An Interview with Dr. Henryk Frystacki: What’s Happening in High Energy Physics?

Dec 2, 2011 by

Michael F. Shaughnessy
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, New Mexico

1)      Dr. Frystacki, I hear that there are a lot of new developments going on in high energy physics. Can you briefly discuss?

It’s exciting to talk about it, Michael, because physics is currently going through a time of serious upheaval; the fundaments of inviolable establishments by the greatest physicists of the past totter and our scientists look at this new pictures, flabbergasted, actually without being close to answers. One affected area is high energy physics. High energy physics has always been purely a theoretical issue for relatively few theoretical specialists in case the involved energies are higher than they appear in any natural or artificial process on Earth. This concerns especially extensive aggregation of masses, like suns, neutron stars, pulsars, supernovae and black holes. The few practical experiences with ultra-high energy we had on Earth were mainly experiments with nuclear fission, nuclear fusion and extremely fast particles that shoot from outer space into our atmosphere. The biggest mystery, however, is the physical status of our universe before an assumed big-bang of the universe. Today, most scientists still believe that all kind of energy throughout space was concentrated in a so-called singularity, this means within one extremely small sphere that is far below any measurement method we have today, and below the event horizon of space and time.

Now the only chance away from the theoretical assumptions about these ultra-high energy processes towards reliable experimental confirmation of theories is the generation and accurate evaluation of such processes right on Earth. Therefore, scientists are working from several sides towards solutions. The most promising projects are currently the particle acceleration and collision methods at CERN in Geneva and super lasers that develop unbelievable high energy densities within extremely short time frames. The European “Extreme Light Infrastructure” project, ELI, is a planned next step towards the upper limits of energy concentration on Earth.

2)      What exactly is CERN and what is going on there?

CERN is a European Organization for Nuclear Research. One main project consists of a large hadron collider (LHC): Two beams of subatomic particles called “hadrons” – either protons or lead ions – travel in opposite directions inside a huge circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap; the kinetic energy and the relativistic masses of these particles grow because of the increasing speed and the well-known impacts of relativistic mechanics. At extremely high speed, the physicists allow the collision of these particles. Studying these collision processes, physicists try to discover the processes during the very first instant of our Universe. Maybe, we even get a first rough understanding what could have been before the big-bang.

3)      What is this “ Higgs Particle “ and why is it important?

It may sound astonishing, but matter cannot have any inertial and gravitational mass due to today’s known processes within the Standard Model of Physics. To resolve this dilemma, a mass background field and a subatomic particle, the so-called Higgs Boson, have been postulated by three independent groups of scientists in 1964. The interaction between the Higgs boson and the mass back ground field explains theoretically how most of the known elementary particles may obtain their mass. This Higgs boson is the only elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model that has not been observed in particle physics experiments. CERN desperately needs the success of discovery to justify the disputed billions of dollars that have been invested into CERN. Lately, there were some rumors that this Higgs particle possibly may have been detected, but the dispute about this measurement is still going on. The scientific confirmation of this assumption is a critical milestone of modern physics, because if such a theoretical particle will not show up, physicists are forced to dismiss the current Standard Model of Physics and to restart thinking at Galileo’s and Newton’s historical platforms of physics.

As you may remember from our discussion “Einstein was slightly off?” last August, such a mysterious not yet explicable mass background field could be the result of a rotational symmetry of space-time around infinitesimal values of length and time. Dark energy and dark matter halos, as well. Today, some renowned scientists believe that the entire mass acquisition process may be subject to this cosmic super symmetry. If we consider an observer on Earth to evaluate mass generation processes from a basically asymmetrical perspective and not a symmetrical one in space-time, they might be even right. An alternative to the model of broken symmetries is in fact possible if we consider the construction of elementary particles’ basically symmetrical and realize that scientists monitor those from an as yet still unspecified asymmetrical observation environment and position in space and time. Einstein’s space-time continuum supports such an alternative approach because it is actually asymmetrical, consisting of the three space-dimensions – length, width, height – and the different fourth but equally treated time-dimension. This upside down view could call a Higgs particle into question, explaining the mass feature of matter by changing aspects of an asymmetrically curved space-time environment with not perceived segments of  acceleration, deceleration and inversion.

We may get feasible answers to these open questions of physics, soon. Nevertheless, the current dispute about the necessity of a Higgs boson to explain the appearance of certain masses will probably continue endlessly, because of our restricted capabilities to perceive a multidimensional super-symmetry of the universe.

