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Glossary of Scientific Terms

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  • Glossary of Scientific Terms

    Table of Contents
    ....The Elegant Universe
    THE ELEGANT UNIVERSE, Brian Greene, 1999, 2003
    ```(annotated and with added bold highlights by Epsilon=One)
    Glossary of Scientific Terms
    Combined, with very slight adjustments, with Brian Greene's Glossary
    ....from "The Fabric of the Cosmos," 2004
    Absolute space: Newton's view of space; envisions space as unchanging and independent of its contents.

    Absolute spacetime: View of space emerging from special relativity; envisions space through the entirety of time, from any perspective, as unchanging and independent of its contents.

    Absolute zero: The lowest possible temperature, about -273 degrees Celsius, or 0 on the Kelvin scale.

    Absolutist: Perspective holding that space is absolute.

    Acceleration: An object's motion that involves a change in speed and/or direction. See velocity.

    Accelerator, atom smasher: Research tool of particle physics that collides particles together at high speed. See particle accelerator.

    Aether, luminiferous aether: Hypothetical substance filling space that provides the medium for light to propogate; discredited.

    Amplitude: The maximum height of a wave peak or the maximum depth of a wave trough.

    Anthropic principle: Doctrine that one explanation for why the universe has the properties we observe is that, were the properties different, it is likely that life would not form and therefore we would not be here to observe the changes.

    Antimatter: Matter that has the same gravitational properties as ordinary matter, but that has an opposite electric charge as well as opposite nuclear force charges.

    Antiparticle: A particle of antimatter.

    Arrow of time: Direction in which time seems to point — from past to future.

    ATB: Acronym for "after the bang"; usually used in reference to time elapsed since the big bang.

    Atom: Fundamental building block of matter, consisting of a nucleus (comprising protons and neutrons) and an orbiting swarm of electrons.

    Background independence: Property of a physical theory in which space and time emerge from a more fundamental concept, rather than being inserted axiomatically.

    Big bang theory/standard big bang theory: Theory describing a hot, expanding universe from a moment after its birth. It is the currently accepted theory that the expanding universe began some 15 billion years ago from a state of enormous energy, density, and compression. (Epsilon=One: The big bang theory is a metaphysical concept accepted as a Standard Model theory by academia in 1963.)

    Big crunch: One hypothesized future for the universe in which the current expansion stops, reverses, and results in all space and all matter collapsing together; a reversal of the big bang.

    Black hole: An object whose immense gravitational field traps anything, even light, that gets too close (closer than the black hole's event horizon).

    Black-hole entropy: The entropy embodied within a black hole.

    Boson: A particle, or pattern of string vibration, with a whole number amount of spin; typically a messenger particle.

    Bosonic string theory: First known string theory; contains vibrational patterns that are all bosons.

    BPS states: Configurations in a supersymmetric theory whose properties can be determined exactly by arguments rooted in symmetry.

    Brane: Any of the extended objects that arise in string theory. A one-brane is a string, a two-brane is a membrane, a three-brane has three extended dimensions, etc. More generally, a p-brane has p spatial dimensions.

    Braneworld scenario: Possibility within string/M-theory that our familiar three-spatial dimensions are a three-brane.

    Calabi-Yau space, Calabi-Yau shape: A space (shape) into which the extra spatial dimensions required by string theory can be curled up, consistent with the equations of the theory.

    Casimir force: Quantum mechanical force exerted by an imbalance of vacuum field fluctuations.

    Charge: See force charge.

    Chiral, Chirality: Feature of fundamental particle physics that distinguishes left-from right-handed, showing that the universe is not fully left-right symmetric. Closed string. A type of string that is in the shape of a loop.

    Classical physics: As used in this book, the physical laws of Newton and Maxwell. More generally, often used to refer to all nonquantum laws of physics, including special and general relativity.

    Closed strings: A type of string that is in the shape of a loop representing filaments of energy in string theory.

    Collapse of probability wave, collapse of wavefunction: Hypothetical development in which a probability wave (a wavefunction) goes from a spread-out to a spiked shape.

    Conifold transition: Evolution of the Calabi-Yau portion of space in which its fabric rips and repairs itself, yet with mild and acceptable physical consequences in the context of string theory. The tears involved are more severe than those in a flop [I]transition.[//I]

    Copenhagen interpretation: Interpretation of quantum mechanics that envisions large objects as being subject to classical laws and small objects as being subject to quantum laws.

    Cosmic microwave background radiation: Remnant electromagnetic radiation (photons) from the early universe, which permeates space, produced during the big bang and subsequently thinned and cooled as the universe expanded.

    Cosmic horizon, horizon: Locations in space beyond which light has not had time to reach us, since the beginning of the universe.

