Saturday, July 03, 2021

Can we make a new universe?

[This is a transcript of the video embedded below.]


Some people dream of making babies, some dream of making baby universes. Seriously? Yes, seriously. How is that supposed to work? What does it take to make a new universe? And if we make one, what do we do with it? That’s what we’ll talk about today.

At first sight, it seems impossible to make a new universe, because where would you take all that stuff from, if not from the old universe? But it turns out you don’t need a lot of stuff to make a new universe. And we know that from Albert Einstein. Yes, that guy again.

First, Albert Einstein famously taught us that mass is really just a type of energy, E equals m c square and all that. But more importantly, Einstein also taught us that space is dynamic. It can bend and curve, and it can expand. It changes with time. And if space changes with time, then energy is not conserved. I explained this in more detail an earlier video, but here’s a brief summary.

The simplest example of energy non-conservation is the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is the reason that the expansion of our universe gets faster. It has units of an energy-density – so that’s energy per volume – and as the name says, it’s constant. But if the energy per volume is constant, and the volume increases, then the total energy increases with the volume. This means in an expanding universe, you can get a lot of energy from nothing – if you just manage to expand space rapidly enough. I know that this sounds completely crazy, but this is really how it works in Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Energy is just not conserved.

So, okay, we don’t need a lot of matter, but how do we make a baby universe that expands? Well, you try to generate conditions similar to those that created our own universe.

There’s a little problem with that, which is that no one really knows how our universe was created in the first place. There are many different theories for it, but none of them has observational support. However, one of those theories has become very popular among astrophysicists, it’s called “eternal inflation” – and while we don’t know it’s right, it could be right.

In eternal inflation, our universe is created from the decay of a false vacuum. To understand what a false vacuum is, let’s first talk about what a true vacuum is. A true vacuum is in a state of minimal energy. You can’t get energy out of it, it’s stable. It just sits there. Because it already has minimal energy, it can’t do anything and you can’t do anything with it.

A false vacuum is one that looks like a true vacuum temporarily, but eventually it decays into a true vacuum because it has energy left to spare, and that extra energy goes into something else. For example, if you throw jelly at a wall, it’ll stick there for a moment, but then fall down. That moment when it sticks to the wall is kind of like a false vacuum state. It’s unstable and it will eventually decay into the true vacuum, which is when the jelly drops to the ground and the extra energy splatters it all over the place.

What does this have to do with the creation of our universe? Well, consider you have a lot of false vacuum. In that false vacuum, there’s a patch that decays into a true vacuum. The true vacuum has a lower energy, but it can have higher pressure. If it has higher pressure, it’ll expand. That’s is how our universe could have started. And in principle you can recreate this situation in the laboratory. You “just” have to create this false vacuum state. Then part of it will decay into a true vacuum. And if the conditions are right, that true vacuum will expand rapidly. While it expands it creates its own space. It does not grow into our universe, it makes a bubble.

This universe creation only works if you have enough energy, or mass, in the original blob of false vacuum. How much do you need? Depends on some parameters of the model which physicists don’t know for sure, but in the most optimistic case it’s about 10 kilograms. That’s what it takes to make a new universe. 10 kilograms.

But how do you create 10 kilograms of false vacuum? No one has any idea. Also, 10 kilograms might not sound much if you’re a rocket scientist, but for particle physicists that’s a terrible lot. The mass equivalent that even the presently biggest particle collider, the large hadron collider, works with is 10 to the minus twenty grams. Now if you collide big atomic nuclei instead of protons, you can bring this up by some orders of magnitude, but 10 kilograms is not something that high energy physicists will work with in my lifetime. No one will create a new universe any time soon.

But, well, in principle, theoretically, we could do it. If you believe this story with the false vacuum and so on. Let us just suppose for a moment that this is correct, what would we do with these universes? Would we potty train them and send them to cosmic kindergarten?

Well, no, because sadly, these little baby-universes don’t stay connected to their mother-universe for long. Their connection is like a wormhole throat, it becomes unstable and pinches off within a fraction of a second. So you’d be giving birth to these universes, kick start their growth, but then, blip, they’re gone. From the outside they would look pretty much like small black holes.

By the way, this could be happening all the time without particle physicists doing anything. Because we don’t really understand the quantum properties of space. So, some people think that space really makes a lot of quantum fluctuations. These fluctuations happen at distances so short we can’t see them, but it could be that sometimes they create one of these baby universes.

If you want to know more about this topic, Zeeya Merali has written a very nice book about baby universes called “A Big Bang in a Little Room”.

239 comments:

  1. Would one make extra dimensions along with a baby universe?
    (Would 10 kg of rubber bands do the trick? ;) )

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    1. I mean would such a bubble universe simply share the space-time of our universe, or would it encapsulate different space-time dimensions?

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    2. Hi C.
      Could this depend on which patterns prove to be stable within the vacuum fluctuations?*
      Could it be possible that the wrong vacuum is just something like an energy source & the result depends on how far the internal interactions of the energy distribution deviate from the embedding physical reality?*
      The creation of the baby universe would then still depend on the external conditions, but the number of influencing parameters, the type of their influence and for thus the outcome would be completely incalculable...
      at least for us due to our limited perception.
      ...
      I guess, we'll never know. (x)

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    3. Hi muck,

      that's an interesing possibility - if one could make custom pocket-dimensions from different parameters, what uses could they have?

      I guess that there are mathematical ways of working those things out. I was also thinking about the SWTG videos about extra dimensions - Kaluza-Klein theory and such.

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    4. Hi C. Super!!!
      An unlaid egg omelet ... I like that (x)
      I just imagine such a baby with the time arrow reversed & wonder if we can't get something like a gigantic subwoofer out of it...
      That would be great, wouldn't it?*...
      Just imagine Douglas Adams "Disaster Area" armed with this kind of sound technology (x)
      & now just imagine that we are not the only ones crazy enough to like stories like this...
      & maybe this can even explain the fluctuations in the cosmic background radiation as an alternative...
      This of course depends on the ability of our mathematicians to determine the conditions under which the connection between mother and baby can be stabilized...
      Sadly... personally, I was never good at math.^.^,

      PS: What are the SWTG-Videos?*

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    5. Taking a wild guess, SWTG probably means Science without the gobbledygook, which is the name of my YouTube channel.

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    6. Wow!!! Das könnte sein (8)
      Danke für den Input.
      Manchmal scheint mir das nahe Liegenste so entrückt.

      *FügenSieBitteIhreLieblingsSchmeicheleienHierSelbstständigEin

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    7. 'Sabine Wins This Game' :)

      Muck, I like your thinking. :D
      I hope nobody actually works out how to blow up big things in space.
      My favourite line from 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' is:
      “'It's not so much an afterlife' Said Arthur, 'more a sort of apres vie'”

      I am also not very good at maths but years after I finished high school, I actually want to learn and there are more ways to learn. Here's hoping we both get less not-good. :)

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  2. Here is a different take on the emergence of baby universes: They always come in pairs with opposite time arrows and exact CPT symmetry relative to each other. The combination of exact CPT and opposite time arrows means each sees the other as a special variety of antimatter whose mass-energy is negative, meaning recombination results not in a positive-energy bang, but a quiet return to nothingness.

    In this broadest possible definition, baby universe pairs are incredibly common and fundamental to the accurate estimation of quantum behaviors, since they are also known as virtual particle pairs. However, since all such pairs that we can observe are embedded within the sharply defined causal time arrow of our universe, their opportunities for further expansion are limited indeed. They quickly collapse back to null.

    The trick needed for a virtual pair to move on to the next step of extended and persistent existence is not how much mass per se is involved, but how much statistically difficult-to-reverse complexity emerges via further pair productions within each of the two new time directions of the pair. Such emergent complexity blocks the return to null by making it increasingly difficult to cancel pairs out exactly to null, e.g., to cancel out the two opposing electric charges in hydrogen atoms.

    The first level of complexity mixes quantum numbers into specific allowed bundles, creating particle physics. The next and critical step for stabilizing time flow is massive randomization of quantum momentum pairs, that is, the emergence of Boltzmann or thermodynamic time.

    The network of quantum entanglements we call spacetime always "catches" virtual pairs before they can grow large enough to stabilize their internal time flows. Also, since all such pairs begin as part of our already-off-balance "side" of a dual universe, their options are limited to mirroring the particular bundling of quantum numbers ("particles") of this unbalanced side.

    That's another way of saying that all attempts to create new virtual universe pairs from within the universe we can observe are doomed to failure. Such attempts do, however, contribute massively to our physics by instead providing astonishing numbers of fleetingly transient virtual particle pairs.

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    1. So Terry, I think what you are saying is that in a region where there is no well developed arrow of time, virtual pair particles might occasionally exist long enough to each develop their own arrow of time. When that happens they can become sufficiently different from each other to prevent mutually annihilating back to zero. After which they could grow into their own baby universes. seperate from our universe.

      I have occasionally wondered if, as our universe expands and thins out, regions in the universe might become so empty that those regions have no well developed arrow of time. Those regions of spacetime would become unstable, opening the possibility of giving birth to new universes. In effect, cyclic universes without a big crunch in between each universe.

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    2. Hi Terry and Steve,
      So with those varying conditions, baby universes with differing cosmologies could begin and end in different areas with and without 'banging' and 'crunching', and maybe with other genesis and extinctions?

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    3. "virtual pair particles might occasionally exist long enough to each develop their own arrow of time"

      Does this imply an internal contradiction?

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    4. Hi Terry,

      I’m just amazed to read your post. I had almost the same idea a few years ago, written rather amateurishly. It was a short, little 5 paragraph piece. Assuming it is OK I’ll post the 1st paragraph below. Even had the idea that opposite energy gravitons would diffuse across the brane boundary between the twin universes causing expansion of the voids in each universe, not to mention causing the curvature of each universe to be close to flat. Undoubtedly such a scenario would violate some fundamental rule like the Hawking-Penrose condition. But also had the idea that opposite energy state, virtual baryonic particles from each universe would pop up in the other universe cancelling the 120 magnitude vacuum energy density problem in each universe. That notion too would probably violate some rule or another, which I have no knowledge of. Here’s the first paragraph.

      Taking a page from Brane-world scenarios, it's postulated that, not one, but two, Universes are created at the time of the Big Bang; that are perfect mirror reflections of one another. One, ours, is composed entirely of positive matter/energy, while its exact mirror twin is composed entirely of negative matter/energy. Due to identical initial conditions both contain exactly the same amount of matter/energy. The result is that in all time periods of their evolution the net energy of these mirror Cosmos's is exactly zero, eliminating all ambiguity about energy conservation in this duplex set of Universes. In compliance with exact symmetry, the proper setting of a negative matter/energy Universe is an inverted 4D coordinate system - negative length, height, and width, and reversal of the time coordinate. Consequently, there is no net space-time at any point in the evolution of these back-to-back Universes. To put it simply - from nothing comes nothing.

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    5. [1 of 2]

      First, thanks to all for the interesting and insightful comments:

      Steve Bullfox: You make an excellent and intriguing point about whether regions of space that are exceedingly empty and thus less "encumbered" might be better sources for enduring universe pairs. A few weeks ago, Roger Penrose gave an excellent online talk about his cyclic model of the universe, which to be honest I'm not a big fan of. But he made an interesting and persuasive argument to the audience, and part of that argument seem to focus on the idea of what happens when space gets extremely empty. I'm not quite sure I understood his intent, and rather amusingly he seemed to indicate that he too wasn't quite sure of his intent. But as best I could interpret what he said, it's not that different from what you just said. So, you may have this year's Nobel laureate in physics in your camp, which is pretty good company.

      (Important qualifier: While some notable folks including Neil Turok, Julian Barbour, and maybe Sean Carroll (Carroll prefers spherical symmetry over isolated pairs) are in the dual universe camp these days, I'm pretty sure Roger Penrose is not. But it would be nice if he could be persuaded. There are aspects of the dual universe model that could prove helpful to his CCC, including in particular this very point about how to create a universe out of the nothing at the end of another one nothing.

      (My personal favorite topology for such a cyclic universe looks like a bagel or donut that had a tight loop tied around its equator while it was still doughy. A vertical-slice cross section of the resulting object looks like a four-leaf clover. [I have no idea what the formal name of this shape is.] The two universes form at the center as closed circles; add additional dimensions to taste before baking. One circle moves upward and the other downward, both expanding out from the center on the surfaces of the top and bottom halves of the donut. The expansion at first accelerates coming out of the hole, but then the circles loop around and start contracting until they meet back at the center again.)

      C Thompson: Good question. What I think the absolute conservation constraints could lead to, maybe, is a sort of Mandelbrot-like expansion of physics laws in which each new pair is forced to inherit all the constraints of the branch in which it formed. Most of these pairs, e.g. "too simple" particle sets, probably wouldn't last very long, though they would last longer than a virtual particle pair. The thing is, when a pair beaches enough complexity to go Boltzmann thermodynamic, it starts producing real information, bits, which are the very the essence of classicality and anathema to quantum indeterminacy. I don't believe much more branching is possible after that happens. Our own information-rich universe is likely an example of just such a terminal, no-more-branching-allowed state.

      That's one reason why I've become more favorable to cyclic universes after hearing Roger Penrose talk. It may just be that you have to do a full erase before you can start over.

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    6. [2 of 2]

      Martin: Yes! That is, if this can happen at all it's quite possible that one branch of a pair could get into a complicated state that is no longer compatible with the other branch, that "contradicts" it's partner. That would in fact be the fundamental step to creating an arrow of time. The domination of our universe by hydrogen atoms may be an example since it means our universe got a heavy dose of positive protons while our antiverse got a heavy dose of negative protons. That created an imbalance that makes full charge cancellation difficult in both universes.

      David Schroeder: Yes, it all kind of comes down to exceptionally elaborate versions of nothing at all, doesn't it? What I keep noticing is that assuming absolute conservation of quantum numbers as a first principle makes some of the oddities of quantum mechanics and other bits of math and physics fall into place more easily. I've used the phrase "Rehteon's Theorem" (Noether spelled backwards) multiple times in Backreaction to make just that point: Asymptomatic differential smoothness can come from conservation of quantum numbers, not just vice-versa.

