Friday, March 18, 2016

There's Nothing There - Part 19

Summing up. You can ignore the rest of the quote.
We should probably sum things up a bit, since I don't even remember where we were and I'm not really sure where we are, and I've been writing this thing for months.

We started off with, There's Nothing There, because there's nothing there. That is, in the universe.

Technically, it's mostly empty space
with you, too. And you are mostly empty
space. But it's a nice thought.
There's a lot of stuff that looks like something - you know, galaxies, stars, planets, used-to-be-planets, might-be-planets, Black Holes that aren't quite Black Holes yet, moons, asteroids, comets, meteors, meteorites (which sounds very much like little meteors to me), plus all the stuff on earth like, well, you and me - but as it turns out, all the stuff is made of matter, and matter is made of things that - aren't really there.

That's because matter is made of energy, which is waves, and sometimes matter acts like matter, and sometimes it acts like waves.

And it does this depending upon how we choose to look at it.

And the little matter bits could be here, or they could be anywhere.

And even if the little matter bits were here, there's a lot more of nothing than there is of them.

It says sugar cube. It's really an M&M. In Europe, a Smarty.
In Asia, a grain of rice the size of an M&M. Or a Smarty.
Like, there's a million billion times more emptiness in every atom than there is little matter bits. And you are made of atoms. Which means that there's a million billion times more nothing than there is something in you.

So that means that if we squeeze out all of the nothing from every atom from every human being on the planet, and put them all in the same place, then every human fits into an M&M. All 7+ billion of us. Into an M&M. With room left over.

In fact, 7.3 billion of us fit into two-thirds of an M&M. That means that you could fit another 3 billion or so people into the M&M.

And 99% of THAT is virtual particles that are only there very very briefly.

And the 1% of the M&M that is actually made of little matter bits - is made of things that aren't really there.

So the way that we fix this is by saying that instead of the universe being made of matter, we say that the universe is actually made of ...


Yeah. This doesn't help much, either.
And what, you are saying out loud, the heck are "interactions"?

Well. Interactions are what forces and particles do together when they do what they do together.

I'm thinking that didn't help much.

Not a good look when they're looking for a head.
OK. So, say you throw a baseball. For those of you who live in countries without baseball, pick the ball of your own culturally appropriate choosing. Cricket -. Foot -. Basket -. Human head -.
Which is what we used to throw around when we didn't have round bouncy objects made for games, so in our infinite creativity, we'd whack off the heads of random passersby and use those. You need to thank God that we discovered baseballs and footballs and all that.  Bad enough to be the geeky little kid who always got chosen last. Much worse to be the one kid left over when someone yells, hey, we don't have a head to play with! Somebody get me a head!

Anyway. You throw a ball. At the simplest level, there are two things that need to interact in order for you to throw a ball. 

Thing 1 - you. Thing 2 - a ball. Without both you and the ball, the ball doesn't get thrown.

We need some other things too, of course. Gravity. Which means, a planet. Various laws of physics - momentum, acceleration, deceleration, force, mass, velocity, all kinds of things.

A serious interaction. But, you know. Just Do It.
So the whole throwing-of-the-ball-or-head thing works because of interactions between you, the ball, the planet, air, wind, altitude, mass, all kinds of things. Plus, your own desire to throw the ball, your knowledge of how to throw the ball, and your body's instinct or training on how to throw the ball.

And your body and the ball being made of particles and forces that interact.

Particles = quarks, gluons and electrons.

Forces = strong force and electromagnetic force.

Everything interacting with everything else.

That's how the universe works.

Except for this one, new thing. It turns everything around upside down and backwards.

It's not you and the ball that define the interaction.

It's the interaction that gives you and the ball reality.

You and the ball aren't really there in the way that you think you are.

You and the ball seem to be there. I mean, really seem like it.

Except for atoms, which don't exist either. So close.
But because you are both made of particles and forces, and the particles aren't quite there in the way we think they are, and we're not really sure what forces are, except that they are the whatever that interacts with particles to make particles interact with other particles (eventually, your brain, your arm, your hand, and the ball), then ... 

Reality is not what you think it is. It's kind of backwards. It's the ...

... interaction ...

That creates reality.

So when 7+billion humans fit into two-thirds of an M&M and it seems like none of us are really here, we are here because quarks interact with gluons, which are the particle that makes the Strong Force work,
and the quarks become protons and neutrons, which interact with gluons again to become atomic nuclei, and then the nucleus and the electrons interact via the Electromagnetic Force to become atoms and all of that empty space, and voila!

Here we are.

May the Force be with you.

Because if it isn't, then you aren't, either.

So, where are you then, anyway?

A fine, fine question.

No comments:

Post a Comment