    Cosmological constant: A hypothetical energy and pressure, uniformly filling space; origin and composition unknown. It is a modification of general relativity's original equations, allowing for a static universe; interpretable as a constant energy density of the vacuum.

    Cosmology: Study of origin and evolution of the universe.

    Coupling constant: See string coupling constant.

    Critical density: Amount of mass/energy density required for space to be flat; about 10^-23 grams per cubic meter.

    Curled-up dimension: A spatial dimension that does not have an observably large spatial extent; a spatial dimension that is crumpled, wrapped, or curled up into a tiny size, thereby evading direct detection.

    Curvature: The deviation of an object or of space or of spacetime from a flat form and therefore from the rules of geometry codified by Euclid.

    D-branes, Dirichlet-p-branes: A p-brane that is "sticky"; a p-brane to which open string endpoints are attached.

    Dark energy: A hypothetical energy and pressure, uniformly filling space; more general notion than a cosmological constant as its energy/pressure can vary with time.

    Dark matter: Matter suffused through space, exerting gravity but not emitting light.

    Dimension: An independent axis or direction in space or spacetime. The familiar space around us has three dimensions (left-right, back-forth, up-down) and the familiar spacetime has four (the previous three axes plus the past-future axis). Superstring theory requires the universe to have additional spatial dimensions.

    Dual, Duality, Duality symmetries: Situation in which two or more theories appear to be completely different, yet actually give rise to identical physical consequences.

    Electromagnetic field: The force field which exerts the electromagnetic force, consisting of electric and magnetic lines of force at each point in space.

    Electromagnetic force: One of the four fundamental forces, a union of the electric and magnetic forces that acts on particles that have electric charge.

    Electromagnetic gauge symmetry: Gauge symmetry underlying quantum electrodynamics.

    Electromagnetic radiation: The energy carried by an electromagnetic wave.

    Electromagnetic wave: A wavelike disturbance in an electromagnetic field; all such waves travel at the speed of light. Visible light, X rays, microwaves, and infrared radiation are examples.

    Electron: Negatively charged particle, typically found orbiting the nucleus of an atom.

    Electron field: The field for which the electron particle is the smallest bundle or constituent.

    Electroweak Higgs field: Field that acquires a nonzero value in cold, empty space; gives rise to masses for fundamental particles.

    Electroweak theory: The relativistic quantum field theory that unifies the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force into the electroweak force.

    Eleven-dimensional supergravity: Promising higher-dimensional supergravity theory developed in the 1970s, subsequently ignored, and more recently shown to be an important part of string theory.

    Energy bowl: See potential energy bowl.

    Entanglement, quantum entanglement: Quantum phenomenon in which spatially distant particles have correlated properties.

    Entropy: A measure of the disorder of a physical system; the number of rearrangements of a system's fundamental constituents that leave its gross, overall appearance unchanged.

    Equivalence principle: See principle of equivalence.

    Event horizon: Imaginary sphere surrounding a black hole delineating the points of no return; anything crossing the event horizon cannot escape the black hole's gravity; once penetrated, the laws of gravity ensure that there is no turning back, no escaping the powerful gravitational grip of the black hole.

    Extended dimension: A space (and spacetime) dimension that is large and directly apparent; a dimension with which we are ordinarily familiar, as opposed to a curled-up dimension.

    Extremal black holes: Black holes endowed with the maximal amount of force charge possible for a given total mass.

    Families: Organization of matter particles into three groups, with each group being known as a family. The particles in each successive family differ from those in the previous by being heavier, but carry the same electric and nuclear force charges.

    Fermion: A particle, or pattern of string vibration, with half a whole odd number amount of spin; typically a matter particle.

    Feynman sum-over-paths: See sum-over-paths.

    Field, force field: A "mist" or "essence" permeating space; can convey a force or describe the presence/motion of particles. Mathematically, involves a number or collection of numbers at each point in space, signifying the field's value that reflect the strength and direction of the force at that point.

    Flat: Subject to the rules of geometry codified by Euclid; a shape, like the surface of a perfectly smooth tabletop, and its higher-dimensional generalizations.

    Flat space: Possible shape of the spatial universe having no curvature.

    Flatness problem: Challenge for cosmological theories to explain observed flatness of space.

    Flop transition: Evolution of the Calabi-Yau portion of space in which its fabric rips and repairs itself, yet with mild and acceptable physical consequences in the context of string theory.

    Foam: See spacetime foam.

    Force charge: A property of a particle that determines how it responds to a particular force. For instance, the electric charge of a particle determines how it responds to the electromagnetic force.

    Frequency: The number of complete wave cycles a wave completes each second.

