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Author Topic: Have the laws of Physics evolved to be what we find in our universe?  (Read 5703 times)

Offline Soul Surfer

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This is intended to be a stimulation for serious and considered replies and not someting to drag the cranks out of the woodwork.

Our planetary ecosystems are so carefully meshed together and things work so well that it was quite difficult initially to believe that they were not created by some super intelligent designer, but now all (including most of the main religions) except a few cranks accept that life has evolved from simple chemical beginnings to become what it is today.

The laws of physics also seem to be very improbable with critical constants set at finely defined levels to ensure that atoms and complex nuclear and electromagnetic chemistry can exist.

Several serious cosmologists have gone so far as to suggest that the laws of physics may have undergone some sort of process of evolution.  Notably Lee Smolin who suggests that some of the features my be to maximise the number of black holes (? other universes,  the longest lived things in our universe) that can be formed although he could see no immediate process as to how this might happen.

Can I suggest a mechanism whereby the laws of physics may have evolved to become what they are today. 

We are all familiar with quantum mechanical uncertainty and as interaction energy rises the laws pf physics tend to get more and more "fuzzy"  allowing greater departure from norms and new particles to pop out of nowhere for brief periods provided the energy balance works out OK in the long run.  We also know that in the past our universe was incredibly dense and hot but expanding and cooling.

The particle physicists talk about times when all the physical laws were united and there were "symmetry breaking processes" that caused the initially very vague laws to settle down to the ones that we have at the moment.  They seem to view this process as essentially random but maybe it isn't quite so random and the way it settles down is most likely to be a way that creates interesting "recycling" processes that tend to give structures in the universe much longer lives than the extremely brief particle particle interactions that would normally take place.  That is the laws of physics have "evolved" to create an interesting universe and such a universe is not as unusual as might be expected if the symmetry breaking processes were truly random.


 

Offline ukmicky

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Can I suggest a mechanism whereby the laws of physics may have evolved to become what they are today.

What you have suggested does make sense when you look how finely balanced everything seems to be and how one change would throw the universe into chaos. However evolution suggests a never ending process and if that were so then what we (OK what you and the scientists) call the fundermental constants like the speed of light would not be so constant. In the future planks constant may have to become maybe frodo's constant.  :)
Sorry but you get what i mean ,in theory the universe could evolve where the mechanisms change so much that life and the universe as we know it may become totally alien to life as we know it.

Wouldnt it also mean that any evolutionary change to the laws of physics on our side of the universe would have had to happen at the same time on the other side for everything to be be the same for all observers. How would that be possible when you consider the vast distances involved.I can see Einstein turning in his grave.

Sorry i'm probably one of the last people who should be delving into this subject. ;D
« Last Edit: 02/09/2007 13:42:19 by ukmicky »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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NO! The earth was not dense to begin with, it was not even a gas but a collection of atoms drawn to each other by the very forces that make up atoms. The collective force of countelss millions of atoms all pushing and pulling become uniform in the direction of the forces, generating a pushing force at the core of the ever increasing mass and a collective pulling force at the surface of the mass that we interperate as gravity. Eventually the mass of atoms causes sufficient friction pushing against other atoms that the core becomes heated and eventually molten. During this relatively short evolution of the plant gravity become strong enough to force the atoms of hydrogen and water together in order to create the first drops of water.........
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Ian - you mention symmetry-breaking & its importance. You say that maybe it wasn't as random as scientists think. But something must have caused symmetry-breaking at the energies at which it happened.

Are you suggesting that the pre-symmetry-broken universe evolved so that symmetry-breaking could occur at exactly the right energies?
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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I am not suggesting that the main features like the velocity of light have evolved only that some of the important ratios that enable complexity in the structure of nuclei and atoms that make our universe interesting may have been pushed by evolutionary processes.

The particle physicists describe symmetry breaking a a bit like a drawing pin balanced on its point falling over.  The direction in which it falls over creates particular critical properties for what follows.

Now consider that the symmetry is just about to break and the direction is being decided let us assume that in many choices of direction events happen briefly and northing much interesting happens then suppose that in one critical direction a recycling or interaction time extending process takes place.

Let us assume now that we look at the universe with all these different options taking place just as the symmetry is about to break. the one in which the time extending processes take place will appear to dominate and the symmetry will be much more likely to break in that direction than any of the other directions where nothing much happens.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2007 18:11:26 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Do you mean that many universes could have evolved in the same way up to the point where ours took the time-extended direction and only then was ours differentiated?

But what caused the time-extended direction? That there was/is such a direction can imply either that it was a random event or that something caused it.
 

