Author Topic: The Spark that Caused the Big Bang ... and Kabbalah!  (Read 2433 times)

Offline michaelintp

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The Spark that Caused the Big Bang ... and Kabbalah!
« on: July 15, 2012, 07:08:02 pm »
The article below, The Spark that Caused the Big Bang, from the Wall Street Journal, contains mind-blowing parallels to the Jewish Mystical Tradition describing the Creation of the Universe. Those who are using this “God particle” to refute God’s role are evidently ignorant of how these recent discoveries totally comport with the Biblical account as understood by the Jewish sages and mystics.  

The thirteenth century kabbalist, Moshe ben Nachman, known as Nachmanides or Ramban (1194-1270), expressed the kabbalistic view that the universe at its creation was not bigger than a mustard seed, but expanded resulting in all the matter we are and see. It is worth noting that a “mustard seed” was the traditional reference to something very very small, a singularity.

But the WSJ article doesn’t stop there. There is also an unintended reference to Shevirat ha-Kelim (the Breaking of the Vessels). According to kabbalah, as explained by the Jewish mystic Isaac Luria (1534-72), ten vessels were originally meant to contain the emanation of God's light, but were unable to contain that light and were hence shattered. As a result of this cosmic catastrophe, the Sefirot, the archetypal values through which the cosmos was created, are shattered and out of place, and the world within which we reside, is composed of the shards of these broken values.

Kabbalistic practice is embodied in the notion of Tikkun ha-Olam, literally the "repair" or "restoration" of the world. The Hasidic doctrine of Tikkun holds that a person's soul exists in sympathy with the people and objects in his environment, in such a manner that each moment in a person's life presents an opportunity to "raise the sparks" that only he or she can redeem. The people and objects a man encounters in the course of his lifetime are presented to him precisely in order that he can liberate the spiritual energy within them and, in so doing, also liberate the sparks within his own soul.

What the kabbalists described is not at all intuitive. It is fascinating how, hundreds of years ago, relying on ancient Jewish teachings, the kabbalists described what modern physicists are discovering and describing today.

The Spark that Caused the Big Bang
There's a reason the newly discovered Higgs boson is called the 'God particle.' It started it all.

Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2012

Champagne bottles were being uncorked at particle accelerators around the world this week as physicists celebrated one of the great moments in scientific history: the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson. Hundreds of physicists and engineers were ecstatic, having devoted almost 30 years of their lives—and $10 billion—trying to track down this almost mythical subatomic particle.

In their press release, the scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, were careful to say they've only found evidence of a "Higgs-like" particle. But this is too modest. With 99.9999% confidence, they can claim to have found the Higgs boson itself.

The key to finding this particle is CERN's Large Hadron Collider, a monstrous doughnut-shaped machine 27 miles in circumference, so big it straddles the French-Swiss border and devours enough electrical energy to light up an entire city. Two beams of protons are shot through this colossal, circular tube in opposite directions. When they're accelerated to near light-speed velocities, they're forced to collide head-on, creating a huge burst of subatomic particles that scatter in all directions. The collision creates energies (up to 14 trillion electron volts) and blistering temperatures not seen since the Big Bang. That's why the collider is nicknamed "the window on Creation." It creates a tiny, mini-Big Bang at the instant of the collision.

For a fraction of a trillionth of a second, the Higgs boson appears at the collision site, before it rapidly decays into a shower of ordinary subatomic particles. Some of the largest supercomputers on earth are then used to shift though this immense amount of data to identify the telltale tracks of the short-lived Higgs boson. It's akin to smashing two grand pianos together at high velocity, completely demolishing them, and then using supercomputers to analyze the noise of the crash to reconstruct a detailed blueprint of each piano—but far more complicated.

For the past 50 years, this expensive process of smashing beams of particles has yielded an embarrassingly large zoo of hundreds of subatomic particles, which can be tediously reassembled like a jigsaw puzzle called the Standard Model of particles. More than 20 Nobel Prizes have been awarded to physicists who have pieced together parts of the Standard Model. All the particles of the Standard Model had been found, except the last, central piece of the jigsaw puzzle—the Higgs boson. That is why so much was resting on finding the Higgs particle. (If it had not been found, many physicists, I imagine, would have had a heart attack.)

The press has dubbed the Higgs boson the "God particle," a nickname that makes many physicists cringe. But there is some logic to it. According to the Bible, God set the universe into motion as he proclaimed "Let there be light!" In physics, the universe started off with a cosmic explosion, the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, which sent the stars and galaxies hurtling in all directions. But the key question is left unanswered: Why did it bang? The big-bang theory says nothing about how and why it banged in the first place.

To put it another way, what was the match that set off the initial cosmic explosion? What put the "bang" in the Big Bang? In quantum physics, it was a Higgs-like particle that sparked the cosmic explosion. In other words, everything we see around us, including galaxies, stars, planets and us, owes its existence to the Higgs boson.

The Higgs boson also answers another profound physical question. Why is the universe so unsymmetrical and broken? When you calculate the masses of the subatomic particles like the electron, proton, neutrino or neutron, at first they seem almost random, displaying no rhyme or reason at all.

The latest thinking is that, just before the Big Bang, the universe was very tiny but also perfectly symmetrical. All the masses of the particles were the same, i.e. zero. But the presence of Higgs-like particles shattered this perfect symmetry. Once the symmetry was broken, the particles were free to assume the various masses we see today.

With the discovery of the Higgs boson, a whole new chapter in physics opens up. CERN's collider could lead to the discovery of unseen dimensions, parallel universes, and possibly the "strings" in string theory (in which the Standard Model is just the lowest vibrating octave). In other words, the discovery of the Higgs is but the first step toward a much grander Theory of Everything.

Mr. Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at CUNY, is author of "Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by 2100" (Doubleday, 2011).
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 12:29:07 pm by michaelintp »
The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth.
It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly.

Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6