    Gauge symmetry: Symmetry principle underlying the quantum-mechanical description of the three nongravitational forces; the symmetry involves the invariance of a physical system under various shifts in the values of force charges, shifts that can change from place to place and from moment to moment.

    General relativity: Einstein's formulation/theory of gravity, which shows that space and time communicate the gravitational force through their curvature.

    Gluons: Smallest bundle of the strong force field; messenger particles of the strong nuclear force.

    Grand unification: Class of theories attempting to unify the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces.

    Gravitational force: The weakest of the four fundamental forces of nature. Described by Newton's universal theory of gravity, and subsequently by Einstein's general relativity.

    Gravitons: Smallest bundle of the gravitational force field; hypothetical messenger particles of the gravitational force.

    Heterotic-E string theory (Heterotic E., x Es string theory): One of the five superstring theories; involves closed strings whose right-moving vibrations resemble those of the Type II string and whose left-moving vibrations involve those of the bosonic string. Differs in important but subtle ways from the Heterotic-O string theory.

    Heterotic-0 string theory (Heterotic 0(32) string theory): One of the five superstring theories; involves closed strings whose right-moving vibrations resemble those of the Type II string and whose left-moving vibrations involve those of the bosonic string. Differs in important but subtle ways from the Heterotic-E string theory.

    Higgs field: See electroweak Higgs field.

    Higgs field vacuum expectation value: Situation in which a Higgs field acquires a nonzero value in empty space; a Higgs ocean.

    Higgs ocean: Shorthand, peculiar to this book, for a Higgs field vacuum expectation value.

    Higgs particles: Finest quantum constituents of a Higgs field.

    Higher-dimensional supergravity: Class of supergravity theories in more than four spacetime dimensions.

    Horizon problem: Challenge for cosmological theories to explain how regions of space, beyond each other's cosmological horizon, have nearly identical properties such as temperature. Inflationary cosmology offers a solution.

    Inertia: Property of an object that resists its being accelerated.

    Infinities: Typical nonsensical answer emerging from calculations that involve general relativity and quantum mechanics in a point-particle framework. (Epsilon=One: The inability of academic, theoretical physicists to understand the concept of Infinity is a major cause of their inability to understand Nature beyond their irreconcilable Standard Model concepts. Understanding the increasing enigmas of theoretical physics depends upon more than axioms that begin from nonsense; a first postulate requires the application of Philogic, which unifies the disciplines of Science, Theology, and Philosophy (STP).)

    Inflation, Inflationary cosmology: Cosmological theory incorporating a brief but enormous burst of spatial expansion in the early universe, which modifies the standard big bang cosmology.

    Inflaton field: The field whose energy and negative pressure drives inflationary expansion.

    Initial conditions: Data describing the beginning state of a physical system.

    Interference: Phenomenon in which overlapping waves create a distinctive pattern; in quantum mechanics, involves seemingly exclusive alternatives combining together.

    Interference pattern: Wave pattern that emerges from the overlap and the intermingling of waves emitted from different locations.

    Kaluza-Klein theory: Quantum mechanics theory of universe in string theory, which involves more than three spatial dimensions, which extra dimensions are curled-up dimensions.

    Kelvin: Scale in which temperatures are quoted relative to absolute zero (the lowest possible temperature, —273° on the Celsius scale).

    Klein-Gordon equation: A fundamental equation of relativistic quantum field theory.

    Laplacian determinism: Clockwork conception of the universe in which complete knowledge of the state of the universe at one moment completely determines its state at all future and past moments. (Epsilon=One: The state of the Universe is indeterminate, as formalized by the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP). The uncertainty arises when the Pulsoid collapses to its point of origin—Infinity at the infinitesimal—when its energy is transfered to the Resoloids, which in turn collapse because its formative harmonic oscillations (strings) have collapsed with the collapse of the Pulsoid. The Pulsoid then re-emerges from said point, with each pulse, with its Major Diameter (M) oriented about said point in any of infinite orientations. Thus, the entire Universe is continually indeterminate at its most fundamental level—the First Postulate of Reality (FPR).)

    Light clock: A hypothetical clock that measures elapsed time by counting the number of round-trip journeys completed by a single photon between two mirrors.

    Lorentz contraction: Feature emerging from special relativity, in which a moving object appears shortened along its direction of motion.

    Luminiferous aether: See aether.

    M-theory: Currently incomplete theory emerging from the second superstring revolution that unites the previous five superstring theories within a single overarching framework. M-theory appears to be a theory involving eleven spacetime dimensions, although many of its detailed properties have yet to be understood; a fully quantum mechanical theory of all forces and all matter.

    Mach's principle: Principle that all motion is relative and that the standard of rest is provided by average mass distribution in the universe.