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OK - so if we have a form of natural evolution, that implies at least one feedback mechanism - would you like to speculate on the nature of the feedback mechanism?
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Beaver, no. I was only talking about one universe (ours) around the time when one of the symmetry breaking interactios was about to happen.

In Darwinian evolution you have natural selection in breeding lifeforms physical evolution is not quite like that. You may have some long term association for example at high temperatures electrons interact with protons for very brief periods  very much less than a picosecond but as the temeperature drops  an electron can joins up with a proton to form a hydrogen atom which will then last for an indeterminate period.  on a larger scale cold clouds of gas can condense to form stars. Large stars after a short life explode and send shock waves into any clouds of gas around them and these shock waves can encourage more stars to form.  This is the process that generates spiral arms in galaxies.

Another simple model of the effect of time increasing events.  Say we have a million molecules in a box bouncing off each other in events lasting one time unit each molecule interacts with another molecule every time unit so we have half a million interactions taking place in the box every time unit.  Now say that once in every thousand interactions something unusual happens and the molecules stick together for one hundred time units before splitting apart again. So initially we will have five hundred of these long lived states generated every time unit and the numbers will build up for one hundred time units before the states begin to decay, so there could be around fifty thousand of the long lived elements in the box  (this is an approximation)  so for a process that extends "life" by a factor of one hundred with a creation probability of one in a thousand we get one in every two hundred molecuules in the long lived state in the box.  This is a sort of natural selection of states by longevity.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2007 23:52:56 by Soul Surfer »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Ah, I see what you mean now - random events with "favourable" results... I think. I shall put my little beaver brain to work on it.

 

Offline m.levert

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statistical events also posess probability, or qualities of likeliness. some things are obviously more likely to happen than others, we intuitively know.

humans are biased in their views of the universe because we only see the favourable conditions, since the unfavourable ones preclude our presence.

the theory of multiple universes makes a lot of common sense, except it`s hard to imagine where they all might actually be: maybe it`s to do with all those exta dimensions...

i think the symmetry breaking thing is more to do with phase shifting, like when water turns to ice.in the early universe there came a point when the thing before could not exist, and the thing after becomes the norm.

this is why i don`t beleive the big bang theory when it says time began when space did - if there was an origin to time, before that no time existed, so how could anything happen, including the big bang itself?

so in truly infinite time, anything and everything will definitely happen somewhere.

including us.



 

Offline dkv

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Very intersting question.
And it deserves a serious consideration.
When a abnormal probability of Universe formation is predicted
When we are using infinite time
When we are using infinite space
And we are still unable to explain how life came into existence then there is problem.
So what do we do ?
The solution lies in two simple physical principle.
1.Similar things attract
2.Probability can not be zero

The first principle is simple understand.
The second principle says probability can not be zero.
which means that a problem can not become impossible.
Or the probability wave has quantum charateristics.
At a single point where nothing exists Probability
of everything exists.
This probability increases in steps..
p ,2p ,3p .. and so on
This probability can be given by  P=np

Another experiemnt to understand it is as follows :
Let the target stand for area "a"
Let the arrow can hit randomly anywhere in the vicinity of "A".

Then the chances of arrow hitting the target is a/A
IF we reduce the target area then the probability decreases.

But the principle above says that the ratio a/A can not decrease below a particular value ... it can not become zero.

If we go down below (i.e decrease "a")then event space A also decreases.Thus not allowing the probability to fall below its quantum value.

Since it is forum to discuss new theories so I thought
it will be a better place to discuss it.

The first principle says similar things attract :
This means similar real entities attract ...
which means atoms attract ...
And this simple principle results in Gravity and all other forces..

This principle is Universal.

From psychological and social point of view :
Dreams also attract each other ...

The level of attraction is defined by level of similarity.








 

Offline dkv

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Application of non-zero probability.
Let us assume  Universe a particle finds its existence. There was no reason for it to not exist.
Then it contained all the events with finite probabilty.
Those probabilites which sustained each other led to the formation of Universe.In the probability field there are equal chances of creation and destruction.
Example - point is sustained by point .. atom is sustianed by atom life is sustained by life.
 

Offline dkv

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Interesting consequences include Universe creating Universe to sustain definition of Universe.
And only the Universe in which life sustained life we live.
 

Offline m.levert

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phew! -sorry don`t understand why the probability of an event cannot be zero - surely some things are absolutely guaranteed not to happen?

 
 

Offline Soul Surfer

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Sadly this conversation seems to have degraded into pseudo scientific and mystical gibberish  when there are some real scientific questions to be posed and answered here.  Come on lets have some proper thinking and discussion.
 

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