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    7. Hi Terry,

      "... if this can happen .. could get into .. the fundamental step to creating an arrow of time..."

      This logic seems to imply that events evolving within the existing time dimension in which we all live, cab lead to another dimension of time. I cannot get my brain around that, but again that is the normal limitation of a brain.

      Does it work logistcally consistent in a known mathematical framework? And, if so, is it in one way or another to relate the maths to reality?





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    8. Martin, thanks for the excellent question. Yes, there is an existing and mathematically precise framework in which the direction of time can be interpreted as ill-defined. It's more commonly known as quantum mechanics, the physics of systems for which a final historical result has not yet been determined.

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    9. mmm... ill-defined is not the same as multiple time dimensions.

      For somethintg to 'exist' we usually relate it to 3 dimensions of space and one dimension of time (forget for a moment what created what). Something exists somewhere sometime. That is also how your narartive goes.

      I think it is not possible (or very difficult) to disconnect 'the existence of something' from the three space and one time dimension.

      Basically there is no space for extra time dimensions in a narrative or description of reality. Though we can add it to mathematical frameworks without much problem. We can roll up higher space dimensions, I can picture that in my mind, but i cannot imagine rolled up time dimensions (what doesn't mean these couldn't exist). Maybe it is lack of my imagination.

      And I always get confuced when people try to explain something involving more time dimensions in a narrative placed in 'reality'. I believe these narratives are by definition always 'broken', because we use the wrong 'language'.
      The only way forward I see is to forget about the fairy tales and narratives and limit ourselves to maths. But again not being able to connect formula's to a description of reality feels deeply incomplete to me.

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    10. >… mmm... ill-defined is not the same as multiple time dimensions.

      “Ill-defined” was indeed sloppy wording on my part; my apologies!

      Here’s another “angle” on the time-vectors question: While you are riding in a train or driving a car, special relativity says that the time vector you are using different from that used by someone on the side of the road. So how many time dimensions exactly are involved in ordinary driving or walking, let alone the quantum world?

      Multiple time vectors are not that hard to construct mathematically. However, the more profound question usually impied in such discussions is a bit different: How many causalities, how many histories of the universe, are created by those multiple time vectors?

      Intuitively, we know the answer is “one.” However, proving this to be true turns out to be a lot trickier than one might think. It is difficult enough that Einstein — not one to shy away from tough questions — nonetheless punted on any such proof and instead assumed a fully predetermined, crystal-like “block universe” in which different time arrows slice off or “foliate” the various frame-dependent interpretations of both space and time. While appealing as a way of ensuring there are not conflicting causalities from all those competing frames, invoking a block universe is a bit of a cheat because it doesn’t explain how all of those different causal pathways got fully reconciled “in advance.” The harder you look at this issue, the trickier it gets.

      So here’s my suggestion. Just as common sense powerfully suggests, there is just one causality, one sequence of recorded historical bits, for the entire universe — ever. But, of course, that’s easier to say if you hold to the idea that bits and history are emergent phenomena that in effect write themselves. Related to that, one of my favorite symmetries of special relativity is what I like to call causal symmetry, the idea that any frame of reference can view itself with full justification as the only frame that is driving causality for the entire universe. That’s utterly baffling if you view each frame as independent of the others, but less so if you realize that bits are emergent and that all of the frames must work together in an incredibly symmetric and coordinated way (think “space as entanglement”) to generate a single shared set of emergent history bits.

      Getting back to quantum, my intent with the phrase “ill-defined” was a bit more specific: Ill-defined time is what you get if you decouple change from causality. So, for example, quantum wave functions change, but as long as they remain quantum, they change solely in ways that do not generate new bits about the quantum part and thus do not contribute any of those bits to the emerging causality fabric of the universe.

      Of course, you can describe these changes collectively as superpositions of an infinite number of possible futures — Feynman’s integral of all possible histories. But that too is a bit of a cheat in the sense that none of these histories exist within the wave function any more than a point-like electron exists now within its hydrogen atom p orbital. It’s important not to fall into the trap of confusing mathematical end-limit potentials with actual instantiations in reality, as that is the path that leads directly to the MWI infinite-info-wave silliness and denial of the very essence of what it means for a system to be “quantized” over time.

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    11. Thanks Terry, a lot to think about...

      Does causality always imply a time sequence or not?

      The only reality in which it doesn't seems to do so is in part of maths (formula's without t or delta t), but I am not sure whether one is allowed to use the some words (causality) for such a completely different thing.

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    12. That, hmm, is an interesting question.

      In a block universe — and I’m no blockhead, except maybe to my family — there is no meaningful concept of time progression, only an illusion of it. But if one takes that very Barbour-ish interpretation, the concept of causality converts into a set of directed relationships. It becomes an ability to predict what is on one side of the block (forward in time) based on what one sees on the other side of the block (backward in time). But since there’s no genuine concept of time in such a universe, the idea of a direction — a sequence — is not there.

      So from that the answer is no, you don’t have to have time to have something that looks like causality. It’s just that without time causality becomes a static relationship instead of an evolving one.

      Alas, any version of the block universe remains equivalent to Einstein’s original punt on resolving causality in a special-relativity universe in which everyone has their own time vector. Given Einstein’s description of his revelation moment on how every observer’s frame provides an equally valid view of the universe in combination with his comments on how Hume influenced his thinking, it’s hard not to interpret his jump to the block universe as an invocation of Hume’s invocation of absolute personal frame priority. I like Hume too, and I can understand the appeal of Hume’s views for resolving the troublesome special relativity causality conflict issue. But, alas, it’s still a punt. The question of how all those fully deconflicted causality relationships got there remains unchanged and unresolved. Poor, bewildered computer scientists like me get fired for assuming magical freebies, especially ones requiring levels of computation that dwarf the scale of the universe. For that reason alone, it boggles my mind that someone can contemplate a block universe and not recognize its postulated existence as one of the most extreme examples of wave-your-wand magic imaginable.

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  3. Sabine wrote:
    "...what would we do with these universes? Would we potty train them and send them to cosmic kindergarten?

    Well, no, because sadly, these little baby-universes don’t stay connected to their mother-universe for long. Their connection is like a wormhole throat, it becomes unstable and pinches off within a fraction of a second...."

    Sabine, this sounds a lot like something I read in a book published in 1989 titled: "Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology" by John Gribbin and Martin Rees.

    In it they stated the following:

    "Quantum cosmology allows the possibility of creating not just one universe but an infinite number of universes out of nothing at all. The universes may be interconnected in some complex way, as new universes are born within, but then pinch off from, the vacuum of old universes, producing a complex multidimensional foam. Our universe may simply be a region of space-time that has pinched off from another bubble."

    My question would be that if you did somehow manage to purposely create one of these baby universes, then how would you get it to not only transform its interior constituents into the unfathomably stable setting of a planet such as the earth with its perfect source of heat, light, and bio-powering energy,...

    ...but also to "equip" (furnish/outfit) the setting with every possible ingredient necessary to awaken multifarious forms of consciousness into existence?

    Or are we simply supposed to assume (as we have with our own universe) that the blind and mindless processes of "chance" will take care of those "minor" details?
    _______

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    1. You do know that this universe has at least 100 billion galaxies each containing around 100 billion solar systems, don't you? It seems like the rational and empirical process of chance has quite a few trials to work with. Doesn't seem strange at all to me.

      Also, it turns out the rational and empirical process of chance, in the form of trial and error, is what produced vision and minds. And for that matter, the light bulb, and everything else human minds have produced. Bear in mind, it took the human species over 100,00 years to develop the wheel. That's lots of trial and error. Meanwhile, bacteria learned, by trial and error, how to digest nylon within 20 years of its existence. Trial and error works. Just takes enough trials.

      By the way, it is possible from what we have learned of biology, for life (not our kind of life) to develop in places like the moon Titan. That life would consider the Earth a hellhole. You like it, not because it was made for you, but because you were made for it. Trial and error finds out what fits in a certain environment. If we found ourselves on a world with no water or oxygen or sunlight, that would be the miracle.

      Look at the evidence. It is all around you. Trial and error makes sense. You've used it over and over again throughout your life. (Or did everything you try work the first time? I doubt it.) It is how life and minds work. (Requires some form or forms of memory though, so as not to forget what works. DNA, for example.) (No, DNA is not the only possible form of chemical memory.)

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    2. JimV wrote:
      "You do know that this universe has at least 100 billion galaxies each containing around 100 billion solar systems, don't you? It seems like the rational and empirical process of chance has quite a few trials to work with. Doesn't seem strange at all to me."

      Setting aside the impossible odds that the blind and mindless processes of chance could have, again, equipped the earth with every possible ingredient necessary to awaken us into existence,...

      ...if your mind isn’t blown from visualizing the unimaginable stability of the millisecond-by-millisecond precision with which this gigantic orb we are standing on - gently moves around the perfect source of light and energy (unerringly for billions of years), then something is amiss.

      We’re talking about the precise (clockwork-like) movement of a gargantuan sphere that not only spins vast oceans and bustling human metropolises, around and around - “topsy-turvy” - in a rotisserie cycle that only takes a mere 24 HOURS to complete,...

      ...but also whose position in space can be calculated with uncanny accuracy – thousands of years in either direction of time.

      Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that this same machine-like precision and order doesn't extend outward to all of those other trillions of solar systems you mentioned.

      Now if you want to adopt a "...move along folks, nothing to see here..." attitude about all of that, then you are simply taking what is nothing less than "miraculous" for granted.
      _______

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    3. Jim doesn't state there is nothing to see, on the contrary.

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    4. Martien wrote:
      "Jim doesn't state there is nothing to see, on the contrary."

      You are missing the reverse meaning in the sentence: "...move along folks, nothing to see here..." in that it is meant to imply that, in fact, something SPECTACULAR is going on...

      ...(in this case the unfathomably complex and ordered features of the solar "system").

      Yet you have a JimV who believes that the blind and mindless processes of chance could have created it all by trial and error, which, to me, is total nonsense.
      _______

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    5. I shouldn't reply since it won't do any good, but what boggles my mind is the sheer hubris of such statements, as "gently moves around the perfect source of light and energy (unerringly for billions of years)"--unless you're a large species of dinosaur, and don't count the first half-billion years when it had only trace amounts of oxygen and was still largely molten, or the Ice Ages, or what's going to happen within the next five billion years, when its sun is going to expand and swallow it.

      Yes, there is a principle of angular momentum in this universe, and things in motion tend to stay in motion unless acted upon, and many other physical principles which tell us, of course, that everything we see is explainable by those principles. And you stand at a moment in time in which things seem relatively benign (except for climate change and pandemics and the fact that our sleep cycle evolved at a time when the Earth rotated in about 20 hours), and you choose to consider it a miracle that you are here at such a time, without asking the obvious question: at what other time and conditions would you naturally be here? And even within humanity's time, how many of them enjoyed a pleasant existence? (As someone said, best to wait until someone has had a painless death to envy their life.)

      (The basic principle of such reasoning seems to be: ignore all the bad things and count all the good things as miracles created for humanity's benefit.)

      There are many things I don't understand about this universe, but the things I do tell me this: it ain't about us fireflies, who will be all gone within a small fraction of its useful existence, and never occupy a non-negligible volume of it. (Creatures evolved to live in the coronas of stars or even in the atmospheres of gas giant planets would have a much better claim. Still not a valid one, though.)

      The other thing That I've learned is that the only model we have for progress, design, and intelligence is more efficient techniques and apparatus for what evolved us: trial and error plus memory. (As is in fact embodied in the Scientific Method.) That's it, that's all intelligence is. A very natural and rational process, requiring no magic outside of whatever basic deterministic principles the universe runs on. It does not extrapolate to gods who work by magic.

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    6. JimV wrote:
      "I shouldn't reply since it won't do any good, but what boggles my mind is the sheer hubris of such statements, as "gently moves around the perfect source of light and energy (unerringly for billions of years)"--unless you're a large species of dinosaur, and don't count the first half-billion years when it had only trace amounts of oxygen and was still largely molten, or the Ice Ages, or what's going to happen within the next five billion years, when its sun is going to expand and swallow it."

      How exactly is it an act of "hubris" in the simple pointing-out of the FACT that we are standing on a giant orb that only takes a mere 24 HOURS to spin vast oceans and huge human metropolises around in a rotisserie cycle,...

      ...while at the same time is moving laterally through space at approximately 67,000 mph?

      And with that in mind, tell me JimV, do you feel the slightest sensation that anything is moving? No?

      Well, in my book, I would call that pretty darn "gentle."

      Furthermore, were it not for the extremely long age of the dinosaurs there would not have been the build-up of the vast stores of fossil fuels, which, in turn, has allowed for the ushering-in of our modern age where we are now able to leave the surface of this planet in order to explore outer space.

      Now, of course, you have every right to believe anything you wish.  However, to me, all of this seemingly purposeful order is way too much to expect of the blind and mindless processes of chance and serendipity.

      And lastly, let's have a dictionary look at this word "hubris":

      "hu·bris
      /ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/
      noun
      excessive pride or self-confidence.
      Similar: arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, vanity, self-importance, pomposity..."

      Now in light of that definition, it would appear that the only person in this immediate conversation that is acting in a hubristic manner is the arrogant guy who feels it is futile and beneath him to respond to someone that he disagrees with.

      And unless I'm mistaking you for someone else, this isn't the first time you've expressed that sentiment with me.

      Get over yourself.
      _______

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    7. Keith,

      "all of this seemingly purposeful order is way too much to expect of the blind and mindless processes of chance and serendipity."

      You are correct that it is "seemingly purposeful". For it to be really purposeful you have to add intent or magic.

      While such intent, according to my opinion cannot be ruled out completely, evolution offers a much more convincing explanation.

      At least for those who understand that evolution by trial and error is not the same as "chance and serendipity".

