HomeISANProjects/PartnershipsJohn Dobson MonthHistoryJohn DobsonAstronomy NewsNewslettersRecognitionArticlesGalleryTelescope PlansshopLocal ContactsBoard MembersNat'l OrganizersRegional Org.LinksResourcesSchedule/EventsFlyersIYA 2009Dark SkyPlanet EarthKey contacts

Something Deeply Hidden

There is something hidden underneath our physics which our explanations have been unable to reach. As Neils Bohr said, "Anyone who
is not shocked by quantum mechanics, hasn't understood it." If the electrons, or the photons, go one at a time through the double slit
experiment, how do they know that both slits are open? It was the astronomical observations of Galileo in Italy and
Tycho Brahe in Denmark, and Galileo's experiments with pendulums and inclined planes, that sparked the development in Europe of what is
known as classical physics. Newton took over after Tycho, Galileo and Kepler, and figured out how transformational causation works. Tycho
thought, "Let's first find out where the planets are and then ask how they got there." Kepler inherited Tycho's careful observations and
came up with three laws of planetary motion. With the help of Kepler's laws and Galileo's studies in the effects of gravity and inertia,
Newton was able to figure out, in the main, how transformational causation works, and he wrote it up with plane geometry so that anyone
could understand it, but he failed to notice that there is something underneath, (and we had yet to put in thermodynamics and Maxwell's
famous equations).
Einstein, Bohr and Heisenberg took over after Newton, gave us relativity and quantum mechanics, and pointed to something underneath.
As Einstein observed, "Something deeply hidden had to be behind things." Richard Feynman who, in a sense, took over after Einstein, Bohr and
Heisenberg, and who helped to give us quantum electrodynamics, could take the consequences of Newton's transformational causation for granted.
But he was fascinated by the beauty of those things in our physics that could not be thus explained. Why does matter show gravity and inertia,
and why are the particles electrical? Why do we have the conservation laws? What is energy and why is it conserved?
If Feynman's questions cannot be answered from within the field of play of our physics, we will have to look for something hidden
underneath. There must be some other form of causation underlying Newton's transformations. There must be something which gives rise to
gravity, electricity inertia and the conservation laws.
Euclid's geometry had to take several things for granted which are known in the trade as axioms. Newton's laws of motion had to take
inertia for granted. General relativity had to take gravity for granted. Quantum electrodynamics had to take electricity for granted. Perhaps
we have taken too much for granted. Euclid failed to put time into the geometry. In 1905 Einstein put time into the geometry where it belongs,
but special relativity still takes space and time for granted. Maybe that is our mistake. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle says that if
we can know where something is in space, we cannot know its momentum, and that if we can know when something happens in time, we cannot know
the energy of the happening. The uncertainty is connected with seeing things in space and time. Maybe that is our mistake.
What we see is changing in time, and finite and divided in space. So if something underlies it. and it seems that something must, it must
be changeless beyond time, and infinite and undivided beyond space. And the question is: could such an underlying existence show through in our
physics in such a way as to allow an explanation for those parts of our physics which heretofor we have had to take for granted?
Late in the last century, Swami Vivekananda had suggested that the universe is an underlying existence, which he referred to as the
Absolute, seen through the screen of time, space and causation. In the winter of 1895-96, he met Nikola Tesla at Sarah Bernhardt's party in
New York and asked him if he could show that what we call matter could be just potential energy. Tesla apparently did not get it shown, But
Mileva Einstein, Einstein's first wife, was a close friend of Tesla's, and she probably brought the problem over to Einstein where ji t shows
up in the appendix to his relativity paper in 1905 as E = mc'. That is what Swami Vivekananda had asked Tesla to show. The c 2 in Einstein's
equation is just to clear up the units. When we found out that mass and energy are the same thing, we had to know how many ergs make a gram.
Einstein referred to that equation as "the equation in which energy is set equal to mass." By 1905 Einstein had the needed information in hand.
He knew from his paper on photoelectric effect that the energy of a receeding particle is lowered by the redshifting of its spectral lines.
He knew from his relativity paper that the mass of a receding particle is also lowered. He had only to put the two together to get E = m which
Swami Vivekananda had asked Tesla to show ten years earlier.
So mass, as a separate entity, dropped out of our physics in 1905 and the term has gradually been replaced with the term rest energy.
But that leaves us with Feynman's question: what is this energy and why is it conserved? Because energy cannot arise within the field of play
of our physics. It cannot arise by transformational causation.
Now since energy cannot arise within the domain of our current physics, it might indeed be Swami Vivekananda's underlying existence
seen through the screen of time and space and showing as changeless through the changes in time. If so, we have for the
first time, an explanation of both the conservation of energy and its inertia. And if gravitational energy is that underlying
existence showing as undivided through the dispersion of the particles in space, and if the electrical energy is that same existence
showing as infinite through the smallness of the particles, we have an explanation for both gravity and electricity. But how about
the energy of radiation which is unassociated with mass?
In 1905 Einstein put time into the geometry where it belongs, and time and space come into that geometry as a pair of opposites so that
the total separation between the emission and absorption events of a single photon goes to zero. The space separation between those two
events comes into Pythagorus' equation squared with a plus sign, and the time separation comes in squared with a minus sign. And since, for
photons, the two are equal, the total goes to zero. We see events away from us in space by the trick of seeing them back in time. In 1905
when Einstein threw out the luminiferous ether, he should have thrown out the photons as well.
When the photons appear to go one at a time through the double slit experiment, the emission and absorption events of each photon are
adjacent in space-time. This adjacentcy has a space component and a time component, and it is the space component of the adjacentcy that goes
through both slits, not the photon.
All this is old physics. All I am suggesting is that we are seeing the changeless,the infinite, the undivided through the screen of time
and space, and that the transformational causation of our physics is a consequence of this. The rest is old physics. And this is not metaphysics.
Anything relating to the existence or behavior of what we see as matter is within the domain of physics.
If energy is indeed the underlying existence showing as changeless through the change in time, its conservation and its inertia
follow as a matter of course. But how about the conservation of momentum? Since time has its opposite in space, and since momentum is the
space component of energy, we might expect the conservation of momentum also to follow as a matter of course. But the universe is not made out
of momentum. The universe is made out of energy; it is not made out of anything else. So the conservation of momentum, both linear and angular,
like the conservation of electrical charge, is based on pairs of opposites where the total goes to zero. That way they represent zero
change in the changeless.
If it can be shown that the universe has an overall momentum, or angular momentum, or an overall electrical charge, I will have to throw
in my sponge. And if, as I see it, the protons and electrons arise by apparition, they should not decay by transformation within it. If it
can be shown that the protons do decay, I may have to throw in my sponge.
If the universe is Swami Vivekananda's Absolute seen through the screen of time, space and causation, there need be no talk of origins.
Rather we need to know what would be the consequences. That is Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. It says that if you see what you see in
time and space, these will be the consequences. Quantum mechanics is the consequences of seeing what we see through the screen of time and
Bell's theorem states that if matter behaves according to our quantum mechanical understanding of how it should behave, and we know
now that it does, then one of two things has to fail. Either local causation fails or objectivity fails. In a sense, objectivity failed
in 1905 when the separation between the perceiver and the perceived was seen to go to zero. And, in a sense, local causation fails if angular
momentum, like electric aharge, must always have its opposite. Our inertial guidance systems keep track of a direction through the universe
at large because the other half of their angular momentum is in the universe at large and the total must go to zero.
John L. Dobson
October 1996