Spirit Meets Science?
Yesterday, I decided to venture further into the WordPress Blogging Community by seeking out other blogs similar to ours. I gotta say, pick’ns were slim. I searched paranormal, ghosts, and evp’s. Then I wondered if I was doing something wrong. Right before I gave up, I found one pretty cool blog. You can and should check it out here: www.ghostguys.wordpress.com. Granted, it doesn’t seem like it has been updated since 2010 but, if you haven’t seen it, it’s new to you!
While sifting through the categories I came across a post that was right up my alley: “EMF Detection and the Higgs Field.”
Higgs Field? That’s like…physics and shit! Awesome!
The post was brief. It mentioned things like neutralinos and vector bosons which …kind of made me ~grateful~ that it was brief. Now, keep in mind, I’m not stupid, but when you start throwing words like “vector bosons” around, my brain cramps a little, and I find myself reciting calming mantras and visualizing my happy place.
After a few moments of rocking and muttering, I talked myself down from the mental ledge and really put my reading comprehension skills to work. Once I mastered my panic, I found the author’s (Michael Clark’s) theory very interesting. In a nutshell, and hopefully I am getting this right, “Spirits are intelligent collections of electromagnetic energy and massless photons…” When they interact with the Higgs Field ( a field made up of particles that is believed to give all matter its mass), a certain amount of their photons temporarily gain mass which gives them the ability to interact with our physical world ie: move objects or make sounds.
What really resonated with me was how the Higgs Field resembled what is often referred to spiritually as “The Veil” (the term that refers to the barrier or curtain between this world and the afterlife). So, if Mike’s theory has legs, it would make the Higgs Field the place where science and spirit meet.
Obviously, this thought tickled me to no end. Hell, we’ve been using it as our catchy tagline since our team’s inception. Just look at the top of this page! It inspired me to write a new post. But in order to write a proper post, I needed to do my own research into Higgs and bosons and neutralinos. So, to Wikipedia I went. Surely my beloved wiki would have some entries that could explain this vast field of study in a way that this commoner could understand. Surely.
It should be noted that more than one source of mass is known to exist, but in the Standard Model the term “Higgs mechanism” almost always signifies the mechanism responsible for electroweak symmetry breaking… The leading and simplest theory for how this effect takes place in nature is that if a particular kind of “field” (known as the Higgs field) existed, which in contrast to the more familiar gravitational field and electromagnetic field had a constant strength everywhere, then this field would give rise to a Higgs mechanism in nature, and would therefore allow particles interacting with this field to acquire a mass. During the 1960s and 1970s the Standard Model of physics was developed on this basis, and it included a prediction and requirement that for these things to be true, there had to be an undiscovered fundamental particle as the counterpart of this field. This particle would be the Higgs boson.
So there ya go! Electroweak symmetry breaking aside, the explanation of the theory is fairly straightforward and does indeed match what Mr. Clark wrote about in his blog. There are a whole bunch of symmetrical particles floating around out there without mass. Then they collide with the Higgs field and BAM they get all lopsided and suddenly have mass.
I made a scientific model to better demonstrate this complex principle:
Okay…I’ll admit I heard a symphony of crickets in the silent moments after I read that. My brain got stuck on what exactly gives these symmetrical particles mass. It just seems like something is missing. But I allowed myself to temporarily set that little query aside, opting instead to continue my initial quest for a better understanding of the specific terms referenced in the original article.
Once I checked into the Higgs Field, I had to know what a “neutralino” or “neutrino” particle was. Once again, I looked to Wikipedia for a decent explanation in laymen’s terms. This is what I found:
In particle physics, the neutralino is a hypothetical particle predicted by supersymmetry. There are four neutralinos that are fermions and are electrically neutral, the lightest of which is typically stable. They are typically labeled N͂0
1 (the lightest), N͂0
3 and N͂0
4 (the heaviest) although sometimes is also used when is used to refer to charginos. These four states are mixtures of the bino and the neutral wino (which are the neutral electroweak gauginos), and the neutral higgsinos. As the neutralinos are Majorana fermions, each of them is identical with its antiparticle. Because these particles only interact with the weak vector bosons, they are not directly produced at hadron colliders in copious numbers. They primarily appear as particles in cascade decays of heavier particles (decays that happen in multiple steps) usually originating from colored supersymmetric particles such as squarks or gluinos.
So…the neutralinos are Majorana fermions. I suspected as much. And they like…fall off of the larger squarks and gluinos as they decay. Sure. That makes sense. Clearly, ghosts are not made of such things! To assume they are would be like assuming they are made up of snips, snails, and puppy dog tails. And that’s just silly!
So much for layman’s terms. Again, I heard crickets..many many crickets… they were laughing at me…chirpy mocking laughter. And I heard one say, “You asked!” Wikipedia managed an explanation so complex, that when I copied and pasted it, WordPress didn’t know exactly how to type it.
I’ll admit that at this point, I was willing to give up and let Mr. Michael “Smarty-pants” Clark be the brainiest ghost hunter on the block. But I had one more query. Has the science of physics made mention of anything having to do with ghosts? Ever? Though I knew the chances were slim, I returned to Wikipedia (for consistency’s sake) and ran a search for “ghost physics.” Several things came up, none of which had anything to do with the kind of ghosts I was talking about. Still, I clicked on a link that looked interesting. This is what awaited me:
In theoretical physics, BRST quantization (where the BRST refers to Becchi, Rouet, Stora and Tyutin) is a relatively rigorous mathematical approach to quantizing a field theory with a gauge symmetry. Quantization rules in earlier QFT frameworks resembled “prescriptions” or “heuristics” more than proofs, especially in non-abelian QFT, where the use of “ghost fields” with superficially bizarre properties is almost unavoidable for technical reasons related to renormalization and anomaly cancellation. The BRST supersymmetry was introduced in the mid-1970s and was quickly understood to justify the introduction of these Faddeev–Popov ghosts and their exclusion from “physical” asymptotic states when performing QFT calculations. Work by other authors a few years later related the BRST operator to the existence of a rigorous alternative to path integrals when quantizing a gauge theory.
It’s a “relatively rigorous” approach. This silenced even the crickets. It was like I landed in the middle of an episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” It’s Halloween and Penny wants Sheldon to prove that ghosts exist. Is this what the writers do when they give them all that brainy stuff to say? The explanation was so theoretical, that if you spoke it out-loud half of the terms would be in air quotes! Physics makes me cry.
My quest for a better understanding of the article which seemed so innocent in the beginning led me through a maze of terms and names and air quotes. Though it offered little ground towards a better understanding of where spirit meets science, it did make me thankful for the inspiration I drew from the original post. And it made me that much more thankful that Michael Clark’s original post… was brief.