      Delete
    8. Martien wrote:
      "...You are correct that it is "seemingly purposeful". For it to be really purposeful you have to add intent or magic.
      While such intent, according to my opinion cannot be ruled out completely, evolution offers a much more convincing explanation..."

      There would be no such thing as evolution were it not for the pre-existence of an unthinkably stable setting consisting of the perfect source of heat, light, and bio-powering energy shining onto the surface of a rotating orb that was somehow miraculously equipped with every possible ingredient necessary to awaken us into existence.

      So, no, evolution is not a convincing explanation for the existence of the highly-ordered, prerequisite conditions that had to be in place before evolution could even begin its processes.
      _______

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    9. @Keith
      Another explanation is that conditions are so perfect because life evolved to fit them.

      Delete
    10. Meaning to say:... otherwise we wouldn't have this discussion...

      Delete
    11. C Thompson wrote:
      "...Another explanation is that conditions are so perfect because life evolved to fit them..."

      You're putting the cart before the horse, because (as mentioned earlier) the evolution of life could not even begin were it not for the perfect conditions already being in place.
      _______

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    12. Hi Keith...
      I think there is evolution even under less perfect circumstances...
      but with a higher error rate.

      Delete
  4. If "minimal energy" has no absolute meaning then any vacuum state could decay into a lower energy state-- it's all relative. It would be hard to gauge how likely that sort of decay would be. But every vacuum state would be unstable and a false vacuum relative to a possible lower energy state. A bottomless pit but all you have as a yardstick are local conditions. One state relative to another.

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  5. Another clever postulation to validate infinity through multiverses. I find it amusing that mankind pays lip service to the concept of infinity, yet continues to embrace big bang theory and ignore the alternate that Hubble and Einstein were forced to discard due to inaccurate data.

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    1. Gerald, What alternative was that?

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    2. Prior to Hubble’s announcement of Leavitt’s data, Einstein was already working on Friedmann’s theory of expansion (right from the get-go in ’22) but he did not immediately abandon his calculations on infinite mass. ** Newton was aware that an infinite universe must create a localized condition even though he had no context to express a postulation. ** Einstein ran it to the ground throughout his life using the data of the period. Even pushing (known) densities to the limit, he was confined to an event horizon with a radius of two billion light years. However, knowing that radiation would have to have an oscillation decay (for the night sky to be presented as a black-body), Einstein knew that this was impossible. Even if he had spiked his calculations with an order of magnitude, the small localized horizon would mean that oscillatory decay should present itself in some manner. The navy was already experimenting with ULF for submarine communication during his lifetime and I am speculating that the lack of any evidence led him to abandon infinite mass. After Einstein and Hubble both embraced expansion, no more serious thought has been given to a static/infinite universe. That doesn’t mean that Einstein and Newton were wrong. On the pure (and only) evidence of galactic distance red-shift (remind me to tell you all about rotational red-shift), there are still two distinct explanations: Expansion theory, where the red-shift is attributed to relative velocity; and infinite universe theory, where the red-shift is attributed to relative mass. Now that we are in an era where the known density is much lower, the figure for the event radius is much higher. This decreases the extrapolated oscillation half life. And yet - we do have a means of testing it. The Voyager probes could put the nail in the coffin, if we can prove that their communication frequencies have not experienced any drift.

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    3. Gerald,
      Thank you for responding to my question.
      I do not understand this enough to give you a very intelligent reply.
      I understand that Einstein, yes that guy again, believed the universe to be both static and eternal. And that he changed his mind about that when some other guy, Percival Lowell, measured the universal expansion using redshift.
      It was believed that the rate of expansion was slowing down but now has been determined to be accelerating because of dark energy. I’m a little confused here, does that mean the universe is open and will continue to expand forever at accelerating rates? Wouldn’t that be unstable?
      I’m more comfortable with a closed universe, but that’s probably more of a reflection of my mind than anything else.
      Speaking of forever, I’m not comfortable with the concept of infinity. I think that infinity is a mathematical anomaly that doesn’t exist in nature.
      I have nothing to back this up, but nobody has anything to contradict it either. I ‘believe’ (air quotes) in the multiverse. That they ALL came into existence at the same instant that our universe did in the Big Bang. Resisting the urge to call it a Gang Bang, I call it the Grand Bang instead. However, I don’t believe that there are an infinite number of them. Not believing in infinity, I just say that there are 10^500-billion of them, give or take a few. The Many-Worlds version of a multiverse is rubbish.
      That’s all that I have to say about that.

      Sabine has stated that she doesn’t want her blog to be used as an “Ask an Expert” venue.
      I hope that she will forgive me, as I do have a burning question. Does the universe rotate?
      I know that there is no center of expansion, therefore no axis of rotation. But EVERYTHING rotates. Is there some kind of universal rotation to the universe???
      I picture all of those baby universes in her video rotating as they float away from each other.

      Delete
    4. JC
      You sound like you have a pretty good grasp of reality, but I won’t be able to field any questions for you. I am on a trajectory of questioning dark matter and dark energy by going back to the basics of infinity, while you are embracing a finite universe. Perhaps we will both live long enough to see a resolve to the mystery of expansion that exceeds the speed of light. Or perhaps there is a mechanism that prevents the big bang from reaching the horizon. Regardless, the subject of infinity has driven many people to insanity, perhaps myself included. For good hard facts that do not contradict big bang theory, stick to the educators that toe the line.

      I prefer mass red-shift over velocity red-shift for the simple reason that it allows normal space/time beyond the horizon, doing away with dark matter and dark energy in the process.

      BTW – I see that I made a typo in my last comment. A larger event radius would increase (not decrease) any perceived half-life of an oscillation cycle in radiation or matter.

      Delete
    5. Sometimes you’ve just got to pick an answer and go with it.
      To answer my own question of whether the universe rotates or not: No.
      Although everything within the universe, from wavy-like particle thingies to superclusters of galaxies rotate, the universe itself does not.
      That’s because there is no embedding space for it to rotate relative to.

      Wait! Did I say that wavy-like particle thingies rotate?
      Is that true?

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    6. @myself
      Did I say that wavy-like particle thingies rotate?
      To answer my question, I went down to the Foundations of Physics.
      In the bowels of the building is a creaky old door marked, Physics Dept. I open it and enter a dimly lit room with bespectacled old men sitting behind desks writing papers. They take no notice of me. As my eyes adjust to the dimness I notice a cute little German lady poking at the cracks in the foundation. Resisting the urge to admonish her not to pick at it, you’ll only make it worse, I go instead to a bookshelf full of dusty old volumes on physics. Opening one up, I inhale deeply the wonderful aroma of a musty old book. Perusing the pages, I find the answer to my question. No.
      NO? How can that be? Everything rotates??? Well, apparently not. I read on and discovered that electrons and their Lepton friends are pointlike particles without dimension and very little mass. They have spin and angular momentum but are really just wavefunctions that don’t actually exist!?!?
      Maybe that little German lady knows something about this? Shush, she says, we’re not supposed to ask.
      Scratching my head, I leave the room with more questions than answers. Turning around before leaving, I notice that the dusty old men smell as musty as the books do. There sure are a lot of cracks in the wall. Maybe that’s why we call them Crackpots?
      {jcrc}

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    7. I want to know what that little German lady finds, and if she manages to find a trove of wonders, or if the Foundations of Physics collapse, taking out the entire institution and all those musty old men at once. Or both?

      Delete
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  8. I will use the term Exotic Vacuum Objects(EVO) to refer to the micro universe that is the subject of this thread. As an alternative to the technology that Dr. Hossenfelder has referred to above, creating an EVO is currently being explored in condensed matter science using a new quantum phenomena called the "Higgs mode". This method of creating a micro universe has advantages over other methods. The “Higgs Mode,” otherwise known as the Higgs amplitude mode, is seen as a close relative to the Higgs boson. The Higgs amplitude mode is a quantum phenomenon seen in materials and occurs when the magnetic field of its electrons fluctuate in a way similar to that of a Higgs boson. The materials that exhibit this phenomenon can do so because the structure of the material enables the electrons to behave in such a way. When the Higgs mode presents itself in these materials, the material is often undergoing a quantum phase transition. It is at this point where researchers can understand more about the quantum properties of a material.

    The Higgs mode has been detected in many different condensed matter systems, including in ultracold atomic gases, disordered superconductors, and dimerized quantum magnets. However, in many cases, the Higgs mode is unstable and decays. As such, it has only been reported in a handful of publications.

    However, some systems can support these quantum effects without decaying. The earliest experimental observation was seen in the Raman scattering of a superconducting charge-density wave compound. The Raman spectra found an unexpected peak that was later characterized as the presence of a Higgs mode.

    In more detail, these systems impart the Mexican hat potential or "Higgs potential" to the electrons that fall under the influence of the system. Each electron carries a quantum of Higgs potential to the system. These electrons provide a building block-like foundation upon which a false Higgs field can be constructed.

    An alternative Higgs field can be built in an appropriate condensed matter system by adding free electrons into that system. In order to get around the Pauli exclusion principle where the formation of a cluster of electrons is desired, these electrons must be transformed into bosons via entanglement with photons. This mixing is done inside a system that supports an optical cavity.

    In one specific example, a Hole superconductor is a system that can provide such an optical cavity that lies between the positively charged hole nucleus and the negatively charged electron cloud the surrounds that nucleus. The formation of a polariton Bose condensate within the Hole superconductor allows a false Higgs field to form any desired field strength as controlled by the amount of electrons and photons that are fed into this system. If the amount of infalling electrons and photons are not limited, then a chain reaction begins where the system becomes auto self amplifying until a point of instability is eventually reached.

    The polariton condensate which first originates within the superconductor can oftentimes decuple from the superconductor and act independently of its parent superconductor.

    In conclusion, I believe that the nature of the Higgs field defines how our universe behaves and defines many if not all the natural laws that our universe manifests. If the Higgs field is modified, then the universe is also modified. From an engineering point of view, if we can manipulate the Higgs field to our desires, then we can define how we want the universe to behave and the laws of the universe to perform. A micro universe with a sufficiently strengthened Higgs potential may revert back to the way the universe first came into being just after the big bang. Now that would be sweet.

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  9. Is this 10 kg. a new recent figure? Do you have a reference? If my recollection is right, Guth, inflationary universe (1997) says it takes even less, about 18 gms. Since mass energy and gravitational energy cancel out, most of the universe can be produced with zero total energy! Do you agree?

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    1. Hi Kashyap,

      The 10kg reference is the lower bound from this paper, see page 28. For all I know it's consistent with earlier bounds, so not sure what you mean.

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    2. Hi Sabine,
      Thanks. I will look at the paper. I am also interested in your opinion about zero total energy universe. Many people agree that mass energy and gravitational energy almost or even exactly cancel.

      Delete
  10. The universe is too complicated to happen by chance which leaves design or evolution. Evolution by natural selection requires reproduction -- that is the reason for the theory that particles are the offspring of the universe and since we are conscious -- so are the parent(s) -- the Universe!

    The low mass particles would have its external behavior rigidly controlled so complicated bodies and machines could eventually be built but could still have internal free will -- freedom of choice in a VR or dream world. It can have greatly reduced time perception because it is not responsible for its external behavior. The Universe aided by conscious intelligent virtual particles could ensure consistent external behavior (laws of physics) of low mass particles.

    The high mass particle offspring such as dark matter would evolve to be smart conscious homunculi that could be attached to an enormous variety of bodies which it communicates with by electromagnetic code (awake dark matter would have an electric charge) and have the experience that it was their natural body.

    Much higher energy particles could have enough maturity to be born again as a whole new universe and be a member of the very highly advanced universe society, marry and merge with another universe and raise a googol particles that take trillions of years to become new universes!

    The idea is in a sense that universes spend their childhood as particles in the womb of their parent(s) universe and may be attached to a succession of many different bodies as part of their education and the Universe only really gives birth to them as an adult (in education not size)!

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    1. "The universe is too complicated to happen by chance"
      Why do you think so?

      "conscious intelligent virtual particles".
      Can you make plausible these exist?


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    2. The complexity of the universe, or a complexity we find relative to ourselves, is a subject of great depth. If the cosmological constant were much larger than what we observe it would have expanded and frame dragged matter apart much faster and prevented the formation of structure. If the accelerated expansion were too small the cosmogeny might then implode before there is a chance for complexity to form.

      This has much to do with quantum complexity and its role in holography. The quest for the holy grail of physics may then be some principle of extremal quantum complexity. This may be framed within the context of spacetime as equivalent or dual to quantum mechanics.

      As for design or a designer, aka a fine tuner etc, the problem is that to answer a deep question of this sort with something even more mysterious, or in the case of God something paradoxically infinite, is to solve a problem with something even more unexplainable. This in effect solves nothing, though some religious folks find comfort in these ideas. I would rather live with questions that are unanswered than to live with answers that cannot be questioned.

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    3. >"The universe is too complicated to happen by chance"
      Why do you think so?

      Any universe that can reproduce would quickly make insignificant any universes that pop up by random in both quantity and quality because natural selection improves quality. Such universes would rightly be called life. Universes that reproduce would have a genetic code that is copied into smaller offspring (high mass particles).

      >"conscious intelligent virtual particles".
      Can you make plausible these exist?

      Let's say you are a universe raising particles, who are you going to get to babysit them and have them follow the laws of physics you designed? You might hire virtual particles as temp workers -- virtual photons for the electromagnetic force, virtual W and Z bosons for the weak force, and virtual gluons and virtual mesons for the strong nuclear force.

      The great thing about virtual particles is that they are hired for such a short amount of time -- if they are unable or unwilling to do the work right, you won't hire them back unless you are really short of help and willing to give them another chance.

      What can you pay your virtual particles? If they put in enough service they could have the opportunity to become a real particle, a small step closer to the ultimate goal of becoming a conscious universe. In some ways it would seem to be a step back from intelligent virtual particle to become a pampered infant real particle because everything must be relearned, but that is the path to becoming a higher consciousness so it is greatly desired.

