The GUTs of the Matter

Scientists have long sought to show that various different forces of nature are in fact just different manifestations of a single common force.  It is felt that by doing so it will offer insights into the way the universe works and produce a much simpler model. The pressure to simplify our understanding of the universe really stems from the Principle of Parsimony first outlined by William of Occam, also called Occam’s Razor. This states that if there are two competing theories then the one which makes the fewest assumptions is most probably correct.  Following this to its logical conclusion would suggest that there should be a single overarching theory which describes how all the various aspects of the universe work.

Attempts at unifying the forces of nature are called Grand Unification Theories (GUTs) and a theory which unifies all of the forces of nature is called a Theory of Everything (ToE).

One of the first such attempts was by William Gilbert (1544-1603).  It was Gilbert who first suggested that the earth had an iron core and acted as a magnet.  He tried unsuccessfully to show that gravity and magnetism were both manifestations of a single more fundamental force.   Ultimately Gilbert’s attempts were unsuccessful and we now know that gravity and magnetism are two distinct forces, although they do have some aspects in common, for example they both obey the inverse square law.  Despite this early failure physicists are still trying to find a common link between the various forces of nature.

The first really successful attempt at unification was the unification of magnetism and electricity in the 19th century.  Until then it was thought that these were two independent forces.  It was Hans Christian Ørsted (1777-1851) who first discovered that an electric current could affect a compass needle.  He did so initially while conducting a demonstration of the heating effects of an electric current and when he noticed that a nearby compass needle was deflected whenever he turned on the current.  Michael Faraday went on to show that a changing magnetic field could induce an electric current.

In 1864 James Clerk Maxwell published his famous paper on the electromagnetic field.  This was the first example of a theory that combined what had previously been thought to be separate fields into a single unified field theory and in so doing showed that electromagnetic waves propagate at the speed of light.  Einstein built on the idea that the velocity of electromagnetic waves is constant to combine our notions of space and time into the unified concept of space time.  He then used this to describe a curved geometry of four dimensional space time to encompass gravity.

During the 20th Century there have been various attempts at unification, the Holy Grail being to unify all the forces of nature into a single force, in effect to combine the wave/particle model of the atom with that of General Relativity into a single coherent theory.  All such attempts so far have ended in failure.

In the current Standard Model it is held that there are four fundamental forces of nature:

  • Gravitational
  • Electromagnetic
  • Strong nuclear
  • Weak nuclear

Thus far it has been possible to unify the electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear forces but only under conditions of high energy, which leaves gravity out on its own as a separate force.

All of these attempts at unification focus on force as the variable of unification.  It seems that modern physicists are fixated on the idea that it is forces that can be combined into a single force. Here it is argued that the seat of unification does not lie with force, but with energy and that all forms of energy can be ultimately resolved to be mechanical in nature.   In doing so it can be shown that there are just two fundamental forces in nature, not the four of the Standard Model.  Based on two simple postulates that are described in more detail elsewhere on this blog, it can be shown that there are two fundamental forces, gravity and electromagnetism and that both the strong and weak nuclear forces are really just forms of electromagnetism and/or gravity and hence can be thought of as being unified.

In Sampling the Hydrogen Atom it was shown that the forces which bind the orbiting electron to the atomic nucleus are electrostatic.  They are the same forces that we encounter when considering electricity on any other scale.  The energy which is associated with binding the electron to the atomic nucleus is shown to be kinetic in nature, deriving directly from the mechanics of the system.  This theory rests on the idea that certain orbital velocity terms are affected by relativity.  That when it comes to objects in orbit the orbital velocity can be treated as the distance compressed by the effects of relativity divided by the orbital period as measured by the stationary observer.  Using this hybrid velocity term the centrifugal force acting on the orbiting electron balances the electrostatic force at a series of velocities close to the speed of light and which correspond to the energy levels of the atom.

