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Physical Particles

Physical particles are measurable collections of the smaller particles considered thus far. To summarize, we have defined seeds by objectifying some common sensations. Seeds are the elementary components of EthnoPhysics. All other objects are subsequently defined by aggregations of seeds. This approach is not new, it is influenced by the ancient philosophy of Anaxagoras. Next we considered pairs of seeds and called them quarks. Quarks are discussed in more detail over the next few pages, but we can already use them to formally make this simple definition: Physical particles are compound quarks. So together with David Hume we understand particles to be bundles of sensation.

EthnoPhysics then expands on Hume’s idea in an effort to understand particle mechanics without resorting to mysteriously received notions about length, mass and time. First we remarked that experiencing a sensation is itself an event. Then we organized a way of mathematically describing events using ordered-sets called chains of events generically noted by

\Psi ^{\mathsf{P}} = \left(    \mathsf{P}_{1} ,   \mathsf{P}_{2} ,    \mathsf{P}_{3}   \; \ldots  \;    \right)

Recognizing patterns of sensation, and identifying particles, requires some repetition within a stream of consciousness. So physical particles are mathematically represented using orbital chains of events where some bundle of sensations \mathsf{\Omega} is experienced over and over again. Then, if we speak informally of the quarks in a particle, we mean the quarks in one bundle. For instance we may say that particle  \mathsf{P} contains the quarks  \mathsf{u},  \overline{\mathsf{s}} and   \mathsf{d}, or we may write phrases like

\mathsf{u}+ \overline{\mathsf{s}} +  \mathsf{d}  \rightarrow \mathsf{P}

as an abbreviation for writing out the full expression for the chain

\Psi ^{\mathsf{P}} = \left(     \mathsf{\Omega} ^{\mathsf{P}}_{1} ,     \mathsf{\Omega} ^{\mathsf{P}}_{2}   ,    \mathsf{\Omega} ^{\mathsf{P}}_{3}  \;   \ldots       \;    \right)

where the convention that seeds are conserved requires that

\mathsf{\Omega} ^{\mathsf{P}}_{1} =     \mathsf{\Omega} ^{\mathsf{P}}_{2}   =    \mathsf{\Omega} ^{\mathsf{P}}_{3}  =  \;   \ldots       \;   =   \left(  \mathsf{u}, \overline{\mathsf{s}}, \mathsf{d}     \right)

From these general considerations, different sorts of particles can be obtained from rules that specify new quark combinations. Starting with anti-particles: The anti-particle of any particle  \mathsf{P} is noted by \overline{\mathsf{P}} and defined by exchanging ordinary-quarks and anti-quarks of the same type. So for example if  \mathsf{P} contains  \mathsf{u},  \overline{\mathsf{s}} and  \mathsf{d}, then \overline{\mathsf{P}} is composed from \overline{\mathsf{u}}, \mathsf{s} and \overline{\mathsf{d}}. And here is a quick introduction to some more compound quarks.

  • Frames of Reference are compound quarks where the total number of quarks is enormous. They provide a descriptive context for other particles.
  • Clocks are defined from compound quarks that have a fixed relationship with events on Earth.
  • Nuclear Particles are compound quarks that are very symmetric so that we can ignore many sensory details and therefore describe them objectively.
  • Photons and Gravitons are compound quarks that have almost no character and are mostly used to explain changes in other particles.
  • Newtonian Particles are compound quarks that are dense enough so that they can absorb a few photons or gravitons without changing very much.
  • Spaces and Fields are described by mathematical sets of quarks too. Different kinds of fields are defined from different distributions of quark types.

So in brief, EthnoPhysics employs sensations, seeds and quarks to define all physical things. Quarks are especially useful, so next we focus our attention on counting quarks.

Physical particles as aggregations of quarks are illustrated in this bead panel from Borneo.
Bead Panel, Bahau people. Borneo 20th century, diameter 38 cm. From the Teo Family collection, Kuching. Photograph by D Dunlop.