Maxwell, Max Planck, Madame Curie, Rutherford, Neils Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, James Chadwick, Lui De Broglee, Irwin Schrodinger, etc. also contributed in the establishment of the Quantum Theory.
(1) Until the middle of the 18th century, an atom was considered indivisible. However, German physicist Helmhotltz believed that electricity has positive and negative charges and just as the elements are made up of atoms, electricity too is made up of particles Later, Thomoson, Hertz, etc. proved through experiments that electricity is made up of small particles called electrons. They keep moving around the nucleus of the atom. Rutherford and Neils Bohr established the planetary form of the atom.
Later, the nucleus of the atom was broken and the positively charged proton and the charge-free neutron were discovered. Einstein proved that light is nothing but a flow of photons, which is different from electromagnetic particles. During the process of this discovery, till 1963, about 200 particles like meson, pion, nion, hyperons and neutrion, etc. were also discovered and it seemed as though a jungle of particles had come up.
Many particles were discovered but when science tried to find out the truth about these, a problem arose?the solution to which has still not been found. If we want to find the composition of an electron, then we will have to find out about the speed and direction of the electron. To find out the direction, we will have to use gamma rays. But an electron, which changes its form when it strikes against an ordinary photon of light, will take on another form the moment the gamma rays strike it. The problem then arises, is that the electron, whose composition we wanted to study, does not remain in its original form. Werner Heisenberg called it the principle of uncertainty and said that an electron is not a substance and that it is difficult to find out its composition. The next question was to know about the medium to understand it. While looking for an answer to this problem, they realised that they did not know whether the basic element was a particle or a wave. Sometime they look like particles and sometimes as waves and that this experience or feeling is real. It was realised that it looking like a particle or a wave depends on the process which had been used to find it. Hence, the experience of these minute elements depends on the observer and the process he applies. Although the scientist today is not aware of the innumerable atoms, yet uses them because he knows their nature.
Talking about this, Sir James Jeans says in his book New Background of Science, that for today'sscientists, electrons, protons and photons are just like ?x?, ?y?, and ?z? of Algebra. What is happening today is that without knowing what these particles are, we use them and are able to conveniently make discoveries. As such, the scientific journey to find out about the universe has, in the words of Einstein, become, ?to take out one obscure from another obscure.?
(2). In its journey to find out the basic element of the universe, science found that the particles or waves do not exist in isolation, but they move in a flow, which is a form of energy and that we interact with these energies. Earlier, light, temperature, magnetic force, electricity, sound, etc. were all considered to be different powers. However, with new discoveries, the process of unifying the powers started and four of these were considered to be the main forces.
(i) Gravitational power-It is present within all main sub-atomic particles like electrons, protons, neutrons and nutrinos and is a force that controls the entire universe including the earth. However, no knowledge has, as yet, been gained on ?gravitone? which is believed to be the cause of the gravitational pull.
(ii) Electron-magnetic force-It has now been proved that temperature, electricity, sound, magnetism and all other powers are the electro-magnetic forces with varied wavelengths.
(iii) Strong Nuclear power-It is the force that keeps the protons and the neutrons tied to the nucleus of the atom. This is one million times stronger than the electro-magnetic force.
(iv) Weak Nuclear power-Everything is included in these four powers. Weinberg and Abdus Salaam of Pakistan have unified the electromagnetic and the strong and weak nuclear powers. However, the gravitational power has not been added on yet.
(3) In his special theory of relativity, Einstein had unified matter and energy. He had said that matter is the broad expression of energy and through his famous equation E = mC2, proved that both can be interconverted. Newton had said that space is uniform all around and time is linear. But, Einstein said that the universe was not a mere machine. Its activities are not mechanical. In fact, the universe is flexible and has various forms. Wherever there is an object and movement, space curves. Just as a fish swimming in water cuts through the water around it, similarly a star or a comet or a constellation brings about a change in the formation of time through which it passes.
Space and time are not different because one does not exist without the other. Time has no identity of its own without incidents and one does not have any knowledge about incidents without time. This way, Einstein unified matter, energy, space and time.
Thus, in short, the entire scientific journey of the west can be summerised like this. The entire world is made up of elements, elements are made up of atoms and atoms are made up of small particles. However, whether these particles are there or not is difficult to find out. Hence, they are all a flow and flow is a form of force of energy. This energy is of kinds. The unification of three of these can be understood. They are in space (which is three dimensional) and space and time are not separate. Hence, the entire world is born out of the four dimensional field of space and time. The unification of gravitational power has not been possible in this amalgamation. The day this happens, physics will probably end. The scientific journey of the west has come upto this.
The question that arises is suppose the gravitational power is also unified, then will the puzzle of the universe be solved? Will the ultimate truth about the world become known? It seems not because then, some basic questions will arise. What is the human mind? What is intelligence? What are feelings? What is free will? What is its relationship with the broad world and the incidents that happen here? The most important, what is consciousness? Because till today, science has not taken the mind, consciousness, intelligence, etc. in its periphery and science is divided into categories like physics and biology, etc. A new kind of caste system seems to becoming up and this fragmented outlook is a major reason for this tragedy.
(This book is available with Ocean Books (P) Ltd., 4/19 Asaf Ali Road, New Delhi-110 002.)