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The general public seems to think matter is made of atoms. Have we forgotten that particle physics is only a model for the nature of matter?
Public Perception of the Nature of Matter
Particle physics describes matter in three (or four) dimensions, like the surface of a pond, but the nature of matter-energy that lies beneath the surface cannot be perceived by our three-dimensional senses. By wearing our particle-physics glasses, we hinder our exploration of alternative models to address such issues as dark matter, dark energy and quantum entanglement.
Everyone loves the Higgs boson - just another snooker ball - but the Higgs field - how did that work again? In fact how does a fridge magnet work? Whilst particle physics has brought us huge leaps in our understanding of how matter behaves, we have forgotten that this is only one of many models to explain the behavior and nature of matter and energy.
Public perception is that matter is made of subatomic particles called quarks and that this is a fact. Maybe some can remember that odd double-slit business in the museum of curiosities and others view quantum entanglement as science-fiction. Why? Because particle physics does not adequately explain them.
If matter and energy are not considered as isolated bodies or quanta, but as a single field (the Universe) with peaks and troughs, which we then perceive in our 3D existence, provides an instantly "visible" understanding of entanglement and suggests an alternative identity for dark matter other than particles.
And this too is only a model.
We are near the end of the 3D road in our exploration of matter and must begin to think in 4D, 5D, 10D..but how? I do not know of what new talents our neurobiology may find, but we are not going to grow another sensory organ any time soon. The best we can do is to develop new models and that means leaving our accelerators behind and going for a swim.