The Laws of Physics can change? Really!

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Ferengi Prime 5, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I finding out that the laws of physics can change. Of course much is it is far beyond me except the notices these laws can vary than life in the universe has a "Goldie Locks" zone like solar systems have as well...

    https://phys.org/news/2020-04-laws-nature-downright-weird-constant.html

    Life, the universe and everything

    While still wanting to see more rigorous testing of ideas that electromagnetism may fluctuate in certain areas of the universe to give it a form of directionality, Professor Webb says if these findings continue to be confirmed, they may help explain why our universe is the way it is, and why there is life in it at all.

    "For a long time, it has been thought that the laws of nature appear perfectly tuned to set the conditions for life to flourish. The strength of the electromagnetic force is one of those quantities. If it were only a few percent different to the value we measure on Earth, the chemical evolution of the universe would be completely different and life may never have got going. It raises a tantalising question: does this "Goldilocks' situation, where fundamental physical quantities like the fine structure constant are 'just right' to favour our existence, apply throughout the entire universe?"

    If there is a directionality in the universe, Professor Webb argues, and if electromagnetism is shown to be very slightly different in certain regions of the cosmos, the most fundamental concepts underpinning much of modern physics will need revision.

    "Our standard model of cosmology is based on an isotropic universe, one that is the same, statistically, in all directions," he says.

    "That standard model itself is built upon Einstein's theory of gravity, which itself explicitly assumes constancy of the laws of Nature. If such fundamental principles turn out to be only good approximations, the doors are open to some very exciting, new ideas in physics."

    Professor Webb's team believe this is the first step towards a far larger study exploring many directions in the universe, using data coming from new instruments on the world's largest telescopes. New technologies are now emerging to provide higher quality data, and new artificial intelligence analysis methods will help to automate measurements and carry them out more rapidly and with greater precision.


    Here is this does the best to explain the new theory...

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19429-laws-of-physics-may-change-across-the-universe/

    A controversial observation suggests that a constant of physics actually varies in space – it could explain why our corner of the cosmos is just right for life for our existence. The controversial finding comes from an observation that one of the constants of nature appears to be different in different parts of the cosmos.

    [​IMG] www.newscientist.com

    New evidence supports the idea that we live in an area of the universe that is “just right” for our existence. The controversial finding comes from an observation that one of the constants of nature appears to be different in different parts of the cosmos.

    Earth sits somewhere in the middle of the extremes for alpha. If correct, the result would explain why alpha seems to have the finely tuned value that allows chemistry – and thus life – to occur. Grow alpha by 4 per cent, for instance, and the stars would be unable to produce carbon, making our biochemistry impossible.
     
  2. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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  3. Sad Kelpian Child

    Sad Kelpian Child Admiral Admiral

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    That doesn't mean laws of physics can change, it means we don't understand them outside of our own familiar context.
     
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  4. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Commodore Commodore

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    And everyone needs to remember that when we look that far out into the cosmos - we're looking WAY back into the past. Those "constants" may not have settled down at that point in time...
     
  5. Cancel Culture

    Cancel Culture Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's exactly what I was thinking.
     
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  6. Cyanide Muffin

    Cyanide Muffin Admiral Premium Member

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    Ditto on that....

    When you look at the most distant star you are seeing it from time long since past. Like some kind of time tunnel :)
     
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  7. Roko's Basilisk

    Roko's Basilisk Admiral Admiral

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    John Webb and John Barrow have been postulating and gathering observational evidence for variations in alpha since the 90s. I certainly remember reading about it back then. Of course, back in the earlier years of the 20th century, Paul Dirac and others speculated that fundamental constants might vary.

    Alpha, aka α, the fine-structure constant, or Sommerfeld's constant, is actually a combination of several other so-called constants:
    α = e^2/4πεħc
    where e^2 is the elementary charge squared, ε is the vacuum electric permittivity (it should have a subscript 0 but the board software doesn't appear to allow this), ħ is the reduced Planck's constant (h/2π), c is the speed of light in vacuo, and π is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. One or more of these so-called constants might be the source of any variation in alpha. Variation in π is rarely considered as a possibility.

