Saturday, January 15, 2011

Is the universe fine-tuned for life?

You can say about Don Page's papers what you want, at least they are entertaining. The title of his most recent arXiv submission

pretty much tells you its content. Page argues that the fraction of baryons that condense gravitationally into structures large enough to allow for the development of life depends on the value of the cosmological constant in such a way that the fraction of baryons monotonically decreases for all positive values of the cosmological constant. Thus, Page concludes, the observed value of the cosmological constant is not optimal for the evolution of life - any smaller positive number would be better. He offers an estimate that in fact a small negative number would be the optimal value. Consequently, our universe is not fine-tuned for life.

Besides the relation between the cosmological constant and baryon condensation being more subtle than Page takes it to be, there are other reasons why this conclusion might not hold that Page also mentions in his discussion. It could be for example that there is an unknown constraint preventing an independent variation of the cosmological constant without also altering other constants. Or the fraction of baryons is not monotonically related to the probability of forming life. Though this relation seems plausible, it is an additional assumption.

Page's argument adds to previous studies indicating that life may be possible with other constants of nature, if several of them are changed simultaneously - a possibility that is often left out in the common arguments of the sort "if only [some constant] was a little bit smaller or larger, then [some disaster would happen]." Harnik, Kribs & Perez have for example suggested a model without weak interaction, the "weakless universe," that leaves chemistry and nuclear physics almost unchanged, such that evolution of life could still take place. (See "A Universe Without Weak Interactions," arXiv:hep-ph/0604027.)

So, is the universe fine-tuned for life? Probably not.

This might seem quite depressing for a scientist who sees his God's role becoming ever more constrained by modern research and wishes to let Him at least chose constants of Nature that are "just right" for our existence. Page however does not falter in his belief. Instead, he interprets his argument as support for the multiverse:
"It could be taken as negative evidence for theists who expect God to fine tune the constants of physics optimally for life. However, for other theists, such as myself, it may simply support the hypothesis that God might prefer a multiverse as the most elegant way to create life and the other purposes He has for His Creation."
I have nothing to say to this except "Amen."

77 comments:

Steven Colyer said...

Why do I hate nearly all theories that invoke a multiverse? I didn't used to, until I started digging, not just into the theories but the people who support them. They just seem to get crazier all the time. Very often, they seem like a big blanket thrown over a small fire. I'm not sure that's a good analogy.

I'm not even sure my recent disgust is warranted! Mainly, if it can't be proven, then what is the point of studying it? Aren't there better more immediate things to worry about?

I've never heard of this guy, but I did get a chuckle reading the titles of Don's papers.

"Born Again" ? I imagine he's referring to Max Born. :-)

joel rice said...

Hi Bee, best to your new family.
I was going to download it until i got to the multiverse bit. About those constants: There was a fellow who gave a talk back in high school and went on about a close connection between Minkowski signatures and universal constants, not just +--- and the speed of light, but (+--) and Planck's constant. In this view ALL the universal constants = 1. So there would not be any algebraic opportunity to fiddle with such constants. '1' looks fine tuned enough for me ! There should be another constant for (+-). The smaller signatures sitting in subspaces. Have you heard of such a thing ? I don't remember seeing it where one might expect - eg Veltman or Halzen-Martin. Once the constants are not a problem, the issue is to get Hydrogen and as long as it has a Weak force we will get supernovae, and the universe should be on its way to ... us ? good grief.

Christine said...

God might prefer a multiverse as the most elegant way to create life

If he thinks that so, then the word "elegant" must have some other meaning that I do not know of.


Best,
Christine

Steven Colyer said...

Joel, you don't have to download it just go to the PDF. It's almost all prose.

Bee, aren't there only two fundamental physical constants that we're sure are fundamental, being Planck's constant and the speed of light (the fine-structure constant being a combination of them, and electric charge). with a possible "third" one out there? Or is electric charge the third?

Mathematical constants are many, so many we can possibly have discovered them all. For example, one strongly feels there is a pattern to prime numbers, but none have been found.

The cosmological constant, is strange. Can it, has it, varied over time? Page has at least an interesting assertion, that a universe with a smaller CC or even a slightly negative one would be even more conducive to life. I have no idea if that's right or not but it is an interesting question.

Then we dig a bit and see he's a student of Stephen Hawking, who believes in Superstrings. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't strings at one time produce a slightly negative CC? I find that a bit spooky. Then again Hawking seems an atheist and Page an evangelical Christian, so maybe that's just a coincidence.

But getting back to Joel Rice, yeah setting the constants equal to one is darned important in particle physics, it has explained much. Let's see if I can find a link .... ah so, here ... no, shoot, that's not it. Help!

Robert L. Oldershaw said...

I would like to state my views on this topic, without holding out much hope that anyone would listen since they are far too simple and not nearly fashionable enough.

(1) In the absence of conflicting observations, I assume that the constants of the Universe are the same everywhere, and they can only be what they are. For example, the fine structure constant ultimately has to do with the geometry of the Universe. Its value is independent of space, time, or scale. I seriously doubt that it "runs" with energy. That it apparently does so indicates to me that we are interpreting something wrong. The same argument applies to all dimensional constants like G, if one uses relative scaling of units.

(2) Life evolves to fit nature. To reverse this argument is to put the cart before the horse in a most comical manner that only theoretical physicists and New Age gurus could embrace.

I predict that the idea of a "multiverse", wherein the 10^500 (give or take) "universes" can have differing sets of constants, will one day be ridiculed as the "Ptolemaic universe" of our era.

Bottom line: Those who argue for fine-tuning and special status for humans exhibit a hubris that is breath-taking.

RLO

Steven Colyer said...

I am slowly coming around to the opinion that thinking too much about Cosmology can turn one mentally ill. E.g., I like the basic premises of Inflation but when extrapolations are built on extrapolations etc. then what you have is a house of cards in Rube Goldberg's backyard that will fall apart in a slight breeze, eventually. Hopefully after 30 years when the one who proposes the wildest thoughts are done with their careers, which increasingly looks like their motivation. IMO.

Astronomy, on the other hand, is wonderful. Good stuff coming out of Seattle now. The galactic walls and filaments and voids are the largest "structures" in the Universe, tied together not by visible light but by gravity.

But the fact that there is a physical limit to how far we can see, combined with no discernment difference in structure based on direction, leads me to believe we're better off digging smaller, not larger. Go, go, LHC.

But the trend says otherwise.

Christine said...

Bee, aren't there only two fundamental physical constants that we're sure are fundamental, being Planck's constant and the speed of light (the fine-structure constant being a combination of them, and electric charge). with a possible "third" one out there? Or is electric charge the third?

If I may, see my (old!) comment here and others that I post therein, including John Baez's reply; in fact the whole post and discussions that follow are quite interesting and relevant to your question.

Best,
Christine

Eric said...

Robert, I agree with much of what you say. However, there is a big but in there. How would you propose to introduce the effect of scale? Both the speed of light and Planck's constant are constants of proportionality. These constants are both local and global in that sense. I think Steven has already gathered this implicitly if I'm reading him correcly.

One really has no choice, at least it seems to me, to modify a third known constant that has not been proven definitively to be a constant of proportionality. This constant would be one that "appears" global, but may really only be a local one that is tied to the present volume of the universe. You know which one I think it is.

Eric said...