      In a very large family, the older children care for the younger children. With the Universe, the younger virtual particle children care for the older low mass real particles because the late stages of being a virtual particle are more intelligent than the early stage of being a real particle -- but, of course, they can only be intelligent for very brief periods of time before going back to a sleep state because they are virtual particles.

      The Universe needs a workforce and the only possible workforce is its own offspring at some stage of development. High mass particles can also work for the Universe and get rewarded eventually by gaining independence and getting reborn as a new universe!

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    4. Lawrence Crowell wrote:
      "As for design or a designer, aka a fine tuner etc, the problem is that to answer a deep question of this sort with something even more mysterious, or in the case of God something paradoxically infinite, is to solve a problem with something even more unexplainable."

      Lawrence, the question of how anything whatsoever came into existence (be it mind or matter) is so mysterious that I have often wondered if even God would know the answer (if such a Being exists).

      I have no doubt stated the following somewhere else on the blog, however, if according to hardcore materialism there is literally nothing else other than matter, then that means that the holographic-like stuff that forms our thoughts and dreams is simply an inward extension of the same holographic-like stuff that forms the stars and planets.

      And that leads to the speculative conclusion that if humans (within the inner context of our own minds) can willfully grasp the substance that forms the stars and planets and transform it into anything we wish (just by “thinking It” into existence),...

      ...then why is it so difficult to fathom the possibility that a higher (transcendent) consciousness may have done the same with the universe?

      And what that ultimately means is that as we stand on the earth and look out into the universe, we are witnessing the extent to which the “thinking it into existence” process can be taken.

      I guess my point is, is it more reasonable to think that the unfathomable order of the universe is a product of the blind and mindless processes of chance?...

      ...Or...

      ...is it more reasonable to think that something intelligent is involved?
      _______

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    5. "The universe is too complicated to happen by chance which leaves design or evolution."

      Huh? It's totally clear that very simple iterative processes can generate arbitrary levels of complexity. You are making an *intuitive* claim and it is just plain wrong.

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    6. I do not think we are anywhere near being able to know what role consciousness has in the universe. We do not even have much of a definition of consciousness, let alone a scientific discipline that works with observables or quantities involved with consciousness. The recent post on AI and deciphering the brain may represent some fledgling case of this.

      I prefer to think of physics without reference to consciousness. The problem is this introduces a lot of subjectivity into theory.

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    7. Lawrence Crowell wrote:
      "I do not think we are anywhere near being able to know what role consciousness has in the universe."

      Right. Which is precisely why we should keep all options on the table.

      "...I prefer to think of physics without reference to consciousness..."

      Well, considering the fact that all of reality would be utterly meaningless without the existence of life and consciousness, then I'm not so sure it is wise to simply ignore it because it cannot be discerned via the processes of math and physics.

      To me, if we focus too heavily on physics (or the material aspect of reality) it is the metaphorical equivalent of only paying attention to the "particle" aspect of reality while ignoring its "wave" aspect.

      In other words, I suggest that mind and matter are two complementary aspects of the same fundamental essence (think of Spinoza's "oneness" substance) wherein neither could exist independent of the other in any logical context.
      _______

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    8. Hi Keith,

      Some thoughts I'd like to share:
      In the personal development training I've done, one of the key tenets is, 'Life is empty and meaningless, and it is empty and meaningless that it is empty and meaningless'. This doesn't mean that life/existence is pointless or useless, just that any meaning imputed by anyone is put there by our own and others' interpretations of what we experience, accurate or otherwise.

      I think these days that there's nothing of any intellect that creates or manages the Universe, a bunch of stuff happened to stuff and here we are; this can be explained by the intricate ways that matter and energy have arranged themselves described mathematically and by various processes. (I used to be a Christian came to the conclusion that there's no divine creative or destructive forces necessary to explain it all. This is merely my own point of view though.)

      As for matter and mind - we're extremely masterful at using our manipulative and cognitive abilities to shape matter to communicate ideas. Our brains are of the same stuff as stars and planets, and we're pushing out into the Universe with technology to see and to know it nd share that knowledge. These are formidable creative acts that fill me with wonder.

      Maybe a question is, 'is the Universe what it is because life exists that's sophisticated enough to wonder and find out about it'?

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    9. C Thompson wrote:
      "In the personal development training I've done, one of the key tenets is, 'Life is empty and meaningless, and it is empty and meaningless that it is empty and meaningless'. This doesn't mean that life/existence is pointless or useless, just that any meaning imputed by anyone is put there by our own and others' interpretations of what we experience, accurate or otherwise.

      Hello C,
      In conversations such as this, I often recall the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph taken by Kevin Carter of a tiny little Sudanese girl who is lying on the ground and on the precipice of death from starvation, while just a few feet away stands a vulture waiting to make a meal of her.

      And my question is: what could you whisper into that little girl's ear that would help her to understand that life isn't empty or meaningless if, indeed, this horrible fate is all she gets to experience of life?

      Or imagine a situation where you are holding a terrified little child in your arms who knows she is going to die in the next few hours from some disease, and she asks you the following question:

      "...What's going to happen to me when I die?..."

      Would you tell her:

      "...Well, sweetie, due to the fact that there's nothing of any intellect that creates or manages the universe, and that the only reason you exist in the first place is because a bunch of stuff happened to stuff by sheer accident, then when you die, you are going to blink out of existence forever..."...

      ...Or...

      ...Would you tell her something that perhaps might be a little more comforting (be it truth or fiction)?

      For psychological reasons, the vast majority of humans on this planet desperately need stories that offer them the hope that there may be more to life than the few fleeting moments we spend on earth.

      In which case, we simply need to come up with something better than the mythological nonsense handed down to us in the world's religions.

      And if it turns out that we are wrong, then no one will be alive after death to ridicule our theories.

      However, if we are right, then we will have offered something useful to humans to help them cope with the temporary madness of this world.
      _______

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    10. I have seen that photo. Another photo like it that struck me is of a Vietnamese girl running naked and in pain after she's been burned by napalm. My response to things like this is anger and disgust that humans keep acting so innocent people suffer.

      I don't know what I would tell them in those moments, but I would want them to know they have the ability to shape their own thoughts and emotions whatever their situation.

      There is also the words of Victor Frankl, who wrote 'Man's Search for Meaning', (who I think I read about in '7 Habits of Highly Effective People') a prisoner of war who wrote:

      “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.”
      (Thanks to Google for the exact quote.)

      I do not mean at all that there's nothing to be upset about. We do however have the option to catch the story that we're narrating and to shift our perceptions and reactions to life as it happens to us, without denying that there is suffering, and we can still act to better the world.

      I would tell the dying child she will die but she will not suffer in death. I would want to be compassionate.

      As for religion, even as an atheist I don't think it's all nonsense, but much of it gets in the way of people living the fullest life they can, but it can also inspire compassion and acts of service. I think we need the latter, not the former. If we can get that without religion, great.

      I personally found that finding out more about what other people there are besides the ones who think as I was taught to by churches and society at large, what motivates them and how they want to live gave me a much broader perspective than a merely religious one, so stories are vitally important that way.

      I also think science and philosophy have many answers that can free us from the stories and 'shoulds' of society and religion. For example, I can make the idea that we have no free will mean that life has no point or I can decide (hah) that I want to find out what happens to us all and make my life one where the things I wanted happened because I went and did them - the latter take is much more interesting and motivating for me!

      We can have a story that the Universe was created from conscious effort or a story that it happened because that's how the physics works, but I don't think a self-assembled universe is less amazing for it, and I really do think humanity, for all our awfulness, is the driver of unique creation in the Universe.

      Thanks for your response.

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    11. Keith D. Gill: In the end physics is an empirical subject, and the point of theory is to make certain empirical predictions or makes sense of measurement data known. At this time there is no science of consciousness, though there are nascent attempts at this. Before you unify two areas of science into something maybe more general, it is a good idea to have the science or physics of those two areas well understood.

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    12. Lawrence Crowell7:17 PM, July 06, 2021

      Glad to see you are learning, Lawrence:

      "In the end physics is an empirical subject, "

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    13. C Thompson2:10 PM, July 06, 2021

      You are one of two people in the blog's comments who has called for mass murder in the name of a lunatic ideology you are too stupid to see through, the other being the loving Christian, Luke Barnes.

      So why don't you spare us your empty, vomit-inducing virtue signalling? If it were a conservative, gender critic you'd napalm them.

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    14. Keith D. Gill5:23 PM, July 04, 2021

      "the question of how anything whatsoever came into existence"

      Is not known to be a valid question, dearest Keith.

      ********** The universe might "just exist" ***********

      For all we know. Which is counter-intuitive to the human brain, but then the human brain evolved to survive in the Savannah not understand quantum-gravity. The latest Physics already transcends our intuition.

      If you think about what I've written this time, you will save yourself making the same mistaken comment over and over and over.

      You are always going on about the impossibility of infinite regression, but you're well on the way to building an infinite regression of the same comment.

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    15. I also note that I didn't refrain from arguing with Steven Evans over the last few weeks, not such a good job at adjusting my reactions. Practice for coming across likewise situations in the future, I suppose.

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    16. I'd never thought of that, thanks for the idea, Steven. I don't know where I would get the napalm for that, though. (sarcasm)
      I'm glad you react so strongly to my advocacy.

      Oh, and Jesus said, 'I come not in peace but with a sword'. Not that is in any particular context here, just thought I'd throw it out there.

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    17. C Thompson wrote:
      "As for religion, even as an atheist I don't think it's all nonsense,..."

      No, of course not.

      I was referring to the nonsense of Christianity's anthropomorphic depiction of the Creative source of the universe; you know, the one that raises the hackles of the materialists.

      And as I have often stated, hardcore materialists (especially the Steven Evans types) cannot comprehend that they are, in essence, sleepwalking through this "dream-like" illusion that we call a universe.

      To which I suggest that the more passionate they are in articulating their belief in materialism,...

      ...then the more they demonstrate - in direct proportion to the strength of their belief - the depth and degree of their somnambulism.

      In other words, most humans are simply not conscious enough to realize that they are not conscious enough to understand what's really going on here.
      _______

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    18. Lawrence Crowell wrote:
      "...In the end physics is an empirical subject, and the point of theory is to make certain empirical predictions or makes sense of measurement data known. At this time there is no science of consciousness, though there are nascent attempts at this. Before you unify two areas of science into something maybe more general, it is a good idea to have the science or physics of those two areas well understood."

      How can we make a science of something that is literally beyond our ability to measure with any sort of material apparatus?

      I mean, how would one apply math or calipers to something as inaccessible as the "thinker" of thoughts, or the "dreamer" of dreams?

      Yet, how can we possibly develop a full description of reality if, by reason of it being difficult to zero-in on, we ignore what is arguably the singular most important aspect of reality itself (i.e., "consciousness")?
      _______

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    19. As for religion… If I could prove that there is no God, I’d keep it to myself.
      There are too many people in this world who rely on their religious beliefs for hope, comfort, and healing.
      I wouldn’t want to take that away from them.

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    20. Keith D. Gill10:12 AM, July 07, 2021

      What does your comment mean, Keith? The empirical facts are the empirical facts - it's neither "materialist" nor "somnambulism" to point that out. And the discovery of the facts is nothing to do with me - blame Newton or Einstein. On the question of things coming into existence or not, you fail to understand two very, very simple facts:

      1) All fictional characters, whether it is "God", Harry Potter, or Gandalf the Wizard, come into existence - namely, the moment their authors imagine these imaginary characters they come into imaginary existence.

      2) Based on current knowledge, no physicist in the world could tell you whether the universe just exists or whether it came into existence. There is zero knowledge on this question. So, of course, the universe may have "always just existed".

      But you think it's the other way round - that "God" just exists and the universe can't just exist. Completely wrong again, Keith.

      You must be grateful to me for yet again pointing out your completely basic misunderstanding. You're welcome!

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    21. C Thompson3:50 AM, July 07, 2021

      "I also note that I didn't refrain from arguing"

      Waffling is not arguing. I'm still waiting for a definition of the genders in gender ideology. So far all you've stated is that there are some genders termed "cisgender", "transgender", etc., and one determines one's gender by determining whether one "resonates" with these genders.

      You don't actually define what the terms are though. Doh! So it's not clear what we are supposed to be "resonating" *with*.
      You write complete, nonsensical drivel, which is not a surprise given you believe dreams can predict the future.

      "Practice for coming across likewise situations in the future, I suppose."
      That's right. Remember not to call for violence and mass murder of people who think you are a moron. It has only taken you until your 40s to learn that. Well done. Now you just need to work on ludicrous beliefs like thinking dreams predict the future. Keep at it and you could be at the level of an average 7-year-old by the time you are 50.

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    22. Your inability to work all this out is due to your limitations, not my lack of understanding.
      Your insults reflect your inability to grasp the subject matter at hand and your lack of social skills and imagination.

      Delete
    23. @Keith

      I think there is no matter but baryonic matter, but I do have a sense of another sort of realm 'behind' the world we live in, where the substance and spirits of creativity and joy reside, that I tap into which flows into and through me. I don't count this as a spiritual belief, but it's part of how I experience life. I think it all starts in our heads and emotions, then we transform reality from there.

      As for applying science to consciousness, I guess it's a bit like quantum gravity insofar as it might take a while to get there.

      I also think that these ideas have a place and are worth discussing.

      @Jonathan:

      I agree re: comfort and solace, but there are those who act like they've been reading a completely different set of scriptures than their fellow adherents. There are also the unfortunate people who are given vThey are the ones who ruin it for everyone else.
      There are those who use it to trap, brainwash and abuse people, and condemn others for who they are and how they live.

      I like to think the Hell that these a-hats preach about is waiting for them.

      Delete
    24. In reply to Keith's comment: "In other words, most humans are simply not conscious enough to realize that they are not conscious enough to understand what's really going on here."

      I agree. There is a spectrum of consciousness. Brain-dead on one end, Enlightened on the other. Sometimes I wish that I were Enlightened. Other times I envy the Brain-dead.

      Consciousness is an interesting subject. Too indepth to discuss here. I think that it is safe to say that we know more about particle physics than we do about consciousness.

