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Author Topic: Is the Universe a giant fractal?  (Read 3062 times)

Offline Robro

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Is the Universe a giant fractal?
« on: 07/06/2012 04:46:59 »
Given recent discoveries of the fractal arrangement of galactic superstructures, is it possible that these fractal configurations continue up in scale to infinity? Is it possible that the Universe is infinite in age, longevity and diversity? If so, it would mean the realization of the most profound paradox ever. If we could only "see" past the edge of our little Hubble-bubble.
« Last Edit: 14/06/2012 08:26:02 by chris »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Fractal structure of the Universe
« Reply #1 on: 07/06/2012 19:55:45 »
In a sense, a fractal is good to describe the universe, from:
  • Atom with nucleus and electron cloud
  • Planet orbited by moons
  • Star orbited by planets
  • Galaxy with stars orbiting a black hole?
  • Local Cluster
  • Is there something bigger with a coherent structure in the universe?
  • Multiverse? or something even bigger?
One might think of everything as having a fundamental property of orbital interactions.  Yet, there likely is a difference between the subatomic interactions and the stellar interactions.  But, beyond that, one could look at gravity on increasing scales.

How does that apply to age & longevity?  I'm not sure.
One of the fundamental problems with the Universe is where does the Hydrogen and Energy come from?  The Big Bang Theory attempts to provide an explanation for the origin of the Hydrogen, and all the other elements.

 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Fractal structure of the Universe
« Reply #2 on: 07/06/2012 19:59:39 »
"where do's all the Hydrogen come from"
Does not the positive energy inherent in the matter cancel out the negative energy of gravity making the net result zero
« Last Edit: 07/06/2012 21:41:47 by syhprum »
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Re: Fractal structure of the Universe
« Reply #3 on: 10/06/2012 12:07:38 »
That's the general idea syhprum the problem is is what we see is not all that must be there to account for the negative side hence all the dark matter and now dark energy.  Let's get back to the original question

Robro our universe is not infinite in time it clearly had a beginning and probably ends with the heat death of thermodynamics and expansion into nothing.  it is also probably not infinite in a mathematical sense even if it is extremely large from our point of view.  The fractal and repetitive elements however are very interesting.

CliffordK The orbiting and recycling processes (it takes stars to make stars) are all properties that make sure that our universe lasts a long time (and has lots of space) rather than popping into existence and fizzling out almost instantly.

Given a situation where any number of dimensions of space and time are possible.  The three of space and one of time (or vice versa!) appear to be the only ones that allow long lived stable structures like this to develop.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Fractal structure of the Universe
« Reply #4 on: 11/06/2012 01:09:58 »
The key number in any fractal process is the "fractal dimension".

Following an astronomical survey, it is possible to come up with a single fractal dimension for one type of object like "the size of galaxy superclusters".  This suggests that smaller superclusters are more frequent, and huge superclusters are less common.

For this same fractal dimension to apply on smaller scales like "the size of galaxy clusters" implies that the same processes applying at the supercluster scale also apply at the cluster scale. This is a plausible outcome (although not specifically what the astronomers were reporting above).

However, I suspect that the processes applying at the scale of a multiverse, a single galaxy, a planetary system or shoreline along a beach are quite different from those processes that apply at galactic supercluster scale. This means that these objects would probably have a different fractal dimension than superclusters.
 

Offline Robro

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Re: Is the Universe a giant fractal?
« Reply #5 on: 24/06/2012 06:33:23 »
@Soul Surfer,
 
  Your statement is clearly based on popular theory, and I can respect that. With the fractal structure scaled up to a realm where inter-supercluster voids are larger than the observable universe, our popular-theory based reality will inevitably find itself in a real pickle and be in need of further adjustment, as it currently is, to force it to fit the observation. My thoughts on this matter are that before mankind becomes extinct, and chances are that we will, a profound discovery will be made that points to an infinite, ageless universe. After all, old used-up galaxies are found as far as telescopes can see, and the beings who where there many billions of years ago, see the old used-up galaxies that where here before the Milky Way many billions of years into their past.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Is the Universe a giant fractal?
« Reply #6 on: 06/07/2012 23:01:22 »
A fractal is a form of iteration as I think of it, in where some outcome is used to iterate the next step? And it's fairly simple to construct one but it gets very complicated, very fast, as it evolves. But the thing is that there should be some way to back track it if it was so? Track the 'x' backwards so to speak. What would that x be here? You can't call it a constant as it is more of a relation to the equation, but if it was so then we probably would have to take a new look at 'constants' as they too should change if the universe was fractal?

Or can you have constants existing in a fractal?
I'm not sure at all there.
==

The other side are those constants, similar to the Feigenbaum constant, in where you find yourself unable to back track a evolving pattern as the bifurcations (splits) are unpredictable, although still finding a constant describing the pattern.

That one might be plausible for our universe too, maybe :)

But they are like two sides of a coin to me.
=

To make the universe into a fractal you would need it to explain how light always can have the same 'speed' when measured, not caring about your own 'relative' motion, or what direction in where you measure it. Find a way to describe a fractal having that property and I would be very interested.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2012 23:17:10 by yor_on »
 

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Re: Is the Universe a giant fractal?
« Reply #6 on: 06/07/2012 23:01:22 »

 

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