Back to the Future: Rise of the Scalar Field and its implications for Interstellar Travel

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L. L. Williams (2015), JBIS, 68, pp.98-104

Refcode: 2015.68.98
Keywords: General relativity, scalar fields, interstellar travel

The recent experimental confirmation of the Higgs boson, the last piece of the standard model of particle physics, is also the discovery of the first scalar field in nature. Even as we celebrate the triumph of the quantum scalar field, we are puzzled by the mysterious scalar fields operating on the scale of galaxies. At this turning point in physics, let us assess the role of scalar fields in physical law; assess what we know about scalar fields operating in our universe; assess their implications for interstellar travel. We look back to the lessons of physics before the quantum revolution, lessons lost from physics at a time when scalar fields seemed implausible and quantum gravity seemed imminent. We discover that scalar fields offer the promise of the electromagnetic control of spacetime and gravity, and we consider to what extent the already-discovered scalar fields can be understood in those terms.


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