Is the Universe computing something?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by arfa brane, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    So your position is that this universe had no beginning? Can you be a little more explicit?
     
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  3. river Valued Senior Member

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    Exactly
     
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Based on what information?
     
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  7. river Valued Senior Member

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    Information of existence
     
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Someone earlier inferred there is no such thing as infinite forms?
    The evidence supports the same notion with regards to spacetime/universe.


    or another speculative debate here, which I like.
    https://www.astrosociety.org/publications/a-universe-from-nothing/
    In the inflationary theory, matter, antimatter, and photons were produced by the energy of the false vacuum, which was released following the phase transition. All of these particles consist of positive energy. This energy, however, is exactly balanced by the negative gravitational energy of everything pulling on everything else. In other words, the total energy of the universe is zero! It is remarkable that the universe consists of essentially nothing, but (fortunately for us) in positive and negative parts. You can easily see that gravity is associated with negative energy: If you drop a ball from rest (defined to be a state of zero energy), it gains energy of motion (kinetic energy) as it falls. But this gain is exactly balanced by a larger negative gravitational energy as it comes closer to Earth’s center, so the sum of the two energies remains zero.

    The idea of a zero-energy universe, together with inflation, suggests that all one needs is just a tiny bit of energy to get the whole thing started (that is, a tiny volume of energy in which inflation can begin). The universe then experiences inflationary expansion, but without creating net energy.

    What produced the energy before inflation? This is perhaps the ultimate question. As crazy as it might seem, the energy may have come out of nothing! The meaning of “nothing” is somewhat ambiguous here. It might be the vacuum in some pre-existing space and time, or it could be nothing at all – that is, all concepts of space and time were created with the universe itself.

    Quantum theory, and specifically Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, provide a natural explanation for how that energy may have come out of nothing. Throughout the universe, particles and antiparticles spontaneously form and quickly annihilate each other without violating the law of energy conservation. These spontaneous births and deaths of so-called “virtual particle” pairs are known as “quantum fluctuations.” Indeed, laboratory experiments have proven that quantum fluctuations occur everywhere, all the time. Virtual particle pairs (such as electrons and positrons) directly affect the energy levels of atoms, and the predicted energy levels disagree with the experimentally measured levels unless quantum fluctuations are taken into account.

    Perhaps many quantum fluctuations occurred before the birth of our universe. Most of them quickly disappeared. But one lived sufficiently long and had the right conditions for inflation to have been initiated. Thereafter, the original tiny volume inflated by an enormous factor, and our macroscopic universe was born. The original particle-antiparticle pair (or pairs) may have subsequently annihilated each other – but even if they didn’t, the violation of energy conservation would be minuscule, not large enough to be measurable.

    If this admittedly speculative hypothesis is correct, then the answer to the ultimate question is that the universe is the ultimate free lunch! It came from nothing, and its total energy is zero, but it nevertheless has incredible structure and complexity. There could even be many other such universes, spatially distinct from ours.
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  9. river Valued Senior Member

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    Human Intellect is regressing
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    A good book I once read, called the "Superforce" by Paul Davis gives a reasonably easy to understand explanation, albeit it still rather speculative on how matter/energy came to be, how the Superforce decoupled.
    I'm not into this computer Universe or any aspect of a computer simulation.
    The something from nothing explanation as detailed, seems far more reliable.
     
  11. river Valued Senior Member

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    We will see ..........
     
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Has anyone mentioned Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot"
    Greatest educator of our times imho.




    I believe the above narrative by Carl, should be played in all science classes all around the world. Inspiring stuff from an inspiring Human Being.
     
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  13. river Valued Senior Member

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    Inspiring thought ; perhaps
     
  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    information, something like *necessity and sufficiency*, which implies a duality?
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    It seems to imply a philosophical cop out to me.
    As I said, I see far more likelyhood of a Universe from nothing, and being the ultimate free lunch for the reasons given in two reputable links, than any computer program, and/or simulation.
     
