Elementary Particles - Origin Model - Your Original Purpose
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Section 9

Elementary particles are defined as those that have no measurable internal structure, that is, they are not composed of other particles. Because of this, they are sometimes also referred to as fundamental particles. Until the early 1960s, the elementary particles present in an atom consisted only of those indicated in the Bohr model that was developed in the early 1900s by Niels Bohr―protons, neutrons and electrons. These particles are considered to be ‘real’ particles, in that they exist and can be seen and held, so to speak. However, with the development of particle accelerators, the existence of new subatomic and/or virtual particles began to be theorised.


A particle accelerator is a device that uses strong electromagnetic fields to propel charged real particles (e.g. electrons and protons) to high speeds, sometimes approaching the speed of light. There are many different types of accelerators, ranging from the familiar household cathode ray tube (old-style television or monitor) through to the world’s largest and most expensive machine ever built, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)―a $13 billion, 27-kilometre-long, underground ring of superconducting magnets that straddles the borders of France and Switzerland, near Geneva.


The primary purpose of devices like the LHC is to accelerate and smash particles together so that theoretical and particle physicists might be able to further study the nature of atomic structure and hence come closer to understanding the very nature of existence itself. In very simple terms, the way a particle accelerator works is not unlike the way you might smash two nuts together with great force to break them apart and reveal what is inside.


The best-known ‘smaller particle’ to be discovered via an accelerator is the quark, and quarks are now believed to be the particles that make up protons and neutrons. But there are now hundreds of theorised and 'discovered' virtual particles that result from the ever-increasing activities performed in particle accelerators and colliders around the world.


It is questionable, however, whether this approach is an effective way to finding true and valuable answers. If we apply the perspective we have just discussed―that the nature of matter is ever-revealing, and the intentions of the observer affect the outcome of experiments―it may be misguided or even unhelpful to continue looking in this way any longer. As there is no end to what might be ‘seen’ in these experiments, this suggests that there is no definitive answer in the matter, and some scientists are beginning to accept this.


However, the search for understanding through these extreme experiments of reductionism continues unabated and at great cost to our collective global community. Perhaps the greatest value to have come from this searching is to see that ‘space’ itself―the place where things appear―is nothing other than a ‘boiling, bubbling brew of virtual particles popping in and out of existence’, as Lawrence Krauss says in his talk Origins of the Universe. This statement is a quantum mechanical, mathematically stable description of the essential nature of the creative mechanism of Consciousness. It describes beautifully the raw power of the psyche, the universal mind from which all things arise.


My main point here is to highlight the fact that there is no end to this kind of investigation that we seem to be caught up in and obsessed with today. Although the technological achievement of building a machine like the LHC is truly awe-inspiring, and the outcome of some experiments performed in it valuable at certain levels, the answer to the fundamental question ‘What is the essential nature of existence?’ will never be found inside a long tunnel, deep beneath the ground. The answer we seek will only ever be found deep within ourselves―each of us as the individual extensions of Consciousness that we are. For this reason, and so that we can continue developing the Origin model, I am going to use only the real particles represented in the Bohr model to further explore and explain the Universe and our relationship to it. This model provides the basis for our understanding of chemistry and biology, which are the very real, tangible and demonstrable fields of science that impact on our daily lives. The apparent existence of other elementary particles such as quarks, leptons, gluons, gravitons, bosons, fermions, mesons, muons … and hundreds more of the like, belong in the realm of theoretical physics only, and as such are not very helpful to the ordinary person who wishes to gain a better understanding of themselves and the world they live in. Most people understand, or are at least familiar with, the concept of protons and neutrons forming as the nucleus of an atom, with various shells of orbiting electrons (see Figure I). This is where we will re-enter our discussion.


The Bohr model of the Atom - Elementary particles

Figure I ― The Bohr model of the Atom, showing protons and neutrons clumped together as the nucleus, with electrons orbiting or existing as shells around them


To gain a sense of what gives rise to all particles, we need only consider, once again, the reality of the firmament. This is the first expression of Consciousness―the quantum―and the base elementary particle from which all others arise. In the next section we discover how an atom forms to become something distinct from these otherwise identical elementary particles.