On my quest to obtain a better understanding of length scales in physics, I stumbled upon the following paper written by John Baez, who turned out to be a professor at the University of California of Riverside (UCR). This I found awesome since John Baez is definitely brilliant and of course since UCR is so close to home.
Below is the link to a paper written by John Baez on Higher-Dimensional Algebra and Planck Scale Physics. One of the things I found was that John sure has a way of explaining things without talking over your head or at least for the most part anyway. I also liked his approach of why he writes on these topics which is simply aimed at getting his readers interested, besides the obvious reason that he loves these topics too. I especially recommend reading at least the introduction to this paper because it expresses the “ two fundamental theories of the physical universe: general relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics based on quantum field theory” in an easier to understand fashion than some of the other explanations that have also been published.
Below is the link to John Baez’s website which was full of informative links. I thought perhaps some of you might enjoy or be interested in reading up on some of these topics as much as myself. Especially since reading does not entail the pressures of research. ;]
Below is the link that captured my attention in the first place… Length Scales in Physics. I felt this was outlined very well.
For those of you who are interested in the information presented here, I hope you find it useful to your own mind as well as to your understanding of the physical universe. I have found that there is not a proper way to express the excitement or restlessness that I am consumed by as I personally continue my quest to develop an understanding of the physical universe myself.
And quoting the words of John Baez himself, “Both theories (general relativity, and the Standard Model of particle physics based on quantum field theory) have been spectacularly successful in their own domain, but neither can be anything more than an approximation to the truth. Clearly some synthesis is needed: at the very least, a theory of quantum gravity, which might or might not be part of a overarching `theory of everything’. Unfortunately, attempts to achieve this synthesis have not yet succeeded….. General relativity and quantum field theory are based on some profound insights about the nature of reality. These insights are crystallized in the form of mathematics, but there is a limit to how much progress we can make by just playing around with this mathematics. We need to go back to the insights behind general relativity and quantum field theory, learn to hold them together in our minds, and dare to imagine a world more strange, more beautiful, but ultimately more reasonable than our current theories of it. For this daunting task, philosophical reflection is bound to be of help”.
And to say the least, “Theories tend to be spectacularly successful in their own domain, but is there a possibility that they can be anything more than an approximation to the truth?” I cannot concur more…. And as I end this blog, I sit here pondering that very question as I …. “dare to imagine such a world”…..