Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

Connecting scales: from the infinitively large to the infinitively small - Stavros Katsanevas

 Presentation on 5th of Sept. 2015 in Olympia

There are many elements in any attempt to explain the cosmos. They range from the mythical, religious, philosophical, artistic, to the scientific.

We will talk about connecting scale for this is a golden ladder connecting various scales. Following questions guide our research, searches and reflections:

  1. are the particles / causes immanent or transcendent?

  2. is this cosmos eternal or was there a 'beginning'?

  3. what is the nature of space and time?

  4. what are the elements that constitute the cosmos?

  5. what are the principles of change and permanence?

  6. is the cosmos we are living in unique?

  7. what is the place of man in the cosmos?

  8. Will the cosmos end and how?


Genealogy of the concept „Cosmos“

Cosmos appears for the first time in Homer., Book XIV of Iliad to describe the splendid ornaments and the beautiful dress arrangements of Hera:

Μετά η Ήρα φόρεσε ένα χιτώνα θεϊκό φτιαγμένο από την Αθηνά με πολλαπλά κεντίδια στεριώνοντάς τον στο στήθος της με περόνη χρυσή. Ζώστηκε δε μια ζώνη στολισμένη με εκατό θυσάνους. Στους τρυπημένους της λοβούς κρέμασε σκουλαρίκια τρίπετρα που έλαμπαν με χάρη πολλή. Το κεφάλι της η μεγάλη θεά το κάλυψε με ένα πέπλο αφόρετο, πανώριο και λευκό σαν τον ήλιο. Στα λαμπερά της πόδια έδεσε όμορφα πέδιλα. Αφού λοιπόν έτσι έθεσε γύρω από το σώμα της τον κόσμο της βγήκε από το δωμάτιο.

Now, Hera of the Golden Throne saw Poseidon, who was both her brother and brother-in-law, from the heights of Olympus, as he rushed about the field where men win glory, and she rejoiced. But she saw Zeus too, seated on the topmost peak of Ida of the many streams, whose actions angered her. Then the ox-eyed Queen thought how she might distract aegis-bearing Zeus from the war, and this idea seemed best: to go to Ida, beautifully arrayed, to see if he could be tempted to clasp her in his arms and lie with her, then she might clothe his eyes and cunning mind in warm and gentle sleep. She therefore went to the room fashioned for her by her dear son Hephaestus, with its strong doors fitted to the doorposts, and its hidden bolt no other god could open. She entered and closed the gleaming doors behind her. Then she cleansed every mark from her lovely body with rich and gentle ambrosial oil, deeply fragrant. If its scent was released in Zeus’ palace, whose threshold was of bronze, it would spread through heaven and earth. With this she anointed her shapely form, then combed her hair, and with her own two hands plaited the lovely glistening ambrosial tresses that flowed from her immortal head. Then she clothed herself in an ambrosial robe that Athene had worked smooth, and skilfully embroidered, fastening it over her breasts with golden clasps, and at her waist with a hundred-tasselled belt. She fixed an earring, a gracefully gleaming triple-dropped cluster, in each pierced lobe then covered her head in a beautiful shining veil, glistening bright as the sun, and bound fine sandals on her shining feet. When her body was all adorned, she left her room...

This he sent to Andrei Linde (Russian-American theoretical physicist and the Harald Trap Friis Professor of Physics at Stanford University) who replied with a short letter to say: „Dear Stavros, thanks a lot! I always thought that cosmology is very sexy, but now in such a poetic representation my suspicions became reality! Thank you so much, I will try to eplore it further! Andrei.“


« Pythagoras was the first to use the concept cosmos to describe the totality of things » Aetius

There is no such thing about the order of things.

Randomness of things is more factual.


Cosmos, genealogy of the concept III
Cosmos is a model for social order, both for ancient Greek and Chinese civilisations.


Cosmos and the Elements, Timeus and De Caelo

The Moon separates the cosmos in 2 regions:

Plato identifies the 5 elements with the 5 platonic solids to represent.