  16. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Yet, the ultimate free lunch might be the ultimate free computer. You might not be aware how many theorists and cosmologists take the idea seriously.
    "A universe from nothing" doesn't sound like it will ever be a very satisfactory philosophical statement, not that I'm implying a computing/computable universe is going to be able to resolve the initial state problem. And, Krauss says this "nothing" inflated because of a quantum fluctuation, but not why inflation occurred (because he doesn't know).

    I see no great problem with letting those theorists who are pursuing this computational universe paradigm look for theories that can predict something we can observe. Actually I think some of them are quite sure we have already.
    Another thing one of them might point out to you is that quantum fluctuations is what Lawrence Krauss calls quantum interactions, or Seth Lloyd calls quantum operations.

    Here's one way of thinking about it: suppose we think the universe is a big machine, a computer.

    Can we get this machine, or part of it, to do useful stuff for our benefit? Could we use say, the solar system as a kind of calculator and solve a problem? Yes, we can! (but probably not if the problem is predicting the Melbourne Cup).
    Can we harness some output of this universal computer, as power, and get it to do work? Done, and done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Sure I'm aware how this is being discussed among mainstream cosmologists and physicists, and there are also papers on it.
    It just is something that doesn't grab me at this time, but, yes, I could be wrong, but remained unmoved by it at this time.
     
  18. pluto2 Registered Senior Member

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    Saying that something can be produced from nothing is completely unscientific and is in my opinion almost worse than magic.

    Also in everyday life we don't see material stuff just materializing out of nothing.

    Why not just accept the fact that the universe was not created and has always been here?

    There is no evidence that the universe "started" and, even if it did, no evidence of how.
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Your opinion is noted.
    Those more knowledgable though, have come up with some reasonable speculative scenarios as to why that is not as silly as it sounds.
    Have you read the articles?
    Of course not, but we are speaking of the quantum world where weird things do happen, and also speculatively about a period before the Universe evolved into what we are familiar with today.
    Because imho infinite quantities are something I find hard to accept, although on this score I could be wrong.
    Of course there is evidence that the Universe/space/time "as we know them" started or had a beginning....literally a ton of evidence.
    No, no evidence as to how or why as yet, but as my two articles point out, plenty of reasonable scientific speculation as to how something from nothing may have eventuated.
    It is also an accepted part of quantum theory that energy pertaining to the vacuum of space and virtual particles arising out of this vacuum, including the CC and zero point energy, explains much of what we observe in the Universe.
    Positive observed evidence of this is the Casimir effect.
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/casimir.html
     
  20. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    If you have not read it, do so!
    This is what I found so interesting about the Higgs boson. From what I understand, the Higgs boson is not a physical *something* at all, but merely a *potential*. A latency with an inherent but non-expressed real value. I can visualize a scalar field which appears to be *nothing*, but has potential value, such as an ability to attract, which reminded me of the recent discovery of *gravity waves*. Is it possible that gravity waves are the result of symmetry breaking by the merging BH?

    I always saw a wave as a physical phenomenon, but a wave consisting of virtual particles would be undetectable and presents a condition of Nothingness, filled with potential carying virtual particles, such as the higgs boson.
    Potential of virtual particles expressed in reality?
    This is beginning to make sense in context of a *bounded field" of non-observable virtual particles, which may become expressed as physical values, but when unbroken presents a zero state potential (scalar) field.
    Very interesting article and when I delved a little fuerther I also came up with this link which explains the *potential behavior* of these virtual particles, which become influential (expressed values) in a broken symmetry.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle

    This is just a probing if a field made up of virtual (non-physical) quanta. Is it possible such a condition exists but cannot be directly observed because it consists of invisible non-physical particles and therefore appears to be Nothing.
     
  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    deleted for duplication
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  22. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

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    There are also other possible explanations for the Casimir effect. It's possible that the cosmological constant is completely unrelated to quantum vacuum.
     
  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Can you elaborate? Particularly re the CC not being related to the quantum vacuum.
     

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