    Macroscopic: Refers to scales typically encountered in the everyday world and larger; roughly the opposite of microscopic.

    Many Worlds interpretation: Interpretation of quantum mechanics in which all potentialities embodied by a probability wave are realized in separate universes.

    Massless black hole: In string theory, a particular kind of black hole that may have large mass initially, but that becomes ever lighter as a piece of the Calabi-Yau portion of space shrinks. When the portion of space has shrunk down to a point, the initially massive black hole has no remaining mass—it is massless. In this state, it no longer manifests such usual black hole properties as an event horizon.

    Maxwell's theory, Maxwell's electromagnetic theory: Theory uniting electricity and magnetism, based on the concept of the electromagnetic field, devised by Maxwell in the 1880s; shows that visible light is an example of an electromagnetic wave.

    Messenger particle: Smallest "packet" or "bundle" of a force, which communicates the forces' influence.

    Microwave background radiation: See cosmic microwave background radiation.

    Mirror symmetry: In the context of string theory, a symmetry showing that two different Calabi-Yau shapes, known as a mirror pair, give rise to identical physics when chosen for the curled-up dimensions of string theory.

    Multidimensional hole: A generalization of the hole found in a doughnut to higher-dimensional versions. (Epsilon=One: The concept of Infinity is somewhat analogous to being outside the doughnut, while Reality is within the doughnut; the infintesimal can be considered the doughnut hole while the outer parameter is the infinite.)

    Multi-doughnut, multi-handled doughnut: A generalization of a doughnut shape (a torus) that has more than one hole.

    Multiverse: Hypothetical enlargement of the cosmos in which our universe is but one of an enormous number of separate and distinct universes.

    Negative curvature: Shape of space containing less than the critical density; saddle shaped.

    Neutrino: Electrically neutral particle, subject only to the weak force. (Epsilon=One: The definition of a neutrino is a good description of a pulse-3 Pulsoid. A pulse-1 Pulsoid is 2-dimensional; a pulse-1.5 Pulsoid is antimatter; a pulse-2 Pulsoid is the Bose-Einstein condensate; and, a pulse-3 Pulsoid may well be the mysterious neutrino.)

    Neutron: Electrically neutral particle, typically found in the nucleus of an atom, consisting of three quarks (two down-quarks, one up-quark). (Epsilon=One: Particles do not have fractional charges any more than there can be a fractional bubble or fractional trough of a wave. A neutron is a proton linked to an electron of equal diameter; or more accurately, a linked nuclear and orbital Resoloid, which Resoloids, by definition, have a radius equal to the Pulse minus the Elliptical Constant (EC) or Conceptual Unit (CU).)

    Newton's laws of motion: Laws describing the motion of bodies based on the conception of an absolute and immutable space and time; these laws held sway until Einstein's discovery of special relativity.

    Newton's universal theory of gravity: Theory of gravity declaring that the force of attraction between two bodies is proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Subsequently supplanted by Einstein's general relativity.

    Nonperturbative: Feature of a theory whose validity is not dependent on approximate, perturbative calculations; an exact feature of a theory.

    Nucleus: The core of an atom, consisting of protons and neutrons.

    Observable universe: Part of universe within our cosmic horizon; part of universe close enough so that light it emitted can have reached us by today; part of universe we can see.

    Observer: Idealized person or piece of equipment, often hypothetical, that measures relevant properties of a physical system.

    One-loop process: Contribution to a calculation in perturbation theory in which one virtual pair of strings (or particles in a point-particle theory) is involved.

    Open strings: Filaments of energy in string theory, in the shape of snippets with two free ends.

    Oscillatory pattern See vibrational pattern.

    P-brane: Ingredient of string/M-theory with p-spatial dimensions. See also D-brane.

    Particle accelerator: Machine for boosting particles to nearly light speed and slamming them together in order to probe the structure of matter.

    Perturbation theory: Framework for simplifying a difficult problem by finding an approximate solution that is subsequently refined as more details, initially ignored, are systematically included.

    Perturbative approach, Perturbative method: See perturbation theory.

    Phase: When used in reference to matter, describes its possible states: solid phase, liquid phase, gas phase. More generally, refers to the possible descriptions of a physical system as features on which it depends (temperature, string coupling constant values, form of spacetime, etc.) are varied.

    Phase transition: Qualitative change in a physical system when its temperature is varied through a sufficiently wide range. Evolution of a physical system from one phase to another.

    Photoelectric effect: Phenomenon in which electrons are ejected from a metallic surface when light is shone upon it.

    Photon: Smallest packet of the electromagnetic force field; messenger particle of the electromagnetic force; smallest "bundle" of light.

