Although mathematical unification of fields has failed physical unification already exists in the form of electrons and other particles. The electromagnetic and gravitational fields coexist harmoniously within these particles and are superposed in four-dimensional space without influencing each other. In other words, they are unified by particle structure, but are manifested and experienced independently. To attempt to unify fields by only looking at their external properties, which behave independently, ignores this common origin. Instead we must seek a solution by taking the opposite viewpoint and asking, Why do fields that have the same physical origin interact according to completely distinct laws? To be sure a successful field theory must account for the many complexities of fields, but more importantly it must explain how this complexity can arise from simple structures. Thus the key to understanding particles lies in correctly interpreting the field source.
posted by Richard Oldani
June 19, 2008
About once a month at Sigma Xi headquarters, we liven up the lunch hour with an American Scientist Pizza Lunch talk. In these informal lectures, scientists describe new research to nonscientists. The series is light on jargon but heavy on solid science. Each Pizza Lunch offers an in-depth look at its subject, whether it's bedbugs or the smart grid. Click below to read about and download these talks -- and to subscribe!
JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.