    If e, ε, h, c, or even π vary across the cosmos, this would also produce problems for establishing standard candles of brightness, such as type 1a supernovae, that allow us to estimate its scale and also produce systematic error in measurements of red shift that allow us to estimate apparent recessional velocity.

    Perhaps this is evidence for superstring theory and variations in the configuration of a Calabi-Yau manifold? I'm not sure how loop quantum gravity theories would model this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  8. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish BillJ Premium Member

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  9. Roko's Basilisk

    Roko's Basilisk Admiral Admiral

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    Nope, it's legitimate.
     
  10. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Commodore Commodore

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    Be careful calling out the name that must not be spoken!
     
  11. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It doesn't read like him, really.
     
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  12. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I like to point out our planet is in the Goldilocks zone in our Solar system, our Solar system is a safe distance the center of our galaxy, and our Milky Way galaxy sets in the right Alfa zone so our Sun produce life... a lot of luck...
     
  13. Roko's Basilisk

    Roko's Basilisk Admiral Admiral

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    It's an expression of the weak anthropic principle perhaps - we wouldn't be here if Earth were in an unfavourable location. It's a stupendously huge, if not infinite, multiverse but life as we know it might only be found in tiny oases.
     
  14. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Apologies for comparing you to another poster, Ferengi. If you're not familiar with the party in question, it's probably better.

    On the topic: Certainly life can't appear where the conditions aren't right for it. But it sounds like the OP is saying that in other places, varying physical laws make it impossible for those conditions to even arise.

    That falls under the anthropic principle all right, but it also sounds like more. Playing cards for a "Favorable/unfavorable" result is one thing; moving to a different table where they don't accept "Favorable" cards is not the same game. (I'm not enough of a physicist to know if Asbo's earlier post is a commentary on that.)

    Of course, I'm a little vague on the difference between the strong and weak anthropic principles. DOES this fall in there somewhere?
     
  15. Roko's Basilisk

    Roko's Basilisk Admiral Admiral

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    The strong anthropic principle is kind of on the boundary of new-age mysticism. However, it's not quite as out there as some of that stuff.

    It's not easy to summarise the SAP without it sounding like wacky cosmic consciousness stuff. I would just recommend reading the tome by John Barrow and Frank Tipler titled "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" (1986). It's not really science from a Popperian standpoint but it's not fantastical hogwash either.
     
  16. Cyanide Muffin

    Cyanide Muffin Admiral Premium Member

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    It's like summoning Beetlejuice or Pubert :)
     
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  17. Ferengi Prime 5

    Ferengi Prime 5 Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think you forgot M theory which helpd answer thing better...

    In string theory, spacetime is ten-dimensional (nine spatial dimensions, and one time dimension), while in M-theory it is eleven-dimensional (ten spatial dimensions, and one time dimension).

    https://www.space.com/string-theory-11-dimensions-universe.html
     
  18. Roko's Basilisk

    Roko's Basilisk Admiral Admiral

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    It was implied as M-theory is a variant of string theory. Does M-theory have any prediction for the variation of fundamental constants that differs from theories with compactified dimensions? I'm not sure any of them can even predict such values but I admit I'm very far from being an expert.
     
  19. 'Q'

    'Q' Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well its a bit of a misnomer. Increase the mass of Earth, have a thicker carbon dioxide atmosphere and place it in the orbit of Mars and then its in its 'goldilocks' zone.

    Also to prove different regions of the observable universe have different cosmological values will be hard, as I would ask why I can detect absorbance signatures of elements in stars billions of light years away that are similar to those on Earth today.
     
  20. BK613

    BK613 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The fact that Earth's form of life arose in a place favorable for Earth's form of life is remarkable how?
     
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