I found the following article somewhere deep in “My Documents” folder in my mac. After thinking about it for a long time, I finally remembered what I wrote it for. I wrote it for my USP admission application. I read the article again. And I ask myself. HOW THE HELL DID I WRITE THIS 4 YEARS AGO?!!?
I believe that in the realm of science, there is no contest to the conflict between quantum mechanics and general relativity as being the most intriguing idea to date. Neither theory can exist with the other, and it is interesting to know that humankind may have been wrong in one of the theories. That was till the time we formulated the string theory, which holds much potential to be the one single explanatory framework in which the world can utilize to explain, construct and understand every force, every matter and everything that exists in the universe that we know of.
I began to develop a strong interest in this subject when I began studying contemporary physics as a H3 subject. I have seen, experienced and tested for myself the oddness of the subject of physics. The first experiment of my journey towards the unknown began with the world-renounced Young’s double slit experiment, created with the initial intent of proving Newton’s concept of light (being a stream of particles) wrong. Years of experimenting have since proved that light embodies both wave-like and particle-like properties, forcing us to drop our conventional intuition that something can only be either a wave or a particle, and forcing us to embrace the likelihood that it can be both. And even so, it seems that even with all the experimental accuracies of the 21st century, and the exceptional intellect of all the theoretical physicists in the world, we only seem to be only able to “know” the truth, but not “understand” how it works or why it is so at the deepest levels.
Then, Werner Heisenberg came along, and further revolutionized modern physics with his uncertainty principle. Breaking all classical paradigms of Newtonian and Einstein’s understanding of motion, velocity and location, he claimed that at a microscopic level, one can never know both the velocity and location of a particle with absolute precision. Put simply, a particle does not have a definite position and velocity exactly as we have otherwise thought it would, something that we would otherwise thought of being so basic and given as to be beyond question in the ‘real’ world. It also shows that the universe at its most fundamental levels – that of energy and momentum, fluctuates randomly with certain probabilities. Imagine this, that our world was constructed based upon probabilities and chance, or simply, luck. Is it not intriguing to know that the history of our universe was based upon such randomness, and to find out that our existence was a result of a series of events beyond our control?
Experimental data has since forced humankind to retraced our steps in understanding science, and see that we have to be wrong somewhere and sometime before, resulting in the incompatibility between our understanding of general relativity and quantum mechanics. I am deeply unsettled by this fact that the two foundational pillars of physics can never fundamentally coexist with one another.
Though not fully understood and proven, the String theory, as many believe (including myself), may be the key to the one “unified field theory” that has eluded the world for all ages. This theory bravely declares that all the occurrences in the universe arise from the vibrations of microscopic tiny loops of energies that exists in matter. It is an exciting challenge that faced mankind to build an all-encompassing theory. The implications of this theory will shift paradigms and challenge thinkings in almost every aspects of our lives and hopefully, usher in a new era allowing us to break technological barriers to reach beyond to outer space.