I think I also agree with Christine from her post. I hadn't thought too much about charge being a "real" constant but it may be. The problem I think with assigning it some kind of primacy is that photons seem to be even more fundamental even than particles with mass. One would have to somehow make a connection between the charge of a photon, in perhaps a form of polarization, to the charge of massive particles before you could say with certainty that charge is the fundamental constant.

Uncle Al said...

A "weakless universe" might not contain quantum mechanics,

http://arxiv.org/abs/1101.1958
"What Really Sets the Upper Bound on Quantum Correlations?"

"there exist continua admitting absolute parallelism that are nevertheless not Euclidean. For such continua the torsion tensor does not vanish."
"the tantalizing link uncovered here between quantum correlations and teleparallel gravity"


The implication is that the vacuum can be selectively chiral toward mass, then diastereotopic toward chemically and maroscopically identical, opposite geometric parity atomic mass distributions. Universal biological homochirality is thus sourced.

One grows weary of theory densely packing mud. Somebody should look, for the worst it can do is succeed. Uncle Al can think of 10^500 reasons why there are less believable alternatives.

http://www.mazepath.com/uncleal/erotor1.jpg
Two parity Eotvos experiments

Bee said...

Hi Joel,

No, sorry, never heard of that. Doesn't make much sense to me. Of course the Planck mass is one in Planck units. And the speed of light is also one in appropriate units. That a dimensionful constant be one without mentioning which units are being used has no relevance. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Bee,

Thanks as usual for a thoughtful post in respect to the scientific landscape of opinion regarding life, its origin, limits and related significance. However for me the question I find which is seldom addressed having a greater significance, is to ask what constitutes something to being alive and then to consider if life being the only possible route to the emergence of consciousness or simply just one possible observed vessel for it. That is I think this should form to be a higher priority in respect to our greater understanding before being reasonably divided by hypothesises which may ultimately prove to have no bearing respective of such considerations.

Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Define "life", Phil.

I'd ask your definition of "consciousness", but I see that question as pulling the cart before the horse.

Ah, don't mind me, I'm just trying to wrap my head around general linear and special linear groups, orthogonal and special orthogonal groups, Unitary and special unitary groups, and everyone's favorite: symplectic groups (why? why not?). And quaternions and octonions which are lied in to these as well.

You know, all the Lie groups/
algebra stuff that leads to that greatest of questions we wish you Philosophers would answer, and which I learned from Peter Woit's NEW: Why U(1)xSU(2)xSU(3)? Or from Wiki: Why does ... The group U(1)×SU(2)×SU(3) is a Lie group of dimension 1+3+8=12 that is the gauge group of the Standard Model in particle physics. The dimensions of the factors correspond to the 1 photon + 3 vector bosons + 8 gluons of the standard model ... explain the world?

To answer the Why? you much know the What? and How? How many Philosophers know Lie Groups, hmm?

Then there's tensors and the different ways to notate them (mathematicians and physicists have different ways), and Penrose's unique notation he's been using for 56 years that look like electrical circuits or logic diagrams. That's the stuff I'm interested in learning, because it's learnable.

I spent way too much of my life exploring undefinable therefore unlearnable things like "life" and "consciousness". It's a rabbit hole, interesting for sure, but like Theology or History, a never-ending subject you can literally spend the rest of your life on, and receive no answer in the end.

But since you insist on raising the issue (and good for you study anything you want I ain't your Daddy), see if you can answer the following deep questions:

1) Are tomatoes properly classified as a vegetable or a fruit?
2) Is the platypus a reptile or a mammal?
3) Is the bacteriophage, the bacteria-killing virus, an engineered product sent to Earth to kill E.coli and thus humans? Because I have to tell you, bacteriophage sure looks like an engineered product to me. Ruthlessly effective in what it does, with enough sharp edges to frighten Frank Lloyd Wright. Where's the curves? Isn't life curvy? Even non-life like viruses which in spite of being only random bits of RNA somehow "know" how to reproduce?
4) Why a cow?

That last question is really the most important one, because it essentially asks: Why does life exist in the first place?

I think Mandelbrot knew, but he's gone now, alas.

Steven Colyer said...

Define "life", Phil.

I'd ask your definition of "consciousness", but I see that question as pulling the cart before the horse.

Ah, don't mind me, I'm just trying to wrap my head around general linear and special linear groups, orthogonal and special orthogonal groups, unitary and special unitary groups, and everyone's favorite: symplectic groups (why? why not?). And quaternions and octonions which are tied in to these as well.

You know, all the Lie groups/Lie algebra stuff that leads to that greatest of questions we wish you Philosophers would answer, and which I learned from Peter Woit's NEW: Why U(1)xSU(2)xSU(3)? Or from Wiki: Why does ... The group U(1)×SU(2)×SU(3) is a Lie group of dimension 1+3+8=12 that is the gauge group of the Standard Model in particle physics. The dimensions of the factors correspond to the 1 photon + 3 vector bosons + 8 gluons of the standard model ... explain the world?

To answer the Why? you must first know the What? and How? How many Philosophers know Lie Groups, hmm?

Then there's tensors and the different ways to notate them (mathematicians and physicists have different ways), and Penrose's unique notation he's been using for 56 years that look like electrical circuits or logic diagrams. That's the stuff I'm interested in learning, because it's learnable.

I spent way too much of my life exploring undefinable therefore unlearnable things like "life" and "consciousness". It's a rabbit hole, interesting for sure, but like Theology or History, a never-ending subject you can literally spend the rest of your life on, and receive no answer in the end.

But since you insist on raising the issue (and good for you study anything you want I ain't your Daddy), see if you can answer the following deep questions:

1) Are tomatoes properly classified as a vegetable or a fruit?
2) Is the platypus a reptile or a mammal?
3) Is the bacteriophage, the bacteria-killing virus, an engineered product sent to Earth to kill E.coli and thus humans? Because I have to tell you, bacteriophage sure looks like an engineered product to me. Ruthlessly effective in what it does, with enough sharp edges to frighten Frank Lloyd Wright. Where's the curves? Isn't life curvy? Even non-life like viruses which in spite of being only random bits of RNA somehow "know" how to reproduce?
4) Why a cow?

That last question is really the most important one, because it essentially asks: Why does life exist in the first place?

I think Mandelbrot knew, but he's gone now, alas.

joel rice said...

Bee, i think the idea is that since a Minkowski space has a null space xx = tt so we can set xx/tt = 1. This applies to any Minkowski space. The question is what the units are. For distance and time we get a unit velocity. I ought to translate the Pauli matrices to combinatorial notation and rearrange from +++ to +-- (a Clifford algebra isomorphism) and see if it makes sense as spin angular momentum, which has the same units as Action. That would imply that spin has something to do with an abstract null space. If I may butcher the language, one could say that 'the speed of spin is constant',and conveniently set it to One, on geometrical grounds.
Christine, About the fine structure 'constant', i was just looking at Halzen-Martin page 10, where alpha only approaches 1/137. And thanks for the link to that discussion.
Eric, charge seems constant in that the 'isospin doublets' (ud)(ev) differ by one unit of charge, which looks really fundamental.

Kay zum Felde said...

Hi Bee,

there're some laws that prefers fine-tuning, since determination is equal to fine-tuning. Even chaos theory is deterministic chaos theory. On the other hand, which supports the non fine-tuning hypothesis there is quantum mechanics, which is not deterministic in its intrinsic fundamental ways. It has the property of long distance interaction.

