ORIGINS: Background & BibliographyAssembled for the PHILOsophy Conference of: Computer ConnectionPO Box 382 BBS (609) 784-9404Voorhees, NJ 08043 by T.
A. HareNov. 13, 1985Topic: Areas of interaction between philosophy, science, andreligion.Part I- Big Bang (Astronomy)Part II – Unified Field (Particle Physics)Part III – Evolution (Biology).Part IV – Theologic interaction- – – -Part II – Unified Field Theory of Particle Physics: And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” (Gen. 1:6)And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.
(Gen. 1:9)- – – -Further reading:1. John H. Schwartz, “Completing Einstein”, SCIENCE 85, vol 6, pp 60-64, 1985.2. Robert Palmer, “What’s a Quark?”, SCIENCE 85, VOL 6, pp 66-71, 19853.
Bruce Schechter, “The Moment of Creation”, DISCOVER, April 1983, pp 18-25.4. Lawrence R. Sulak, “Waiting for the Proton to Decay”, AMERICAN SCIENTIST, 70, 616-625, 1982.5. Mary K.
Gaillard, “Toward a Unified Picture of Elementary Particle Interactions”, AMERICAN SCIENTIST 70, 506-514.- – – -The following background articles were downloaded from American AdacemicEncyclopedia via Dow Jones News Retrevial Service; Nov 12, 1985UNIFIED FIELD THEORY Classical attempts at devising a unified field theory, principally thoseof Einstein, were concerned with the combination of gravitation (thegeneral theory of RELATIVITY) and electromagnetism into the sametheoretical framework. Electromagnetism is described by MAXWELL’S EQUATIONSfor an antisymmetric tensor, whereas Einstein’s theory of gravitationcenters about a symmetric metric tensor; Einstein’s idea was to combineboth descriptions into a single, nonsymmetric tensor, thereby treating bothsubjects from an essentially geometric point of view. Other attempts toincorporate electromagnetism into the basically geometric formalism ofgeneral relativity were made by Hermann Weyl (1918) and more recently byJohn Wheeler; although some theories are more esthetic than others, alllack the connection with quantum phenomena that is so important forinteractions other than gravitation.More-recent attempts at unification have been made from the quitedifferent point of view of merging the quantum field theories that (aresupposed to) describe the four FUNDAMENTAL INTERACTIONS of gravity,electromagnetism, and the weak and the strong nuclear interactions. Themost palatable unification so far has been given by Steven WEINBERG ofHarvard University and independently by Abdus SALAM of Imperial College,London, joining electromagnetism and the weak interactions. In the simplestversion of this type of unified gauge theory, forces are transmitted by theexchange of four different types of particles called bosons, which areassumed to be massless.
By means of a “broken symmetry” an effectivegeneration of masses occurs, so that the Weinberg-Salam theory envisagesthe weak interactions as being transmitted by massive “W” mesons, in whichone meson, identified with the photon, remains massless, while the otherthree, identified with the quanta that transmit the weak interaction, areestimated to be quite heavy. Their rest-mass energies are on the order of50 to 100 times the mass of the proton, and their observation should becomepossible with the next generation of high-energy accelerators. So far, theWeinberg-Salam theory has passed every unambiguous test to which it hasbeen subjected. Weinberg and Salam shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for physicsfor their model.Many other unified theories, involving strong interaction and evengravitation, have recently been proposed. Such grand unification schemes todate have unavoidable and questionable consequences, such as the removal ofthe separate conservation of baryon and lepton number; they predict aproton could decay into a lepton plus pions–an improbable event that isactively being searched for at present. Recent grand unification schemesrequire the existence of magnetic MONOPOLES. These hypothetical particles,also called grand unification monopoles (GUMs), are thought to be verymassive, with a mass ranging from 10 to the 16th power to 10 to the 19thpower GeV.
No experimental evidence of monopoles has yet been found.H.M.
FRIEDBibliography Bergmann, Peter G., Introduction to the Theory of Relativity (1942; repr. 1976) Einstein, Albert, The Meaning of Relativity, 5th ed.
(1956) Hadlock, Charles, Field Theory and Its Classical Problems (1979) Tonnelat, Marie A., Einstein’s Theory of Unified Fields (1966).- – – – RELATIVITY Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity has caused major revolutions inphysics and astronomy during the 20th century. It introduced to science theconcept of “relativity”–the notion that there is no absolute motion in