Learning physics through Vedas and puranas – 3


In the last 2 posts on Learning physics through vedas and puranas, here and here, I had talked about concepts of energy, entropy and heat.

Work and Heat

Work is physical movement of matter particles from one point to another (called Ganapati), while Heat is random oscillatory movement of matter particles in a place (called skanda).

The very first ‘Work done’ in Universe

Just after the Big-Bang Universe was a bundle of energy. The spacetime had not inflated then.

If we believe Purusha Suktam, the Universe was just ten angulas wide. That ten angulas Purusha expanded into the universe that we see now says the Purusha Suktam.

Science says the early Universe’s spacetime was contrained to a very small region and it underwent a huge inflation/expansion. This is called cosmic inflation epoch in which Universe’s spacetime expanded greatly. All the energy in the Universe along with matter forms exists within this expanded spacetime.

This cosmic inflation is the first ‘Work’ or physical movement done in the Universe. Some energy had ‘worked’ on the spacetime and physically expanded it.  Thus the Universe started with Ganapati, ‘Work’ done on spacetime.

The expanded ‘spacetime’ is the ‘large’ (lamba) ‘womb’ (Udara) in which the Universal matter evolution happens. It is where the past, present and future of Universe lies. Hence Ganapati, first work done in Universe is called ‘lamba udara’, the one who caused the large womb.

The next Work done in Universe

The next set of ‘Work’ is done in Universe, in formation of hadrons, nucleus and atoms.

Work is ‘done’ when protons, neutrons are formed by Quarks binding together. Work is done when atomic nucleus is formed by protons and neutrons bind together.  Work is also ‘done’ when atom is formed when nucleus binds with electrons.

All (Protons, neutrons, nucleus, atom) these ‘work’ on a common principle. The common principle is

  1. Particles have potential energy raised up-hill by virtue of their charge, position etc..
  2. Different particles in the same body have different potential energies
  3. This leads to particles existing in potential wells, where particles with minimal potential are surrounded by particles with maximum potential
  4. Such particles form bound states, where they remain free within a region, but are bounded within that region
  5. Un-bounded particles can absorb any amount of energy and release any amount of energy. But bounded-state particles can no longer do so.
  6. Bound states causes the particles to exist in discrete and specific energy levels only
  7. Particles now cannot absorb any energy. So energy absorption or incoming energy is not allowed (blocked).
  8. Particles can absorb (allow) only specific energies.
  9. When they absorb such specific energy, their current orbits are broken up. They jump to next orbit levels or move to next specific energy level
  10. For eg. electrons move to the next orbits and thus have a larger ‘headroom’ to move around
  11. The ‘Work done’ energy is thus stored in them as their larger headroom or orbits
  12. This is applicable to hadrons, nucleus and atom formation.

This can be seen in the following example of electron binding with atomic nucleus.

Distribution of potential energy

Potential energy is the energy in the matter raised up (as in a hill) by virtue of position, charge etc, called pArvati (of the parvat).

All particles in a matter form (say electrons and protons) do not have uniform ‘raised up-hill’, potential energy. Some particles are raised upto a maximum and some to a minimum. This un-even distribution leads to formation of particles in ‘potential wells’ which is particles with low potential surrounded by particles with high potential energy.

This leads to formation of bound states, in which a particle is bound between two potentials. An example of bound state is ‘atom’ in which electron is bound to the nucleus. (1)

An electron bound to nucleus has a potential energy and kinetic energy. The potential and kinetic energy of the electron varies in such a way electron finds itself in a ‘well’ between two regions of potential energy. It is free moving only within that region. (2)

Difference between unbound electron and bound electron

A free moving unbounded electron can absorb any amount of energy and also lose any amount of energy.  An electron bounded to a nucleus cannot absorb any amount of energy. If it absorbs any amount of energy it can then lose also all its energy and that means it would spiral off into the nucleus.

The reason why an atom formed without electrons spiraling into nucleus (and hence all the Universe exists today) is the ‘nature’ of the ‘bound’ state electron, in which it is forbidden to absorb or release any random amount of energy.

Work leads to a larger ‘headroom’

In binding to an atom, the electron loses some of its identity. It is no longer a separate entity. It no longer acts entirely like an unbound electron. It can absorb and emit only certain specific amounts of energy (sometimes called quanta).

Atoms can absorb energy in any amount, but the electrons that orbit the atoms or atom fragments, which are no longer separate entities, cannot absorb any amount of energy. They only absorb energy in specific or “discrete” amounts. The reality of this was first expressed mathematically, in the case of the simplest hydrogen atom, by physicist Niels Bohr. He developed the mathematical expression that, in essence postulated such discrete behavior.

These quantities of energy (quanta) that electrons are allowed to absorb are associated with photons.  Photons are quantum units of Electromagnetic radiation. Those photons of Electromagnetic radiation that are in the visible to the naked eye are called ‘light’ and are associated with various colors of visible light that we see.

In short, electrons bound to atomic nucleus absorb energy in the form of Electromagnetic radiation in discrete amounts. This leads to some Work Done on the Electron and electron getting some Work energy.

They move from one energy level to another energy level absorbing energy. They move from a lower orbit to higher orbit.

Story of pArvati taking bath

This is the story of pArvati (potential energy) going to take bath (in a potential well).

As we saw earlier, pArvati is the potential energy of particles. When particles are in potential well (taking bath), any amount of energy (shiva) is not allowed to enter.

The boy which blocks that entry is the discrete energy, the current electron orbit around the nucleus which is created due to potential energy (pArvati). That is pArvati (potential energy) creates the boy (electron orbit).

The electron orbits around the atomic nucleus are the ‘Candra’. ‘bAlacandra’ are younger orbits or lower orbits.  The boy in the story is the bAla-candra (another name for Ganapati), the orbit in which electron currently moves around. Shiva is the energy of photons that tries to come in and are blocked.

The only way for Shiva (energy) to enter is to break the boy (electron orbit) and give the boy (electron orbit around nucleus) a larger ‘head-room’ (elephant-head) to move around.  That is the electron moves physically from a lower orbit to a higher orbit. This physical movement is the Work done on the Electron.

That is the incoming energy has to perform ‘Work’ on the electron and in that process, the electron is broken from its orbit and moves to a larger orbit (larger head-room is created). The boy (electron orbit) gets a larger elephant head (larger orbit) to move around with increased energy.

The same principle is applicable in the formation of protons, neutrons and nucleus too apart from atoms.


1. https://www.decodedscience.org/important-differences-bound-unbound-electrons/50620

2. https://courses.physics.illinois.edu/phys485/fa2015/web/bound.pdf


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