01-31-08, 07:28 AM #1
Is there an infinite amount of universes?
What is Matter?
Around 32 years after time zero, according to present belief, light emerged from the singular point in space and time; the quantization of light are photons. These photons where very valuable. Not only did they play a hand in the formations of very early galaxies, due to their own gravitational pull, but they also evolved into new exciting particles. Protons, neutrons and electrons, predominantly.
In fact, all of matter are forms of trapped light. To release this trapped energy, an electron, let's say, needs to come into direct contact with a positron, it antipartner. The result is the release of two gamma photons - the original energy that made it. Even though the world around us seems so 'chock-a-block' with matter, the earth, and all of the particles that makes it, is really separated by quite a lot of space. In fact, in theory, if you could squeeze all of the matter that makes earth down so that no space existed between the particles, you would have enough matter to fit into the size of a golf ball! It seems strange that all this matter we are made of and standing on could all fit into such a small are of space.
Matter occurred at a very small level and time; a spatial size of only 1.616 x 10^-33cm, which is called the 'Planck Length,' in a 'Planck Time' of 5.3 x 10^-44 seconds. At this level, bubbles occur - though they paradoxically come from nothing (1)- and fluctuations in space and time create solid matter and energy - fields unto which all can be quantized - that is, describing fields as being made up of fundamental matter. Gravity for instance, is a field cast by the presence of matter in the presence of spacetime distortions. The field however can be quantized into particles called 'gravitons'; mind you, no one yet has discovered the graviton.
Thus, all forms of matter and fields can be quantized into single particles... In string theories, matter is not made up of 'pointlike' particles, but in fact made up of tiny little strings, all vibrating with a certain frequency. These vibrations make up all of the matter contained in the universe.
The idea of string theory is novel in many senses, a theorist would tell you. But from the other side of the neighborhood, string theory is now faiding into the past, as many physicists are troubled with the fact that nothing experimental can arise from it. Some idea's where proposed using gravity - but these idea's are fraught with controversy.
What Is String Theory All About?
I won’t get into this too deeply, with reasonable detail. String theory was designed to describe particles as tiny vibrating strings instead of pointlike particles. As the theory developed it became known that the theory could answer for the loss of gravity… In essence, the theory states that gravity can move freely through extra dimensions of spacetime... eleven dimensions in all; In fact, some theorists believe our universe has something like 26 dimensions - but let's keep this relatively simply...
Strings come in two particular types. They are called 'open' and 'closed strings.' Open strings would make up all of matter. Closed strings, like tiny little loops that can, if theory is correct, move into other universes. Thus gravity may actually seep between universes - explaining the great loss of gravity in this universe. In fact, string theory, coupled with the ever-changing theories of the multiverse have robbed the scientific endeavors of other projects. The troublesome thing is though, it cannot be proven. The multiverse in string theory differs somewhat from the conventional parallel universe theory; in string theory, universes are called branes - and these 'branes' are parallel universes that exist in extended dimensions... not an infinity of them. I would say 10^150 would be sufficient; that is 10, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 universes - howsoever, i have heard some string theorists claim something equivalent to a massive 10^500 universes (2).
Originally, string theory was a foundation of 1-branes, simply called 'strings.' Branes or p-branes therego, are objects existing in extra dimensions on a higher plain of existence. The variable (p) refers to the spatial dimension of the brane; then a 0-brane makes up a zero-dimensional particle. A 1-brane is a single brane, and a 2-brane is called a membrane. Thus, every brane sweeps out a 'World Volume' dimension represented as (p+1), as it propagates through space and time. Thus, strings are one dimensional objects.
I'm not convinced with string theory - though, it's undeniably a difficult, complexicated theory to understand, using quite advanced and technical mathematics. It worries me to some respects, as it posits such a stranger reality than previously known - not only that, but it goes hand-in-hand with parallel universe theory, a theory i will not entertain. I have even heard of scientists claiming that string theory is not a scientific theory at all; and that in many principles, is a failure. I can only imagine that 2007-09 will be years for the heated debate of string theory.
(1) - Which hints at an aether of quantum behavior.
(2) - Note that the multiverse may not be infinite. It can be finite.
Now... to continue...
Subatomic matter behaves very differently to larger masses. One example of this estranged behavior is called the 'double slit experiment' introduced by physicist Thomas Young in 1805. This experiment consists of a machine that shoots a beam of photons, electrons or even atoms towards film screen - but before the particles reach the screen and leaves tiny marks, it needs to pass through either an upper slit, or a lower slit that are closely separated. Each slit can be closed, or both can be left opened by the choice of the observer.
Now, when the beam of particles hit the screen, you would suppose the particles had to pass through either the upper slit or the lower slit, yes? However, the strange thing is, is that if you close down one of slits, more particles reach the screen than if you left both slits open! How can this be? You would imagine more particles reaching the screen if both slits were opened - but this is not the case.
