Signs of a Stranger, Deeper Side to Natureâ€™s Building Blocks
According to modern quantum theory, energy fields permeate the universe, and flurries of energy in these fields, called â€œparticlesâ€ when they are pointlike and â€œwavesâ€ when they are diffuse, serve as the building blocks of matter and forces. But new findings suggest this wave-particle picture offers only a superficial view of natureâ€™s constituents.
If each energy field pervading space is thought of as the surface of a pond, and waves and particles are the turbulence on that surface, then the new evidence strengthens the argument that a vibrant, hidden world lies beneath.
For decades, the surface-level description of the subatomic world has been sufficient to make accurate calculations about most physical phenomena. But recently, a strange class of matter that defies description by known quantum mechanical methods has drawn physicists into the depths below.