      Delete
    25. Mr. Jonathan Camp G.E.D.3:07 PM, July 07, 2021

      "If I could prove that there is no God, "

      What if you could prove there is no Harry Potter? Would you keep that to yourself, too?
      Fairy tales aren't true, petal. There are no pure logical refutations of fairy tales because they are not theorems of logic, nor are any needed. Fiction is fiction.
      If you think the primitive Iron Age fairy tales of people whose knowledge is almost indistinguishable from that of a chimpanzee from the modern viewpoint might be true, then you are struggling.

      I suspect the NHS brings more comfort to people than the CofE. You have an illness - do you see the GP or the vicar who works one day a week and whose job is to tell lies? Do you take medicine or do you get on your knees and bow to the sky and mumble nonsense like a primitive half-evolved ape?

      Delete
    26. Hi Steven (8)
      Do you fancy a mind game?*
      We may even be able to move a few boundaries in the process or at least deal with some of the negative pressure.

      Be the imaginary author of a character for a moment, let's call her "Htiek", who behaves as you suggested to Keith in your incomparable way...
      So Htiek now feels deeply grateful to you for your sympathy with a problem that she has been grappling with for some time without arriving at an approach that could take her further...
      In her gratitude, she begins to emulate you and internalizes her understanding of your teaching...
      until she gets to the point where she runs into another problem that she cannot solve...
      So she turns to you again and asks you for advice. From your point of view, the problem is also unsolvable... She didn't do anything wrong. How are you going to explain this to her?*

      Have lots of fun with it...
      muck(8)

      Delete
    27. I just got to fill in the 'Petal' and 'Iron Age Fairy Tale' squares on my Steven Evans Bingo Card! :D

      People of the Iron Age would be mentally indistinguishable from modern humans, and chimpanzees are known to be quite cunning.

      Delete
    28. Mr. Jonathan Camp G.E.D. wrote:
      "...I agree. There is a spectrum of consciousness. Brain-dead on one end, Enlightened on the other. Sometimes I wish that I were Enlightened. Other times I envy the Brain-dead..."

      Yes, a spectrum (or "ladder" of consciousness) that (for visualization purposes) begins at the lowest levels such as amoebas, for example, then up to flies, then up to frogs, then up to dogs, then up to humans.

      However, a problem arises when it is assumed that the ascending ladder of consciousness stops at the human rung and goes no further.

      And I suggest that that problem is due to the fact that the lower rungs of the ladder are simply not conscious enough to discern the status of the rungs above their own.

      And to your point, there is a similar spectrum of consciousness at the human level itself (not as pronounced, of course), where unenlightened ("sleepwalking") humans simply cannot fathom what the enlightened ones are seeing or talking about.
      _______

      Delete
    29. Steven Evans wrote:
      "...What does your comment mean, Keith?..."

      It means that not only do sleepwalkers, such as yourself, demonstrate the depth of your somnambulism in direct proportion to the degree to which you are under the thrall of the illusion of objective reality,...

      ...but also in the asking of the question: "...What does your comment mean, Keith?..."

      Again, Steven, it is obvious (to me, anyway) that you are simply not awake enough to understand where I am coming from.

      "...But you think it's the other way round - that "God" just exists and the universe can't just exist. Completely wrong again, Keith..."

      There is an incalculable difference between believing that the unthinkable order of the universe "just exists" due to the blind and mindless processes of chance, and that of believing that something intelligent may have been responsible.

      The fact that you cannot see the vast chasm between the respective implications of those two suppositions, is simply another consequence of your attenuated level of awareness.
      _______

      Delete
    30. Keith D Gill wrote: “And to your point, there is a similar spectrum of consciousness at the human level itself (not as pronounced, of course), where unenlightened ("sleepwalking") humans simply cannot fathom what the enlightened ones are seeing or talking about.”
      You’re absolutely right. And I *believe* that consciousness is fundamental to the universe, maybe beyond. There is something nonphysical that permeates the universe that connects all minds together. There are degrees of separation, but overall, like we all breathe the same air, we all share the same consciousness. Whatever it is, it is not mindful of you or anyone else. It just absorbs your thoughts, fears, joys, emotions, and spreads them around to the people (animals included) around you. People said to be of one mind are consciously connected.
      I call it the Cosmic Consciousness. Don’t mistake it for God. As I said, it’s not mindful of you. It just absorbs your thoughts and emotions and spreads them around. It’s a universal thing, not local, but diminishes with distance.
      Mind and Consciousness are so tightly entwined that it is impossible to separate them.
      By the way, I am a dualist.

      P.S. "attenuated level of awareness." I like that. May I use it?

      P.P.S. Thanks Sabine, I don't think that I can ever use the word *believe* without air-quotes around it again.

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    32. Dr. Crowell has said all that needs to be said (thank you), but I wish I could make this one point clear to K.Gill and others:

      We have no model for wishing things into existence. Well, we do, but it is an invalid one. I wish my arms and fingers to move so as to type this--that's probably the model primitive homo "sapiens" used--but we now know that is just a collection of mechanisms (neurons, chemical reactions, electric charges) which can be and has been implemented in machines. Everything we know of can be reduced to mechanisms. We even have a primitive, much smaller, model of a brain in AlphaGo which beat the World Champion of Go in a tournament, and astonished watching experts with the beauty of its moves, in a game which has been written about by experts for 2500 years and played longer. The primitive computer brain learned to play Go by trial and error.

      "Intelligence" itself is based on the mechanism of trial and error plus memory. We don't wish discoveries into existence. We find them by the hard work of trial and error, over many generations. (As Newton remarked.)

      That's the model we have, that's how we work. There is no evidence of any other model. Therefore there is no scientific basis for what K.Gill would like to believe.

      What's so great about a scientific basis? Well, in the European Middle Ages, births and deaths were recorded by each parish. From that data we know that Infant Mortality (0-5 years old) varied between 30% and 50%, depending on how bad the plagues were each year. Also, 20% of child births resulted in the death of the mother. People used the wishing model then (lots of prayer). Thanks to science, those statistics are much better today. You would think people would realize the benefit of sticking to science instead of the wish model after all that history, but no.

      The most complex thing I know of, much more complex than solar systems and galaxies, is the human body (with all its kludges and disadvantages) and brain; and that demonstrably evolved, step by small step, over about 4 billion years of trial and error. What better proof does anybody need? (I don't get how people can ignore all that data in favor of wishes.)

      (By the way, evolution does not require reproduction per se, just some means of change. AlphaGo did not reproduce itself as it evolved its Go ability. We can all evolve our skills and understandings.) (Yes, there are new versions of AlphaGo since the tournament, both reproductive and individual evolution are possible.)

      Delete
    33. Kevin:
      "The Universe needs a workforce and the only possible workforce is its own offspring at some stage of development. High mass particles can also work for the Universe and get rewarded eventually by gaining independence and getting reborn as a new universe"

      What did you smoke?

      Delete
    34. "I would tell the dying child she will die but she will not suffer in death. I would want to be compassionate."

      Just hold her hand and let her experience some loving presence. Don't say anything.

      Delete
    35. muck, der5:57 AM, July 08, 2021

      There are the Rumsfeldian known unknowns and unknown unknowns. So what? Then there are the known-by-a-child-over-8 knowns e.g. the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and God are not real.

      Delete
    36. C Thompson6:09 AM, July 08, 2021

      Just like your crazy gender ideology, your comments are imprecise and irrelevant. (Still no definitions of the genders we are supposed to be checking for "resonance" with, but for which you want to commit mass murder...)

      "People of the Iron Age would be mentally indistinguishable from modern humans, "

      I wrote "knowledge". They would know almost 0% of modern scientific knowledge, because, like you, they are on the dark side of the Enlightenment.

      "and chimpanzees are known to be quite cunning."
      It probably looks that way to you, but they're not quite cunning enough to land on the moon. The point is *knowledge* not cunning.

      More imprecise random nonsense from you. Keep it up.

      Delete
    37. Mr. Jonathan Camp G.E.D.2:50 AM, July 08, 2021

      "Other times I envy the Brain-dead."

      You have no reason to envy them.

      Delete
    38. Keith D. Gill10:47 AM, July 07, 2021

      You are just re-re-re-repeating the same mistaken comments, and we went through all this with PhysicistDave.

      "How can we make a science of something that is literally beyond our ability to measure with any sort of material apparatus?"

      WRONG. You assume the mind cannot be explained from the physical brain without justification. That you can't imagine such a theory is neither surprising nor relevant.

      "how would one apply math or calipers to something as inaccessible as the "thinker" of thoughts, or the "dreamer" of dreams?"

      WRONG. The structure of the brain is analysed with PET scanners not "calipers".

      " how can we possibly develop a full description of reality if, by reason of it being difficult to zero-in on, we ignore what is arguably the singular most important aspect of reality itself (i.e., "consciousness")?"

      WRONG. Physics discovered the fundamental theories of the quantum and GR *because* it ignored consciousness. What the crank "philosopher" Phillip Goff terms "Galileo's Error", and Durham university employ this complete fool.

      ") begins at the lowest levels such as amoebas"

      WRONG. Amoebas do not exhibit consciousness. Only brains exhibit consciousness.

      "a problem arises when it is assumed that the ascending ladder of consciousness stops at the human rung and goes no further."

      WRONG. There is no problem with this because it's true. You have shown no evidence of consciousness outside an animal brain on Earth.

      "I suggest that that problem is due to the fact that the lower rungs of the ladder are simply not conscious enough to discern the status of the rungs above their own."

      WRONG. You are not conscious enough to understand that if there is no evidence for something then there's no reason to believe it true.


      "where unenlightened ("sleepwalking") humans simply cannot fathom what the enlightened ones are seeing or talking about."

      RIGHT. I keep telling you you have no evidence for your crazy claims, and you keep not understanding - literally the key point of the Enlightenment that happened *centuries* ago.

      "the illusion of objective reality,..."

      WRONG. The quantum behaviour of the electron is confirmed quadrillions of times a day on computer chips; atomic clocks on satellites in orbits are observed to run faster than those on the Earth's surface, confirming Einstein's GR predictions billions of times a day.

      "under the thrall "

      WRONG. Looking dispassionately at the evidence.

      " you are simply not awake enough to understand where I am coming from."

      WRONG. I see exactly where you are coming from. You think if science cannot perfectly explain the mind in terms of the brain (whose analysis is nowhere near complete), or science cannot know what happened more than 13.7 bya, then that means you can believe in Iron Age fairy tales. WRONG.

      "the unthinkable order of the universe"

      WRONG. Scientists literally have thought it!! The order of the universe from 13.7bya until today is described to a tremendous level of precision by science.

      " "just exists" due to the blind and mindless processes of chance,"

      WRONG. Nobody said anything about "chance". The origin or otherwise of the universe is simply not currently known.That's a fact.

      " that of believing that something intelligent may have been responsible."

      WRONG. The only evidence of intelligence in the universe is recently on Earth.

      "The fact that you cannot see the vast chasm between the respective implications of those two suppositions"

      WRONG. The universe evolved according to natural laws; "God" is a fictional character in a primitive story book. We already know this. Where have you been for the past 2,000 years?

      You are WRONG all the time, Keith. Except the one time when you were RIGHT about you being WRONG.

      Delete
    39. Martin,
      "Just hold her hand and let her experience some loving presence. Don't say anything."

      Well said.

      Delete
    40. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    41. Jim V; Indeed humans are complex, but really we are matrixed into a lot of complexity and ultimately just one extension thereof.

      Delete
    42. Martien wrote:
      "...Just hold her hand and let her experience some loving presence. Don't say anything"..."

      Martien, the point of my little thought experiment was to see what a hardcore atheist would have to "say" to a terrified child when she asked the specific question: "...what's going to happen to me when I die?..."

      To which I suggest that it is perfectly okay to make something up that will help ease her fear (even if what you say is pure fantasy), because, again, if what you tell her turns out to be wrong and we all simply blink-out of existence forever, then no one will be alive to ridicule your answer.

      Your suggestion to...

      "...Just hold her hand and let her experience some loving presence. Don't say anything..."

      ...is a reasonable option, but it nevertheless demonstrates how atheists are hamstrung when it comes to such critical situations.

      Not to mention the fact that because no one knows with absolute certainty what's really going to happen when we die, then why not err on the side of "hopefulness"?
      _______

      Delete
    43. Steven Evans wrote...
      ...a long and tedious diatribe filled with specific counterpoints that only a hardcore (sleepwalking) materialist would use.

      So thank you, Steven, for making my case for me.

      (Btw, whatever happened to good ol' PhysicistDave?)
      _______

      Delete
    44. Keith

      "...is a reasonable option, but it nevertheless demonstrates how atheists are hamstrung when it comes to such critical situations."

      I did a dew times in my life hold the hand of a dying person until he/she was dead. At that point of life none of them had an emotional need to reason about life after that.Either that was a station long passed, or there was too much direct suffering or a clouded mind, due to medicine or whatever, or a mix of these. But in the cases I came across seeking comfort through a dialogue was not an option.

      I am an atheist, though not a militant and open one, and the dying persons were devote catholics. It would not have been difficult for me to use religion as a source for comfort. The catholic priest however did when he gave them the last sacraments one or two weeks earlier. I do think that provided some comfort. Not in a rational sense, maybe more because of the communal caring and rituals involved.

      Started a dialogue about life after death could well be a good option in some other cases, but I thought it would be very unlikely a good option with the dying dehydrated and undernourished little child in Sudan.

      I felt that trying to comfort him or her could even be invasive. Are we not comforting ourselves in the same time and is it justifiable to trouble dying others with our own emotional needs?

      Delete
    45. It is also possible that the Last Sacraments reduced fear and anxiety with regards the prospect of ending up in purgatory or hell.

      Belief in an afterlife can be comforting but may also lead to unnecessary anxiety and fear.

      Delete
    46. Keith,
      I was thinking about you ladder of consciousness and realized that the higher up the ladder that you are, the higher you are up the food chain.
      Just and interesting observation.