Best, Kay

Bee said...

Hi Joel,

Not entirely sure what you mean with xx & tt, but last time I looked time had a different dimension than space and a velocity is dimensionful. Best,

B.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Kay,

“On the other hand, which supports the non fine-tuning hypothesis there is quantum mechanics, which is not deterministic in its intrinsic fundamental ways. It has the property of long distance interaction.”

I’m glad you are assuredly convinced the first hypothesis being true and even happier that you have found evidence that has only non deterministic explanations of same as able to account for what has become to be known as an observable action within nature. That's to say that for my part I remain in doubt about the first hypothesis and by the same demonstrated reason know the last hypothesis to be not only worthy of doubt yet it has been clearly shown that although what is observed being mandated by way of its formalism, has not been explained by way of any self consistent interpretation.

Best,

Phil

starcourse said...

Don's paper was inspired by my comment in "Questions of Truth" and there is quite an email exchange going on (see some info about it here).

But FWIW this is not really about "fine tuning" but what might be called "optimal tuning" though it's really a kind of maximum likelihood hypothesis.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steven,

If I had an answer I would have submitted it. No rather I was asking how can it be throught reasonable to put constraints on reality as observed when the central constraint is left so ill defined , let alone not having it considered as to what purpose if any it serves. That is I find the whole anthropic argument having no firm footing to be considered a premise, that is either from a quantitative perspective or a qualitative one.

Now as for your other questions

1. They are fruits of bad quality as not being sweet, while vegetables of good quality as tasting good even without needing to be cooked :-)

2. They are mammals despite being eggceptional ones as they can maintain their cool while reptiles are totally incapable of having their situation getting the better of them:-)

3.I don’t know so I would suggest you ask a bacteriophage directly or perhaps have them more closely examined for a ULC label:-)

4. I can’t be certain, yet I do know that since being discovered their very existence has been milked for whatever it's worth, regardless whyever they are;-)

The bottom line for me is since being a child I was never satisfied when any why question was expected to be properly answered with because. That is the answer informing me there 'be cause' being what I assumed as essentially the question. That has always made as much sense as when asking 'how' something happened to be told 'byeffect' or what something is as 'itself' :-)

Now I would ask you, what is the purpose of a red herring, a straw man or complex question? ;-)

Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

This seems like a very interesting discussion to me. On the question of action at a distance: many people make a very big distinction between "action" at a distance vs "correspondence" at a distance. Many, many people think there is correspondence at a distance only.

Don't believe it. One of the most clear cut examples of action at a distance is the Pauli exclusion principle where two electrons in the same orbit must have opposite spin. This isn't just correspondence at a distance, but real action at a distance where if you change the spin of one of the electrons you automatically change the spin of the other.
People like to hide behind measurement and information arguments in quantum mechanics but it is a false argument. Even if you haven't measured the spin of the second electron you know it has changed if you have changed the spin of the other.

I think the point that gives people the feeling that they can get away with thinking there is not real action at a distance
Is that it only occurs in the quantum world of the small. The atom is small in our everyday world and it gives people the feeling that they can hide behind the quantum rules of measurement and collapse of the wave equation to ignore it in the everyday world. The problem with that is people think there is definition out there of what "small" distances are.

Scentists are only now realizing that the word "small" can only be understood in a cosmological context. If the rate of time flow increases as you compress the universe into ever smaller volumes, which represents the entropy of the universe in reverse, it means that if a person was alive back then to measure the cross section of a proton it would seem just as big as the cross section of an average galaxy today. In other words, in a far distant future galaxies will look like they exist as quantum elements in a world made up of those galaxies as the building blocks.

The point? You can't hide behind action at a distance only existing at the quantum world. It exists today in our everyday world. I think that is very cool.

Steven Colyer said...

but real action at a distance where if you change the spin of one of the electrons you automatically change the spin of the other.

We can do this?! How, and who, did this?

Eric said...

You would have to google the people that have done experiments on this. As far as the Pauli Exclusion Principle itself, it is pretty well accepted that action at a distance is the only explanation for it.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Eric,

My doubts are not about the reality of action at a distance, yet rather that the orthodox interpretation of QM offers a self consistent accounting for it. To make it clear I’m not talking about the formalism of QM, yet rather its interpretation. This I could extend to its ontological base, yet although connected is yet another matter. I wouldn’t have normally said anything as I don’t think it relevant to the topic anyway, yet I thought just once I should speak up when I find the confusion still seems to persist, even though Bell and others have made thing quite clear; that is if one listens to what they have to say , rather then what one wants to believe they have found as being certain.

Best,

Phil

Eric said...

My doubts are not about the reality of action at a distance, yet rather that the orthodox interpretation of QM offers a self consistent accounting for it. To make it clear I’m not talking about the formalism of QM, yet rather its interpretation. This I could extend to its ontological base, yet although connected is yet another matter. I wouldn’t have normally said anything as I don’t think it relevant to the topic anyway, yet I thought just once I should speak up when I find the confusion still seems to persist, even though Bell and others have made thing quite clear; that is if one listens to what they have to say , rather then what one wants to believe they have found as being certain.

Hi Phil,
I don't think Bell is the last word when it comes to interpretations of quantum entanglement. I also have found his interpretations confusing and just a little pedantic. For me his biggest contribution was to finally take Einstein's argument seriously.

Also, I don't think because one finds an interpretation "cool" does not mean the interpretation has been cherry picked out of the many other equally likely interpretations. A good scientist, or even a good lay person with scientific interests, will be a good evidence weighing person. He will continue to weigh evidence even after the main evidence points to one conclusion. I continue to weigh evidence even while my conclusions so far point to overwhelming evidence for real action at a distance.

And no, just because I happen to like the idea does not mean I have come to a too swift or arbitrary conclusion about it. And I am still open to evidence against it, but so far the evidence for it is overwhelming.

Eric said...

"And I am still open to evidence against it, but so far the evidence for it is overwhelming."

Make that: I am still open to evidence against the "active" interpretation of action at a distance, and open to the evidence for the interpretation of "passive" correlations at a distance, but so far the evidence for the active version is overwhelming.

Neil B said...

Yeah, some variations of constants could also let life exist but the main issue is, why is there something and why is it like this. I have unsettling news (well, IMHO rather solid logical insight) for those wanting explanations of the universe being this way: there can't be any logical, mathematical type explanation. That doesn't mean the U/s have to be taken for granted as "just here, for no reason" - it could be for "mystical" purposes indeed like "so we can be here." But not logical reasons. As MUH/modal realists appreciate: math doesn't contain any way to show "realness" of the presumed physical sort, or "deservedness" to be actualized or materialized, above and beyond the math description. So take a description of things, say a possible world different from ours. There is no property in that description we can identify like "not deserving of material expression" or etc., they are all just like collections of various curves defined by various equations. You might say some are "ugly" and some "beautiful" but that is just our judgment at work, it can't be made rigorous or expressed.

What an irony, that an attempt to purely logically explain what "really exists" instead of just "being numbers" has to fail and requires an extra, sort of dualistic touch! The alternatives are:
1. Deny the distinction, and say that all PWs really do "exist" upon equal status. There is no "incarnation" and no selection of same!
2. Some extra-rational thing, maybe the Necessary Being that has to exist (aside from how like "God" It is), selects some PWs to be "incarnate" and have existence that is more than Platonic, more than just literally being a bunch of numbers. This denies the indistinquishability in modal realism, and says there is some first cause that makes the distinctions.

