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Unified Field Theory… and Practice

Albert Einstein had a lifelong quest – to develop a unified field theory – the theory that would describe as a single field gravity and electromagnetism (just as Maxwell unified electric and magnetic fields in a single electromagnetic field). Alas, Einstein did not succeed in this quest. Today, the goal is even more ambitious – to unify all four known fundamental forces: gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak forces in a single model, the Theory of Everything. If the hypothetical fifth force will be confirmed, it will also need to be included in the Theory of Everything. While theoretical physicists around the world are busy working our various approaches to such Theory of Everything (which include inter alia string theory, loop quantum gravity, etc.), Jews around the world will be practicing this unification during [...]

The Fifth Force – Epilog

This post is a continuation and the conclusion of the previous post, THE FIFTH FORCE. Aside from the connection with the last week’s Torah portion, Vayelech, there is also connection with and Aseret Yimei Teshuvah (Ten Days of Repentance) and Yom Kippur. When it comes to physics of fundamental forces, there are two unresolved problems: (i) unification of gravity with the other three fundamental forces (electromagnetic, strong and weak); and (ii) discovery of the fifth force. Both problems are related to repentance (teshuvah), which comes to sharp focus on the Ten Days of Repentance (Aseret Yimei Teshuvah) and Yom Kippur. Firstly, the word “teshuva” doesn’t mean “repentance”, it literally means “return” In Kabbalah tradition, the word TeShuVaH, is read as “ToShuV H” – return of the letter “heh”. It is talking about the [...]

The Fifth Force

“Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach thou it the children of Israel.” Deut. 31:19 The four known fundamental forces are: gravitational force, electromagnetic force, strong (nuclear) force and weak (betta decay) force. Newton first described gravitational force in his famous universal law of gravity. Today, we use Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity to describe strong gravitation fields. Electromagnetism was described in the 19 c. by Faraday and Maxwell. Strong and week forces were discovered much later, in the second half of the 20 c. Since Albert Einstein started a search for a unified field theory, unsuccessfully trying to unify (describe by a single theory) gravity and electromagnetism, the quest for a unified field theory – the “Theory of Everything” – became the holy grail of theoretical physics. Strong and [...]

Cosmological Rosh HaShanah

This Rosh HaShanah I had the strangest dream. I dreamed that I was giving a lecture in cosmology at a university when I suddenly realized that it was Rosh HaShanah. I panicked… What was I doing in university on such a day instead of being in shul, praying and listening to a shofar?! I decided to save the day by trying to weave the three main themes of Rosh HaShanah into my lecture on cosmology. And so I began… In the Rosh HaShanah liturgy, we refer to this day as yom harat olam – the birthday of the world (Machzor Rosh HaShanah). According to modern cosmology, the world was born in an unfathomable explosion called the Big Bang. Long before this concept was developed in cosmology during the 20th century, some 800 years [...]

By | September 9th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Four Camps at Sea – Four Fundamental Interactions

  On the penultimate day of the Passover Holidays (which is called Shvii shel Pesach – the Sevenths Day of Passover), we read in the Torah about Kriat Yam Suf – splitting of the sea.  The Talmud (Yerushalmi Pesachim) and Midrash (Pirka deRabeinu Hakadosh) tells us that at that dramatic moment, when the Jews, who just escaped Egypt, were trapped between the sea and the Egyptian army pursuing them, the Jews were divided into four camps (so many Jews and only four opinions?!), each advocating a different course of action: one group proposed to wage a war with Egyptians; the other group wanted to jump into the sea; the third group advocated prayer and the fourth insisted on returning to Egypt. "The Crossing of the Red Sea", Nicholas Poussin Classical commentators relate these [...]

By | April 7th, 2013|Atomic Theory, Uncategorized|0 Comments