A Voyage Through the Multiverse and Higher Dimensional Hyperspace
"Remarkable claims require remarkable proof." -- Carl Sagan
The "multiverse" idea—once thought to be so crazy it only belonged on late night television—has now become the dominant theory in all of cosmology. The idea now dominates conversations in science circles and it seems you cannot avoid the theory of the multiverse.
Einstein first gave us the idea that the universe is a soap bubble of some sort and we reside on the skin of this expanding bubble. This observation of an expanding bubble is now one of the greatest experimental achievements of the last century. Now imagine if you run the videotape backwards, the bubble would shrink and eventually become small enough to put in your coat pocket. If this "bang" happened once, it can happen again, again and again. This concept is mind boggling, that idea that entire universes are being created as you are reading this very blog entry.
When speaking about the multiverse, I’m often asked questions about the different kinds of universes that can form as a result of extra dimensions, string theory or even chaotic inflation for example. These are in some sense different kinds of universes but for me personally, it’s very aesthetically pleasing. This all goes back to my childhood with my parents being Buddhist. In Buddhism, you believe in nirvana and timelessness with no beginning and no end. As a child I went to Sunday school where I learned about arks, great floods and the instant of creation when God said, "Let there be Light". So, all my life I’ve had these two competing paradigms in my head. With the multiverse idea, we have the beautiful melding of these two ideas. The reason being is that we do have this nirvana, this timelessness, this eleven dimensional hyperspace, this arena of string theory. But we also have bubbles that form all the time, almost like a bubble bath. Sometimes the bubbles expand rapidly giving us universes, combine with other bubbles and sometimes even pop. This continual creation, the idea of a multiverse is very pleasing to me because I can now meld Buddhist nirvana with Judeo-Christian epistemology.
We have this arena of eleven-dimensional hyperspace and within it these bubbles start to expand and they vibrate. In string theory we of course have the music of strings which gives us the particles we see in nature. This is also pleasing to me because Einstein spent the last three decades of his life trying to read the mind of God and he asked himself "What are God's thoughts?" Well, believe it or not, for the first time we now have a candidate for the mind of God. The mind of God, according to this multiverse picture, is cosmic music resonating through eleven dimensional hyperspace. When I say "God," I’m talking about the God of Spinoza, not necessarily the personal God that answers prayers and feeds the sick. I’m speaking metaphorically about the God of both harmony and beauty. In other words, as I have stated time and time again, it didn’t have to be this way: our Universe could have been random, chaotic and ugly. And I find it absolutely staggering that we can summarize all the laws of physics going back 2,000 years to the Greeks on a single sheet of paper. The goal of string theory is to, of course, have it in an equation no more than an inch long. In the beginning, there was not light but rather there was the one-inch equation which then drives the gears of the entire Universe. This is the Holy Grail.
We now think that each of these universes have their own constant and their own parameters. These questions for example are for each universe: How long does the proton live? How strong is gravity? How long does the sun burn? So the question is, where is our Universe in this soap bubble of Universes? Our Universe, for instance, has stars that burn for billions of years whereas most of these universes have stars that only burn for a fraction of a second and life never gets started. We are however just now starting to get a glimpse of where we fit into this larger puzzle.
In closing, please find a snippet from Chapter 9 of my book Parallel Worlds
Parallel Universes, dimensional portals, and higher dimensions, as spectacular as they are, require airtight proof of their existence. As the astronomer Ken Croswell remarks, "Other universes can get intoxicating: you can say anything you want about them and never be proven wrong, as long as astronomers never see them." Previously, it seemed hopeless to test many of these predictions, given the primitiveness of our experimental equipment. However, recent advances in computers, lasers, and satellite technology have put many of these theories tantalizingly close to experimental verification.
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The idea of 'absolute time' is an illusion. Physics and subjective experience reveal why.
- Since Einstein posited his theory of general relativity, we've understood that gravity has the power to warp space and time.
- This "time dilation" effect occurs even at small levels.
- Outside of physics, we experience distortions in how we perceive time — sometimes to a startling extent.