I think (2.) is preferable for two reasons:
a. Our nagging feeling that we do exist for real, even if from our feelings of existence, our experiences etc. (I think, no coincidence about consciousness being a sense of definite givenness as noted for measurement problem.
b. If all PWs exist, then there are "more" of the messy ones that aren't orderly and we have more chance (hard as it is to examine if infinite sets of PWs) of being in a messy one and not being able to expect continued and/or consistent order.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Eric,

“ ....or even a good lay person with scientific interests, will be a good evidence weighing person.”

I can assure you I’m a long way from betting the farm in respect to any interpretation or even confident such things can be shortly if ever resolved in such regard. What I am paying careful attention to is the progress attempting to be made in respect to quantum computing, as I’m confident what is found as being achievable holds the promise of having great impact in such regard.

Also I wouldn’t say that Bell was the first to take Einstein seriously, yet rather the first arrive at and describe an executable experiment where things could be decided whose results when revealed had it needing to be taken seriously. That is despite the roar of the majority insisting that such a thing as being no more than an artefact of the formalism and not to be given any heed in respect to the reality of nature. Anyway I’ve said enough on the subject as we are probably already taxing Bee’s and Stefan’s patience.

“12. An example [7]”
”..........In the cited paper it is shown that between these two systems an entanglement can arise, which at a particular moment, can be compactly shown in the two equations: q = Q and p = -P. That means: I know, if a measurement of q on the system yields a certain value, that a Q-measurement performed immediately thereafter on the second will give the same value, and vice versa; and I know, if a p-measurement on the first system yields a certain value, that a P-measurement performed immediately thereafter will give the opposite value, and vice versa.

- Erwin Schrödinger, “The Present Situation In Quantum Mechanics”, Die Naturwissenschaften(1935)
Citation of the aforementioned paper- [7] A. Einstein, B. Podolsky, and N. Rosen, Phys. Rev. 47: 777 (1935). The appearance of this work motivated the present - shall I say lecture or general confession?

Best,

Phil

Eric said...

Hi Phil ,
Trying not to overwork such an off topic is very hard in this case when the topic has tentacles in practically everything.
The reason I was and still am very confident about the active interpretation is this: the more we learn the more different forms of action at a distance we find. There are now examples in the quark gluon interaction of confinement, Cooper pair interaction in superconductivity, even in some of the mechanisms of biological forms like photosynthesis. And that's completely ignoring the phenomena of quantum tunneling. These are all much more up to date examples of action at a distance.

I would have to say the new evidence really goes beyond the passive correspondence only view. All the evidence seems to point to the fact that there can really be pathways In space through which points are linked. Uncle Al in his post Hinted at it. The problem is that the pathways in the macroscopic world and at room temperatures can be destroyed by excessive energy applications involved in measuring them. These aren't what you would call permanent links, but rather links that are created and destroyed and recreated somewhere else. Only when you go to the very small or the very cold do you get links that are permanent between two or more different locations. The quark gluon interaction when the quarks are as far apart as they can go is an example of perfect quantum entanglement.

Of course the natural inclination is for us stupid humans is give different names for each different manifestation of this entanglement. But they are all just different manifestations of the same principle.

Bee said...

Hi Eric,

I would suggest you provide the reference Steven asks for. I am very skeptic it says what you claim it does. Best,

B.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Bee, I should say that I think for sure that the Pauli exclusion principle is an example of entangled states. That may be different from action at a distance in the strict sense. I shouldn't have said if you change the spin of one electron the other will change inversely. It made it sound as if anyone could do it or that it has been done in a laboratory environment.

Rather I should have said if two fermions are at the same potential they are both part of the same wave function. Part of the measurement problem is that you change the potential of one of the electrons through the act of measurement, which most likely would bring them out of an entangled state. So it probably wouldn't work.

Bee said...

The 'action at a distance' you're referring to isn't about a pair of known spin states one partner of which you can change and the other changes simultaneously 'at a distance,' but it's about entangled states whose total spin you know (typically it's zero), but not the separate ones. If you measure one of the particles' spins, then you 'immediately' know the other one, even before you've measured it. Note that this does not allow you to transmit information, since for that you'd need to find a way to measure the one spin such that you knew the outcome, which quantum mechanics doesn't allow you. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Hi Kay,

Sorry but I don't understand your comment about fine-tuning and deterministic evolution. You can have non-deterministic laws that have constants which are fine-tuned. In fact, since quantum evolution is non-deterministic, all constants of the standard model are of that sort. There are of course always limits to the precision with which one has measured these constants, but they are in no obvious way related to the nature of the laws (deterministic or not). Best,

B.

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Bee,

Thanks for taking the conversation back on topic. Btw, thank you very much for writing this, which is your beautiful expository take on The Cosmological Constant from Nov. 18 2007. I'm never read a better, more concise yet interesting explanation of it. And funny, too! That should be required reading for anyone wishing to talk about THIS topic, meaning Don Page and his take on same.

Hi Eric,

I asked my question because it seemed to me you're confusing Chemistry and Quantum Entanglement. Your response confirmed my suspicion.

The Pauli Exclusion principle and "spin" weren't THAT important. All they did was ... open up Modern Chemistry!

Everyone wants to know who "The New Einstein" is, or was. When Einstein himself was asked, he didn't hesitate one bit, he simply said ... Wolfgang Pauli! For further research in those subjects that interest you I strongly recommend reading "The Age of Entanglement" by Louisa Gilder. I hope that clears things up for you.

But be warned: QE is cutting edge theoretical AND experimental stuff. It's not the easiest part of QM, indeed I find it the hardest to wrap my head around (because I've given up on Double-Slit and (Mis-)Interpretations of QM as bottomless pits, heh).

AND, every author seems to have a different take on QE! Good luck, you have the passion which is the first and therefore more ingredient to have in understanding this stuff.

Steven Colyer said...

"more ingredient"? I meant "most important ingredient". Sheesh, I think 5 times faster than I type. Curses, foiled again.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
joel rice said...

Bee. sorry
tt = time squared
xx = distance squared
The usual equation for the light cone.

Bee said...

Well, time squared over distance squared isn't dimensionless either.

Robert L. Oldershaw said...

Bee: "...quantum evolution is non-deterministic,..."

Are you sure about that?

Many physicists have told me that the evolution of the Schrodinger equation is fully deterministic, at least until measurement/collapse of wfn.

Are they wrong?

RLO

David said...

Is the universe fine-tunable to any extent? Is spacetime 4 dimensional because quaternionic mathematics determines a unique model underlying quantum theory? Does quantum field theory fail when spacetime breaks down? Does supersymmetry occur in nature as a fundamental computational symmetry for the Fredkin-Wolfram information process spread across alternate universes? Consider 5 cosmological principles:
Wolfram’s cosmological principle: The maximum physical wavelength is the Planck length times the Fredkin-Wolfram constant.
Fredkin’s cosmological principle of alternate universes: Einstein’s equivalence principle is valid for virtual mass-energy if and only if there do not exist weird forces from alternate universes.
Einstein’s cosmological principle of determinism: There exists some deterministic trans-quantum theory underlying quantum theory.
Superstring cosmological principle of virtual energy-density levels: Superstrings are virtual unifications of waves and particles that are separated into three distinct levels of virtual energy-density. The three levels are caused by the fact that the quaternions lack a finite mathematical model, and nature needs to provide three copies of virtual 3-dimensional space with approximate (i,j,k) quaternions.
Witten’s cosmological principle: The existence of gravitons and plausible physical hypotheses imply that M-theory in some form is the only valid way to unify gravitation and quantum field theory by means of a mathematical theory that predicts gravitons.

