Five Stunning Mysteries in Modern Physics
Physics is arguably the most significant field of science. It analyses and explains the physical side of the Universe. Despite the tremendous success of physics in dissecting many complex phenomena, it fails to explain many mysteries in our world. Some of the important unsolved mysteries in physics are theoretical, which means that current theories are incapable of dissecting a particular experimental result or observed phenomenon. The remaining ones are experimental, which means that there are obstacles in constructing an experiment to validate a proposed theory or analyse a phenomenon in more detail. Here are the five stunning mysteries in modern physics.
Graviton is one of the hottest topics in the world of quantum physics. It might be the missing link for connecting “gravity” with the quantum realm. It is a hypothetical particle that regulates the gravitational force within the framework of quantum physics. The presence of gravitons is essential for developing a hold between the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. This is one of the most important quests in the history of modern physics. The search has culminated in numerous mathematical relations and physical experiments with no fruitful result. Interestingly, the research for graviton particles is quite different from the research for gravitational waves.
LISA and LISA are the most ambitious research projects developed to find and study the elusive characteristics of gravity. There have been some studies that demonstrate the impracticality of detecting single gravitons (if the current known physical laws are taken into consideration). Recent studies also showed that the scale of the experimental equipment in these methodologies might end up in absurdly impractical limits if it is to detect gravitons successfully. If we cannot find gravitons, gravity might remain just an analytical property like pressure temperature. It might forever be a dead end for the pursuit of fusing the classical and quantum worlds.
Fundamental Nature of Matter
The matter is made up of atoms, and atoms are composed of electrons, neutrons, and protons. Both protons and neutrons are made of a combination of elementary particles called quarks. But when we probe even more deeply, physics has no answer to what lies ahead. Another intricate nature of matter is the interaction of charges. Atoms are considered to be electrically neutral. The positive charge of the protons cancels the negative charge of electrons. At this scale, the existing atomic physics is incapable of explaining these particles’ characteristics. We don’t really know why this is the way it is. In particle physics, the Standard Model is very effective at analysing and predicting interactions between elementary particles. It has successfully predicted the presence of many previously unknown elementary particles. The most prominent one was the Higgs boson (the particle accelerator in LHC discovered in 2012).
The Unevenness of Matter and Antimatter
At the earliest stages of the formation of the Universe, both ordinary matter and antimatter were present in similar quantities. But in the current state, we can hardly detect any significant presence of antimatter. Why is ordinary matter everywhere rather than antimatter? Theoretically, an equal quantity of antimatter and matter should have been produced at the time of the creation of our Universe (Big Bang). But if this occurred, then there would be an entire annihilation of both matter and antimatter. The exact physics behind this process is still not fully understood. Each matter-antimatter pair would cancel out each other in no time. Protons would react with the antiprotons, and electrons would react with positrons, nullifying the presence of each particle that gets involved in the reactions. The Universe we live in would not exist at all. For some strange reason, there was some ordinary matter left in the Universe that did not destroy during the above phenomenon. All the planets, stars, and galaxies were created from it.
Direction of Time
After the introduction of the general theory of relativity, physicists have considered time as the fourth dimension, along with the other spatial dimensions. The combination of spatial dimensions and time is known as spacetime. On the other hand, time is different from space in numerous fundamental ways. We can move through spatial dimensions. In the case of time, our activities are stuck in one direction or orientation. We can only articulate past experiences, not the future. Living organisms grow older, not younger. For our realm of reality, time has a specific direction. It is called the arrow of time. We don’t really know what causes time to flow only in one specific direction. Some physicists suggest that the second law in thermodynamics points to the cause of the arrow of time. They suspect the direction of time rises from the entropy of a system.
During the 1990s, researchers believed that the Universe would ultimately collapse or expand depending on the density or matter concentration in the total cosmos. Physicists were totally puzzled when the observations of supernovae came. It concluded that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. The fundamental cause of this rapid expansion
is still not clear. Dark energy is just a term used to represent whatever the cause is. It literally means that which we do not have the slightest idea about. There were some attempts to measure the dark energy. The result was an absurd value which might seem too big to be true under physical science laws. Once, Albert Einstein theorised a concept called the cosmological constant. Some believe that dark energy is something similar to this omnipotent entity. It might be something that fills the entire space. Even if it’s true, we don’t have any idea why it should even exist there. Another group suggests the need for a fresh theory of gravity. However, they are not even sure how to construct and implement the available constraints into a compatible theory.