      Delete
    47. Faith is like a cage...
      & a cage can also be a scaffolding...
      It is good to have
      curiousity, no regrets...
      & a key.

      Delete
    48. @Martien & muck, der: I agree.

      @Jonathan: And the further there is to fall off the ladder, maybe.

      Delete
  11. I can’t compete with you guys on an intellectual level, but if you’ll allow me to introduce some levity here:

    Professor Doctor Famous is awarded the Nobel Prize for discovering how to make baby universes at Fermilab. During his acceptance speech, he commented on how there is no need to believe in God anymore.
    God, upon hearing this decided to go visit Professor Doctor Famous in his office at the end of the corridor and asks him, what’s this I hear you’re saying that there is no need to believe in me anymore?
    Dr. Famous replied, now that we can create our own universes there is no need to believe in a God anymore.
    God sayest unto him, show me how thou doest this.
    Dr. Famous replies, first you start with 10-kilograms of false vacuum…
    God interrupts him and says, wait, wait, wait! Get your own false vacuum.

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    Replies
    1. Nice story, it made me smile. The underlying question, whether it is possible to create another universe within the framework of an existing one, is an interesting one. Apparently some believe so.

      Delete
  12. P.S.
    Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Beautiful vocals, Dr. Hossenfelder
    Cite: Sabine Hossenfelder's music video, Ivory Towers.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I remember reading a paper on just this subject about 10 years ago. The author stated it took 10kg of matter, which is equivalent to 9×10^{17}joules. This is a lot of energy. A ton of TNT is equivalent to 4.2×10^9 joules, and a pulse of energy required to generate this false vacuum would require a 2×10^8 ton or 200 megaton nuclear bomb. That is about 4 times larger than the Soviet 1960s Tsar-bomba. This also assumes all that energy by some implosive means goes into generating that false vacuum, which of course is an idealization. To do this would require a very large nuclear explosive that is configured so half of its energy is directed in an implosion. Doing this might generate quantum black holes or nascent cosmogonies.

    BTW, there is some evidence that Russia now has been developing a 1000 megaton, a gigaton, nuclear bomb. The idea is to put this on a torpedo that explodes in the ocean to generate a tsunami type wave that inundates a city. It would be best if this does not become a reality.

    This in general does connect with the prospect that black holes generate nascent cosmogonies. Smolin wrote on this. In my work I find there are hyperbolic geometries with the coalescence of black holes and such implosions. In fact, there are local anti-de Sitter geometries in these systems that may emulate eternal inflationary spacetimes that generate FLRW spacetimes such as what we observe.

    We might imagine doing these things in outer space, presumably under international auspices to not violate the test ban treaty that forbids nuclear bomb tests in space. I question whether these types of gang buster experiments will ever be done, but who knows?

    It is possible to derive the Hamiltonian equation for an accelerated expanding spacetime with Newton’s laws. This equation for the Hubble constant

    H = (å/a)^2 = 8πGρ/3c^2

    may be rather easily derived with Newtonian mechanics. Here, the term a is the expansion parameter and å is the time derivative for time defined on the Hubble frame. This equation comes about from the ADM Hamiltonian constraint Nℋ = 0. We might interpret this as meaning the total energy is zero, at least locally. The density contains terms for radiation, matter and the vacuum energy that is a constant. The constant vacuum energy results in an accelerated expansion. This is the same as what one gets from the FLRW metric for k = 0. In this case the spatial geometry is infinite in extent or ℝ^3, which in a funny sense does not violate energy conservation. Infinity has a way of doing these things. This is then an implicit pseudo-tensor model in general relativity where energy conservation is defined in some special frame. That special frame is the Hubble frame.

    In the eternal inflationary model, the FLRW spacetime is embedded in a de Sitter spacetime. Energy conservation is dubious. This eternal inflationary model might bubble off cosmogonies, similar to a theorem by Karen Uhlenbeck, as closed S^3 spatial geometry. In this case general relativity gives an additional term k/a^2 term. This reflects how because the space is finite that a constant energy density does violate energy conservation as it expands. Even though it is closed this energy density can push it out in an eternal expansion. This k/a^2 term as the expansion parameter increase becomes negligible.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lawrence,
      'BTW, there is some evidence that Russia now has been developing a 1000 megaton, a gigaton, nuclear bomb. The idea is to put this on a torpedo that explodes in the ocean to generate a tsunami type wave that inundates a city.'
      This is why we can't have nice things. Although that is slightly better (not really) than simply blowing up a city and irradiating everything.

      This is probably a silly question, but would the particles that pop in and out of existence in a vacuum provide any entity towards an expanding universe? I think I can follow what you've said here.

      Delete
    2. I have to say the picture of particles popping in and out of existence is a heuristic that should not be taken too seriously. These virtual particles have momenta that is summed or integrated over in the evaluation of Feynman diagrams. As with calculus in general, such are dummy variables, and in this case we should avoid thinking of virtual particles in some ontological sense. Hawking radiation involves transformations of operators, in particular Bogoliubov transformations, and this complexity Hawking glossed over with a heuristic involving particles popping in and out of existence.

      Take a harmonic oscillator or pendulum and put them at rest. The uncertainty principle says there is in any interval of time some spread of energy. This occurs within the natural frequency of the harmonic oscillator. This defines a zero point energy for the harmonic oscillator. The vacuum is a huge summation of the same, where fields are quantized as harmonic oscillators. This would mean the vacuum has this enormous net energy. This is not a problem for quantum field theories, for this stuff is decoupled largely from real quantum fields. It is a problem with gravitation and predicts a sort of inflationary spacetime. We are in a region where the vacuum transitioned to a lower net energy. This then gets into a lot of open questions and problems today.

      Delete
    3. I meant 'energy' not 'entity', missed that typo.
      Thanks for that answer, Lawrence. I think most of my comprehension of physics is still relatively basic, so
      I'm building a more fine-grained understanding of things.

      The image of harmonic oscillators has me imagining this vacuum as full of buzzing energy potential.

      I'll review your answer and find out more on it later.

      Delete
    4. The vacuum is filled with the zero mode of various fields, usually for most considerations the electromagnetic field. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle means the zero mode is actually filled with energy equal to πħν for ħ the Dirac-Planck constant and ν the frequency of the oscillator. This comes about from evaluating the quantum form of the harmonic oscillator and commuting the momentum and position which leaves this "bit" left over.

      Delete
  14. How can you have any type of vacuum without space? Surely a vacuum is space without any contents? Space and time seem to emerge during the big bang, and there are other reasons to believe that space is emergent.

    This is all so speculative that I’m surprised Sabine gives it credence.

    Also, it’s not necessarily true that there is no conservation of energy. It’s possible that the universe was created from outside space or time, and that there is an ongoing input. The idea that the energy gets ‘added’ automatically as space expands is, yes, another assumption.

    It’s fine to speculate, but this is far closer to science fiction than to science.

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    Replies
    1. "How can you have any type of vacuum without space?"

      What makes you think the vacuum state that I refer to doesn't have space? I certainly didn't say anything to that extent. There is a vacuum state without space in quantum gravity, but this isn't involved here. This is a normal particle-physics false vacuum state.

      "Also, it’s not necessarily true that there is no conservation of energy."

      Of course it's not *necessarily* true, but it is true in General Relativity, which is one of the best-confirmed theories of all times.

      "This is all so speculative that I’m surprised Sabine gives it credence."

      The most speculative point is that inflation is correct which I personally don't think is the case, but the majority of physicists think. If you look at the math, the rest is actually pretty straight forward.

      I find it quite interesting how many people think they can tell what's speculative science and what not based on their gut-feeling.

      Delete
    2. If you don't think inflation is correct, yet that assumption is critical, it follows that you promote a speculative theory you don't believe. Why would you do that?

      Delete
    3. Because I don't think that what I believe is particularly interesting.

      Delete
    4. Also, I am hardly "promoting" anything. I am simply explaining what people have worked on. The one thing I may have been promoting is Zeeya's book, which I can really recommend.

      Delete
    5. “ What makes you think the vacuum state that I refer to doesn't have space? I certainly didn't say anything to that extent. There is a vacuum state without space in quantum gravity, but this isn't involved here. This is a normal particle-physics false vacuum state.”

      Apologies Sabine as I wasn’t clear, I was referring to the start of this universe rather than the the idea of creating another one. Isn’t there a chicken and egg issue where this is all based on there being space in the first place? Do you not need a substrate for the false vacuum?

      Delete
    6. It is speculation.

      1.a) (Citation, SH) “But more importantly, Einstein also taught us that space is dynamic. It can bend and curve, and it can expand. It changes with time. And if space changes with time, then energy is not conserved.”

      1.b) Although this phraseology is totally politically correct, I think that it hides very deep conceptual difficulties. What do we really mean with the word space?

      In Einstein’s theory of gravity (1907-1915), the mathematical space is four dimensional and related to a Riemannian geometry. It is a limpid statement, but -among other things- any geometry is characterized by its manner to calculate lengths and angles. And to do that, concrete points are needed.

      Currently, these mathematical points are represented by real physical and macroscopic objects in the nature, for example the Supernovae. They allow us to reconstruct the effective geometry of our universe. Quite better, they give us the opportunity to draw maps of this universe and the reiteration of the measurements reveals the dynamic of these objects, hence of the geometry.

      Macroscopic objects at distance  Mathematical point for a physicist on the Earth
      Distribution of the objects  Effective geometry
      Variations of the positions of the objects  Eventual dynamic of the geometry

      With the representation of our universe resulting from the Morley and Michelson experiments (1881-1887), there were no difficulty to clearly separate the matter from the rest of the universe. The quantum mechanics was not yet born (it came a little bit later between 1920-1930). Riemann’s pioneer work (1854) and Hilbert’s book (Grundlagen der Geometrie, 1899) were opening the doors for alternative geometries able to describe the human reality. As consequence, the rest of the universe simply was an empty four-dimensional space, synonym: a (quasi-)perfect vacuum.


      2.a (Citation, SH) “So, okay, we do not need a lot of matter, but how do we make a baby universe that expands? Well, you try to generate conditions like those that created our own universe.

      There is a little problem with that, which is that no one really knows how our universe was created in the first place. There are many different theories for it, but none of them has observational support. However, one of those theories has become very popular among astrophysicists, it’s called “eternal inflation” – and while we don’t know it’s right, it could be right.”

      (Citation, Simon Adam) “How can you have any type of vacuum without space? Surely a vacuum is space without any contents? Space and time seem to emerge during the big bang, and there are other reasons to believe that space is emergent.”

      2.b Now, what is a space (in the explained meaning of the word) when there is no matter (no macroscopic object to refer to)?

      Today, one would certainly answer: a field, for example an electromagnetic one. That affirmation implicitly means that a field not only occupies or expands into a volume but also that that field is the volume itself with given and specific properties defining and characterizing it.

      Field  Volumes with specific properties

      Is it a coherent description? I am not sure. If we do not have a mathematical object based on some physical observation connecting a field (anyone) and the volumes it is expanding into (please do not answer to this interrogation), as amateur, I also get the feeling that this discussion on the production of a baby universe is pure and dangerous speculation, and that professional people playing with these topics act like sorcerer’s apprentices, dealing with Faust.

      Delete
    7. Hi Simon,

      I would just say these are different questions. You can't deal with the creation of space-time in General Relativity, because GR takes space-time as primary. So you need a different theory, and several approaches to QG have tried to address the matter. I don't think any of those are very convincing. In any case, you can theoretically create space-time from something else, eg, some kind of network or just a quantum-thing that defies interpretation or, presumably, strings and branes and that kind of thing, though it's debatable whether or not those take space-time to exist already.

      The interesting thing about the baby universes is that you can make them from inside the space-time that we know exists.

      Delete
  15. Attributing their own spacetimes to some fundamental particles could be interesting.

    1. Letting a positron have an internal spacetime with a reverse time direction to our macro time can explain the Bell correlation (retrocausality).
    2. letting a fundamental particle collapse, at a measurement, can be a collapse at 'faster than c' within its own spacetime depending on the speed of transmission within its own spacetime. That could also explain the Bell correlation without using retrocausality.
    3. Irrespective of the maximum rate of transmission of information in a particle's own internal spacetime's space, effects such as the Penrose CCC's collapse of the spacetime metric at an end-of-universe-cycle may possibly happen at FTL (because the metric is changing/ending). And a fractal-like micro version of CCC might happen at a particle measurement in the particle's internal spacetime.

    Austin Fearnley

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  16. The 10 KG mass energy equivalent requirement to produce a false vacuum reflects brute force type thinking that lacks any engineering subtleties and imagination.


    A far more energy efficient and imaginative approach to creating a false vacuum is to destabilize and replace the currently existing true vacuum state that now exists.


    Science says that the Higgs field is like a pencil that is standing on its point. Just the smallest perturbation to the Higgs field can cause the true Higgs vacuum state to fall. This precarious nature of the cosmic Higgs field is the mechanism that universe engineers should use to produce their work products.


    The nature and extent of the dark sector of our universe reveals to us that 95% of our universe is generated by other false vacuum objects. Our 5% of the visible universe is the exception to the general rule. The true vacuum state might be thought of as a topological defect in the universal false vacuum condition. The nature and extent of the dark sector is telling us that a false vacuum based micro universe template is trivial to produce and is a dominant and all pervasive mechanism that constantly unfolds throughout the entirety of the universe.


    The interface between the false and true vacuum states is a robust one involving only the weak force. Detecting transactions between these two states of the vacuum is limited to using weak force indicators as instantiated by the Higgs field. But this vacuum state interface provides stability throughout the universe from its beginning to the current day.


    The lessons taught by general relativity and the micro black hole meme may be ill applied to conceptualizing the nature of the dark sector and how that sector is formed and proceeds. Understanding the multiverse and the dark sector may require a more expansive perspective that embraces many vacuum driven diverse systems of natural laws, forces. and particles that coexist and work together within a stable self regulated whole. Whatever produces the dark sector and the micro universes that comprise it is so natural and all pervasive that our current backgrounds, training, and approaches have difficulties in appreciating it.

