Where do the fundamental forces come from?


“Four fundamental forces govern the Universe,” you read fluently in articles popularizing physics. Where does this pantheon come from? Are physicists the prophets of modern times, replacing the old gods with new ones? Revelation, in science, takes other paths. The divine mysteries, which must be believed without having seen anything, are replaced by concrete experiences, which everyone can reproduce if he has the necessary material. What to convince the greatest number?

Not really. The ancient gods resist. To believe that something in us prefers the inexplicable to the explained. The reasons are multiple, in particular the fear of being reduced to a fleeting agglomerate of flesh, which would not have felt much happiness of its condition or left a trace. But that is not what we are concerned about today. What I would like to point out to you is: The fundamental forces belong to the same gaze as the invisible deities of our religions.

Merge an entity

This is the top-down look, one of the directions of the double look used on this site to decipher reality with insight! The descendant is the gaze that the more complex observer projects on less complex entities. It merges things. A restless set of limbs becomes ‘animal’; a carpet of green cells becomes ‘leaf’; countless water molecules condensed in the atmosphere become ‘cloud’.

In religion, God’s downward gaze on humans sees them as a ‘soul‘. Each with specific characters but the general function is similar. It attributes to us a divine color under the eye of the One who created it. However, Prometheus stole the sacred fire and since then, humans have reappropriated the entire creation. It is their downward gaze that now defines reality.

Let’s fish with a Model

Scientists do this in a way that they don’t always perceive great skill. They replace the Creator with a Model, which they project at the origin of the thing studied, and whose unfolding must lead to its current representation. In the complex dimension, it is always the sophisticated observer (the scientific mind) who conceives the origin (the Model) and lends it to the less complex entity.

Another way to put it is that the scientist throws a fishing line into the depths of complexity, after hooking his Model to the hook, and waits for the entities to show their appetite. Let them bite and he brings them to the surface, exposed to light. He can then be proud of the success of his new Creator, much more visible than the Old.

A religion reversed from reality

This way is always that of the descending gaze, which invents the Model. But secondarily appears a new, ascending look: that of the origin, at the bottom of the complexity, towards the constituted entities. This opposite direction is called ‘ontological‘ by philosophers. It is supposed to belong to the founding elements of complexity. But we have just seen that it is actually initiated by the descending gaze of the scientist, who remains the Creator. Pseudo-ontological direction.

Scientists and philosophers alike are obliged to be satisfied with this approximation, when reality is willing to conform to what is expected of it. There is no other way. Impossible to put oneself in the shoes of the founding principle, if it exists (its existence is always one of our assumptions). We can only question him. Reality is what it is, except for scientific translation.

Who owns the fundamental forces?

After this rather long introduction, my speech becomes easier. The “fundamental forces” belong to the descending gaze of the human observer, not to the particles that undergo them. ‘To suffer’ is still top-down language. In ancestry, particles have relationships that the observer’s eye sees as obligations. But their being and what this being can experience is unknown, inaccessible.

Scientists turn them into mathematical acronyms. The most reductive of them assimilate being and numbers. It is the soothing operation of the descending gaze to confuse the thing with its representation, to prohibit in fact any proper discourse on itself. The reductionist, in fact, only made dialogue between his Model and his observation. Both belong to him! The thing was content not to denigrate him, without revealing anything else about her.

The personal vision of the world has been strengthened in the scientist. Which is a good thing… if he is aware that it is a personal vision, common to those who make their representations with the same language. The major feature of mathematical language is its extraordinarily rigid structure. It hardly allows for individual fantasy.

When we reallocate the authorship of the ascending gaze to physical reality, the fundamental forces take on a very different aspect. Instead of being the new divine laws of a human who became universal Creator, they are only the rules that make particles comprehensible to our minds. These forces are completely invisible to particles.

Le monade of Leibniz

Fortunately!! I would say in a brief delirium. Imagine that each particle is informed of the position of all the others in the universe. This is what the force called ‘gravity’ claims. Each tiny point in Einsteinian space should also calculate the influence of all the others to know where to go. Sacred computer to house in such a small space!

Leibniz had come to this conclusion in his monads, a theory of the Whole where the whole universe is concentrated in each of its points. Hypothesis difficult to eliminate but even more difficult to model. Including it in knowledge forces you to eliminate almost everything it already contains. A sacrifice we will not make today. Your reading is confusing enough.

Invincible incompleteness

The other hypothesis is content to use the ascending gaze, without changing anything to our knowledge. The particles are not informed of anything at all. They are content to be, to be the symbolic result of their organized constitution. Bottom-up interactions are not universal, unlike ‘forces’. They are self-created by the assembled elements. Each system decides how it forms its level of reality.

Relative autarky, because it depends on the underlying level. But this relative independence has a major advantage: it restores to the origin of the complex dimension the ownership of what it is, emancipating it from what we would like it to be. No matter how concerned we are for authenticity, the descending truth will always be ours. It is by accepting our ignorance of the essence of things that we stretch to the maximum towards it. We must recognize the incompleteness of our ascending gaze.

To what extent can we surrender?

This approach was that of Niels Bohr, when he accepted the implausibility of quantum mechanics, totally foreign to the knowledge of the time. He was thus able to approach the essence of subatomic particles. He gave back to these entities the ownership of their interactions, abandoning this mind wanted them to say.

But is complete abandonment possible? Unfortunately not. Other proprietary representations simply take the place of the previous ones and negotiate better with the essence of reality.

Let us begin by abandoning the divine of ‘fundamental forces’. Let’s see them as social rules decided by particles, including everything they are made of. Creatures, I look at you. I am not your God…


Gravitation: how to overcome Newton and Einstein?

Leave a Comment