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16.12. Some reflections on sizes

Physics has much more to discover in the size range between the smallest theoretically possible dimensions and the smallest known particles.

The smallest size in the universe is the so-called Planck length, about 1.6 x 10-35 metres. In theory, it is probably impossible that anything could be less than this (ref).

The diameter of, for example, an electron swirling in a cloud around the nucleus of an atom is very much larger, about 2.82 x 10-15 metres.

A proton in the atom's nucleus has about a third of the extent of an electron.

Protons again consist of three quarks that are about 2000 times smaller than this again, around 0.43 x 10-16 metres (ref).

These were many numbers, but the point is that the difference in size between what we believe is the theoretical minimum limit in the universe and the smallest elementary particle we know, the quarks – is enormous, with a factor of about 1019.

An electron must thus be the interpretation, the final result, of a vast number of movements, events or something else, which in sum is understood as something emergent, something more than the sum of the «parts» – an electron. The interpretations may have taken place in thousands, perhaps millions of emergence cycles towards ever new simplifications, i.e. higher-order interpretations.

In plain text, there is a huge range between the Planck length and the size of the quarks and electrons, where we still lack much knowledge.

An electron is thus not a solitary lump that appears with a certain probability in a given place.

The electron must be, in our theory, like a mountain consisting of quadrillion times quadrillion of «building blocks», which through many thousands, perhaps millions, of different interpretations at an ever higher level, gather to the notion of a pile, a «particle».

All these intermediate interpretations constitute a complex, dynamic system, and it is thus impossible to predict what will happen. Hence the coincidences in quantum physics.

However, once the particle appears, it is very robust because whether you remove or move a few billion or trillion components, the rock is in the best condition.