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  17. This question is proof of your hyperviolence... What's you star sign, Sabot? Leo? Or virgo? Or something in-between, because we don't need middlemen like you, capiche? Everyone has a book in them, yeah? DCN

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  18. Sabine you said "The true vacuum has a lower energy, but it can have higher pressure. If it has higher pressure, it’ll expand. That’s is how our universe could have started."
    Why do you call it pressure? According to the first Friedmann equation the universe expanded (decelerated though)due to positive matter density dominating at that time.

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    1. Matter? What Matter? There's no matter in that bubble. Matter isn't created until the end of inflation.

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    2. Sorry, I have been one step too far. Inflation is driven by negative pressure.

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    3. Timm, I think that I figured it out. I was thinking that inflation was caused by an internal pressure pushing the infant universe outward. If I understand you correctly, you're stating that some kind of negative pressure area (false vacuum, embedding space, or whatever) pulled (sucked) the infant universe out of it's womb, so to speak?

      Sabine, I know that you don't *believe* in inflation, but in my mind, the 10^-30 something of a second that inflation lasted, it was the time interval when universal laws and constants were being written. Without those laws in effect yet the infant universe expanded exponentially in that very short period of time.
      At 10^-36 seconds, E finally equaled MC^2, essentially putting the breaks on cosmic inflation.
      With E not quite equaling MC^2 inflation didn't quite come to a full stop but continues to accelerate somehow related to what we call Dark Energy today.

      I feel like a kindergartner here.
      My level of understand is such that I'm reading, Alice in Quantumland, by Robert Gilmore, right now. It's kind of like an early reader version on QM.

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    4. That sounds good to me, Jonathan.
      I was thinking of a new universe as a sort of hernia pushing out from a vacuum, ballooning out then pinching off, but that might be over-simplified.

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    5. Jonathan, I'm afraid there isn't an intuitive way to understand that. Inflation is driven by vacuum energy which has constant density. It can be shown that to maintain it constant the work done (pdV) requires negative pressure. This makes the difference to an expanding gas which exerts positive pressure. The reason behind that is that in contrast to gas the vacuum energy is not "diluted" by expansion.

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    6. CT: Pinching off into what?
      I once had a fascinating book of Physics, printed back in the late 1890's. It still preached the existence of the Either.

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    7. Timm,
      If I understand you correctly, the stuff of the early universe was Vacuum Energy. That this vacuum energy was what expanded during the phase called cosmic inflation. That the density of this vacuum energy remained constant as the universe expanded exponentially in the first 10^-36th of a second. After that, the vacuum energy is what eventually evolved into the stuff we know as the universe today. Matter and all that.
      Would that mean that more vacuum energy was added to the universe as it expanded?
      My thoughts were that everything, every tiny bit of energy that would eventually evolve into today’s universe came into existence at the same moment as the Big Bang. That nothing was added or subtracted from it since time zero.
      BANG! That’s all there is, and that’s all there is to it?
      Am I on the right track?

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    8. I don't know. Maybe they just sit where the vacuum was.
      I do wonder how current ideas will be seen in the future.

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    9. Jonathan,
      "Am I on the right track?" mainly yes. At the end of inflation the Inflaton field decayed into matter (google reheating) thereby creating this hot and dense initial state of the universe which we call Big Bang.
      One can discuss "energy was added" but that's semantic. Dr. Hossenfelder said "But if the energy per volume is constant, and the volume increases, then the total energy increases with the volume." to which I nothing have to add. :)

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    10. Timm & Sabine,
      "Dr. Hossenfelder said "But if the energy per volume is constant, and the volume increases, then the total energy increases with the volume." to which I nothing have to add. :)"
      So where did that additional energy come from?

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    11. "Dr. Hossenfelder said "But if the energy per volume is constant, and the volume increases, then the total energy increases with the volume." to which I nothing have to add. :)"
      So where did that additional energy come from?


      The reason I said this was to explain that energy is not conserved.

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    12. John A. Peacock states in "Cosmological Physics" page 26 "In effect, the vacuum acts as a reservoir of unlimited energy which can supply as much as is required to inflate a given region to any required size at constant energy density". Jonathan, I know this is hard to digest.

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    14. Timm,
      "the vacuum acts as a reservoir"
      Would that be the Quantum Vacuum full of virtual particles, a/k/a, the Zero Point Field?

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    17. Jonathan,
      "Would that be the Quantum Vacuum full of virtual particles, a/k/a, the Zero Point Field?"
      Sort of possibly. However the prediction of QFT is way way too high, see here
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy
      We don't understand the quantum vacuum yet.

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  19. Dr. Sabine Hossenfelder PhD, one of the most interesting people that I know of, doesn't think that what she believes is particularly interesting?
    I know where you can get 312-thousand to 1 against that.
    Your youtube page. You do the math, but I *believe* that's more than 5-Sigma worth of data that says what you believe is indeed particularly interesting.

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    1. I don't think what I think of what Sabine Hossenfelder thinks is particularly compelling mostly, but I am interested to know what the Dr. thinks.
      But then, I'm interested in what people think in general, so here I am hanging around the blog. :)

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    4. Which reminds me: I've read a young-adult sci-fi novel about a future society that implants it's citizens with the ability to download information and virtual-reality adventures. One kid gets all this information about surviving in the world outside, but nearly kills himself because one data pack told him that berries are food, but not that some berries are poisonous. Now the Internet gives us a similar scenario and I've learnt about science and physics but also about foraging for edible weeds; so far I've managed too not poison myself.
      Implants for advanced mathematics and German would be good.
      /end ramble

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    5. Also, Jonathan, perhaps the best way to find what Dr. Hossenfelder believes is via her video and blog posts about free will and our lack thereof. (I don't know if Dr. H would agree with that assessment, obviously.)
      There is plenty of meat in that intellectual sandwich.

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    6. C Thompson,
      There is a book called, Into the Wild, about a young man who wandered into the backwoods of Alaska intending to live off the land. He had with him a book about edible wild plants. He misidentified some berries that he came across as being edible. They were poisonous and he died as a result of his mistake. Investigators, reading his journal, discovered that if he had only turned one more page in his book about edible berries he would have realized his mistake before it was too late. Don't make the same mistake. By the way, I enjoy dandelion tea.

      I’ve read Dr. Hossenfelder’s blog extensively. Somewhere in there I read that she prefers to keep her *believes* to herself.
      I can respect that.

      Sabine, there is a ton of interesting stuff in your blog.
      I just downloaded a paper you wrote about writing a first paper. I have a ton of ideas in my head that are written down all over the place here. They are in piles that are just as disorganized as they were when they were in my head, ha ha. I intend to compile them together and use your “How to write your first paper” paper as a template to write them down in an organized manner.
      Thank you for your time and efforts with this.
      P.S. Someone said, “There is a book in all of us.” I’m working on my first, and am looking forward to your next.

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    7. C Thompson said:
      "There is plenty of meat in that intellectual sandwich."
      I think that she would prefer a salad.

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    10. Jonathan, so let the intellectual substance of that sandwich be tofu. :)

      A fully-functional calculator would be very handy, and I'd want a complete glossary of physics and mathematical terms.

      I have read about that would-be survivalist guy; that he died for want of turning a page is pretty scary. I am wary of turning myself into a 'Darwin Award' recipient though.
      My hope is to teach myself enough of how to make and do things by and for myself that if the world goes to heck I can manage to look after myself but do not fancy finding out if I would be capable.

      I've read a fair chunk of Backreaction and there's some great writing. (Dr. H. shouldn't diss her English skills. Sie ist sehr gute. Mein Deutsch ist sehr schlect.)
      Und Steven Evans, ja.

      That one would want to keep much of their opinions private is fair enough. It's weird enough being a 'fan-girl' of someone's output when they are a vague acquaintance who can read what I say. I would never have thought I'd talk/chat with someone of that standing and meet a bunch of interesting people on their blog. Life is a bit bizarre that way.

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    11. C Thompson,
      "Fan-Girl?" Naughty, Naughty! That's not gender-neutral!
      That's okay, I'm a "man-fan."

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    12. There's nothing wrong with describing myself in gendered terms, and 'fan-girl' is more concise than 'over-enthusiastic random weirdo'. :-9

      Dr. H has her own things going on, so I don't want to inflict my over-enthusiasm on her too much.

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  20. I wonder if the baby universe model could be incorporated into a model of baryonic construction in the early universe. Let me explain. The cosmological constant could be modeled as a potential in the early Universe that was stronger in under-dense regions. In this way expansion would occur in bubbles nucleating in regions where baryonic density was lower resulting in enhanced baryonic densities along the perimeters of developing voids. At this point gravitational collapse would then lead to matter structures. In other words bubble formation due to the cosmological constant would enhance the development of baryonic structure.

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    1. So these voids/bubbles could act like scaffolding for matter?

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    2. “ So these voids/bubbles could act like scaffolding for matter?”
      In the early Universe the growth of voids/bubbles would be equivalent to a Hubble flow and actually push matter away from their centers of expansion. If the Universe were filled with these void/bubbles then matter would be confined to smaller volumes, enhancing baryonic density.

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    3. To get this requires understanding inflationary cosmology. At the end of inflation the vacuum transitions from a high energy one to a low energy one. There is then a gap of energy or mass-gap that appears here. That is where radiation and matter emerged from.

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    4. Thanks, Lawrence. But I wasn’t considering that far back in time. I was trying to be speculative without being censured. I was referring to the early onset of the large large scale structure of the Universe. It occurred to me that even though we wouldn’t notice baby universes popping in and out of existence in the present time. In the early universe, before structure formation, when the Universe could be considered to be dust filled, the momentary appearance of a baby universe might leave a sign. And i wondered if the signs they’d leave would be the advent of structure formation. That we’d notice as variations in matter density. The current cosmological model has a slight problem. It predicts structure growth (specifically Black Holes) via gravitational collapse. But, observations of the early universe show massive Black Holes seemingly too early to be accounted for by gravitational collapse. So, I wondered if a process like baby universes could play a role in structure formation by enhancing matter density. In effect ‘kick starting’ gravitational collapse.

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  21. Keith,
    There are times when the moral thing to do is tell a different part of the truth or a different part of the lie.

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    1. Steve Bullfox wrote:
      "There are times when the moral thing to do is tell a different part of the truth or a different part of the lie."

      Hi Steve,

      Please explain what you mean by that.
      _______

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  23. No, we can not.
    We even do not understand the one and only Universe in which we precariously dwell.
    There is a lot of hubris in the question.

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  24. I started thinking about this a moment ago:

    '...if the conditions are right, that true vacuum will expand rapidly. While it expands it creates its own space. It does not grow into our universe, it makes a bubble.'

    Is it that the apparent internal volume of the new universe expands internally but there is no apparent growth in the size of it to an outside observer, or do I misunderstand?

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  25. Keith,
    There are times when the most moral choice is not entirely black or white.

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  26. There is space, there is time, and there is stuff, all mushed together in a herniated vacuum.

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    1. But, does this herniated-vacuum mush act like say, the TARDIS, Mary Poppins' carpet bag, or the wardrobe that leads to Narnia?

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    2. C Thompson, "While it expands it creates its own space. It does not grow into our universe". No it doesn't, the expanding space *is* our universe.
      "but there is no apparent growth in the size of it to an outside observer" The word "bubble" could create a wrong picture: Our universe is isotropic, there is no edge and no center. If there is an "outside" (nobody knows) then it is causally disconnected, our universe can't be observed by someone outside.

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    3. Hi Timm,

      What happens to the baby universe within our Universe though? How would an observer within perceive it - would the baby universe they're in appear to expand to them, but not to us outside of it?

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    4. Hi C Thompson,

      it's not like that. The baby universe is created after a tiny patch of false vacuum has decayed into true vacuum which then expanded exponentially for an instant of time. In other word we live in said baby universe.
      The notion of an outside is wrong. "Outside" suggest a surface which separates inside from outside. But there is no such surface. The universe looks the same for any arbitrary observer. This makes him different from a worm in an apple.

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    5. So if a new universe were to be created inside our Universe, the new one would overwrite the old?

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    6. Question by CT:
      "What happens to the baby universe within our Universe though? How would an observer within perceive it - would the baby universe they're in appear to expand to them, but not to us outside of it?"

      That is IMO a very important question and is the focus of my amateur physics work during 2021. I have written somewhere else on this page about it. If there are two types of spacetimes, say +ve and -ve intrinsic curvatures (say positron and electron; or positron and our spacetime),then how does the inside of one appear to the other. Relativity is important and needs to be taken into account as in what would differently situated observers see. Also, is a particle in our spacetime when it is not measured. Is a particle in its own spacetime. Etc.

      Austin Fearnley

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    7. Thanks for that answer, Austin.

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    8. Also, thanks to Timm Deeg.

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    9. What you would generate if you do this is a quantum black hole. See below for a post I wrote today that is related to this question. The process of generating a cosmology will then occur behind the event horizon of the black hole. The far interior of a Kerr black hole metric approximates the Anti-de Sitter spacetime. This is related to the de Sitter spacetime via a metric change in one set of coordinates. So the interior of black holes, at least small quantum mechanical ones, has conditions that may be commensurate with generating cosmogonies. These will then presumably not set up some vacuum change inside the observable universe. If it did we would most likely cease to exist almost instantly.

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    10. Lawrence wrote:
      " ... The far interior of a Kerr black hole metric approximates the Anti-de Sitter spacetime. This is related to the de Sitter spacetime via a metric change in one set of coordinates. So the interior of black holes, at least small quantum mechanical ones, has conditions that may be commensurate with generating cosmogonies. ..."

      I see cyclic cosmologies maybe here? If the dS universe gives rise to AdS black holes, which are maybe themselves universes: then could AdS universes give rise to dS black holes, which also are maybe universes. And so on, in cyclic alternation?
      Could an antimatter-dominated universe survive inside an AdS universe? (Assuming a matter-dominated universe could not.) If so, the cycle would be from matter-dominated to antimatter-dominated to matter-dominated universes etc.

      Austin Fearnley

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  27. Another very interesting subject and conversation.

