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Sunday 5 August 2012

On the God particle

This refers to the letter to the editor by Prof. Carlo Fonseka published on 23rd July 2012.

It appears that Prof. Carlo Fonseka has finally collected his “facts” on the God particle though he does not understand what is meant by a “force carrier”. Collecting “facts” and understanding are two different things. However, I have a few questions to him. Does he believe that the God particle exists? What the western Physicists at CERN have done is to interpret certain photographs they had obtained in their big collider to claim that the photos show some characteristics of a particle that Peter Higgs thought gives mass to the other particles. It is only a story and is not different from Newtonian gravitation that “explained” how the earth moves round the sun. Does Prof. Fonseka believe that Newtonian gravitation exists? The model of an atom with particles going round the nucleus is Rutherford’s old hat as according to the new model the quantum particles do not travel along paths or trajectories. Please refer to the series of articles in Vidusara for details.

Prof. Fonseka mentions of direct “observations” through our sense organs, indirect observations through equipments such as telescopes, and of building models, yes Prof. Fonseka models, Higgs Boson being one such model. Newtonian gravitation which was accepted by the western scientists for more than two hundred and fifty years was one such model that was replaced by Einstein in 1915 with his model. Rutherford’s model was replaced by Bohr’s model and then by some other models before being replaced by the so called standard model.
My original question that has not been given proper attention by the scholars and intellectuals in Sri Lanka was who or what gives mass to the Higgs boson that gives mass to all the other bosons. There are first causes in a linear Chinthanaya that cannot be avoided and big bang is the “biggest” example in this regard. I do not claim to be even a scholar or an intellectual let alone a Theoretical Physicist or a Mathematician, though I have done some work in connection with the big bang more than forty years ago when I was young and immature.
Finally does Prof. Fonseka believe in a theory of everything? Could he explain how a theory of everything tallies with Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, assuming of course that western Physics incorporates Arithmetic? In any event the theory of everything has to contain concepts and who would explain those concepts with or without a theory and or other concepts. A theory of everything, if there is one, is nothing but a God theory which attempts to “explain” everything else without explaining itself. Fifty three years ago when we were in the fourth form our Chemistry teacher asked us first to explain definition and then to define explanation.
A Buddhist who has not drifted towards the linear Greek Judaic Christian Chinthanaya would not believe in a theory of everything. It has to be mentioned that Buddhists do not accept the existence of even those “objects” including particles that are observed directly or indirectly.

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva