concept of 'Particle' dates back to the Greek philosophers Leucippus
and Democritus (5th century B.C.E.) who held the view that matter
is not infinitely divisible and consists ultimately of tiny indivisible
particles. These were called atoms (from the Greek word 'atomos' meaning
indivisible). Behind this view lies a deep principle of Nature. '
A fundamental idea, or even an action, pushed to its very
limit invariably meets with its own opposite'. It may be
called the Principle of Opposites and may be more precisely stated
as ' Opposites always exit together in a state of dynamic
Bohr had it written into his coat of arms as Contraria
sunt complementa (Opposites are Complimentary).
If this principle is truly fundamental, then any effort to structure
the physical world using particles only, or even using a particle
centred approach, goes against nature, as field and particle are opposites
which behave so that one never has the upper hand over the other in
a fundamental sense. There is little doubt that for most rational
people, it is intuitively pleasing to think of the physical world
as a dynamic interaction between spacetime and matter (or field and
particle), than to picture it painfully as a 'fruit salad' of particles
existing in an empty spacetime, even if some of these particles represent
to 'Particle', 'Field', or 'region of influence', had been a difficult
concept to swallow and had remained a bitter pill of fiction until
it entered the fertile imagination of the English experimental physicist,
Faraday. This creative imagination of Faraday has been the result
of what Life sometimes gets up to in its sneaky way of juggling opposites;
an experimentally oriented mind breathing life into 'field' which
is the centre piece of theory. 'Field' had a lot of catching-up to
do and it did so with venom in the idea of the curved spacetime of
General Relativity. At long last Field-Particle balance loomed in
the horizon, but soon only to degenerate and disappear in a murky
Field of Probability of locating a particle in spacetime. There is
no sense of balance between this Field and Particle as the latter
only emerges as a result of the collapse of the latter; it is always
just a case of either the one or the other.
is an intriguing experiment called ,'the
double-slit', which had been used to illustrates this shyness,
but it appears to tell a slightly different story now. What it appears
to tell now is that a single particle in the guise of a photon, electron
or even an atom or molecule, goes through both slits, and appears
on the other side perfectly unharmed by this traumatic experience.
Is Nature fooling around maliciously, or as Einstein believed, is
she just being mysteriously subtle ?. Which would we intuitively prefer
Nature to be?
particle has no reality away from the field in which it 'sits'. At
the atomic end the field is virtually electromagnetic (a shift of
balance towards antisymmetry), and at the cosmic end it is virtually
gravitational (a shift of balance towards symmetry). At either of
these ends, field-particle partnership is encoded in Balance as that
between the two members of a pair of velocity vectors, linear and
spin, linear representing field, and spin representing particle. When
particles are shot at the double slit the partnership between field
(electromagnetic usually) and particle is distorted in such a way
that the field aspect is enhanced as the firing alters only the linear
velocity. Spin velocity which, so to speak, is hard wired is not altered.
So a shot particle is more field than matter, until it is observed.
Observation always involves light in some form or the other and as
light is balanced between field and particle observation becomes confined
to the balanced state of particle, or simply particle. In other words
what has been deliberately distorted become restored to normality
with an encounter with light.