Secondary Particles

Technically, the three primary subatomic particles, namely, electrons, protons, and neutrons, are called fermions, a term given by Paul Dirac to honor Enrico Fermi. Fermions are of two types (also called “flavors”), namely, quarks and leptons (Fig. 2.12).


Figure 2.12. Two Types/Flavors of Fermions

Fermions have their angular momentum or “spin” like the turning of our Planet Earth on its axis. They differ with the mass and shape of the object and how fast it is turning. Electrons, for example, can spin in two directions, i.e., up or down. Physicists tell us that no two fermions can be in the same atom at the same time, a rule now known as the “Pauli exclusion principle”.

As we just have discussed, bosons, the force carriers, are considered secondary type of particles, consisting of gluon, proton, z boson, and w boson (Fig. 2.13). Unlike the fermions, there can be many bosons in an atom at the same time.


Figure 2.13. Force Carriers

Together, fermions and bosons form the Standard Model of Elementary Particles (Fig 2.14). The model presents two basic elements: the fundamental building blocks out of which everything is made of (leptons) and the forces that govern their relations. It summarizes our understanding about the composition of the universe at the subatomic level.


Figure 2.14. The Standard Model of Elementary Particles

The model identifies 12 different types of fermions, namely, six leptons and six quarks. As of recent count, there are now 61 confirmed elementary particles in the Standard Model consisting of 48 fermions and 13 bosons. If one includes the “composite particles,” there are more than 200 subatomic particles already found so far. Each fundamental force presented in the model is produced by particles that serve as carriers or vehicles of the force.

Quantum physicists contend that what is happening in the world of atoms is also happening in the bigger world like planets, suns, and stars are seen at a distance. What we see are ordinary large solid objects with their masses, electrical charges and other properties but, at their deepest level, they really consist of several tiny, invisible, almost undetectable subatomic elements.

Indeed, in the cosmic perspective, we likewise observe this twin nature of elements, for example, time and timelessness, limited and boundless, finite and infinite, indeterminate and determinate, imbalance and balance, asymmetric and symmetric, inactivity and activity, accidental and essential.

Everything in the Cosmos is, in fact, manifested in opposites, e.g., light and darkness, day and night, hot and cold weather, heaven and hell, good and evil, angels and demons, perfect and imperfect, faulty and faultless, netherworld and underworld, up and down, above and below, left and right, and so on.

Researchers would like us to think that we can even find twins or opposites in the human body, even if their twin particle can’t be seen. For example, if one shows you a left hand, you will immediately recognize it as a left hand and even know that there is a right hand that goes with it, even if you have not been shown the right hand.

We find the same situation in our society. In politics, we have the rightists and the leftists; in our social system, we have the rich and the poor; in religion, we have the theists and the atheists; in our cultural arrangement, we have the mainstream and the marginalized; in our geography, we have the north and the south or the east and the west; even in our race as humans, we have the whites and the blacks.

In daily life, we have truths and lies, absence and presence, abundance and scarcity, death and life, dry and wet, for and against, bravery and fear, friends and enemies, love and hate, sincerity and insincerity, honesty and dishonesty, freedom and slavery, master and slave, rich and poor, full and empty, fat and thin, tall and short, black and white, long and short, male and female.

Quantum physics teaches us, in effect, that everything in the Cosmos, including all the elements in it, is a world of opposites and duality. This duality is manifested as chaos and harmony, peace and violence, division and unity in our world.

In the Hebrew Bible (Isaiah 45:7), it is written: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things,” while the Chinese sacred texts speak of opposites as the yin and yang or the female and male principle, respectively.

Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov (2011), in his book titled Cosmic Balance: The Secret of Polarity, observed that creation is the manifestation of polarities—positive and negative, day and night, light and darkness, masculine and feminine, active and passive, life and death, or movement and stagnation. He noted that creation has been a continuing act of successive divisions.

Quoting the Bible, he noted that on the first day, light was separated from darkness; on the second day, the waters on high from the waters below; on the third day, the waters from the dry land (Genesis 1:4-10). He also cited that in biology “a cell, the smallest element of a living organism, reproduces itself by division, by splitting in two.”

Quantum physics also teaches us that opposites are necessary to continue the act of creation. It is through the collision and coalescence of opposites that the universe was created. Out of their opposing relationship, new phenomena and events continue to be manifested.

There are no moral issues involved in these polarities, i.e., the word “positive” does not connote “something good and constructive” nor does the term “negative” suggests “something bad and destructive”. Both are necessary. They are complementary, tightly intertwined, complementing and reciprocating each other for reality to appear, prosper, and grow. Together, they form a symmetry.