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By Charles Rhodes, P. Eng., Ph.D.

This web page summarizes the basic physical laws that govern the evolution of the universe.

Modern science rests on belief in the existence of a set of physical laws, that are independent of position and time, which govern the evolution of the universe. These physical laws account for the behavior and interaction of all observeable objects.

From the perspective of an observer an object at nominal position X at time T has a characteristic energy E and a characteristic linear momentum P. Multiple objects can combine to form a new object with the aggregate total energy and aggragate total linear momentum. Such energy and momentum aggregations include: photons, electrons, nucleons, atoms and molecules, as well as assemblies of these energy aggregations including: plasmas, gases, liquids, solids, life forms, dust, rocks, planets, stars and galaxies.

From a religious perspective, the physical laws are an expression of the will of God.

The physical laws enable the existence of the universe and of life as we know it. Otherwise we would not exist. The physical laws are described by mathematical equations which at the microscopic level have multiple discrete real solutions known as stable states. Computer digital memory is an example of a macroscopic system that for each bit in memory has two stable states. The existence of multiple real solutions makes evolution non-deterministic and gives life forms a limited degree of free will. The survival of human beings on Earth will likely depend on how humans exercise their free will.

The physical laws include but are not limited to:
1) Existence of three apparent orthogonal relative position dimensions;

2) Existence of one apparent relative time dimension;

3) A speed of photon (electromagnetic energy) propagation C in a vacuum that is constant and is the same for all inertial observers;

4) A clock is in essence a closed path for electromagnetic wave propagation. Each circuit of the closed path produces one clock tick. Elapsed time is indicated by a difference in the accumulated number of clock ticks.

5) The clock's closed path length and hence the clock tick rate and hence the observer's perception of time is a function of the clock velocity in the observer's frame of reference.

6) Existence of a spacial distribution of potential energy composed of orthogonal electric, magnetic and gravitational vector field components;

7) Existence of kinetic energy related to energy motion.

8) Conservation of total energy;

9) Existence, conservation and quantization of electric charge;

10) A vector electric field which is a function of the spacial distribution of electric charge;

11) A vector magnetic field which is a function of the motion of electric charge;

12) Existence of vector linear momentum which is the net linear motion of an object's energy in the observer's frame of reference;

13) Conservation of vector linear momentum;

14) A vector gravitational field which is a function of the spacial distribution of energy;

15) Maxwells equations relating charge, charge motion, electric field, electric field energy, magnetic field, magnetic field energy and propagating electromagnetic radiation;

16) Einsteins relativity equations relating position, time,,energy, momentum and speed of light;

17) The existence of stable atomic particles with quantized charge such as electrons, protons and atomic nuclei.

18) The existence of thermal radiation. A low photon density in outer space enables net emission of thermal radiation from the Earth. This sink for thermal radiation emitted by the Earth sets the direction of most physical processes on Earth which involve a change in energy state.

These physical laws have been succesfully applied to explanation and/or solution of a wide range of practical scientific and engineering problems.

1) Charge exists in quantized amounts

2) Charge causes vector electric fields;

3) The net electric field vector at any position is the linear sum of its vector components;

4) Charge motion causes vector magnetic fields;

5) The net magnetic field vector at any position is the linear sum of its vector components;

6) Mathematically orthogonal net electric, magnetic and gravitational fields that each contribute to potential energy density;

7) Potential energy motion has momentum and hence has kinetic energy;

8) Energy density causes a vector gravitational field;

9) The net gravitational field vector at any position is the linear sum of its vector components;

10) The net gravitational field causes negative potential energy;

11) Gravitational field potential energy readily converts into kinetic energy and vice-versa;

12) There exist stable single particle electromagnetic structures. One of these structures is a plane wave. Another structure is charge motion along a closed spiral known as a spheromak. Such a spheromak structure is also known as a charged particle.

13) There exist stable multi-particle electromagnetic structures. Simple two-particle structures include positronium (an semi-stable electron-positron pair) and a hydrogen atom. Deuterium, tritium, helium and heavier atoms involving more particles are progressively more complex.

14) Particle charge quantization in combination with a stable electromagnetic energy structure results in photon energy quantization;

15) A free atomic charged particle such as an electron or an atomic nucleus is a stable bundle of energy containing quantized net charge in integral multiples of 1.602 X 10^-19 coulombs.