    Dr Hossenfelder wrote:

    "The simplest example of energy non-conservation is the cosmological constant. The cosmological constant is the reason that the expansion of our universe gets faster. It has units of an energy-density – so that’s energy per volume – and as the name says, it’s constant. But if the energy per volume is constant, and the volume increases, then the total energy increases with the volume. This means in an expanding universe, you can get a lot of energy from nothing – if you just manage to expand space rapidly enough. I know that this sounds completely crazy, but this is really how it works in Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. Energy is just not conserved."

    I have several comments concerning this paragraph.

    To begin with, we have to remember that the cosmological constant was a ad hoc addition by Einstein to his equation because he initially believed that the universe was static. It means that the presence of this constant has more to do with ideology that science in the sense that it is there not because physics required it but because Einstein thought that it had to be there (based on his conception on how the universe should be).

    The cosmological constant was left in the equation (even when it was not required) and given a value of zero. Then it was discovered that there was an acceleration of the expansion of the universe and cosmologists used the cosmological constant to take into account this acceleration. But it has to be remembered that this acceleration came as a surprise and that there was no previous theory giving an account of or predicting this acceleration. To try to explain it another ad hoc element was introduced: dark energy.

    All of this to say that, in fact, it seems that we don't really know what is going on. And it seems that we keep adding ad hoc elements as we go along. Cosmological constant, dark energy, dark matter, inflation, you name it.

    Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating?

    We don't really know.

    Why is more than 80% of matter of the universe not detectable? And what is this matter, if it really exists, made of?

    We don't really know.

    All of this indicates that some theories (even the General Relativity) may need to be revisited or new ones created.

    Also, it indicates that we have to be careful with that cosmological constant. If the gravitation theories are wrong or incomplete this constant may be meaningless.

    So, it may be premature to use it to show that energy is not conserved.

    As for "getting a lot of energy from nothing", is it not another definition for... magic?

    Because at the end, it seems that theoretical physics is more and more becoming a discipline worthy to be taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from Harry Potter.

    If only we could find platform 9 and 3/4.

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    1. You make several excellent points, but your comparison of modern theoretical physics to disciplines taught at Hogwarts is unfair and a bit over the line.

      After all, the spells and potions taught at Hogwarts were all immediately verifiable by experiment and discarded if they did not work. Can the same be said for string theory?

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    2. "Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating?

      We don't really know."
      We really do know.

      We have clear observational evidence that the universe is Lambda dominated. It follows from the Friedmann equation that in this case the second derivative of the scale factor is positive which means accelerated expansion.

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    3. >... "We have clear observational evidence that the universe is Lambda dominated."

      Timm, to be precise the clear observational evidence is that the majority of astronomers have been so sure for so long that the universe is Lambda dominated and homogeneous at cosmic scales that they've pre-normalized their reported data to make sure it fits those assumptions. The actual raw data, according to some recent nicely done work [1], argues rather powerfully that the asymmetries at cosmic scales are worse than realized and not at all commensurate with Lambda and homogeneity assumptions engineered into their published versions. One rather radical suggestion (ahem) is that folks might want to start sharing the raw data and doing such crazy things as letting a computer look for the best fits instead of engineering one's particular school of scientific faith assumptions into them before publishing.

      ----------
      [1] N. J. Secrest, S. von Hausegger, M. Rameez, R. Mohayaee, S. Sarkar, and J. Colin, “A Test of the Cosmological Principle with Quasars,” The Astrophysical Journal Letters, vol. 908, no. 2, Art. no. 2, 2021, [Online]. Available: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/abdd40/meta.

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    4. Terry Bollinger wrote:

      "You make several excellent points, but your comparison of modern theoretical physics to disciplines taught at Hogwarts is unfair and a bit over the line.

      After all, the spells and potions taught at Hogwarts were all immediately verifiable by experiment and discarded if they did not work. Can the same be said for string theory?"

      Your comment made me laugh a lot. Thanks!!!

      You made a very good point. Even Hogwarts is sticking to the scientific method. It would be something if even Hogwarts would not accept string theory for failing... the scientific method (LOL).

      Personally, I think that some areas of theoretical physics are in the same situation as the geocentric theory of the past when astronomers were using epicycles. With epicycles, they were able to "explain" the movements of the known planets... but we all know that the geocentric theory was wrong.

      So, having a theory that seems to explain obsservations is not enough. If it cannot be tested one way or the other it has to be handled the way grenades are: with care.

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    5. @ Terry Bollinger
      Your words : "After all, the spells and potions taught at Hogwarts were all immediately verifiable by experiment and discarded if they did not work. Can the same be said for string theory?"

      Thank you for for giving me the best moment of the day when I read them.
      Using the word "theory", in relation to speculation / fantasy that produces idea on cosmic strings, is too generous.
      The theory of Ether was falsifiable, therefore it was a theory, but there does not seem to be a way to falsify a mathematical construct tied to a hypothetical trans-material "reality" which is unreachable by empirical research.

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  28. Just a short comment on the cosmological constant: its existence is the result of a mathematical demonstration due to E. Cartan (1922). It may eventually vanish but not obligatory. Starting with the Riemann element of length and asking what is the consequence of its preservation when the principle of covariance is realized, this French mathematician recovers the generic formulation of Einstein master equation (theory of gravitation).

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  29. The other end of things:

    We might live in a Universe with a false vacuum that could (not likely to, but anyway) collapse, tearing absolutely everything apart at a fair clip and taking us out with it, but it's certainly not the worst way humanity could be done in.

    http://backreaction.blogspot.com/2017/06/dear-dr-b-what-are-chances-of-universe.html

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    1. Birth and death, life is always developed between two fix points in a special kind of thermodynamic diagram. We do not know where, when and how. Space-time containing and representing it does not matter. More important is: the show must go on.
      Following that vein, what is more beautiful than the birth of a baby? That baby already is an universe although (s)he has no conscious of this fact. Have a nice day.

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    2. C.
      Reminds me of a book that I need to read.
      The End of Everything, by Katie Make.
      Sorry Zeeya, I shouldn't have plugged someone else's book while we're talking about yours.

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  30. Gravity as a road to producing a false vacuum is a dead end from a cosmic engineering point of view. The proper path to the production of the false vacuum singularity is to build a false vacuum one quantum at a time until the true vacuum is overwhelmed and destabilized in a micro bubble of space. These quanta of vacuum are to be found within a superconductor. It is just a matter of inducing a superconductor to initiate a chain reaction of unlimited Higgs vacuum expansion.

    A gravity based micro false vacuum is useless from a cosmic point of view. Such a bubble of space will not interact with the universe. Gravity cuts this vacuum off to any cosmic interactions beyond the event horizon. But a false vacuum derived from the Higgs field can drive cosmic processes to effect the universe in major ways.

    A weak force micro singularity might produce new force carrying bosons that have an impact on how the weak force is expressed in the universe. These weak force carrying bosons emanating from these vacuum bubbles may make the weak force long range.

    The increased pressure of the micro false vacuum singularity produced by a weak force unrestricted vacuum chain reaction could generate an ever increasing cosmic energy and inflationary expansion pressure when the weak force micro singularity explodes due to eventual instability.

    We can see evidence for the existence of weak force singularities in variableness in the decay rates of unstable isotopes based on cosmic conditions. This variableness has been observed. Also, a significant contribution to the x-ray background might be generated by the continuous ongoing Bosenova explosions of unstable false vacuum singularities throughout the universe.

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  31. Sabine, you said "That’s what it takes to make a new universe. 10 kilograms." Are there estimates regarding the size of this baby universe after inflation has ended and matter production was completed? For comparison the size of our observable universe at that time corresponds to the size of a melon.

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    1. Well to say the obvious that depends on how long inflation lasts. And for all we know about inflation, that could be anything and everything.

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    2. A general assumption is that the universe expanded by a factor of about 10^26 during inflation. So if we knew which size corresponds to 10 kg before inflation we should be able to calculate its size after inflation.
      I couldn't find a hint regarding the energy density of the false vacuum. Which density did you assume?

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    3. Inflation started at around 10^{-35} seconds after some Planck region began to fluctuate into a new vacuum configuration. This occurs at 10^{10} Planck times, and is equivalent to the Planck length 10^{10} Planck length ℓ_p = √(Għ/c^3) = 1.6×10^{-35}m. This is a bubble that expanded at the speed of light until it bounding area included 10^{10} Planck units of area, or ~ 1/m_p^2 (m_p = √(ħc/G), and had a mass equivalency of 10^{10} Planck masses or 2.2×10^{-8}kg and so this comes to 22kg. This is approximate to how the 10kg figure comes from.

      This means that any region of the eternal inflating de Sitter spacetime that is on this scale is an inflationary bubble. The dS manifold in effect madly spins off cosmologies at a furious rate. This is the start of a quantum tunneling from this false vacuum configuration, I prefer to call this an unstable vacuum, to the physical vacuum or stable vacuum. This occurred as the quantum state of this region began to quantum tunnel, and then after 10^{60} efolds or 10^{26} rapid expansion the wave function has a high probability of tunneling. The energy gap between the two vacua is what generates radiation and matter. This is the reheating phase. So this little region around 10^{10} Planck lengths expands by the efold factor in a region around 1 meter in scale. This all occurs in a very short time period of 10^{-30}seconds.

      So the trick is to create some implosion of energy that can compress that 10kg or so of mass into a very tiny region. That is a very difficult thing to do.

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  33. I actually miss Physicist Dave. I wonder what happened to him? I hope the virus didn't get him.

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  34. How determinative is the vacuum in the functioning of any given universe? If particles and forces are produced under the auspices of a false vacuum, will locally produced products of any given universe interact with and affect other universes? In the case where multiple universes exists where two or more universes share locally generated particles and forces, can these shared locally generated forces and particles exist in and act upon the contents of other coeval universes?

    Can the LHC which operates under a true vacuum still produce particles that are ordinarily formed under the context of a false vacuum?

    Can particle detection experiments that operate in a true vacuum detect particles and forces that originate under a false vacuum?

    It is clear that there have been many assumptions made by experimenters with regards to the detection of false vacuum generated particle and forces, since many dark sector particle detection experiments have occurred and are still in operation.

    But there is no guarantee that these dark sector produced particles can be produced by the LHC and other similar systems.

    An experiment such as the the Muon g-2 experiment will never be resolved until the dark sector particles are detected and characterized.

    I confess to having a favored dark sector particle candidate: the dark photon. It is known in cosmology as the X-boson. The dark photon was posited to first exist during the Planck epoch and it carries the grand unified force.

    The X-boson may be responsible for the thousands of cosmological based weak force anomalies documented by thousands of research papers that have been and are still being produced. The is also the Fifth force posit and X17.

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  35. Cosmologists don't understand that the Higgs field( aka vacuum) can be built through the manipulation of superconductivity. Cosmological engineering of a false vacuum is possible.

    It has recently been realized in both condensed matter and high pressure physics that high compression of a cluster of atoms will produce a superconductor. Room temperature superconductors are now being formed through high compression. As illustration, novel metallic compounds of hydrogen, carbon and sulfur exhibits superconductivity at a balmy 59 degrees Fahrenheit when pressurized between a pair of diamond anvils. The list of newly discovered high pressure based superconductors grows daily.

    These superconducting compounds are metastable. Their formation is the first and most difficult step in Cosmological engineering.

    If these compounds are fed electrons and photons in sufficient quantities, a newly recognized quantum mechanical process called the "Higgs mode" will set in that builds a false vacuum inside a micro bubble of space that surrounds the superconducting seed.

    The false vacuum will continue to grow in a self perpetuating chain reaction if supplied with unrestricted amounts of electrons and photons. This false vacuum growth phase will continue unabated and a micro bubble of anti de sitter form that is self isolated from the true vacuum of our universe.

    But eventually this bubble universe will grow unsustainably, become unstable, and explode in a Bosenova. This event marks the first interaction between the false and the true vacuum. The energy gap between these two vacua is what generates radiation and matter. This Bosenova is the origin of cosmic inflation. The combined energy output of these countless Bosenove thought universe combine to fuel cosmic inflation.

    The universe is constantly producing superconducting condensate matter. The uninterrupted lifecycle of these seeds of the Higgs mode are why cosmic inflation continues unabated.

    We can think of the big bang reheating phase continuing on the micro scale in perpetuity.

    There is no trick required to create some implosion of energy that can compress that 10kg or so of mass into a very tiny region. The trick is not resist mother nature but to embrace her. Gravity is a harsh mistress. The Higgs mode is so very easy to engineer and apply to our purposes.

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    Replies
    1. I can not humor you but a look at images and films resulting from diverse simulations increases the chances for a new cosmology. As a strange fact, the matter exists only at the surface of giant voids and there are many voids. Our universe is a set of bubbles.

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  37. Are any of these universes thermodynamic?

    It takes work to run that kind of universe.

    Tools, and work.

    But where would you put all the tools, all the thermodynamic engines, required to run the whole thing?

    Well, just put it inside the Born rule is what I say.

    First, you could use game theory to model the Born rule in terms of rules in a game.

    Next, you show that any lost prizes in the game are actually the thermodynamic waste stream from a thermodynamic engine-- one that's doing the thermodynamic work required to control and run its part of the universe.

    A stochastic game would fit the bill.

    One is called 'the probability learning game.'

    The probability of the prize being hidden behind door 'A'
    is the same as the probability the contestant guessing door 'A.'
    So not all of the prizes behind the doors will be opened,
    and some fuel that's required to run the game is wasted.

    And with this you've got a toy model of dark energy as the thermodynamic waste streams which are filling up the universe,
    causing it to expand.

    So what is driving the universe apart,
    in this game-theoretic sense,
    is all those wasted possibilities in playing the game of existence.

    It's the kind of story that 'fits right in there' with optimal and stochastic control theory, as in the Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman equation and Pontryagin's maximum principle for trajectories.

    But back to the game--
    because it's stochastic-- it requires tokens for possibilities, tokens for impossibilities, and tokens for facts

    (tokens = mathematical symbols in equations).

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