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16.5. Electric charge

Electric attraction and repulsion contribute to the experience of matter and materiality. It happens in two ways. Partly it's through the emission of photons when electric charges are exchanged. The photons allow us to see matter. Partly it's also because we experience the force from the electrical voltage as resistance, friction and weight – materiality.

An electromagnetic field gives particles an electric charge.

Physics offers no answer where the concept «charge» comes from and what charge, in essence, is. In our theory, we must say that something happened that required an interpretation, and this interpretation was «charge» and «electromagnetism».

It is, of course, unsatisfactory to say that «something» must have happened. It tells us very little. Nevertheless, at least we have a mechanism – emergence – that can create new events, interpretations, and phenomena. That in itself is half an explanation.

The quarks are affected by the electromagnetic field. When quarks merge to form protons and neutrons, these are also affected, but only the protons. The protons get a positive charge, while the neutrons remain neutral, hence the name.

The central feature of electric charge is that equal charges repel each other while different ones attract. That is something we experience everywhere all the time.

Materiality, the fact that we experience solid matter, is what most people point out when talking about what the world is. We touch things, feel the wind in our hair, get hurt when we hit something, and get abrasions from friction. Shouldn't this be real?

The simple, short, incomprehensible answer is that you have never touched anything.

Yes, your experience is authentic; you experience qualia. But that does not mean that these experiences originate in lumps of «substance» that meet.

The experience of being in contact with matter comes largely from the electromagnetic force field, which pushes equal charges away from each other. Atomic nuclei can never meet directly because they all have a positive charge (ref1). Electrons can also never meet.

Electric charges are thus the reason why we experience friction – resistance – when equal charges move towards each other. This also contributes to the experience of mass.

In total, electric charges cancel each other out. In sum, the universe as a whole is also electrically neutral. Exactly as many positively as negatively charged particles must exist.

In the philosophical sense, therefore, electric charges are nothing.

If you take all the charges in the universe and put them in the same bucket, they nullify each other and disappear.

There will be a colossal explosion because electric charge is a form of energy (created through change) and can never disappear in the absolute sense. But the energy then becomes something else, an explosion that results in heat, and what is left in the bucket is nothing, nada, void.

So when the concept of «charge» is created, and the proton is given a positive charge, a particle with a negative charge, the electron, must be made simultaneously. This is necessary for the sum to remain zero.

That does not mean that every atom must always have as many negative as positive particles – as many positive protons as negative electrons. The atom as a whole can have a charge and is then called an ion. It is then electrically unstable and ready to absorb or emit electrons.

And how are ions formed?

The spacetime-field is in hectic motion, with 10120 events per second per square centimetre. Particles and antiparticles are formed that zero each other out before they have time to do anything. Other particles fly around freely and begin to contract into atomic nuclei, which have a positive charge and which also fly around.

To equalise the charge in the nuclei, electrons are formed. At first, they, too, fly around freely. But as the temperature drops and the movements calm down a bit, they find their way to the nearest positively charged atomic nucleus and take their natural place at a certain distance from it.

This process where everything comes together now takes time, for space and time were the very first things that were created. It is also a very complex process with many phases. Only after approx. 18,000 years begins the recombination of free particles from plasma to atoms.

After the extremely short and intense inflation phase, the universe has reached enormous size. A little later, at 10-12 seconds, it consists of large amounts of relatively heavy core particles, primarily quarks. From 10-5 seconds, the quarks begin to merge to form protons and neutrons, i.e. the two particles in the atoms' nucleus.

Before a second has passed, we have a universe consisting of enormous amounts of «material» building blocks for atomic nuclei, and all four fundamental forces are in place.