Change: rearrangement of primordial triangles

tetrahedron   cube      octahedron     dodecheron      icosahedron

earth            water     air                  fire                 quintessence



First Modern Cosmologies Galileo and Newton spoke about gravitational space and its unification


Newtonian cosmology: infinite-eternal Universe. But 2 problems:



Why darkness – need a new theory which came as answer to Newton – Einstein came along with the relativity theory – Gravity is the stage not the actor – mass and space – the geometry of space time is determined by its content in energy and mass and vice versa. Once it was discovered that the universe is expanding, it was a blunder for Einstein as to what he had maintained.

Einstein’s solution to Newton’s question:

Geometry – energy mass

This gives a classical explanation of universal attraction. «Gravity is the stage not the actor»

Supposing that the Universe is static and eternal, he introduced a cosmological constant Λ with “repulsion” characteristics, counterbalancing universal attraction. When later the expansion of the Universe was discovered, he called Λ “my biggest blunder” although dark energy discovered ca 2000 could be Λ


The main conclusions follow out of that:

The geometry (energy/mass) of the Universe determines its future

Spherical hyperbolic flat (Euclidean)


The world beyond the moon (ex-world of “quitessence”)

It follows that:

Hubble (1930) stated that the Universe is expanding, but then two important observations were added:


It is NOT an explosion from a single point.


Cosmological Microwave Background (Penzias and Wilson Nobel)

We celebrate the 50 years discovery (1965)


Creation of the nuclear elements (αβγ).

It is known that matter (quarks, leptos, neutrinos) is only a small part of the mass of the universe (cyclical bastards), so it comes to a redefining of mass being visible and invisible. For instance, when light goes in the hole, then we have focus phenomenon. It can mean to have a galaxy behind the wall. It can be seen what mass is between us and that galaxy. Wilson discovered the uniformity of the radio waves. There was, however, no perfect order, only areas of higher and lower density. These were seeds or clusters, and where we had the first clusters of mass, there was the indication of being yellow representing higher density, while blue was for lower density.

Fluctuations – the cosmological microwave – shows big bang was a violent change . A number of harmonics were produced – gravitational waves – waves in the plasma have almost the speed of sound – music of the sky consists of a thousand waves. 

There has to be added the harmonic analysis of the fluctuations of the primordial plasma.

Earth like a bubble in a glass formed by a cluster of galaxy – fluctuations -. formation of structure by gravitational collapse – dark matter does not suffice – there is needed regulation (feedback) from violent phenomena and this is particle physics to help us study what made our universe

High energy cosmic rays


What are the fluctuations of the cosmological microwave background?

Increasing the precision of detection of the cosmological microwave background Smoot and Mather (Nobel prize 2006) with the satellite COBE detected the anisotropies (matter fluctuations) that were the seeds of the formation of cosmological structures.

What are the fluctuations of the cosmological microwave background ?


What do we learn from the harmonic analysis of the fluctuations of the primordial plasma?


An « external » point of view

Formation of structure by gravitational collapse






Explanation of dark matter 

The existence of dark matter not sufficient to explain the formation of cosmic structures, one needs regulation (feedback) from violent phenomena

In this beginning of the 21st century, our knowledge of the Universe can be compared to the knowledge of the gases at the beginning of the 20th. We know with great precision the overall parameters and relations of macroscopic variables: in short its macrophysics, but we still lack the full knowledge of its elementary constituents: its microphysics G. Smoot (Nobel of Physics 2006, CMB)

At the beginning of the 21century we know about macro physics but not micro physics; like wise it is the same case in economics about consumer behaviour.

The elements of the subatomic world

(ex-world of “generation and corruption


Maxwell’s unification of electromagnetism
the concept of field


Quantum Mechanics : particle and wave unification in the subatomic world

Quanta, particles and antiparticles


Feynman's et al field theory answer to Newton's question: forces mediated by quanta

Interaction between two particles is due to exchange of quanta of the field e.g. a photon


The quantum nature of the vacuum

It comes close to emptiness of a vase or of a vacuum which brings about quantum creativity – an argument against Empedocles

The quantum vacuum is the fundamental state of energy

Tao-te-king (Lao Tzeu, V-IVe BC): Although thirty spokes converge at the hub, it is the median vacuum that makes the chariot run. Clay is used to form jars but it is on the inner emptiness that their use depends. Are there rooms without windows and doors? Because it is emptiness again that allows the habitat. The being has abilities that the non-being employs .