Physics without time<p>In his book "The Order of Time," Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli suggests that our perception of time — our sense that time is forever flowing forward — could be a highly subjective projection. After all, when you look at reality on the smallest scale (using equations of quantum gravity, at least), time vanishes.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"If I observe the microscopic state of things," writes Rovelli, "then the difference between past and future vanishes … in the elementary grammar of things, there is no distinction between 'cause' and 'effect.'"</p><p>So, why do we perceive time as flowing <em>forward</em>? Rovelli notes that, although time disappears on extremely small scales, we still obviously perceive events occur sequentially in reality. In other words, we observe entropy: Order changing into disorder; an egg cracking and getting scrambled.</p><p>Rovelli says key aspects of time are described by the second law of thermodynamics, which states that heat always passes from hot to cold. This is a one-way street. For example, an ice cube melts into a hot cup of tea, never the reverse. Rovelli suggests a similar phenomenon might explain why we're only able to perceive the past and not the future.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Any time the future is definitely distinguishable from the past, there is something like heat involved," Rovelli wrote for the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/ce6ef7b8-429a-11e8-93cf-67ac3a6482fd" target="_blank"><em>Financial Times</em></a>. "Thermodynamics traces the direction of time to something called the 'low entropy of the past', a still mysterious phenomenon on which discussions rage."</p>
The strange subjectivity of time<p>Time moves differently atop a mountain than it does on a beach. But you don't need to travel any distance at all to experience strange distortions in your perception of time. In moments of life-or-death fear, for example, your brain would release large amounts of adrenaline, which would speed up your internal clock, causing you to perceive the outside world as moving slowly.<br></p><p>Another common distortion occurs when we focus our attention in particular ways.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"If you're thinking about how time is <em>currently</em> passing by, the biggest factor influencing your time perception is attention," Aaron Sackett, associate professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas, told <em><a href="https://gizmodo.com/why-does-time-slow-down-and-speed-up-1840133782" target="_blank">Gizmodo</a></em>.<em> "</em>The more attention you give to the passage of time, the slower it tends to go. As you become distracted from time's passing—perhaps by something interesting happening nearby, or a good daydreaming session—you're more likely to lose track of time, giving you the feeling that it's slipping by more quickly than before. "Time flies when you're having fun," they say, but really, it's more like "time flies when you're thinking about other things." That's why time will also often fly by when you're definitely <em>not</em> having fun—like when you're having a heated argument or are terrified about an upcoming presentation."</p><p>One of the most mysterious ways people experience time-perception distortions is through psychedelic drugs. In an interview with <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/14/carlo-rovelli-exploding-commonsense-notions-order-of-time-interview" target="_blank"><em>The Guardian</em></a>, Rovelli described a time he experimented with LSD.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"It was an extraordinarily strong experience that touched me also intellectually," he said. "Among the strange phenomena was the sense of time stopping. Things were happening in my mind but the clock was not going ahead; the flow of time was not passing any more. It was a total subversion of the structure of reality."<br></p><p>It seems few scientists or philosophers believe time is completely an illusion.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"What we call <em>time</em> is a rich, stratified concept; it has many layers," Rovelli told <em><a href="https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.6.4.20190219a/full/" target="_blank">Physics Today</a>.</em> "Some of time's layers apply only at limited scales within limited domains. This does not make them illusions."</p>What <em>is</em> an illusion is the idea that time flows at an absolute rate. The river of time might be flowing forever forward, but it moves at different speeds, between people, and even within your own mind.
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.
Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.
Controversial physics theory says reality around us behaves like a computer neural network.
- Physicist proposes that the universe behaves like an artificial neural network.
- The scientist's new paper seeks to reconcile classical physics and quantum mechanics.
- The theory claims that natural selection produces both atoms and "observers".
Vanchurin interview:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="539759cbfd8fcd5b6ebf14a3b597b3f9"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bmyRy2-UhEE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Vanchurin on “Hidden Phenomena”:<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="18886ffd5e5840bb19d4494212f88d82"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2NDVdNwsHCo?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>Vitaly Vanchurin speaking at the 6th International FQXi Conference, "Mind Matters: Intelligence and Agency in the Physical World." The Foundational Questions...
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