So what exactly is the physical universe made of … everything that we consider to be “matter” (indeed the only “stuff” that actually exists if you are a materialist reductionist)? Matter exists within various “force fields” such as gravity, the “electro-weak” force and the “strong” force. But if we break down matter to its absolute basic constituents what is it? Well, simply three “things” make up everything physical These are electrons, an “up quark” and a “down quark”. There are actually six quarks but for all intents and purposes matter is made up of just the “up” and “down”. As you will recall the atom consists of a nucleus that is made up of a proton and a neutron and a number of electrons “orbiting” around the nucleus. All protons are made of two up quarks, one down quark and all neutrons consist of one up quark and two down quarks. The electrons are not made of anything as they are “point particles”. By this is meant that they have no actual extension in space. Let me be clear about this, they do not have any actual physical presence in space … it does not take up space. Got that? So if it has no presence in space it might as well be a ghost and, in many ways electrons are like ghosts … which, of course, like precognition, do not exist …. But what about the up and down quarks? Well each up quark is identical to every other up quark and every down quark is identical to every other down quark which in turn creates the identical protons and identical neutrons. The only thing that makes atoms different from each other is the number of electrons wizzing round and the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. So literally EVERYTHING that physically exists is made up of these two quarks and the electrons which don’t actually exist in physical space (Just like photons, particles of light which are also point particles … the things that “illuminate” physical objects so we can “see” them). Is it me or is this not simply amazing …. and do you not feel, like me, that somewhere along the way we are missing something? Is there not a huge piece of the puzzle missing ….. could that piece be consciousness (which also, seemingly, has no extension in space)…… these are things that motivate me to write and to read up all I can about as much as I can ….
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