One strange answer came about. The particle wasn't a pointlike particle at all. It acted as though it were a wave!
If one uses the wave description, the problem seemed to go away. We know how waves act in the sea, and this also means that the particle will take these attributes on board.
A wave could reach both slits at the same time - and just like a wave coming into contact with two openings, the wave can split into two smaller waves, one, as i am sure you can guess, in each slit. If the two waves travel different paths, they can be made to interfere with themselves after passing the slits; in doing so, less waves reach the screen. If one slit is only open, the wave will travel through the slit, and, just like a wave hitting the shore, it will hit many places simultaneously on the screen - thus hitting more places with one slit open, than having both slits open.
However, the particle wasn't only just a wave - after all, when it hit the screen, it left a tiny 'pointlike' mark. Somehow when the wave hit the screen, it hit many places on the screen as dots. Thus, a new description had to made for a particle that traveled through space as a wave, and finishes its journey as a single object - this description has been come to be called the 'wave-particle duality.' The particle therego was in fact a wave and a particle simultaneously.
Why did the particle act as a wave?
Well, at first, physicists thought that the wave was a product of the human mind - it wasn't real, and it was just a means for us to keep track of experiments. The wave became to be called the 'quantum wave function.' This was a wave of possibilities. The wave probability enables us to calculate the possibility for a particle and its path, location, spin, orbital reference, ECT. The wave spreads out over space, and resembles likelihoods, not actualities... or does it?
In 1957 physicist Hugh Everett the third, came up with a rather bizarre conclusion concerning the wave function. His idea was that if the experiment says that the particle passed through both slits at the same time, then both particles, the one traveling past the upper slit, and the particle traveling through the lower slit, must both exist.
Question is though, how and where does this extra ghostly particle exist? The answer was parallel universes. Somehow, an identical particle existed in a parallel world; the wave represented the amount of particles it was composed of, thus one particle passed the upper slit and a particle passed the lower slit, and each 'branch', or universe, it was represented as a wave, having quite a real effect in each universe.
However, why should the particle be a wave and then suddenly become a particle again? It turns out that our universe, according to Everett, is constantly splitting and merging every time some measurement is performed or when something comes into contact with something else.
Each time the universe split, it would represent the wave function splitting into as many possibilities as there where outcomes, and the merging would represent the universe becoming superimposed all over again. Thus, in the double slit experiment, when the particle moves through both the slits simultaneously, this represents the universe splitting, creating as many universes as the possibility allows - in this case, two universes - and the merging represents the pointlike dot when it hits the screen. However, it turns out that the experiment represents only two universes - yet, it turns out that our universe is in fact one in an infinite amount of parallel universes, all 'superpositioned' upon each other, like layers on a cake.
It is amazing, i think at least, that something so science-fiction like parallel universes can be taken rather seriously by top physicists today. The theme is almost unimaginable... just think about it - an infinity of universes - an infinity of earths for that matter, with an infinite amount of me's, and an infinite amount of you's - worlds were i exist, and worlds were you do not - worlds were you exist and i do not. Worlds that neither of us exist... worlds that are barren of life, and worlds with life more weird and wonderful than we could ever imagine. Worlds of paradise, and hell worlds galore!
And each universe is unique, as there maybe several outcomes to a certain event, but only one individual outcome is allowed in any single universe. Thus, whenever i flip a coin and observe what side it has landed on, i become apart of the splitting of the universe, and my body is projected into two me's - one in this universe looking and observing a heads, let's say, and another me in the 'newly born' universe observing a tails. However, this easy-creation of universes disturbs some scientists. The idea is, if you flip a coin in 100 tosses, you create something equivalent to 1,267,650,600,228,229,401,496,703,205,376 universe-possibilities real; that is a little over 10^30. If every 6 billion-odd souls on earth simply stopped to flip a coin a hundred times, you could imagine the amount of universes that would split off from our own.*
* In fact, the parallel universe theory has undergone some variations over the years. Some scientists believe that not only is our universe prone to split, but all the parallel universes might in fact also split.
Matter in each of these universes permitted to contain matter, are in equal proportion, which is around 10^80 particles in each universe. However, this is where we tend to get a little confused - even though a particle, according to parallel universe theory, exists in two worlds as a wave in the double slit experiment, there is only one particle ever present whenever the universes merge! There will always be a single particle present, provided no one comes along and decided to observe the little particle, or a large electrical force pulls it out of its superpositioning - or simply, whenever anything comes into contact with something else; even in a tragedy.
Take me for instance. Imagine i decided to cross the road, and i never looked both ways. A car hits me and i die... 'Sianara?' Well, yes and no. I do indeed die, but i die as the unfortunate outcome of this world - in a parallel universe i am living quite happily. When the car hit me, the universes flew apart, each providing a certain outcome unique among the rest.
