Well, I’ve set a new record for the length of time between MappingTheEdge posts. It’s been over a month since my last one. It’s about time that I did a new post… although this post is not about time, it’s about muses and messenger particles.

Last week, I completed my first semester as a college instructor. The course, Engineering Physics III, contained several subjects that challenged what we’ve I been taught in classical physics since high school. This course revisited subjects based on new experimental evidence and new theories that contradicted previous findings or addressed areas previous theories did not account for (gravity in classical physics, for instance).

We learned about matter and anti-matter coexisting and even interacting, yet always with the potential threat of “total annihilation”. Violent collisions between particles and anti-particles do not just cancel each other out and cease to exist. They create new subatomic particles, sometimes existing only for a tiny fraction of a second, then decaying into yet other new subatomic particles… “New,” as in, we’ve never seen some of these particles before in the history of the world. The more we learn, the less we know.

Some recent discoveries have forced us to rethink our visible universe, and revisit older theories in light of these new findings. It is believed that about 75% of the cosmos is made up of “the other,” invisible matter and forces known as dark matter and dark energy. Let that sink in. Consider all we know at this point in time. The overwhelming majority of what we consider our universe is unknown, invisible and undiscovered. Our only evidence of the existence of dark matter and dark energy is its effect upon our visible universe.

Even the word, “universe,” may be subject to redefinition. String theorists say that our “universe” is not an all-encompassing term, but a literal “uni-verse,” one universe of many multi-verses. Multi-verses may contain many more dimensions beyond the few we assume sufficiently describes nature.

We are not talking about mysterious stuff existing in some faraway place to be discovered through deep space exploration. The more we learn, the more it appears that everything seems to be entangled into one complex arrangement. Even other dimensions in String Theory are considered entangled within the here and now.

That’s the amazing part to me. We are not living in the visible 25% of the cosmos, with the other 75% of unknown stuff hiding in a place yet to be discovered. We are living in the 100%. Light and dark matter are working together to fill active, interactive, and critical roles, and forming what we know as our cosmos. The unknown other is already part of us. It’s in the here and now.

How is the seen and unseen interconnected? A popular theory is that It takes place through the work of a collection of yet-to-be-found messenger particles. These particles are believed to carry the necessary data to make the cosmos work. Messenger particles communicate properties to all other particles at a subatomic level.

They allow and even promote communication between all particles to make up our visible and invisible universe, or multi-verses. For example, the graviton – if it exists – could be a carrier of gravitational information, responsible for assigning gravitational force to everything. Everything.

What if our muse is just another type of messenger particle? What if creativity is s property assigned to us as a part of the make-up of nature? Would that mean that our creativity is less inspired, less magical or less elusive? Not at all. For me, it would mean that our creativity and creative impulses would be more magical than ever, because that force would be given it’s proper place as a literal force of nature.

Two quark types were discovered not long ago. They were given the names of “charm” and “strange”. There is even a property called “strangeness,” assigned to some subatomic particles. Those names came from some of the greatest scientists and physicists, not from the whimsy of an artist trying to be cute! What if we actually find a muse messenger particle responsible for assigning to us some level of creative impulse or ideas for new work?

It’s Christmas evening as I write this. What a better time to speculate on what could become the next logical question: Who is the author behind the message carried by the messenger particles?