Standard model of matter and interactions

matter – atom – electron – neutron – proton – quarks

so that


3 vital concepts: quarks, forces and leptons

Particles and interactions would have no mass if there was not the Higgs field (particle)


Making the invisble visible

Can we go beyond the horizon of the em visible?

Further back in time ?

As we did with nucleosynthesis?


  1. Detect specific particles, their decays, produce them

  2. Calculate the impact on the em CMB « wall »

  3. Detect directly GW and neutrinos “passing through”


Physics of the instant: phase transition
« Il n'y a rien au monde qui n'ait un moment décisif. »  Cardinal De Retz

A small variation of a parameter (e.g. Temperature) induces dramatic changes of order

Dyson: At every stage of evolution of the Universe we see transitions order-disorder with the same characteristics: sudden emergence of structures that did not exist before

10-4 seconds, T= 1013 K, (E= 1GeV, 10-16 m)


Phase transitions of quarks and gluons to protons/neutrons

From eary universe to neutron stars – development along axis of temperature/ baryon density

Quarks combine to form protons and neutrons

Studied at LHC/CERN (Alice)


Electroweak symmetry breaking, Higgs

t=10-13 seconds, 1016 K (1000 GeV, 10-19 m)

Era of production of dark matter ?


Higgs mechanism

The question is if this amounts to an “Angelic” transition?


Higgs' mechanism explained further:

if you have high temperature: symmetric, particles are massless

but when temperatures are regularity lower, then asymmetric and thereby giving mass to the particles


Theory as guidance.

In order to have a coherent Higgs theory we need to postulate a new symmetry: supersymmetry (« shadow » particles with different spin.

Out of particles interacting emerge supersymmetric “shadow” particles.


Search for dark matter in underground laboratories

Cosmic rays: 1 million (106) through our body every day

To be compared with 1015 DM/ day (only 1-10 interact)

We need to shield from CR

Diagram shows Darkside in underground laboratory of Gran Sasso


 Thracian girl to Thales when he descended in a well:

Looking up in the stars and you do not watch what is under your feet”


Matter over anti matter

10-26 seconds, 1027 T (1014 GeV, 10-30 m)

Era starting dominance of matter over antimatter ?

There was overproduction of matter over antimatter 1 over 10 billion, due to « majorana » neutrino decays (C and CP violation) and transmission of the asymmetry to quarks (lepton and quark (baryon) number violation) in conditions outside equilibrium. Sakharov conditions


The search for drk matter in undergroun laboratories

Cosmis rays : 1 million through our body every day

A tpyical neutrino-less double-beta decay 1 per ton of material per year

We need to shield from CR

NEMO3 in Underground Laboratory of Modane


Grand Unification era

10-35 sec, 1029 K (1016 GeV, 10-32m)

The mechanism of inflation most probably related to the phase transition that separates the interactions strong and eledtroweak from the unigied subatomic interaction (GUT)


Do interactions unify at some energy(1016 GeV)?

If interactions unify then the proton must decay.

Another active search in underground laboratories

SuperkamioKande in Japan: calculated according to the Golden Mode


At the origin of the CMB fluctuations: inflation

Why ?

Answer: Inflation,



Inflation is as close as we can get in the beginning of the Universe with a theory accepted by all

The Empedoklean paradox (why here and not there? ) is answered, it is all a matter of random fluctuations

« The Universe is the ultimate free lunch » A. Guth


Gravitational imprint of inflation


Definition of Astroparticle Physics

Going up and down the cosmic ladder

The Astroparticle theme after LHC/PLANCK/ν

results can be reduced to 2 fundamental questions:

  1. Are there any intermediate scales between the EW and Inflation ? If yes where are they ? (Unification, SeeSaw, TeV, eV)

    1. Inflation, dark matter and energy

    2. Neutrino mass and proton decay

    3. Primordial gravitational waves

      1. Are there new energy scales at work in the most violent phenomena of the Universe? How do particles and fields shape the formation and evolution of cosmic structures ?

