Why is space so big and particles so small?

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You may have heard many physicists discussing this question in their public lectures: why is space so big? This question is equivalent to the other question “why are elementary particles so small?”

The physical universe is unimaginably vast and it is still expanding. Not only that, the expansion rate is increasing. The external space is expanding faster and faster. In contrast, the elementary particles occupy minimum space. The elementary particles are unimaginably tiny. Why is that? Elementary particles could be bigger considering the fact that space is so huge.


For comparison, let’s shrink the radius of the Sun to 1 ft and increase the radius of the nucleus of the gold atom to 1 ft as well. The image below shows that in relative terms there is huge space between the nucleus and the outer electrons. The size of the atomic nucleus is 5 orders of magnitude smaller than the atomic size. Why is there so much space between the nucleus and the electrons circling the nucleus? Or, equivalently, why are the nucleus and the electrons are so small?


comparison_data_scale_goldatom_sun Credit: HyperPhysics


Physicists do not have a good answer. Most scientific answers are variations on these two: “it is the way it is” or “it is the wrong question to ask.” In the context of String theories of physics the concept of “string tension” explains why elementary particles are so small but there is no answer as to why space has to be so large.

When physicists  struggle with answers metaphysicians step in. Here’s my try.

In my earlier post “Few Metaphysical Comments on Quantum Gravity” I talked about Gravity being an expression of the cosmic binding principle (Prakriti aspect of Consciousness). I also mentioned in various posts that quantum phenomena are the expressions of the ‘freedom seeking’ aspect of Consciousness.

The ‘freedom seeking’ and ‘binding action’  principles oppose each other. This is the Cosmic Drama (Liila). Consciousness will escape the confinement of its own doing in myriad ways. Our scientific theories will never be able to account for all the ways in which Consciousness will liberate itself from the bondage of its own doing.

Quantum behavior is only a small fraction of the  ‘freedom seeking’ aspect of Consciousness. I repeat, Consciousness will escape the confinement of its own doing in myriad ways. Since quantum phenomena represent only a small fraction of the  ‘freedom seeking’ repertoire the ultimate quantum theory – sometimes known as the M-Theory – will be elusive.

I think that the answer to “why is space so big and particles so small?” can be found in terms of the ‘freedom seeking’ and ‘binding action’ principles.

The  ‘binding action’  is a ‘singularity seeking’ force

The cosmic ‘binding action’ is very strong, stronger than anything we can imagine. The ‘binding action’ is so strong that without the opposing effects of the ‘freedom seeking’  there would be only singularities in the domain of Liila. The ‘binding action’ is a ‘singularity seeking’ force.

In the past I used the terminology of ‘subjectivation’ to refer to the ‘singularity seeking’ aspect of the binding action. I learned the concepts of ‘subjectivation’ and its consequence ‘objectivation’ from Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. I have been interpreting his teachings ever since.

The Big Bang must have been an expression of the ‘freedom seeking’ in the past just like the quantum phenomena are expressions of the ‘freedom seeking’ now. The ‘singularity seeking’ gravity forms the Black Holes but due to the ‘freedom seeking’ quantum mechanical effects (Hawking radiation) Black Holes evaporate. Remember, Consciousness escapes the confinement of its own doing in myriad ways. Instead of evaporation, in some of those super-massive Black Holes the  ‘freedom seeking’  may find an expression in the form of another Big Bang creating another universe completely invisible to us.

Going back to the question “why is space so big” my answer would be that space has to be big to counter the ‘singularity seeking’ cosmic binding action. I will explain below.

Action/reaction relationship between the external and the internal space

Now, I complete a circle in my metaphysics. In the article titled “A Fundamental Principle” I talked about the action/reaction relationship between the external and the internal space. In that article and others I speculated that the expansion of the external space implies that the internal space (quantum vacuum) is becoming more active. Since the activity in the quantum vacuum is an expression of ‘freedom seeking’ the expansion of the external space, in a way, facilitates ‘freedom seeking.’

Why elementary particles are so small

Vacuum fluctuations start as soon as the external space emerges. Particle fields and their quanta are created out of the vacuum fluctuations. Even though the quantum vacuum fluctuations are expressions of  the ‘freedom seeking’ principle the elementary particles that emerge from this activity will be like singularities because the ‘binding action’ is that strong. Elementary particles would be total singularities without the ‘freedom seeking’ quantum effects. Elementary particles manifest as a result of the ‘freedom seeking’ principle but they immediately become expressions of ‘singularity seeking’ at the same time. The interplay between the ‘singularity seeking’ and the ‘freedom seeking’ never stops.

‘Binding action’ is more general than “string tension”

In the context of String theories of physics the “string tension” is an important concept. In those theories string tension explains why strings – which represent elementary particles – are so small. The “string tension” is assumed to be so large that it shrinks the string (open or closed) to the minimum size allowed by the quantum uncertainty principle. Clearly, the “string tension” is another expression of the ‘singularity seeking’ cosmic binding action. What is the difference between saying “string tension is very large” and “binding action is very strong?” Just different terminology for the same principle, right? Yes but not exactly. In the physical realm we are talking about the same principle. The important point I want to make here is that the interplay between the ‘freedom seeking’ and the ‘singularity seeking’ (binding action) principles is more general than physics. This fundamental interplay is present at all levels of manifestation in the physical, mental and spiritual realms of the Cosmos.



About Suresh Emre

I have worked as a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Superconducting Super Collider Laboratory. I am a volunteer for the Renaissance Universal movement. My main goal is to inspire the reader to engage in Self-discovery and expansion of consciousness.
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