The world of physics has indeed come a long way. The journey has been so resounding that, if Isaac Newton had made his way somehow to see the current state of affairs in the physics world, he would have been delighted. From finding out the nature of light somewhere in the 19th century to deciphering the atom structure in the 20th century, physicists have achieved all these and more. However, still, as many physicists believe, there are a lot of things yet to be answered! There are many puzzling things in the world of physics for which answers are still not available. Given below are some of the unsolved questions of physics.
- What is the composition of matter?
We all know that matters are composed of atoms and they’re in turn made of protons, electrons, and neutrons. Also, we are made aware that neutrons and protons consist of smaller particles called quarks. The question is – can we go any deeper than this? No doubt, there’s something called the Standard Model of particle physics. However, not all things are explained by it. Also, not many physicists are sure about the negative charge of electrons being canceled out by the positive charge of protons to make the atoms neutral.
- Where did antimatter disappear?
Antimatter has been created by scientists in the laboratory. However, this comes with the creation of equal amounts of matter. Therefore, it is believed that when Big Bang happened, equal quantities of matter and antimatter must have been created. But sadly, we only get to see the ordinary matter all around us. So, the question is – where did antimatter disappear?
- Why does time flow in one direction only?
Physicists have been successful in creating a four-dimensional structure called ‘Spacetime’ by using space and time. However, the two are different fundamentally. In the case of the former, for example, we can move about wherever we wish. In the case of the latter, though, we seem to be stuck. The second law of thermodynamics, according to some physicists, provides a clue. As per this law, with time, the entropy of a system increases. It is this increase that sets the direction for the time. But the question is – Why is entropy low to begin with? When the Big Bang came into force many millions of years ago, was the entropy abnormally low?
- Why is it difficult to comprehend gravity?
We all know about the force that keeps our feet on the ground – gravity. We also know that gravity is the weakest of all the forces (other being two kinds of nuclear forces and electromagnetism). But the question is – why is it so weak of all the forces? One explanation is that there exists an extra dimension into which gravity gets leaked. However, nothing of this arrangement has been confirmed and therefore, we are yet to get an answer to this question.
- What is the gray zone between liquid and solid?
It is easy to differentiate between liquids and solids. However, what we are uncertain about are certain items that behave like both. It is this behavior that makes it difficult to predict the items. For example, sand behaves like a solid when you look at it grain-wise. But, when millions of such grains pass through a funnel, it almost flows like a liquid. How can anyone explain such phenomena? Can anyone have an explanation for this ‘gray zone’?
- Life evolved from nonliving matter but how?
Earth was lifeless for the first half–billion years. Thereafter, life came into existence in different forms and has since thrived. So, how did all of this happen? According to scientists, chemical evolution took place much before biological evolution happened. According to them, complex organic molecules took form after the reaction between various inorganic molecules. And most probably, this phenomenon took place in the oceans. The question is – what led this process to take place? According to Dr. Jeremy England, an MIT physicist, the rising entropy is the main reason behind the evolution of life. Notwithstanding this theory, the idea is still highly speculative with not many physicists supporting it. It has always been a problem in physics to understand complex systems. According to equilibrium, all components need to be similar to one another. However, life is just the opposite.