# What is physical reality made of as you go down down down?

Atoms, parts of atoms, superstrings, planck points, etc. etc. ..Well, THEN WHAT?

### 9 Answers

- SpacemanLv 75 months ago
The term Planck scale refers to the magnitudes of space, time, energy and other units, below which (or beyond which) the predictions of the Standard Model, quantum field theory and general relativity are no longer reconcilable, and quantum effects of gravity are expected to dominate. At the Planck scale, current models are not expected to be a useful guide to the cosmos, and physicists have no scientific model to suggest how the physical universe behaves. The best known example is represented by the conditions in the first 10^−43 seconds of our universe after the Big Bang, approximately 13.8 billion years ago.

In particle physics and physical cosmology, the Planck scale is an energy scale

around 1.22 × 10^19 GeV [gigaeletron-volts] (the Planck energy, corresponding

to the mass–energy equivalence of the Planck mass, 2.17645 × 10^−8 kg) at which

quantum effects of gravity become strong. At this scale, present descriptions and

theories of sub-atomic particle interactions in terms of quantum field theory break

down and become inadequate, due to the impact of the apparent non-renormalizability of gravity within current theories.

At the Planck length scale, the strength of gravity is expected to become comparable with the other forces, and it is theorized that all the fundamental forces are unified at that scale, but the exact mechanism of this unification remains unknown. The Planck scale is therefore the point where the effects of quantum gravity can no longer be ignored in other fundamental interactions, and where current calculations and approaches begin to break down, and a means to take account of its impact is required.

While physicists have a fairly good understanding of the other fundamental interactions of forces on the quantum level, gravity is problematic, and cannot be integrated with quantum mechanics at very high energies using the usual framework of quantum field theory. At lesser energy levels it is usually ignored, while for energies approaching or exceeding the Planck scale, a new theory of quantum gravity is required. Other approaches to this problem include string theory and M-theory, loop quantum gravity, noncommutative geometry, scale relativity, causal set theory and P-adic quantum mechanics.

Base Planck units

Name Value (SI units)

Planck length 1.616255E-35 meter

Planck mass 2.176435E-08 kilogram

Planck time 5.391247E-44 second

Planck temperature 1.416785E+32 kelvins

Planck charge 1.875546E-18 coulomb

Source(s): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planck_units - cosmoLv 75 months ago
Down at the Planck scale it's all a seething sea of virtual particles, mini black holes and mini wormholes.

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- 5 months ago
Whoa, steady on. You can only go "down" so far, due to energy limitations. The further "down" you go, the more energy is needed to probe further. We have already hit the limit at quarks, because even the mightly LHC, which required international funding to the tune of over ten billion dollars, does not have the energy to go further.

Your question is really an ancient one. The ancient Greek philosophers puzzled over how much matter could be divided into smaller portions and whether there would be a limit. Today we know the answer to the question: there is a limit, but it is not a physical limit. It is a financial limit.

- Jeffrey KLv 75 months ago
Matter is made up of quarks and gluons and electrons. These are elementary. They have no smaller parts.

String theory says every elementary particle is a vibrating string. How it vibrates determines what kind of particle it is. Strings can not be made of anything smaller. But I don't really know what a string is. Nobody knows if space and time are made up of anything. It seems like they are, but nobody has any idea what they are made of.