Eric said...

Hi Bee,
Is there any reason besides convention that one couldn't call the strong interaction between quarks a form of entanglement? My somewhat rudimentary thinking says that the three quarks in a proton are rigidly entangled.

If one "were" allowed to call it a form of entanglement the only difference between it and the usual form would be the lack the lack of collapse after measurement of the spin of one of them since they are rigidly confined. And I think in this case you really would be allowed to call it true action at a distance. You change the state of one of the quarks and you instantaneously change the state of the two others. That is, the transmission of information would be faster than the speed of light as measured from outside the proton.

Steven Colyer said...

Physicists are in many competing camps, Rob, but the two biggies are the Determinists and the Quantics.

I fancy Determinism, but I'm not at all sure I'm right. I simply feel, at the depths of length and time we have yet to explore because we currently lack the technology, a deterministic explanation will be found that explains why the world of the quantum is so "random."

I strongly feel the connection will be in Chaos Theory, or as I prefer to call it because it's more descriptive: Order-in-chaos theory. And that field is very young. Preliminary attempts failed, as Bee has noted, but, the Maths march on. In time?

Schrodinger, Planck, Einstein, and De Broglie were strong Determinists. Bohr, Heisenberg, and Pauli were not. And that was the great debate. And still is. Recent thinking is to bring in extra dimensions, to complicate, possibly over-complicate, what may, or may not be, a simple situation. We can't prove that's right, we can't prove that's wrong, but neither can they. :-)

But to do that, we'll need better experimentation and better math. We're getting there, if not as quickly as we may like.

The Schrodinger equation is indeed a continuous one, but the discrete matrix mechanics of Heisenberg is not, not at the quantum level. So the Physics professors you talked to were correct, but they didn't tell you the whole story.

And remember, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle DOES NOT SAY a "particle" DOES NOT have a position and a momentum at the same time. It does. It says we can't measure both simultaneously.

That's only "crazy" when you think of a "particle" as a tiny little ball. It isn't. It's a wave. Study Dirac and De Broglie for more on that. And a wave has 3 elements: height (amplitude), length (wavelength), and speed (frequency). If you try to pin down the frequency, you can, but what then is the position? All positions, as waves bounce back and forth between their upper and lower amplitudes over time. If you pin down the position (like in a photograph), what is the speed? It can be in any range. If a photon, we know the speed: c, the speed of light, adjusted for the material. What then is the amplitude? Well you can't know that either, you stopped the thing! It was between the higher and lower amplitude, or maybe at one of them, but you can't know.

Bohr read too much into that, and Einstein was too simplistic. The truth is probably somewhere in between.

Steven Colyer said...
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Eric said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steven Colyer said...

OK, I won't respond to you any more, of that's you wish. But I have to resubmit because I said "bosons" when I meant "gluons", as so:

Eric, that's a new one to me, too. Entangled quarks. Nothing is faster than the speed of light. Do you know what gluons are? They're the force particles that mediate between the quarks, the ... "carriers" of the strong force. A "quantum leap" doesn't happen simultaneously, either. It takes a very, very short time, but it takes some.

Eric said...

Steven,I have no problems in general with anyone responding to questions or assertions of mine. It's just that in the last several comments you have made you showed no understanding of where i was coming from. It does not mean I am correct in what I'm saying. But you have increasingly been coming off as front running for Bee. I would liken it to a student in a classroom asking an original question based on his own thoughts and the kid next to him standing up and saying "But teacher, that's not what the textbook says". It's just irritating.

Steven Colyer said...

Since you've re-engaged, I feel i must respond, Eric.

First, the textbooks aren't always wrong. And yes, I do have Bee's back. She's very knowledgeable, and very clear on difficult subjects. She's taught me much, and has corrected some thoughts I had early on that were wrong. That saved me a LOT of time, a lot of wrong thinking, and I'm grateful for that. Thanks, Bee.

Stefan too. I'm the better man that they exist, so I suppose I should thank their parents, and I do. :-)

As far as "action at a distance" goes, I feel you are confused. I thought Bee responded properly. That you CAN "know" something about an entangled particle's twin ...

... Twins! ...

... doesn't mean you can communicate with it. Einstein was wrong about "spooky action at a distance." Because there is no action. Only knowledge. One cannot communicate with the other, so nothing is gained. Information shall not pass.

Or maybe you're confused about Newton's treating gravity as instantaneous, as "action at a distance." Well, in the non-relativistic macro-world, that works quite fine. But even Newton had his doubts.

Eric said...

Steven,I think you are very kind to yourself in ascribing your motivations. I respect Bee for her accomplishments and especially for not censoring our comments. To me that shows more than anything else her openness.

However I also believe she is stronger than you think. I don't think she needs you front running for her. Also, you don't seem to understand that I've read all the material you have been quoting to me. And I've also read much more and studied much more about QE than you have. I've integrated that information and am not completely satisfied with the established explanations. So you are acting like I'm just some nutty guy with his own ideas that refuses to listen to others. It's not that way.

If you were a little more open you would realize there STILL are deep gaps in the conceptual interpretations of these things. Now, it would be nice to hear Bee's own answer to my question of why the strong force between quarks cannot be interpreted in the way I was asking about. It's is not about you and me.

joel rice said...

After looking at the wiki on planck's constant - it seems i am looking for a way to derive the need for h and c. Why would they have to be dimensionless ?
It seems to me that the constants are an outcome of the algebraic design. Thus any universe or Bang would be essentially equivalent to any other. The Multiverse idea is interesting only insofar as one gets different or "reprocessed" constants - as in Misner Thorne & Wheeler last chapter. If all the multiverse thingies are equivalent it is not so interesting.
I'm not setting constants to 1, but saying that Minkowski signatures lurking in an algebra (eg Dirac) can give rise to universal constants. As far as algebra is concerned they ARE 1.
This would deny that there is any "observership selection principle" - or an "improbable accident". He mentions a 'mysterious logical necessity' - I would say algebraic rather than logical. Anyway, it does not seem to be 'some simple principle of physics'. A 'biophilic principle' is superfluous.

Eric said...

I know this is way, way off topic from your original post Bee but I would like to at least explain my thoughts better about quarks and entanglement. This would be for no other reason than my own "reasonableness" is in question.

As I've said before, it seems like the flow of time is not set in stone in the universe. That is, it is appearing more and more likely that the flow of time on average has slowed down as the universe has expanded. I liken it to a gas filled balloon under high pressure where the atmospheric particles are bouncing against each other at a high rate. This is similar to the primal state of the universe. In the very early universe before that expansion occurred those particles correspond to photons. Einstein proved in his thought experiments that the measurement of time itself corresponds to when a photon hits your eye and tells you that an event has happened. So this is not an unrealistic premise to in some sense ascribe the rapid fluctuation of a highly pressurized gas of photons to a universe where time itself is moving exceedingly fast. At least it would seem like a very fast moving world from a reference frame existing in a low pressure environment.