4)      The “ Extreme Light Infrastructure “ project sounds interesting- what is involved?

This European laser project has just been started to build the by far most intense lasers on Earth. About 40 various research centers and academic institutions in 13 countries of the European Union are participating in this so-called “Extreme Light Infrastructure” project. “ELI” is designed to reveal further secrets of matter and electromagnetism on ultra-short timescales. There is new hope to solve some of the mentioned riddles of the universe by experimental high energy laser physics.

5)      Now, I am not a physicist, so help me out here- what is a attosecond?

ELI will be designed to investigate ultra-fast evaluation methods with incredibly short attosecond intervals – an attosecond is an amazing billionth of a billionth of one second. Nevertheless, we are still far away from the theoretical infinitesimal time limits of nature. The shortest as yet undisputed but still purely theoretical time interval of nature was proposed by Max Planck with 5.39 times 10 to the power of minus 44 seconds. Most scientists assume no time progress anymore below this level which made it the ideal candidate for the pivot role in my elaborations of a rotary space-time super symmetry. The construction of the universe before the assumed big-bang must have kept processes as we understand it below this Planck time threshold and the corresponding Planck length, which is defined by the distance light travels within such an infinitesimal Planck time. It is far beyond our imagination capabilities that the entire universe was compressed within such a tiny little sphere and thus below the event horizon of length and time.

6)      Is ultra-high pressure physics a separate part of the realm of physics and why study this area?

Ultra-high pressure physics concerns all disciplines of physics but some areas undergo intensive research because of high industrial interest, like plasma physics or laser technology. It is still a dream of scientists that sun-like stable nuclear fusion will solve all our future energy problems. Specialized plasma physicists and laser scientists are working on the realization of this dream but with different concepts. A break-through invention for nuclear fusion power plants on earth would give ultra-high pressure physics finally the necessary attention and drive it should have already, today.

7)      Could you tell us about the new plans for ELI in Prague ( a truly beautiful city ) , Magurele and Szeged ( and also tell us where these last two cities are, as I have never been there.

ELI in Prague is designed to focus on beams of compact laser plasma accelerators. Szeged is the third largest city of Hungary and the largest city and regional center of the Hungarian Southern Great Plain. Before, I knew Szeged only because of its world famous goulash – Szeged is widely known as the home of Paprika. Magurele is a city near to Bucharest in Romania and hosts several important research institutes. ELI in Magurele will concentrate on laser-based nuclear physics.

A fourth location, not yet decided upon, will host the most powerful laser, ever built. The laser power is planned to reach for extremely small fractions of a second astonishing 200 Petawatt, which is about 100 000 times the united power of the total electric grid around the world. It is difficult to imagine this gigantic power, although it will last only for extremely small fractions of a second. The European Community grants for this project exceed 700 million €.

8)      What is going on in the realm of electromagnetism and why do we need to know about this?

Today, the effects of electromagnetism are described in great detail by physicists and widely used in daily life by engineers but the real origins and true nature of electricity and magnetism are still undiscovered. We know that electricity and magnetism are two sides of the same coin although they appear with different features, for example electrostatics of particle charges and magnetic dynamics of the particle spin. Additionally, both are subject to quantum mechanics. Electromagnetism indicates perfectly an asymmetrical observation from an individual location within Einstein’s space-time in the sense that one effect appears static and the other dynamic. These circumstances have to be considered to construct a rotational symmetry of space-time around the event horizon values of length and time. Three additional space-time quadrants are the result and two of those extremely difficult to detect. Laser photons can be converted into pairs of electrons and positrons by a rotational process in space-time, shooting those at atomic nuclei. This kind of matter generation is today already state-of-the-art but there are many ideas of how to develop this interesting kind of matter production further. The better understanding of electromagnetism at ELI and other research centers will be another important key to elicit secrets from nature.

9)      What have I neglected to ask?

How can interested students possibly qualify and participate in such exciting research projects?

The project organizations offer several scholarships because they get usually a lot of leeway in their financing for taking interested students on board. Students can apply directly at these organizations. I offer scholarships myself for the investigation of the theoretical aspects and practical use of a rotational super symmetry in close cooperation with elite universities in the US and in Europe. Interested students can contact me via my e-mail addresses on homepage or

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