    Planck constant: Denoted by the symbol Planck's constant is a fundamental parameter in quantum mechanics. It determines the size of the discrete units of energy, mass, spin, etc. into which the microscopic world is partitioned. Its value is 1.05 x 10^-27 grams-cm/sec.

    Planck energy: About 1,000 kilowatt hours. The energy necessary to probe to distances as small as the Planck length. The typical energy of a vibrating string in string theory.

    Planck length: Size (10^-33 centimeters) below which the conflict between quantum mechanics and general relativity becomes manifest; size below which conventional notion of space breaks down. The size of a typical string in string theory.

    Planck mass: About ten billion billion times the mass of a proton; about one-hundredth of a thousandth of a gram (10^-5 grams); about the mass of a small grain of dust. The typical mass equivalent of a vibrating string in string theory.

    Planck tension: About 10^39 tons. The tension on a typical string in string theory.

    Planck time: About 10^-43 seconds. Time at which the size of the universe was roughly the Planck length; more precisely, time it takes light to travel the Planck length. Time interval below which conventional notion of time breaks down.

    Potential energy: Energy stored in a field or object.

    Potential energy bowl: Shape describing the energy a field contains for a given field value; technically called the field's potential energy.

    Primordial nucleosynthesis: Production of atomic nuclei occurring during the first three minutes after the big bang.

    Principle of equivalence: Core principle of general relativity declaring the indistinguishability of accelerated motion and immersion in a gravitational field (over small enough regions of observation). Generalizes the principle of relativity by showing that all observers, regardless of their state of motion, can claim to be at rest, so long as they acknowledge the presence of a suitable gravitational field.

    Principle of relativity: Core principle of special relativity declaring that all constant-velocity observers are subject to an identical set of physical laws and that, therefore, every constant-velocity observer is justified in claiming that he or she is at rest. This principle is generalized by the principle of equivalence.

    Probability wave: Wave in quantum mechanics that encodes the probability that a particle will be found at a given location.

    Product: The result of multiplying two numbers.

    Proton: Positively charged particle, typically found in the nucleus of an atom, consisting of three quarks (two up-quarks and one down-quark). (Epsilon=One: What is actually—physically—meant by "positively," "up," and "down"? These terms, to be meaningful, must be described in terms of their form of oscillation.)

    Quanta: The smallest physical units into which something can be partitioned, according to the laws of quantum mechanics. For instance, photons are the quanta of the electromagnetic field.

    Quantum chromodynamics (QCD): Quantum mechanical theory of the strong nuclear force, incorporating special relativity.

    Quantum claustrophobia: See quantum fluctuations.

    Quantum determinism: Property of quantum mechanics that knowledge of the quantum state of a system at one moment completely determines its quantum state at future and past moments. Knowledge of the quantum state, however, determines only the probability that one or another future will actually ensue.

    Quantum electrodynamics (QED): Relativistic quantum field theory of the electromagnetic force and electrons, incorporating special relativity.

    Quantum electroweak theory: See electroweak theory.

    Quantum field theory: See relativistic quantum field theory.

    Quantum fluctuation: Turbulent behavior of a system on microscopic scales due to the uncertainty principle.

    Quantum fluctuations, quantum jitters: The unavoidable, rapid variations in the value of a field on small scales, arising from the quantum uncertainty principle.

    Quantum foam: See spacetime foam.

    Quantum geometry: Modification of Riemannian geometry required to describe accurately the physics of space on ultramicroscopic scales, where quantum effects become important.

    Quantum gravity: A theory that successfully mergers quantum mechanics and general relativity, possibly involving modifications of one or both. String theory is an example of a theory of quantum gravity.

    Quantum measurement problem: Problem of explaining how the myriad possibilities encoded in a probability wave give way to a single outcome when measured. (Epsilon=One: It would seem the Heisenberg uncertainty principle would preclude any "single outcome.")

    Quantum mechanics: Framework of laws, originally developed in the 1920s and 1930s, governing the universe whose unfamiliar features such as uncertainty, quantum fluctuations, and wave-particle duality become most apparent on the microscopic scales of atoms and subnuclear particles.

    Quantum tunneling: Feature of quantum mechanics showing that objects can pass through barriers that should be impenetrable according to Newton's classical laws of physics.

    Quark: An elementary particle that is acted upon by the strong force. Quarks exist in six varieties (up, down, charm, strange, top, bottom) and three "colors" (red, green, blue). (Epsilon=One: Quarks are best described as unseen, mythical contrivances from the mind of Murray Gell-Mann.)

    Radiation: The energy carried by waves or particles.

    Reciprocal: The inverse of a number; for example, the reciprocal of 3 is 1/3, the reciprocal of ½ is 2.