If you stay with this reasonable premise then other things evolve from that. If you reject that premise then you should just stop reading. But if you accept that the flow of time is
tied to the the density of energy within a particular volume then other things arise from that. Within a high energy density environment the speed of light will be c, just as it always is. I.e. Aprox 300000 m/s. That is because velocity is distance/time. The measurement of time will influence in a direct way the measurement of distance and the ratio of proportionality will not change. As long as you do not change units of time or distance, that is.

Going back to the universe after the initial expansion (big bang) the energy density will quickly be reduced. Sometime in the first microsecond, from our perspective, the energy density will reduce enough for protons and neutrons to precipitate out. The energy density of nucleons should approximate the energy density of the universe itself at the exact point in the expansion that they precipitate out.

If one accepts the original premise that the flow rate of time changes with the energy density This means the energy within the nucleon, including 3 quarks and their gluons will be a high energy density island within the broader universe. This state is locked in by nuclear confinement. Things will be moving very fast indeed within the confines of nucleons.
Times itself will be moving very fast with the confines of a nucleon.

Finally, because a nucleon has confinement it means that at the nominal cross section of a nucleon each quark has zero degrees of freedom with respect to the other two. This os in book literature. They are rigidly entangled. This would means if you got a high enough energy source to probe an individual quark it would also be a high enough source to move it. This is just common sense. The fact of identifying what state it was in by the energy source is completely beside the point. Here is the interesting part.

The flow rate of time within that nucleon is still tied to the energy density of the very early universe. Also, each quark has no flexibility to move in relation to the other two because they are confined. This means that when you move one quark it will move the other two quarks. And it will move them at a velocity tied to the energy density and flow rate of time of the very early universe. It will be much, much, much faster than what we perceive as the speed of light. However it will just be plain old 300000m/s from within the proton, if you could measure it from within the proton. (you can't)

Eric said...

I know this is way, way off topic from your original post Bee but I would like to at least explain my thoughts better about quarks and entanglement. This would be for no other reason than my own "reasonableness" is in question.

As I've said before, it seems like the flow of time is not set in stone in the universe. That is, it is appearing more and more likely that the flow of time on average has slowed down as the universe has expanded. I liken it to a gas filled balloon under high pressure where the atmospheric particles are bouncing against each other at a high rate. This is similar to the primal state of the universe. In the very early universe before that expansion occurred those particles correspond to photons. Einstein proved in his thought experiments that the measurement of time itself corresponds to when a photon hits your eye and tells you that an event has happened. So this is not an unrealistic premise to in some sense ascribe the rapid fluctuation of a highly pressurized gas of photons to a universe where time itself is moving exceedingly fast. At least it would seem like a very fast moving world from a reference frame existing in a low pressure environment.

If you stay with this reasonable premise then other things evolve from that. If you reject that premise then you should just stop reading. But if you accept that the flow of time is
tied to the the density of energy within a particular volume then other things arise from that. Within a high energy density environment the speed of light will be c, just as it always is. I.e. Aprox 300000 m/s. That is because velocity is distance/time. The measurement of time will influence in a direct way the measurement of distance and the ratio of proportionality will not change. As long as you do not change units of time or distance, that is.

Going back to the universe after the initial expansion (big bang) the energy density will quickly be reduced. Sometime in the first microsecond, from our perspective, the energy density will reduce enough for protons and neutrons to precipitate out. The energy density of nucleons should approximate the energy density of the universe itself at the exact point in the expansion that they precipitate out.

If one accepts the original premise that the flow rate of time changes with the energy density This means the energy within the nucleon, including 3 quarks and their gluons will be a high energy density island within the broader universe. This state is locked in by nuclear confinement. Things will be moving very fast indeed within the confines of nucleons.
Times itself will be moving very fast with the confines of a nucleon.

Finally, because a nucleon has confinement it means that at the nominal cross section of a nucleon each quark has zero degrees of freedom with respect to the other two. This os in book literature. They are rigidly entangled. This would means if you got a high enough energy source to probe an individual quark it would also be a high enough source to move it. This is just common sense. The fact of identifying what state it was in by the energy source is completely beside the point. Here is the interesting part.

The flow rate of time within that nucleon is still tied to the energy density of the very early universe. Also, each quark has no flexibility to move in relation to the other two because they are confined. This means that when you move one quark it will move the other two quarks. And it will move them at a velocity tied to the energy density and flow rate of time of the very early universe. It will be much, much, much faster than what we perceive as the speed of light. However it will just be plain old 300000m/s from within the proton, if you could measure it from within the proton. (you can't)

Eric said...

As I've said before, it seems like the flow of time is not set in stone in the universe. That is, it is appearing more and more likely that the flow of time on average has slowed down as the universe has expanded. I liken it to a gas filled balloon under high pressure where the atmospheric particles are bouncing against each other at a high rate. This is similar to the primal state of the universe. In the very early universe before that expansion occurred those particles correspond to photons. Einstein proved in his thought experiments that the measurement of time itself corresponds to when a photon hits your eye and tells you that an event has happened. So this is not an unrealistic premise to in some sense ascribe the rapid fluctuation of a highly pressurized gas of photons to a universe where time itself is moving exceedingly fast. At least it would seem like a very fast moving world from a reference frame existing in a low pressure environment.

If you stay with this reasonable premise then other things evolve from that. If you reject that premise then you should just stop reading. But if you accept that the flow of time is
tied to the the density of energy within a particular volume then other things arise from that. Within a high energy density environment the speed of light will be c, just as it always is. I.e. Aprox 300000 m/s. That is because velocity is distance/time. The measurement of time will influence in a direct way the measurement of distance and the ratio of proportionality will not change. As long as you do not change units of time or distance, that is.

Going back to the universe after the initial expansion (big bang) the energy density will quickly be reduced. Sometime in the first microsecond, from our perspective, the energy density will reduce enough for protons and neutrons to precipitate out. The energy density of nucleons should approximate the energy density of the universe itself at the exact point in the expansion that they precipitate out.

If one accepts the original premise that the flow rate of time changes with the energy density This means the energy within the nucleon, including 3 quarks and their gluons will be a high energy density island within the broader universe. This state is locked in by nuclear confinement. Things will be moving very fast indeed within the confines of nucleons.
Times itself will be moving very fast with the confines of a nucleon.

Finally, because a nucleon has confinement it means that at the nominal cross section of a nucleon each quark has zero degrees of freedom with respect to the other two. This os in book literature. They are rigidly entangled. This would means if you got a high enough energy source to probe an individual quark it would also be a high enough source to move it. This is just common sense. The fact of identifying what state it was in by the energy source is completely beside the point. Here is the interesting part.

The flow rate of time within that nucleon is still tied to the energy density of the very early universe. Also, each quark has no flexibility to move in relation to the other two because they are confined. This means that when you move one quark it will move the other two quarks. And it will move them at a velocity tied to the energy density and flow rate of time of the very early universe. It will be much, much, much faster than what we perceive as the speed of light. However it will just be plain old 300000m/s from within the proton, if you could measure it from within the proton. (you can't)

Plato said...

Some points on entanglement and back to your Blog posting Bee.

