We’re in the process of constructing the spacetime model that I say is one of the things the physicists are missing that’s currently blocking their progress. In this post we’ll learn more about the structure of our spacetime. To discover its geometry, we used a symmetry principle—that the physics of the universe should look the same to every observer. The same principle can teach us something about time. Remember that there is an aspect of the universe that is atemporal—there’s no time. This means that the temporal aspect of the universe—the one we see—should also have zero time. Now, how in the world can a temporal universe have zero time? Easy. It just has to take a step backward for every step forward in time. What this does is split our spacetime into two similar fields, one going forward in time and one going backward. But there’s a subtlety here: one direction always has more points because the universe expands with every time step, forward or backward.
The particles of our spacetime are also split into two groups by the zero-time requirement, one going forward in time and one going backward. We see these as particles and antiparticles. It was Richard Feynman who first realized that antiparticles are particles going backward in time. When a particle meets an antiparticle they annihilate, their energy carried away by two photons. Since there are always more particles than antiparticles, antimatter is very rare in our universe. It has always been a deep mystery to physicists that the universe has lots of matter but little antimatter. They still can’t explain it. But we can. (By the way, points don’t annihilate.)
It’s well-known that although no two fermions can ever occupy the same quantum state, they can have the same position if they have different spin and/or time quantum numbers. So we would expect to find not just one but four fermionic points at each position in our quantum spacetime lattice. These point quads consist of spin-up and spin-down points and spin-up and spin-own antipoints. Not all of these points can be excited points or particles at the same time, of course—there’s the little matter of annihilation. But when they’re excited and become particles, points become electrons and antipoints become positrons. The particle energy is the excitation energy above and beyond the basic vibrational energy of the point. When particles annihilate, it’s the excitation energy that goes away as photons. The points stay there, vibrating.
Here’s a very important question we haven’t yet addressed: How do points and particles move through the quantum lattice? The answer is simple—it’s quantum mechanics. Our spacetime won’t look any different if some of the points move between time ticks, so quantum mechanics requires that there be some nonzero probability of observing both behaviors. A point can stay in the same little spacetime cell from one time tick to the next, or it can move to an adjacent cell. Spacetime looks exactly the same, so quantum mechanics says both events are possible.
Do we know the probability that any given point is a mover? Yes, we do, and you’ll probably be surprised to learn that it’s the Higgs field that determines the answer. The physicists would be surprised, too, since they don’t even know what the Higgs field is. Here are the facts.
A point cell is roughly spherical. The average radius is roughly the Planck length, about 10-33 centimeter. The average vibrational energy of a point is roughly the Planck energy, about 1019 giga electron volts (GeV). The average time between time ticks is the Planck time, about 10-43 second. A moving point moves at the speed of light, about 3 × 108 meters per second. The value of the Higgs field at each point is the point’s particle energy, 1019 GeV for a stationary point and zero for a moving point (only massless particles move at the speed of light). The vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field is the field’s value averaged over all fermionic spacetime points. Basically, it’s the Higgs value for a stationary point times the probability that a point is stationary.
The good news is that the vacuum expectation value of the Higgs field is known! It’s 246 GeV. After we throw in a few constants we find that the probability that a fermionic point is stationary is about 10-17. There are 1017 rolling stones for every brick. So if excited stationary fermionic points are electrone or positrons, what are excited moving points? Is there a massless fermionic particle that moves at the speed of light? Of course there is. It’s the neutrino. Excited moving points are neutrinos or antineutrinos.
While we’re at it, we might as well not forget all of those bosonic points. What are they doing while the fermionic points are being particles? Remember that the bosonic points ride herd on the fermionic points, but they can be excited too, in which case we see them as photons. We also see that photons are different from antiphotons (they go opposite directions in time), although the difference is undetectable and the conventional wisdom is that they are the same particle.
There are lots more particles, of course. We’ll get to them later. We’ve done well. We have space and time, the big bang, inflation, dark matter and dark energy, electrons, neutrinos, and photons. And there’s lots more to discover.