    Relationist: Perspective holding that all motion is relative and space is not absolute.

    Relativistic quantum field theory: Quantum-mechanical theory of fields, such as the electromagnetic field, that incorporates special relativity.

    Resonance: One of the natural states of oscillation of a physical system. (Epsilon=One: Serendipitous alignment of oscillations of slide, swing, and vibration are harmonious when their lengths/"strings"—multiples of the Conceptual Unit/Elliptical Constant—align as paired, different Pythagorean triangles; such triangle pairs that can be mapped to every integer higher than zero are known as Brunardot Triangles (BTr), which link every pair of nuclear and orbital Resoloids. The consequent, inscribed, triangulated resonances, of equal diameter, manifest as matter—orbital and nuclear Resoloids: i.e. protons and electrons.)

    Riemannian geometry: Mathematical framework for describing curved shapes of any dimension. Plays a central role in Einstein's description of spacetime in general relativity.

    Rotational invariance, rotational symmetry: Characteristic of a physical system, or of a theoretical law, of being unaffected by a rotation.

    Schrödinger equation: Equation governing the evolution of probability waves in quantum mechanics.

    Schwarzschild solution: Solution to the equations of general relativity for a spherical distribution of matter; one implication of this solution is the possible existence of black holes.

    Second law of thermodynamics: Law that says that, on average, the entropy of a physical system will tend to rise from any given moment.

    Second superstring revolution: Period in the development of string theory beginning around 1995 in which some nonperturbative aspects of the theory began to be

    Singularity: Location where the fabric of space or spacetime suffers a devastating rupture. (Epsilon=One: By definition there can be only ONE singularity. It cannot be added to nor divided. A singularity contains the essence of all that exists. Infinity—beyond the limits of the infinite and the infinitesimal— can be so defined . . . as the only singularity.

    Smooth, smooth space: A spatial region in which the fabric of space is flat or gently curved, with no pinches, ruptures, or creases of any kind.

    Space-tearing flop transition: See flop transition.

    Spacetime: A union of space and time originally emerging from special relativity. Can be viewed as the "fabric" out of which the universe is fashioned; it constitutes the dynamical arena within which the events of the universe take place.

    Spacetime foam: Frothy, writhing, tumultuous character of the spacetime fabric on ultramicroscopic scales, according to a conventional point-particle perspective. An essential reason for the incompatibility of quantum mechanics and general relativity prior to string theory.

    Special relativity: Einstein's laws of space and time, in the absence of gravity, in which space and time are not individually absolute. An essential reason for the incompatibility of quantum mechanics and general relativity prior to string theory.
    (see also general relativity.)

    Sphere: The outer surface of a ball. The surface of a familiar three-dimensional ball has two dimensions (which can be labeled by two numbers such as "latitude" and "longitude," as on the surface of the earth). The concept of a sphere, though, applies more generally to balls and hence their surfaces, in any number of dimensions. A one-dimensional sphere is a fancy name for a circle; a zero-dimensional sphere is two points (as explained in the text). (Epsilon=One: See Dynamic, Emergent Separation (DES)) A three-dimensional sphere is harder to picture; it is the surface of a four-dimensional ball. (Epsilon=One: What . . . ???!)

    Spin: Quantum mechanical property of elementary particles in which, somewhat like a top, they undergo rotational motion (they have intrinsic angular momentum); particles have an intrinsic amount of spin that is either a whole number or half a whole number.

    Spontaneous symmetry breaking: Technical name for the formation 'of a Higgs ocean; process by which a previously manifest symmetry is hidden or spoiled.

    Standard candles: Objects of a known intrinsic brightness that are useful for Measuring astronomical distances.

    Standard model of cosmology: Big bang theory together with an understanding of the three nongravitational forces as summarized by the standard model of particle physics.

    Standard model of particle physics, Standard model, Standard theory: An enormously successful quantum mechanical theory of the three nongravitational forces that describes all matter and forces, except for gravity. Effectively the union of quantum chromodynamics and the electroweak theory. Based on conception of point particles.

    String: Fundamental one-dimensional object that is the essential ingredient in string theory. (Epsilon=One: A "string" is a form of oscillating Seminal Motion before Natural dimensions, laws, and principles.)

    String coupling constant: A (positive) number that governs how likely it is for a given string to split apart into two strings or for two strings to join together into one—the basic processes in string theory. Each string theory has its own string coupling constant, the value of which should be determined by an equation; currently such equations are not understood well enough to yield any useful information. Coupling constants less than 1 imply that perturbative methods are valid. (Epsilon=One: Most likely, "coupling constants less than 1" indicate antimatter or Bose-Einstein condensate.