Entanglement and the New Physics

the quantum entanglement would become so spread out through these interactions with the environment that it would become virtually impossible to detect. For all intents and purposes, the original entanglement between photons would have been erased.

Never the less it is truly amazing that these connections do exist, and that carefully arranged laboratory conditions they can be observed over significant distances. They show us, fundamentally, that space is not what we once thought it was. What about time? Page 123, The Fabric of the Cosmo, by Brian Greene




Information on Entanglement

Entanglement is a key feature of the way complexity....

LET’S CALL IT PLECTICS Murray Gell-Mann

Who knows what entropic valuations might emerge from ideas of symmetrical simplicities? And from that, origination of such bubbles?

Eric said...

Uh, make that 300,000,000 m/s.

Robert L. Oldershaw said...

SC: "I strongly feel the connection will be in Chaos Theory, or as I prefer to call it because it's more descriptive: Order-in-chaos theory. And that field is very young. Preliminary attempts failed, as Bee has noted, but, the Maths march on. In time?"
--------------------------

A couple more names for the new science is "deterministic chaos", or as I prefer, "nonlinear dynamical systems theory". Fractals are a big part of this new way of understanding nature.

You are quite right that it is a relatively young science and it is battling against decades of deeply ingrained prejudice for idealized conservative systems and other dodges that simplify the math. Poincare showed all that was Platonic crap.

NLDS is the wave of the future, and atomic scale systems will eventually be modeled without smoke and mirrors using NLDS.

The physics will be local, deterministic, and of course, fully causal. But first one has to understand the discrete hierarchical structure of nature. And be willing to give up the highly misleading strict reductionism that has held us back for decades.

RLO

Bee said...

Hi Robert,

I counted the measurement as part of the evolution. Best,

B.

Plato said...

Bee:Page however does not falter in his belief. Instead, he interprets his argument as support for the multiverse:

Put your hand up if you feel the ideas of the Multiverse blend with the aromas of Intelligent design?

Something smells fishy here, and it's not the coffee in the can.:)

A "possible bias" ruling opinion and thoughts about one's own views in contrast too....God?

If that's not the case then I would most certainly have to apologize for being presumptuous about beliefs people can have and how they can look at life in contrast to another.

Don Page:However, it has been controversial what the deeper implications of this are.

One would most certainly not have to give up their science, "for such faith" especially if it was felt that this could be seen as a weakness on the stance of science? Particularly, of a group holding theoretical thoughts about, as if defining such trips as trips of the wondering mind.:)

Omega=the actual density to the critical density

If we triangulate Omega, the universe in which we are in, Omegam(mass)+ Omega(a vacuum), what position geometrically, would our universe hold from the coordinates given?


Best,

Bee said...

Hi Eric,

Yes, I'd say the quarks in a proton are entangled. No, you wouldn't transmit information faster than the speed of light, as I said earlier, since you didn't initially know the spin of one particular quark, you only know the sum till you have measured it, and then you can't predict what you'll measure, thus no information to transmit.

Your comments are becoming increasingly off-topic. Please come back to the topic of this post or pursue your interests elsewhere, see comment rules. Best,

B.

Bee said...

Joel,

h and c are *not* dimensionless, is what I'm saying all the time. Thus, their value is meaningless without specifying a system of units. Best,

B.

Plato said...

Quintessential Cosmology and Cosmic Acceleration Paul.J Steinhardt

Turok and Steinhardt being associates of a kind did ponder such states of existence. It would not be to hard to see that such thinking while held in the short version of Don Page was being expletive forwarded by theoretical propositions long before such speculations were pointed out here to hold the mind swaying to a particular thought?

It occupied Sean Carroll as well.

Best,

Plato said...

Missing energy arises when a violent collision between the projectiles -protons against antiprotons at the Tevatron collider, or protons against protons at the world's most powerful accelerator, the LHC- produces an asymmetric flow of energetic bodies out of the collision point in the plane orthogonal to the beams: a transverse imbalance. This is a clear signal that something is leaving the detector unseen. And it turns out that there is a host of new physics signals which can do precisely that.See:Missing Energy Kicks New Physics Models Off The Board by Dorigo

Now up and running(LHC) what thoughts are held there that we might turn our heads back toward the cosmos and wonder about those extra dimensions and the particularizations?

Steven Colyer said...

Hi Eric,

Why don't you go to RThe Physics Stack Exchange and ask your questions there. Since Boyman of Pilzn answers many questions there, I think we'd all be interested, or at least I would be, to see how he responds to your questions.

And no, I don't think you're a nutter, I think you ask intelligent questions. It's your conclusions I question, but everyone goes off base every now and then. Nothing personal. At least you ask questions. In a world of sheeple, that's refreshing. Also, you turned me on to Assange, for which I am grateful.

Zephir said...

The anthropic Universe question of human observer is analogous to problem of shark, which developed many years at quiet bottom of oceans so he doesn't need bladder by now. Now the shark can believe easily, the density of water is fine-tuned to the density of its body, or he couldn't swim in it at all.

In AWT (dense Aether model) the Universe is perfectly random and we can see only the parts, which correspond the character of observer (in size, energy density, etc). This excludes some tuning for physical laws, but it introduces antropic principle for observable universe. The density of life will be the lower, the more advanced such life will be.

The formation of intelligent observer can be compared to distribution of soliton waves during splash at weter surface. Most of waves dispersed are spreading faster, but subtle portion of waves is spreading in pure transverse mechanism in slowest possible way like soliton waves in our brain. Our ability to interact with large portion of Universe in transverse waves can be interpreted like result of long-term evolution, during which our solitons travelled at single place. This model may appear like pure nonsense for someone, but it explains many aspects of observable Universe, for example:

1.In AWT we are forming/observing only tiny part from the Universe. Observable universe must remain deterministic at least a bit to remain observable. The rest of Universe must be indeterministic to remain unobservable.
2.The observable Universe is roughly symmetric, i.e. spherical shape with positive curvature. The unobservable (i.e. "void", "empty") interior of it is of hyperbolic shape with slightly negative curvature.
3.CMBR photons (elementary particles of energy) are behaving like gravitons (elementary particles of matter) in many aspects of their behavior.
4.The CMBR wavelength and energy density defines the middle of the distance and energy density scale of observable Universe.
5.The size of human observer is close to the middle of dimensional scale of observable Universe. The most complex objects (neurons in human brain) are of the same size like the wavelength of CMBR, most random structure observable in our Universe
6.Bellow this dimensional scale most of observable structures appear expanding by pressure of radiation (red shift), whereas the objects larger then the human observer appear collapsing by its own gravity (blue shift)
7.The objects at human distance scale are of complex hyperdimensional fractal nature, the less or more large objects appear symmetric and quantized and their complexity decreases
8.The objects smaller then the human observer scale are fixed in mass, their energy appears arbitrary with tendency to quantization.
9.The objects larger then the human observer scale are fixed in energy, their mass appears arbitrary with tendency to quantization.
10.Very distant objects appear fuzzy and random at both quantum scale, both cosmological scale.

joel rice said...

Bee, your note was 'that a dimensionful constant be one without mentioning which units are being used has no relevance'. Yes, a dimensionless constant is the same regardless of system of units. But the speed of light is invariant regardless of systems of units. Dimensionful does not imply that an invariant depends on units. What matters is that any Minkowski space has a null space.

Eric said...