        1. High energy photons, neutrinos, CR

        2. Violent phenomena gravitational waves


Can we come closer to the « beginning » ?

PLANCK scale: Scale where gravity strength is comparable to this of subatomic interactions. time= 5 10-44 sec, T= 1,4 1032 (1019 GeV, 1,6 10-35 m). Not a true theory yet.

What is the nature of “beginning” ? 3 proposals.

  1. There is no singlarity in a 4D spacetime as there is no border on the surface of a sphere. In the « beggining » time becomes space. (Hawking, Parmenides)

  2. There is no space-time before the emergence of matter, space-time a property of matter, it is emergent (strings, Leibnitz)

  3. “Beginning” is a collision of mem-branes of higher dimensions. Universe starts from a vacuum (inflation) and ends with a vacumm (dark energy). Starting all over again; Ekpyrotic and Cyclic Universe. (Smolin, Stoics)

Theology? No since all these theories are testable, e.g. with GW


A change in symmetry -

can we come closer – Planck scale – have the Hawkings theory states that there is no singularity

are we looking at the same universe – we look only at a part – is there something else? Some people claim there are multiple universes with different laws -


Anaximandros – the first philosophical of fragment - surprisingly modern

Thoughts turned to identifying what is this if neither water but a different matter which is a prior (infinite or formless) as material cause?

Anaximander of Miletos, son of Praxiades, a fellow-citizen and associate of Thales, said that the material cause and first element of things was the apeiron (infinite or formless), he being the first to introduce this name for the material cause.

He says it is neither water nor any other of the so-called elements, but a substance different from them, which is apeiros, from which arise all the heavens and the different cosmos within them. And into that from which things take their rise they pass away once more, "as is ordained; for they make reparation and satisfaction to one another for their injustice according to the appointed time," as he says in these somewhat poetical terms. —Phys. Op. fr. 2 (R. P. 16).


Yi Jing

But equally modern is the first phrase of the classic of changes by Yi-Jing (I-ching)

It is based on two observations:

- large is the capacity of capacity

- clouds pass, rain spreads


元亨利(Qian, Yuan heng li zhen)
(Initiating capacity, beggining, emergence, profit, rectitude

My amateur translation from french to english of a commentary (IVe century before our era) found in “Entrer dans une pensée” by François Julien


Voyage without end




movement and repulsion

Voyage without end ? (Simopoulos?)

…I am a part of all that I have met;

Yet all experience is an arch where through

gleams that untraveled world, whose margin fades

for ever and for ever when I move,

How dull it is to pause, to make an end,…

‘Tis not too late to seek a newer world…

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.



or Voyage back to the beginning?

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of our exploring, will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time T.S. Eliott

History is an epic poem ...its two main parts: one that represents the beginning of humanity from its centre and its progression to the farthest point thereof and one that represents its return from this point to the Centre. We can compare the first to the Iliad, the other to the Odyssey. Schelling.


Is it not another expression of the Tao ,

the Way or Voyage ? And its two manifestations :

this of movement (yang) and repose (yin) ?

Keys of the transformations of Nature ?


And towards the end ?

What about the end* ?

Era of stars

*A much more risky enterprise scientifically

è large extrapolations of physics we do not master completely…

è also who will be there to check with experiment and give a Nobel prize ?


Death of the earth and the sun

Sun-earth symbiosis up to now: 4,5 billion years




Will there be a Medusa raft to save life as long as the Universe ?

Finally between ourselves, let us be curious, let us think, calculate, love each other, be optimists.

During a private visit to Louvre, we all gathered in front of the painting by Delacroix of the Medusa raft. Underneath the display of the group photo in front of the painting, there was the caption:

You see the state that I am and I am not afraid of the possibility that protons decay, why should you ? It was an unconfirmed answer to a question by a worried spectator by S. Hawking.


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