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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Does It Matter?

Science deals with matter - the material things in nature and reality. If you can't see it, dissect it, or measure it, science doesn't want to deal with it. On the other hand, ontology deals with the metaphysical philosophy of reality.

Matter is stuff which occupies space and can be perceived by the senses. Science has reduced matter down to particles called quarks which are said to be subunits of protons and neutrons.  And between all of these particles of matter lies empty space - the non-physical part of reality.

There is more empty space (>90%) than there is matter. So, why don't scientists put more emphasis on the 90% rather than the smaller part of reality?  They are beginning to as we speak. Scientists are beginning to understand that what lies between particles  (electrons, protons, neutrons, quarks, and photons) is very, very important.

That is where gluons come in.  Gluons hold matter together like glue, hence their name. There are said to be different kinds of gluons depending on what kind of particles they hold together. I'm not getting into all that because it doesn't matter. It will all probably change in a few years anyway.  Basically, scientists had to come up with something to explain how the space between the particles work. So they came up with more particles - gluons.

You can think of gluons as invisible strings linking particles together. This idea of strings is where the "string theory" came from - everything in the universe is connected with oscillating or vibrating strings. When something happens in the universe, whether it's cataclysmic or subtle, will, in one way or another, affect something else somewhere, at some time. This whole idea of gluons and strings is very metaphysical but it is now a big part of quantum physics.

So, science and ontology are coming together. You cannot be a particle physicist and not deal with the non-physical aspects of reality.  What lies beyond matter is so important science must learn to deal with it. It cannot be ignored any longer.  Non-matter matters.

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