Hi Steven,
Thanks for not thinking I'm a nutter (I think). Actually a new idea or conclusion is only seen in retrospect to be correct or incorrect. Also if the new idea is not cloaked in the correct terminology and associated mathematical backup it will always be taken less seriously. I'm at a serious disadvantage there. The consensus of opinion is a moving target so I'm not at all discouraged that it won't go towards a more deterministic, action at a distance, turn in the future. I'm speaking mostly about strong coupling interactions here.

Best,
Eric

Steven Colyer said...

Eric, have you ever read The Glue That Holds the World Together by Robert Kunzig in Discover magazine, June 2000? Well now you will, I hope, I just linked to it. It's fascinating what current thought (then) is about what goes on inside the proton. It's not just 3 quarks and gluons. It's a pretty busy place. Anyway, I had this weird idea once that in order to figure this stuff out better, imagine the 3 quarks as 0-dimensional point particles with springs between them, which, since they would form a triangle, would be easy to analyze them 2D style, with harmonic oscillator math. Well, Pfft, forget that, the proton and neutron are more complicated than that, which I guess they must be for baryons to have the mass they do which is way more than the sum of three quark masses.

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

Mastering the math is yup, pretty important, and it can be lonely in a frustrating way, but there's help out there. I recommend The Princeton Companion to Mathematics edited by Tim Gowers, et. al. for starters. It's a great companion to Penrose's Road to Reality. I hope that helps.

(thinks to self how to segue that back on topic so Bee and Stefan don't yell at me ... hmm ... a puzzle ...)

So, one complaint I have with Don Page's paper is it doesn't have enough Maths. Give us the Maths, Don Page! Just a little? But fine, OK, it's impossible to satisfy all readers, I know. But hey, Bee's Cosmological Constant page is just enough without being too much math for me. Thanks again, Bee!

(how was that, Eric?)

Bee said...

Hi Joel:

"But the speed of light is invariant regardless of systems of units. Dimensionful does not imply that an invariant depends on units. "

I think you have a confusion of terminology. The speed of light is invariant under a change of reference frame. It is certainly not invariant under a change of units, which is what I'm saying all the time. Look, in natural units the speed of light is 1. In km/s it's something like 300,000. As I said, that the speed of light is 1 is entirely meaningless unless you state what units you're using and then it becomes a matter of choice. Best,

B.

joel rice said...

Bee, a bit of serendipity from knocking over a stack of papers. I stopped to look at one and ran across the sentence "The appearance of these constants (c,h) is connected with the existence of two classes of zero divisors in the algebra of split octonions [17]." Hmmm. A null space would give zero divisors. I should have paid more attention the first time i looked at it. The paper is Octonionic Version of Dirac Equations by Merab Gogberashvili hep-th/0505101 with ref 17 = hep-th/0212251. Oh joy, different notation.
Yes - terminological confusion. If you ever catch me saying that c is invariant under a change of units please throw me under the bus.
anyway i still wonder about a third (+-) little minkowski space that would indicate another constant, and if sitting in different subalgebras, different constants. Maybe it has some connection to what Heisenberg was trying to get at - a fundamental length, which doesn't sound quite right. A while ago you had remarks here on a minimal length, but i would be out of my depth on that. The smaller the minkowski space the more confusing it is to make sense of what the units ought to be.
just a note - when leaving a comment, instead of a capcha you get the words 'visual verification' .

Don Foster said...

Does nature select toward a “long day’s journey into night” over a short day’s journey into night?
Are the fundamental physical constants part of a fixed “default genome” from which the Universe is “grown”, or rather, are they dynamically tuned-in as a systemic response of the Universe as a whole? If the latter, this would imply a kind of holistic resonance in the Universe wherein the “weight” of structures later in time could inform or affect the nexus points of physical constants earlier in time.
Do “structure rich” universes simply offer more places to put energy hence they get the energy?
Does nature have a characteristic “entropy production gradient” that is mediated by the constraints posed by structure? After a certain point, is life then inevitable?
Multiple regards.

Zephir said...

/*...Does nature have a characteristic "entropy production gradient" that is mediated by the constraints posed by structure? After a certain point, is life then inevitable?..*/

If universe is random, then every density fluctuation in it can be superseded with another, even larger and more complex in less or more distant perspective and after then we can say, the life is not only inevitable, but quite regular event at sufficiently distant space-time scale.

Steven Colyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amitabha said...

Doesn't multiverse need multiGods?

And if creating life was the purpose of the universe, and tuning the constants was necessary for creating life, surely we could have different constants in different parts of the solar system?

joel rice said...

Ever since reading Barrow & Tipler back in the '80s the issue of constants has been on the stack. I do not find too much to complain about in Page's article, except that i need a steam shovel to get all that stuff under the rug, and it seems a tad like a straw-man argument - after all, whether one appeals to some fanciful biophilic or anthropic principle, nothing really seems to have any bearing on why constants are as they are - it is just a black box in a context of whether a biophilic principle makes sense. One could as well insist on an aesthetic principle.I give the Milky Way a 9 for being such a good lookin galaxy, and one could have the inhabitants tweet their votes for their favorite form and mass and colors etc - rather than for maximizing baryon fraction for life.
I suspect that "fine tuning" is just misleading because it refers to Constants. Maybe we have it all backwards. Physics wants to explain atoms in terms of forces, but maybe the design of the world simply insists that universe form stable neutral associations, and treats Forces as mere implementation details - the coupling constants being whatever is consistent with the construction of atoms. Just because it is backwards from the way physicists normally look at it does not rule it out. My view is that non-associativity actually requires the existence of associations, and construction with building blocks, and all the talk about constants is an artifact of the way we happen to be modeling the world with these Lagrangians in the Standard Model. We might be looking at things in an awkward manner. If there are such a-priori constraints, then much of the talk about the Multiverse is reduced to an excuse to fiddle with constants just to see what happens -a valuable idea, just as the Anthropic principle was valuable to Hoyle in finding those nuclear energy levels. To amplify the constraint - imagine that the Design of the World actually requires two building blocks - atoms and cells. One imagines that it would need a pretty rigid system to get all this to be internally consistent. That sounds a lot more specific than appealing to some 'biophilic' principle. Does this sound like a constructive criticism ?

joel rice said...

come to think of it, how would it be possible for a system with nested building blocks to NOT be "fine tuned" ?

Don Foster said...

Yesterday, walking along the Rio Grand River, I noticed that the sandy bank had been eroded and shaped by the wind and wind-borne sand. Where I would have expected to see soft, rounded surfaces, the bank was instead deeply etched into long knife-like ridges, every surface striated to some degree.
The material was fragile, perhaps just enough clay to hold the sand lightly stuck together. I could dig into it easily with a finger, and yet it managed to form these sharply deterministic edges, little continental divides sending the wind one way or another. The angle of divergence might have been less than ten degrees in places.
I assume these keen edges to be an emergent property of the dynamic between wind and soil. But, here’s the strange thing. It seems as though the wind must know beforehand which way to go and so does not put up much of a fuss at the delicate edge of demarcation, how else these finely wrought projections?
And perhaps this is a “finely wrought projection”, product of an inept matchmaker trying to find metaphor a mate. Still, with regard to the nature of fundamental physical constants, I wonder if there is a potential relationship.

Photo here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/baghdadserai/5387717722/