16) The various atomic nuclei and free nuclear particles are stable and semi-stable energy states corresponding to different numbers of contained positive and negative charge quanta.

17) A photon is propagating energy due to a propagating change in electric and magnetic fields;

18) A photon generally has energy:
E = h F
and linear momentum:
P = h F / C.
where h is known as the Planck constant and F is the photon frequency.
Thus a charged particle energy transition that involves either photon emission or photon absorption is usually constrained by:
(delta E) = h F
(delta P) = h F / C

19) Electrons and protons consist of quantized charge and energy that are bound together by the spheromak fields;

20) Atoms are assemblies of electrons and atomic nuclei that are bound together by overlap of the particles extended electric and magnetic fields.

21) Molecules are assemblies of atoms that are nominally charge neutral but are bound together by overlap of extended atomic electric and magnetic fields.

22) Solids are assemblies of molecules that are very weakly bound together by overlap of molecular electric and magnetic fields;

23) Ions are atoms or molecules that are missing one or more electrons per nucleus or that have one or more extra electrons per nucleus.

24) A free neutron is an unstable particle with no net charge, emitted by an atomic nucleus, that spontaneously decays into an electron, proton and neutrino.

25) Natural radioactivity is the result of an atomic nucleus spontaneously transitioning from a high potential energy state to a lower potential energy state, usually by emitting a particle and/or a photon.

26) Quantum uncertainty is the result of mathematical equations for energy which accurately represent reality but which have multiple real solutions. Viewed another way, at the microscopic level there are multiple stable states.

27) A quantum system with multiple real solutions having different energies potentially permits changes of energy state that are not possible in classical mechanics.

28) When an object's velocity is large relative to an inertial observer the object's experience of elapsed time is different from the elapsed time experienced by the inertial observer.

29) When energy concentrations are very high, causing high gravitational acceleration, then observed dimensions and elapsed time are not the same as for an inertial observer.

There are various physical systems that have multiple locally stable low energy states. Such physical systems are widely used to form computer memory. Each state corresponds to a locally stable real energy solution. Uncertainty about energy state occupancy causes us to be uncertain about both the past and the future. However, this uncertainty also gives life forms a degree of free will.

A basic principle relating to physical laws as they apply to our local universe is that these laws must be consistent with the evolution of human life. Otherwise we would not exist to make physical observations.

An unresolved issue is whether the physical laws in combination with quantum randomness and environmental changes on Earth were sufficient to initiate cellular life or whether cellular life forms on Earth were delivered to the Earth by meteorites from outer space.

Life forms consist of assemblies of atoms and molecules with long range order that are able to successfully reproduce copies of themselves, that are able to successfully repair minor damage to their long range order and that retain long range order for periods ranging up to hundreds of years. Long range order maintenance and reproductive coding is enabled in part by use of similar repeating structures known as DNA molecules and cells. The capability of cellular organization for mutual support and mutual repair we refer to as the "spirit". Life forms require on-going externally supplied energy for growth and maintenance of long range order. If the "spirit" is lost the life form dies and the long range order is soon lost. Life forms usually evolve to minimize their on-going energy requirements in the environment in which they exist.

The larger animal species also have genetically coded desires for mutual defense, reproduction, parental support and teaching of young progeny. These desires enable the species continued existence. Larger animals rely on parental instruction of the young, particularly in matters related to defense and obtaining sufficient energy (food) for survival.

One of the most remarkable aspects of animal life is the genetically coded operating system that enables maintenance of long range order and infant learning. A fetus acquires some "spirit" soon after conception and aquires more "spirit" at birth.

The manner in which "spirit" is transmitted from parent to child via DNA genetic code is far from obvious. It is comparable to the operating system of a computer.

The dominance of mankind on Earth has been enabled in part by his success in obtaining and harnessing much more energy per person than the minimum necessary for his biological maintenance in a mild climate.

The organization of human society for common benefit is the object of rules of behavior such as are set out in the Bible Old Testament in the Ten Commandmants and in the Bible New Testament in Jesus Two Commandments. Failure to observe these rules of behavior frequently leads to conflict between humans.

This web page last updated October 17, 2016.

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