February 05, 2005

It's all so very simple

There's not really all that much to it, is there?

Everything can be accounted for by four fundamental forces:

1. The weak nuclear force
2. The strong nuclear force
3. Gravitation
4. Electromagnetism

The weak nuclear force is responsible for radioactivity. Interestingly enough, it breaks 'parity' meaning that a machine built as a mirror image of a machine built to detect parity will produce a different result from its twin.

The strong nuclear force affects only quarks and antiquarks, and holds protons and neutrons together.

Gravitation is (almost) always attractive, since mass is (almost) always positive.

Electromagnetism accounts for everything from the northern lights to the international power grid.

Now, if we believe Sir Isaac Newton that every action is accompanied by an equal and opposite reaction, what is the reaction to these four laws? If these laws are yin, what is yang? How to identify the missing part?


At February 08, 2005 6:29 PM , Blogger fresca said...

Huh. Just last night, sitting at Dave's Bar-b-Que after Carol's funeral, I said something like this ("it's all so very simple") to Tim.
I said I used to think life was complex, but a lot of it is very simple.
Death, for instance--one of life's fundamental forces.
I used to think that I had to UNDERSTAND it, but now I see that all one has to do is show up for it: If someone is dying, go to the hospital and stand there. If someone dies, go to the funeral and sit there.
And I hope that when I am dying, I will be able to be present for it.
Tim quoted back that phrase about 90 percent of success is just showing up.

At February 10, 2005 5:28 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dood Mathew J - So, reading your 'simple' blog - reminded me of the OTHER side of simple things. As a biologist, I often reiterate what its all about: migration, mutation, selection, and genetic drift. THAT is what is the simple four for a bio-geek-a-zoid. I mean - for me, its all about evolution. And there are 4 main forces working toward what we seem to think evolution is all about (migration, mutation, selction, and drift).
I think that a synergy might be called for - yes, down deep, all those forces of evolution are affected by the same physical forces you wrote about - but in a biochemical framework. So, all the forces that make molecules (and sub-atomic particles) work are also at the root of whats going on - even for evolution. But then I had a 'revelation' and thought, " the combo of physio-chemial pathways is an intrisic and overlooked aspect of what bio-folk think of as the simple things" - which is kinda of a logistic context and puts all of what we (or at lest ME) think of as 'reality' into a flux of heirarchical factors that basically reflect our way of interpreting the world.
I'd like to extrapolate your 'simple things' as a series of not-so-simple things. Despite the arguments for and against our (humankind here) collective domination - we are still just critters. Critters that answer to the higher drivers. Our DNA is coded in the EXACT same way that archaebacteria are coded - we make proteins and develop along the same pathways as fruit flies and crayfish and rats and frogs - only WE think that we are outside of these 'simple' constructs of the biophysical world because we have a big brain. But don't forget - that big brain is a product of mainly selection and maybe a little mutation and drift. So - there are thesee forces behind 99% of what we think we know about the universe, but then- there are other levels and heirarchies of what we interpret as reality and more importantly, how reality realy works. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. Its NOT really that simple (-:

At February 10, 2005 10:48 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Hey Bic! I am strangely attracted to the mathematical side of biology. I wrote a program once to use the genetic algorithm to minimize the energy of a cluster of molecules. Those pieces of information that produced a better configuration for the cluster were allowed to breed-- if not, too bad. Your four forces of biology are going to be my new mantra:

migration, mutation, selection and drift
migration, mutation, selection and drift
migration, mutation, selection and drift

At February 10, 2005 10:50 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Francesca, I see exactly what you mean-- just being there is the most important part. There's a wonderful spiritual calm in what you write.


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