR  Eastern mysticism- the universe as an interconnected cosmic web  “The material object becomes… something different from what we now see, not a separate object on the background or in the environment of the rest of nature but an indivisible part and even in a subtle way an expression of the unity of all that we see.” -Sri Aurobindo  “Things derive their being and nature by mutual dependence and are nothing in themselves.” -Nagarjuna  “The external world and (the) inner world are … only two sides of the same fabric, in which the threads of all forces and of all events, of all forms of consciousness and their objects, are woven into an inseparable net of endless, mutually conditioned relations.” -Lama Anagarika Govinda

21  All differences and contrasts are relative within an all-embracing unity  “The fundamental idea of Buddhism is to pass beyond the world of opposites, … and to realize the spiritual world of non-distinction.” -D.T. Suzuki  Modern physics  Particles destructible and indestructible  particles colliding at high speed break apart but form more of the same particles out of the energy of the collision  Matter continuous and discontinuous  Force and matter aspects of the same phenomenon  Existence and non-existence of particles  Schrödinger’s Cat  “If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no.’” -J. Robert Oppenheimer  “It moves. It moves not./ It is far, and It is near./ It is within all this,/ And It is outside of all this.” -The Upanishads  “Suchness is neither that which is existence, nor that which is non- existence, nor that which is at once existence and non-existence, nor that which is not at once existence and non-existence” -Ashvaghosha

22  Modern physics- all space and time measurements are relative, depending on the observer- no absolute  Bell’s theorem and EPR - communication faster than light  “It was taught by the Buddha, oh Monks, that… the past, the future, physical space,… and individuals are nothing but names, forms of thought, words of common usage, merely superficial realities.” -Madhyamika Karika Vrtti  “Be it clearly understood that space is nothing but a mode of particularization and that it has no real existence of its own. … Space exists only in relation to our particularizing consciousness.“ -Ashvaghosha  “In this spiritual world there are no time divisions such as the past, present, and future; for they have contracted themselves into a single moment of the present where life quivers in its true sense. …The past and the future are both rolled up in this present moment of illumination, and this present moment is not something standing still with all its contents, for it ceaselessly moves on.” -D.T. Suzuki  “Let us forget the lapse of time; let us forget the conflict of opinions. Let us make our appeal to the infinite, and take up our positions there. “ -Chuang Tzu

23  Movement, flow and change- energy - as nature of the universe  “A wonderful philosophy of dynamism was formulated by Buddha 2,500 years ago. …Impressed with the transitoriness of objects, the ceaseless mutation and transformation of things, Buddha formulated a philosophy of change. He reduces substances, souls, monads, things to forces, movements, sequences, and processes, and adopts a dynamic conception of reality.” -S. Radhakrishnan  Fundamental “restlessness” of matter - the smaller a particle’s region of confinement, the faster the particle moves in it  And relativity necessary to describe nucleus b/c particles moving so fast, and relativity shows mass=energy  Energy as a dynamic quantity associated with activity and processes- always moving and changing  A body has energy when it has the potential for activity  Since mass is a form of energy, particles aren’t basic “stuff,” but bundles of energy, intrinsically dynamic, a dance of energy  The activity of matter is the essence of its being

24  Particles spontaneously appear and disappear from and into the void  “According to the (field theory of matter) a material particle such as an electron is merely a small domain of the electrical field within which the field strength assumes enormously high values, indicating that a comparatively huge field energy is concentrated in a very small space. Such an energy knot (is) by no means clearly delineated against the remaining field.” -Hermann Weyl  Modern theoretical physics… has put our thinking about the essence of matter in a different context. It has taken our gaze from the visible- the particles- to the underlying entity, the field. … The field exists always and everywhere; it can never be removed. It is the carrier of all material phenomena. It is the ‘void’ … Being and fading of particles are merely forms of motions of the field.” -Walter Thirring  In Chinese philosophy, the idea of the field is implicit in the notion of the Tao as empty and formless, yet producing all forms, but also explicit in the idea of ch’i  Ch’i as a tenuous, non-perceptible form of matter present throughout space, but which can condense into solid objects  “When the ch’i condenses, its visibility becomes apparent so that there are then the shapes (of individual things). When it disperses, its visibility is no longer apparent and there are no shapes. - Chang Tsai  “The relationship of form and emptiness cannot be conceived as a state of mutually exclusive opposites, but only as two aspects of the same reality, which co-exist and are in continual co-operation. -Lama Govinda  “Form is emptiness, and emptiness is indeed form. Emptiness is not different from form, form is not different from emptiness. What is form that is emptiness, what is emptiness that is form. -Prajna-paramita-hridaya Sutra  “When one knows that the Great Void is full of ch’i, one realizes that there is no such thing as nothingness. -Chang Tsai

25  Capra, F. (1975). The Tao of Physics. New York: Collins.  Nair, S. Modern physics = eastern mysticism? Retrieved April 18, 2008, from  Tyson, N., & Goldsmith, D. (2004). Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution. New York: W. W. Norton.  Specific references available on request

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