Here’s the story of High Energy Particle Physics. Read below the graphic for more details.
Notice the energy scale from left to right.
Four separate forces of nature;
- Electromagnetic Force
- Weak Nuclear Force
- Strong Nuclear Force
- Gravitational Force
Most of High Energy Particle Physics -such as the work at Fermilab and the Cern Particle Accelerator- is a quest by tens of thousands of scientist, physicist and engineers to explore the unification of all four of these forces into one single Super-Force. There is much compelling reason to believe that they do indeed merge at sufficiently high energies. In the above graphic look for the “we are here” indicating the merging of the first two forces.
Following is a timeline for the discoveries that led to the confirmation for the unification of the Weak Nuclear Force and the Electromagnetic Force.
James Maxwell, in a series of pages, described the interrelation of electric and magnetic fields thereby unifying them into electromagnetism. This led to the now-famous Maxwell’s Equations.
Hertz demonstrated radio waves and established that radio waves and light are electromagnetic waves of different frequencies, as predicted by Maxwell’s theory.
Glashow, Salam, and Weinberg proposed a theory that unifies electromagnetic and weak interactions.
They predicted the mass of the W boson which mediates weak processes such as beta decay and predicted a new type of weak interaction and its mediating particle the Z boson. Evidence for this new type of process was soon found. They also predicted the Higgs Boson.
The W and Z bosons were finally discovered in 1983 by the UA-1 and UA-2 experiments at CERN. These discoveries dramatically confirmed the Standard Model. Detectors at today’s accelerators have observed over 100,000 W’s and millions of Z’s.
As an amateur, I am forced to read the layman’s version of High Energy Particle Physics in modern Cosmology. Almost every book I listed under the “Science Books That Shaped SPT” tangles in some form or another with the “strange” phenomena of how the particles and forces of nature we see today are simply the broken shards of a Super, Unbroken Symmetry. In fact, it seems like in almost every case, when we look at higher energies and smaller scales (incidentally these are the same), we see signs of Grand Unification.
Because of my deep commitment to the biblical disclosure of the ontological nature of Christ -by whom all things consist-, I am forced to consider that there is some deep correlation between the Nature of Christ and the nature of the Universe. In simpler terms, if Jesus is the Constituent of the Cosmos as Apostle Paul states in Colossians 1:17, then every fundamental property of the Universe bears the unique characteristic of Christ. If I say a chair is made from a tree, then you would expect the material property of the chair to be wood.
In summary; Earthly philosophies and religions have been debating the nature of our Universe since the beginning of time. Jesus comes along and says He is a Tree and two thousand years later scientist discover the Universe is made of wood. It doesn’t take an Einstein to get excited about that!