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The Vibrating Universe

What is the Universe Made Of ?

We live in a wonderfully complex universe, and we are curious about it by nature. Time and again we have wondered— why are we here? Where did we and the world come from? What is the world made of? It is our privilege to live in a time when enormous progress has been made towards finding some of the answers. String Theory is the most recent attempt to answer the last (and part of the second) question.

So, what is the world made of? Ordinary matter is made of atoms, which are in turn made of just three basic components: electrons whirling around a nucleus composed of neutrons and protons. The electron is a truly fundamental particle (it is one of a family of particles known as leptons), but neutrons and protons are made of smaller particles, known as quarks. Quarks are, as far as we know, truly elementary.

The Subatomic Universe

Our current knowledge about the subatomic composition of the universe is summarized in what is known as the Standard Model of particle physics. It describes both the fundamental building blocks out of which the world is made, and the forces through which these blocks interact. There are twelve basic building blocks. Six of these are quarks— they go by the interesting names of up, down, charm, strange, bottom and top. (A proton, for instance, is made of two up quarks and one down quark.) The other six are leptons— these include the electron and its two heavier siblings, the muon and the tauon, as well as three neutrinos.

There are four fundamental forces in the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. Each of these is produced by fundamental particles that act as carriers of the force. The most familiar of these is the photon, a particle of light, which is the mediator of electromagnetic forces. (This means that, for instance, a magnet attracts a nail because both objects exchange photons.) The graviton is the particle associated with gravity. The strong force is carried by eight particles known as gluons. Finally, the weak force is transmitted by three particles, the W+, the W- , and the Z.

The behavior of all of these particles and forces is described with impeccable precision by the Standard Model, with one notable exception: gravity. For technical reasons, the gravitational force, the most familiar in our every day lives, has proven very difficult to describe microscopically. This has been for many years one of the most important problems in theoretical physics– to formulate a quantum theory of gravity.

The Theory of Everything

In the last few decades, String Theory has emerged as the most promising candidate for a microscopic theory of gravity. And it is infinitely more ambitious than that: it attempts to provide a complete, unified, and consistent description of the fundamental structure of our universe. (For this reason it is sometimes called a ‘Theory of Everything’).

The essential idea behind string theory is this: all of the different ‘fundamental ‘ particles of the Standard Model are really just different manifestations of one basic object: a string. How can that be? Well, we would ordinarily picture an electron, for instance, as a point with no internal structure. A point cannot do anything but move. Under an extremely powerful ‘microscope’ we would realize that the electron is not really a point, but a tiny loop of string. A string can do something aside from moving— it can oscillate in different ways. If it oscillates a certain way, then from a distance, unable to tell it is really a string, we see an electron. But if it oscillates some other way, well, then we call it a photon, or a quark, or a … you get the idea. So the entire world is made of strings!

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about String Theory is that such a simple idea works— it is possible to derive (an extension of) the Standard Model (which has been verified experimentally with incredible precision) from a theory of strings. In recent years many exciting developments have taken place, radically improving our understanding of what the theory is.

The Universe Vibrates

Michio Kaku, Harvard University and University of California (UCLA) physicist, is the co-founder of the String Field Theory, one of the main branches of String Theory. The latest version of String Theory is called M-Theory, “M” for membrane. So we now realize that strings can coexist with membranes. So the subatomic particles we see in nature, the quartz, the electrons are nothing but musical notes on a tiny vibrating string.

So what is physics? Physics is nothing but the laws of harmony that you can write on vibrating strings. What is chemistry? Chemistry is nothing but the melodies you can play on interacting vibrating strings. What is the universe? The universe is a symphony of vibrating strings.

And then what is the mind of God that Albert Einstein eloquently wrote about for the last 30 years of his life? We now, for the first time in history we have a candidate for the mind of God. It is, cosmic music resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace.

So first of all, we are nothing but melodies. We are nothing but cosmic music played out on vibrating strings and membranes. Obeying the laws of physics, which is nothing but the laws of harmony of vibrating strings.

Princeton University

 César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
 César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist - CesarGamio.com César Gamio - Executive Life Coach - EMCC-EIA - CesarGamio.com
César Gamio - Chopra Center Certified Instructor - CesarGamio.com