    String mode: A possible configuration (vibrational pattern, winding configuration) that a string can assume. (Epsilon=One: String configurations are limited to 8 internal modes of oscillation, such as: slide, swing, vibration, rotation, spin, resonance, etc.)

    String theory: Unified theory of the universe postulating that fundamental ingredients of nature are not zero-dimensional point particles but tiny one-dimensional vibrating filaments of energy called strings. String theory harmoniously unites quantum mechanics and general relativity, the previously known laws of the small and the large, that are otherwise incompatible, but which does not necessarily incorporate supersymmetry. The term string theory is sometimes used as shorthand for superstring theory.

    Strong force, Strong nuclear force: Strongest of the four fundamental forces, responsible for keeping quarks locked inside protons and neutrons and for keeping protons and neutrons crammed inside of atomic nuclei. (Epsilon=One: Much misunderstanding of the nature of quarks, protons, electrons, and neutrons arises in academia because of the poor understanding of their etiology; particularly, their "birth" within the ellipsoidal, dual envelopes (force fields) of the symbolic Emergent Ellipsoid (EEd). Photons are electrons that have been traumatically expelled from "dark" matter and atom's "dual envelope" fields. It is scientists' extrapolated "view" from without the ellipsoidal, dual envelopes that accounts for the difficulty of understanding "spin.")

    Strong force symmetry: Gauge symmetry underlying the strong force, associated with invariance of a physical system under shifts in the color charges of quarks.

    Strongly coupled: Theory whose string coupling constant is larger than 1. (Epsilon=One: This explains why antimatter is so ephemeral; and where it goes. As the "coupling constant" (Pulse) increases to 2, the ellipsoidal, dual envelope "fields" of the symbolic Emergent Ellipsoid (EEd) transpose changing antimatter to matter. Also, at the transposition, nuclear Resoloids change position to orbital Resoloids, which orbital Resoloids are then referred to as electrons.)

    Strong nuclear force: Force of nature that influences quarks; holds quarks together inside protons and neutrons. (Epsilon=One: NUTS!!! Quarks are mythical figments from the mind of Murray Gell-Mann. Neutrons are Protons (nuclear Resoloids) linked to an electron (orbital Resoloids). Fundamental particles cannot be fractionally "charged," nor do they differ in radius. They only differ in position (nuclear or orbital) which is a function of Pulse and the configuration of which Pythagorean triangle of a Brunardot Triangle of harmonic oscillations from which they were formed.)

    Strong-weak duality: Situation in which a strongly coupled theory is dual—physically identical—to a different, weakly coupled theory. (Epsilon=One: Dualities are found most everywhere (for example, such as: solitons, the Golden Ratio. Fibonacci sequences, et cetera) especially associated with subatomic phenomena.)

    Sum-over-paths: Formulation of quantum mechanics in which particles are envisioned to travel from one point to another along all possible paths between them. (Epsilon=One: It is not so much the "particles," that so travel. It is the oscillations that comprise the "particle.")

    Supergravity: Class of point-particle theories combining general relativity and supersymmetry.

    Superpartners: Particles whose spins differ by 1/2 unit and that are paired by supersymmetry.

    Superstring theory: Theory in which fundamental ingredients are one-dimensional loops (closed strings) or snippets (open strings) of vibrating energy, (Epsilon=One: A better term than "vibrating energy" is "oscillating energy.") which unites general relativity and quantum mechanics; incorporates supersymmetry.

    Supersymmetric quantum field theory: Quantum field theory incorporating super-symmetry.

    Supersymmetric standard model: Generalization of the standard model of particle physics to incorporate supersymmetry. Entails a doubling of the known elementary particle species.

    Supersymmetry: A [I]symmetry[I] principle that relates the properties of particles with a whole number amount of spin (bosons) to those with half a whole (odd) number amount of spin (fermions).

    Symmetry: A transformation on a physical system that leaves the system's appearance unchanged (e.g., a rotation of a perfect sphere about its center leaves the sphere unchanged); a transformation of a physical system that has no effect on the laws describing the system.

    Symmetry breaking: A reduction in the amount of symmetry a system appears to have, usually associated with a phase transition.

    Tachyon: Particle whose mass (squared) is negative; its presence in a theory generally yields inconsistencies.

    Thermodynamics: Laws developed in the nineteenth century to describe aspects of heat, work, energy, entropy, and their mutual evolution in a physical system.

    Three-brane: See brane.

    Three-dimensional sphere: See sphere.

    Time dilation: Feature emerging from special relativity, in which the flow of time slows down for an observer in motion.

    Time-reversal symmetry: Property of the accepted laws of nature in which laws make no distinction between one direction in time and the other. From any given moment, the laws treat past and future in exactly the same way.

