Banner
    The Road 2 Unification - From Galileo to GUT....
    By Akshit Kumar | February 6th 2011 01:50 PM | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    What really comes to your mind when you read the title?? i am not asking this in the Shiv Khera-You can Win style... instead this question decides your fitness level to comprehend the blog to follow..

    a) Unification of Indo-Pak- Don't Read!!! i guess my blog is meant for lesser mortals.



    b) Unification of the sexes??? SORRY!!! The blog will require a bit more IQ...











    c) GUT??? BINGO!! Read On.....


    It all started with a bearded man gazing up at the night sky through a self invented telescope who then went on to propose the then controversial heliocentric model of the universe which unfortunately awarded him with a death sentence from the "Oh! God is Great" Church. Although Harvard historians may laugh at my knowledge but this is the accepted starting point of physics (if there is such a thing). The new born child then reached its adolescence during the Newtonian period (forgive me for not using dates for I myself see no point in remembering even centuries). Newton, Leibniz, Bernoulli, Maxwell, Ampere- all were the greatest physicists of that "golden time of physics"..It started with Newton's laws of motion and ended before the advent of Albert Einstein...





    "God does not play dice"... Einstein's simple yet firm belief sparked the hottest debates in the history of physics-The Einstein-Bohr debates... Bohr was a strong advocate of quantum physics, in fact he is considered by many as the founder of the field. In fact, I guess that Einstein's space-time warp concept-his 'fourth dimension theory'-is largely related to quantum physics. Today, quantum physics is the most interesting and highly researched part of modern physics. In fact, layman considers modern physics and quantum physics essentially the same... Of course wrong because modern physics has got a cosmological touch too.. The era was started by Einstein's path breaking papers on photoelectric effect, special and general theory of relativity and Brownian motion and ended with the beginning of the search of the universe's smallest and the universe's largest.





    And then came (and still goes on) the era of particle physics. It was sparked by some serious questions. How did the universe start? Can we create universe(s)? This is the Cosmo feel of quantum physics. What is the smallest and the largest dimension matter can reach? Is there anything that crosses Planck's length, Planck's time , Planck's mass. This era has (and will) witnessed the most beautiful engineering wonders ever. The most famous is of course the LHC of CERN on the Franco-Swiss border. The lesser known like the Super-Kamiokande Solar Neutrino Detector and the Tokamak are no less important or wonderful. To witness a couple of proton-proton collisions per day, the SKSND was built with 32,000 tonnes of filtered water and 11,200 photomultiplier tubes.


    Scientists believe that there is one theory-Grand Unified Theory that can explain everything and every occurrence in the whole existing (and continually expanding) universe. One Master Equation that could explain everything from the effect of dark matter on the motion of planets and stars to why a paramecium mates the way it does. Every big name in physics was busy in finding this equation. At this time, a virtually unknown German mathematician named Theodore Kaluza was wondering about the works of Albert Einstein. He thought that using one extra dimension (time), Einstein defined gravity in warps of space-time; maybe he can describe the only other known force at that time-the electromagnetic force in the same type of warps...but here was the catch. warps of what? So he thought that maybe he needed one more dimension. He started his calculations with four dimensions and arrived at one equation which was--- the same electromagnetic equation(s) known to scientists. So he thought that this is the master equation. But obviously it wasn't so. Now two more forces are known-the strong force and the weak force. By the way did you notice the symmetry??
    Anyways, the research (or the search , if you will) for GUT is still on. Although it has not been found yet(as far as I know), but many other fascinating discoveries and inventions have been made in the way.


    So, what is the current status update of the physics world? Well, it seems that CERN has yet again achieved a milestone in the 'net'working area. In their own words, the Grid uses the Internet but is not the Internet. Moreover CERN Director-General Dr. Rolf-Dieter Heuer is aware of the competition from other particle research laboratories especially SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center). Higher and Higher Energy Levels are being reached by LHC and yet more is still to come, with a couple of years extension recently given. Many petabytes of knowledge are being gained all over the world on a daily basis and yet the road to unification is still being walked upon...