Monthly Archives: May 2014

Missing Links Part 1

(A companion piece to Alienation and It’s About Time)

(Part 1 of Two)

At the conclusion of one of the serialized TV documentaries for Through the Wormhole, its narrator, Morgan Freeman, looks directly into the camera and with facial expressions and the voice of a whimsical guru, delivers a summation of the documentary’s message. The message is that there may be countless duplicates of each of us elsewhere in the Universe. Ummmm…that’s deep…really deep.

But there’s a problem: There isn’t—nor can there ever be—a shred of evidence for human facsimiles in the Universe, whether totally apart from this one or a hypothetical Universe parallel to it. Yet, separately or together, Classical and Quantum Physics are proliferating science conundrums at an unprecedented pace. Strictly speaking, a link is possible only if there are two or more duplicates to link. There are no duplicates. That being said, following is a profile of the only ‘me’ in existence.

A Micro Biography

I was born in 1927, the same year that Quantum Science claimed its place alongside Science. I grew up with classical science with no difficulty accepting Quantum Science as valid from the moment I was introduced to it. Although Classical and Quantum science are still at colossal odds, I have learned to live with their profound differences, contradictions, and their lingering riddles.

When I contemplate science conundrums, I shave as closely as possible with Occam’s Razor. That is not because I am prone to skepticism or unduly rigid about unproved theories. Rather, it is because of my conviction that a hypothesis must be within the parameters of observation, which include technological extensions of our empirical faculties, e.g., particle accelerators, computers, telescopes, or are at least based on precise and uncontroversial mathematical equations, and exclude any factors that are by definition forever confined to imagination only. Too many of those are already swept under the rug by Occam’s Broom.

Fast Forward to the Present

I quote from a small book I wrote: The Handyman’s Handbook on Cosmology, A Book to Cure Insomnia:

  • Classical Physics is real and relevant in the macrocosmic world.
  • Quantum Physics is real and relevant in the microcosmic world.
  • The two are exquisitely incompatible.

The split between those two worlds begins with the atom.
Or, more precisely, with the nucleus of the atom.

In the macrocosmic world, 1 + 1 = 2.
In the microcosmic world, 1 + 1 may or may not = 2.

Niels Bohr put it another way. He said:

If you aren’t confused by Quantum Physics, then you haven’t really understood it.

In other words, there is a Universal Split (my term, not official) between two valid physics. The search for the missing link between Classical Physics and Quantum Physics that began at the beginning of the last century continues to this day. Quantum Science is a treasure chest of missing links.

The Ultimate Missing Link

As you know, the prevailing model of the Universe is that it sprang from “A ‘point’ of infinite mass and zero volume.” As I see it, ‘infinite mass and zero volume’ is a contradiction in terms: at least on this side of the Big Bang. I suppose there is cosmological justification for that scenario and an equation to match it. If so, I can only assume that there must be a dimensional “reason” for the ‘infinite mass/zero volume’ paradox. However, I suspect that any hypothesis that contains the word “infinite” in it, whatever its equations, still needs a little work.

In any case, I’m told that there are 10500 (a 1 followed by 500 zeroes) possible models of universes. Given those odds, I don’t think we’ll ever find a plausible link to the creation of the Universe. Apparently, St. Thomas Aquinas’ First Cause link is at least as possible as any hypothesized in science. But, since the first instant of time begins with the very conception of the Universe as we know it, a scientific link to its origin is not likely to ever be known.


[To be continued in Missing Links, Part Two of Two]

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