    Time slice: All of space at one moment of time; a single slice through the spacetime block or loaf.

    T.O.E. (Theory of Everything): A quantum-mechanical theory that encompasses all forces and all matter.

    Topologically distinct: Two shapes that cannot be deformed into one another without tearing their structure in some manner.

    Topology: Classification of shapes into groups that can be deformed into one another without ripping or tearing their structure in any way.

    Topology-changing transition: Evolution of spatial fabric that involves rips or tears, thereby changing the topology of space.

    Torus: The two-dimensional surface of a doughnut.

    Translational invariance, translational symmetry: Property of accepted laws of nature in which the laws are applicable at any location in space.

    Two-brane: See brane.

    Two-dimensional sphere See sphere.

    Type I string theory: One of the five superstring theories; involves both open and closed strings.

    Type HA string theory: One of the five superstring theories; involves closed strings with left-right symmetric vibrational patterns.

    Type IIB string theory: One of the five superstring theories; involves closed strings with left-right asymmetric vibrational patterns.

    Ultramicroscopic: Length scales shorter than the Planck length (and also time scales shorter than the Planck time).

    Uncertainty principle: Principle of quantum mechanics, discovered by Heisenberg, that there are features of the universe, like the position and velocity of a particle, that cannot be known with complete precision. Such uncertain aspects of the microscopic world become ever more severe as the distance and time scales on which they are considered become ever smaller. Particles and fields undulate and jump between all possible values consistent with the quantum uncertainty. This implies that the microscopic realm is a roiling frenzy, awash in a violent sea of quantum fluctuations.

    Unified theory, Unified field theory: Any theory that describes all four forces and all of matter within a single, all-encompassing framework. (Epsilon=One: Pulsoid Theory and Oscillation Theory are such theories.)

    Uniform vibration: The overall motion of a string in which it moves without changes in shape.

    Vacuum: The emptiest that a region can be; the state of lowest energy.

    Vacuum field fluctuations: See quantum fluctuations.

    Velocity: The speed and direction of an object's motion.

    Vibrational mode: See vibrational pattern.

    Vibrational pattern: The precise number of peaks and troughs as well as their amplitude as a string oscillates.

    Vibration number: Whole number describing the energy in the uniform vibrational motion of a string; the energy in its overall motion as opposed to that associated with changes in its shape. (Epsilon=One: Most all relationships in Pulsoid Theory (string Theory) involve "whole numbers"—Natural Integers that are multiples of the Elliptical Constant (EC).)

    Virtual particles: Particles that erupt from the vacuum momentarily; they exist on borrowed [B]energy, consistent with the uncertainty princip/le, and rapidly annihilate, thereby repaying the energy loan.

    W and Z particles: The messenger particles of the weak nuclear force.

    W bosons. See weak gauge boson.

    Wave function: Probability waves upon which quantum mechanics is founded. See probability wave.

    Wavelength: The distance between successive peaks or troughs of a wave.

    Wave-particle duality: Basic feature of quantum mechanics that objects manifest both wavelike and particle-like properties.

    Weak force, Weak nuclear force: One of the four fundamental forces, best known for mediating radioactive decay.

    Weak gauge boson: Smallest bundle of the weak force field; messenger particle of the weak force; called W or Z boson.

    Weak gauge symmetry: Gauge symmetry underlying the weak force.

    Weak nuclear force: Force of nature, acting on subatomic scales, and responsible for phenomena such as radioactive decay.

    Weakly coupled: Theory whose string coupling constant is less than 1.(Epsilon=One: It appears that the "string coupling constant" is analogous to Pulsoid Theory's Pulse, which when "less than 1" would indicate: antimatter; a Pulse of 2 indicates a Bose-Einstein condensate.)

    Which-path information: Quantum mechanical information delineating the path a particle took in going from source to detector.

    Winding energy: The energy embodied by a string wound around a circular dimension of space.

    Winding mode: A string configuration that wraps around a circular spatial dimension. (Epsilon=One: Strings (oscillations) do not wind about dimensions.)

    Winding number: The number of times a string is wound around a circular spatial dimension. (Epsilon=One: Strings (oscillations) do not wind about dimensions.)

    World-sheet: Two-dimensional surface swept out by a string as it moves. (Epsilon=One: Strings, a physical phnomenon, do not manifest in two-dimensions.)

    Wormhole: A tube-like region of space connecting one region of the universe to another. (Epsilon=One: Ludicrous extension of incomplete and imperfect theories based upon axioms with a first postulate.)

    Z boson: See weak gauge boson.

    Zero-dimensional sphere: See sphere
    Table of Contents
    .......The Elegant Universe
    Last edited by Reviewer; 07-18-2014, 05:53 AM.