If we apply this same postulate to the atomic nucleus we find that it too is governed by conventional mechanics and that the strong nuclear force is in reality just another manifestation of the electromagnetic force and gravity.

The problem with the dynamics of the atomic nucleus is that it is made up of electrically charged particles, protons, which repel one another.   These forces of repulsion are governed by the inverse square law and so on the scale of the atomic nucleus are very strong indeed.  The solution that the Standard Model adopts to resolve this problem is to argue that forces are mediated by particles and then to invent a particle, called the Gluon, which has whatever properties are necessary to overcome these forces and bind the nuclear protons together.

All of this subterfuge becomes unnecessary if we adopt the postulate that orbital velocity is affected by relativity.  If we examine what happens to a pair of protons which are in mutual orbit under such circumstances we find that as the orbital velocity approaches the speed of light, the centrifugal force acting on the protons becomes vanishingly small. At the same time the angular momentum reaches its lower limit of Planck’s constant and so the radius of the orbit is constrained by this to be:




Where mp is the mass of the proton

Hence the orbital radius of the protons within the nucleus is 2.10308783323*10-16m.

To a stationary observer located at the centre of the atomic nucleus, the effect of relativity acting on the two protons is to increase their mass by the factor Gamma.  At sufficiently high speeds the mass of the protons is such that the gravitational force acting between the protons matches the electrical force tending to drive them apart and the system becomes stable and hence:




From this we can calculate the value of Gamma as




And from this we can calculate the orbital velocity of the proton as:

99.9999999999999999999999999999999999% of c.

To all intents and purposes the velocity of the protons around their respective orbits is equal to the speed of light.  The binding energy, which is the energy associated with the stable orbit of the protons is then equal to the combined kinetic energy of the two particles and has a value of mc2 and this energy is seen to be mechanical in nature.

In Shedding Some Light on the Nature of the Photon a second postulate is introduced: that gravitational mass is bipolar in nature, i.e. that it can take on both positive and negative values and that these add arithmetically.  Negative gravitational mass is then associated with antimatter, while positive gravitational mass is associated with matter.

Based on this assumption it is shown that radiation energy is fundamentally kinetic in nature. The energy of the photon is the binding energy associated with the forces that maintain the structure of the photon as a binary system comprising a particle and its antiparticle equivalent, specifically an electron and a positron, locked in mutual orbit.

Although the forces associated with gravitational mass on the atomic scale are very small indeed, it is postulated that with gravitational mass like poles are attracted to one another and unlike poles are repulsive to one another.   This is in contrast to the electrical force where like polarities are repulsive and unlike polarities are attractive.

Thus the two fundamental forces, gravity and electricity form a fully subscribed set of attraction and repulsion that can be formed from bipolar forces. In other words there cannot be any other forces that obey the inverse square law and which offer combinations of attraction or repulsion based on polarity since these would simply add to or detract from one of these two forces.

The situation is summarised in the tables below









 Table 1 Electrostatic Force









 Table 2 Gravitational Force

We have seen, in Shedding Some Light on the Nature of the Photon, that by postulating that gravitational mass is bipolar and that orbital velocity is relativistic, that radiation energy is mechanical or kinetic in nature.  The energy of the photon is carried, rather like a flywheel, by the two constituent particles that are locked in mutual orbit.

The Kinetic theory of heat was proposed by Daniel Bernoulli and later his ideas were consolidated by Maxwell and Boltzmann.  It shows that temperature and pressure are phenomena associated with the motion of atoms.  In other words heat energy is ultimately kinetic in nature.

Chemical energy is similarly mechanical in nature being the energy associated with the bonds between atoms.

Hence with just two simple and plausible postulates it can be shown that all forms of energy are ultimately mechanical in nature.  All the various kinds of energy can be unified into a single sort of energy – mechanical or kinetic energy.  This means that in the realm of force, there are just two fundamental forces, not the four prescribed by the Standard Model. These are gravity and electromagnetism and these represent a fully subscribed set of attractive and repulsive forces.

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