Why Infinite Particles?

The concept of infinite particles derives from the perception that our world has structure. As we look, move, and feel around ourselves, we perceive that our world is replete with a bewildering variety of objects, each of which lays claim to a specific volume of space. We think of these objects as occupying space, i.e., that they are comprised of elementary substances that fill space. The role of physicists has been to probe deeply into various objects to find out what attributes these elementary substances possess.

This probing has been a topsy-turvy adventure. First it appeared simple — objects were composed of atoms, and atoms were simply made up of electrons & protons. But as new probing techniques were invented, a host of unexpected phenomena appeared — neutrons, muons, neutrinos, pions, positrons, kaons, antiprotons, sigmas, lambdas, etc., until hundreds of mesons and baryons resonances and their anti-particles had been detected. Then simplicity was restored, again, when Murray Gell-Mann and George Zweig demonstrated that all these resonances would fit neatly into simple classification schemes, if they were assumed to be composed of more fundamental entities, which Gell-Mann named “quarks”. However, this satisfaction gradually eroded, when it was realized that, to account for all the discovered resonances, quarks had to come in 36 varieties, and to account for all observed phenomena, leptons had to come in 12 varieties, and forces in 13. And all these fundamental particles required the existence of the (so-far undiscovered) Higg’s particle(s)!

Disturbed by this burgeoning complexity, some physicists have been asking this question: “Is there something more elementary out of which we can construct this rather large group of “elementary” substances?” These theoretical explorations have taken three approaches — cosmic “strings”, particulate spaces (ethers), and cellular automata. String theorists seek to explain quarks and leptons as various arrangements of planck-length-size loops and strings, modeled in higher-dimension mathematics. Ether theorists seek meaningful patterns in the arrangement of ether particulates that emulate hadrons, leptons, and all other physical phenomena. Cellular Automata theorists seek to find discrete computer programming rules that accurately model the behavior of quarks, leptons, and other physical phenomena in finite computer time.

What is common to these three approaches is that all assume that the emulation of the current roster of “fundamental” particles results from the ability of these more elementary “entities” to group themselves into a multiplicity of distinguishable structures. It is this assumption of multiple structural possibilities that leads to the notion of infinite particles, as I now explain:

  1. Our knowledge of the universe requires us to accept that matter can exist anywhere! We infer that much of space is devoid of matter, but we know of nothing that would keep matter from migrating into any of these empty regions.
  2. If our concept of the known varieties of matter is a multiplicity of distinguishable structural arrangement of some more elementary and more abundant sub-entities, then it would seem clear, to satisfy point #1, that these sub-entities must be available everywhere in the universe, i.e., they must be ubiquitous.
  3. Accepting the arguments of points #1 & #2, that these proposed sub-entities form a continuum, we perceive that any pattern that is induced by structural rearrangement of these sub-entities can have no natural boundary, and, hence, it must propagate outwardly in all directions forever, i.e., its ultimate size is infinite!

So, if we physicists hope to enhance our understanding of particles and phenomena, we must seek to understand the structures of these infinite patterns.

© 2004 Richard Lincoln Ropiequet