Neither would it do us any good to say that time passes at the same rate in each of these universes - that wouldn't be accurate at all. It would be like the differential time zones on planet earth - i will be asleep in one universe, whilst i am totally awake here and now (more on 'time' in last part). Some universes might be so similar to ours, the only quantum difference is that you might be wearing a red tie, instead of a blue tie... A universe with these differential time traits are called 'self-contained' time.
Now, not every physicist agrees with parallel universe theory - take for granted some of the best minds in the quantum mainstream, like Stephen Hawkings entertain the 'many world hypothesis,' instead of the 'collapse of the wave function.' The wave function permeates all of spacetime. Created by Erwin Schrödinger, the mathematical function would predict the infinite amount of possible locations or paths an atom can have; for instance, in the double slit experiment, the wave represents two paths - thus the paths are represented by the wave function. The collapse of the wave function is the sudden reduction in the value of probability. The idea, is that the world suddenly reduced to a single calculation - the wave is said to collapse - the usual way to describe the collapse, is to imagine a balloon being deflated.
I believe in the collapse - i simply cannot believe that the universe is constantly splitting and merging. Although, the collapse itself has been attacked by some physicists over the years. The most famous attack was by Albert Einstein - as you may know - he was highly critical of the conditions brought about by the simple act of observation - and it wasn't an isolated case... as he carried his displeasure for Quantum Physics right to his death. He also brought to our attentions, that quantum physics failed as a complete theory - it failed to explain how an observer comes to know something.
I think this question can only be answered by accepting that the human observer is somehow apart of that knowledge - instead of believing that the observer is separate of that information. One way to imagine this, is that knowledge or information (as both are the same thing) starts and ends with the individual who measures a system. The system itself, or the universe around it cannot make sense of information - there is simply no intelligence present to make any resolution - it can only act to this information by a collapse and the system will 'quantum jump' into a new state - thus the information only becomes meaningful when intelligence is involved. In this sense, knowledge that is true knowledge begins and ends with us; the rest is up to God. Once we have this knowledge inside our neural networks, we turn it into experience, which then processes as memory, and this is how we come to know something.
What is a quantum leap? Some of us will know it as a jitterbugging particle with a unique energy change - a discontinuous change from one state into a new state - others, as that 'cornie' 1980's show. If we are indeed to take Hawkings seriously by viewing the universe as an atom, does that mean the universe will quantum leap in the future? Coming back to this question, two main things can happen, depending on what kind of energy state our universe is in. There are two known states called 'Ground State,' and 'Excited State.'
A ground state atom arranges its inhabitants; the electron, the proton and the neutron ect., to a certain frequency, so that they can have the smallest energy possible. If our universe isn't in a ground state, it could have come from a singularity in space, a bit like the kind found inside of black holes... However, i would like to add, that Hawkings is not so sure any more if singularities really exist. Thus, if our universe is in a ground state, it wouldn't have come from a singular region. Instead, it will have had at its center an opening in the fabric of space and time; this is a worm hole, threaded with a substance called 'exotic matter' - we will see more on this in chapter four. This wormhole might loop in on our own universe, and anything that can travel through it, might turn up in a different region of space, at a totally different time of history - theoretically, i could jump into the wormhole a few minutes after big bang, and end up coming out of the wormhole, 40-odd billion years later when the universe decides to contract. Or, if theory is correct as we have seen, it might link this universe up with other universes.
A ground state atom will not spill out energy - this means that it is a very stable particle. If our universe is in its ground state, it will not be able to quantum leap in the future. If the atom is in an excited state, then it will eventually spill out its energy and will inexorably quantum leap. If it was a universe i am speaking about here, it will spill out its energy, quite possibly into a branch that is in its ground state, and will quantum leap.
Stephen Hawkings believes our universe is in a ground state.
And what if parallel universe theory indicates a new presence - a divine presence?
I've heard some arguments put forth that parallel universes predicts the existence of a God... for sure. They say, that because there are an infinite amount of universes, there must be a God, and because God is omnipresent, he/she would exist in every universe. Well, i can't argue with that statement, and I’m not sure many can. An infinite amount of universes must indicate an infinite of amount of 'states' a universe can be in; these states are the statistical differences found in each universe. Some universes will have a small quantum mistake different to ours, others will be much more weird and maybe even mind boggling. Thus it might just be a case of searching enough universes until one holds fit for the temple of an omnipotent being.
Last edited by Reiku; 01-31-08 at 07:34 AM.
01-31-08, 07:59 AM #2
'' Some universes will have a small quantum mistake different to ours, others will be much more weird and maybe even mind boggling.''
Perhaps string theory is predicting a universe very mind-boggling, and not our own...?
01-31-08, 09:04 AM #3Around 32 years after time zero, according to present belief, light emerged from the singular point in space and time;
Light decouples after 300,000 years. Not 32.
01-31-08, 09:15 AM #4
Such a sad-case aren't you?
This is work from a string theorist... Need i not say more.
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