Pure physics: seven states of matter (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Saturday, April 23, 2022, 19:20 (676 days ago)

At the particle level:


"Most of us, on Earth, have a familiarity with three phases of matter: solids, liquids and gases. But at higher temperatures, the atoms making up matter ionize, creating a plasma, and at really high temperatures, individual protons and neutrons break down into a quark-gluon plasma. Meanwhile, at very low temperatures, the different types of particles form either Bose-Einstein or Fermionic condensates. All told, there are 7 known states of matter, not merely three.

"If you bombard any atom with enough energy, you’ll kick the electrons off of it, creating an ionized plasma: the fourth state of matter. Turn up the energy high enough, and even protons and neutrons will disintegrate, forming a quark-gluon plasma: arguably the fifth state of matter.

"But there are two additional states of matter that not only can exist but do: Bose-Einstein Condensates and Fermionic Condensates, the sixth and seventh states of matter. At present, they’re only achievable under extreme laboratory conditions, but they might play an important role in the Universe itself.


"In addition to the three standard states of matter — solid, liquid, and gas — there are higher-energy states of an ionized plasma, arising wherever atoms and molecules have too few electrons to be electrically neutral, and then of a quark-gluon plasma, where even protons and neutrons are broken up into their fundamental subatomic constituents. However, at ultra-low temperatures, the two fundamental classes of particles, bosons and fermions, can each condense together in their own particular fashion, creating Bose-Einstein or Fermionic condensates, respectively: the sixth and seventh states of matter.

"In order to create a Fermionic condensate out of matter, however, you have to achieve extraordinary conditions: temperatures below 50 nanokelvin with an applied time-varying magnetic field. However, in the vast abyss of space, it’s eminently possible that neutrinos (made of fermions) or dark matter (which could be fermions or bosons) clump together to form their own condensates. The key to solving one of the greatest mysteries of the Universe — the dark matter puzzle — might lie in the rarest and most extreme of all the known states of matter."

Comment: I have skipped over all the studies of particles to give you conclusive findings. God gave us a very complex Quantum basis for our reality. He has His reasons andv perhaps we can pick them apart to reach a level of understanding. So far, i accept what God did as His method of creation, by starting a level of creation and then evolving it into a final product: Big Bang to universe, universe to Earth, Earth to life, and life to Humans. Pure indisputable history. Note no comment on God's reasoning, which is totally unknown and unknowable.

Pure physics: it is not what physicists say

by David Turell @, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 20:24 (645 days ago) @ David Turell

Ed Feser again:


"To say that the material world alone exists is not terribly informative unless we have some account of what matter is. Those who are most tempted to materialism are also inclined to answer that matter is whatever physics says it is. The trouble with that is that physics tells us less than meets the eye about the nature of matter. As Poincaré, Duhem, Russell, Eddington, and other late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century philosophers and scientists were keen to emphasize, what physics gives us is the abstract mathematical structure of the material world, but not the entire nature of the concrete entities that have that structure. It no more captures all of physical reality than a blueprint captures everything there is to a house.


"Galileo and his successors ignored or cut away from their representation of the physical world anything that cannot be captured mathematically – secondary qualities (colors, sounds, etc.), teleology or final causes, moral and aesthetic value, and so on. Thus, as Torretti writes, “modern mathematical physics began in open defiance of common sense” (p. 398). Galileo expressed admiration for those who, applying this method in astronomy, had “through sheer force of intellect done such violence to their own senses as to prefer what reason told them over that which sensible experience plainly showed them to the contrary” (quoted at p. 398).

"The point isn’t that this is necessarily bad. On the contrary, it made it possible for physics to become an exact science. But physics did so precisely by deliberately confining its attention to those aspects of nature susceptible of an exact mathematical treatment.


"And it is no less fallacious to infer from the success of physics that there is nothing more to material reality, or at least nothing more worth knowing, than what physics has to say about it (even if a lot of people who like to think of themselves as pretty smart are guilty of this fallacy).


"...the mathematical description of the material world afforded by physics is also an abstract idealization. As such, it too can exist only in thought, and not in mind-independent reality. Of course, Leibniz’s theory of monads already purports to establish that there is no mind-independent reality, so that perception no more gives us access to such a reality than physics does. The point of the argument of the letters (as I am interpreting it) is to note that the abstractions of physics cannot be said to give us a better foundation for conceiving of the physical world as mind-independent. On the contrary, qua abstractions they are even less promising candidates for mind-independence than the ordinary perceptual world is.


"To try to give content to materialism by identifying matter with whatever physics says about matter would, if this is right, essentially be to transform materialism into idealism – that is to say, to give up materialism for its ancient rival. To avoid this, the materialist could, of course, appeal to some philosophical theory about the nature of matter that recognized that physics tells us only part of the story. But this would be to acknowledge that materialism is, after all, itself really just one philosophical theory among others, no better supported by science than its rivals are. It would be to see through the illusion that metaphysical conclusions can be read off from the findings of modern science.

"The picture of nature provided by modern physics is in fact highly indeterminate between different possible metaphysical interpretations – materialist, idealist, dualist, panpsychist, or (the correct interpretation, in my view) Aristotelian. It is (to borrow from Charles De Koninck) a hollow vessel into which metaphysical water, wine, or for that matter gasoline might be poured. But it doesn’t by itself tell us which of these to pour."

Comment: I use physics and biology to try and prove a designer exists. This piece by Feser shows that I have to interpret from the science which views everything without a designing mind behind it. When I make the point that I am interpreting Darwinist slants from a design viewpoint, accept it!

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