Rollin' Like Sisyphus

Physics As Performed By Abbott & Costello — Part 8

Posted in Who's On First? by Huckleberry on June 20, 2014

How many multiverses can dance on the head of a pin?

How many multiverses can dance on the head of a pin?


So here we are, at the end of this stubby cul-de-sac of learning, road-weary and a little worse for wear, possibly suffering symptoms not all that dissimilar from that produced by a mild concussion.
Such is the state of contemporary quantum physics, and to an extent, theoretical cosmology at the points where the two must or by conceit happen to overlap.
While trying to avoid overly technical or mathematical details I hope that I was at least able to impart the notion that, even in the broad strokes, we are barely at the point of knowing what we don’t know in the Trail of Tears that is quantum mechanical inquiry. That I was able to go through this series without ever uttering the phrase “across Fock space” makes me proud, because that means the chances are good I didn’t lose any of y’all out in the tall grass of mainstream theory.
Before I get into what I think, let me first preface everything by admitting that I know nearly nothing about how all of this is supposed to work because no one else does either. The giants in the field have a lot of ideas but little to show for it, so don’t expect your old pal Huckleberry, slapping at a keyboard connected to the Internet in a neo-simian manner to have it all laid out for you. Everything that follows is absolutely wild speculation, and I wholly admit to that without equivocation. The ideas are based simply on one drunkard’s cognitive attempts to reconcile experience with math with experiment, all of which contradict each other at various times in maddening ways, and not always consistently.

The Nuts & Bolts

To recap:

    • Time works in different ways at different levels, and is fully susceptible to the forces we can identify, indicating that it’s an internal feature of the universe and not externally imposed upon it.
    • Through experiment, a result can influence its cause ex post facto with no way to explain the communication channel.
    • The Observer Effect impacts the nature, accuracy and feasibility of the experiments that we can perform to interrogate the world at the quantum level and that limit has been simply to attempt circumambulation through inference, then extrapolating direct meanings from the results.
    • We think anti-particles exist.
    • The supersymmetric model theoretically allows a comprehensive framework where all spatial and temporal aspects of existence can be reconciled with all known physical forces, even gravity, if only we could find direct evidence of supersymmetry.
    • We don’t know what gravity is or how it works.

Your Lyin’ Eyes

One thing is clear: at the most minute level, the universe doesn’t work the way our math and logic suggest that it should. This is either a shortcoming of the universe or a shortcoming in our own reasoning.
I’ll roll with the latter.
But faulty or incomplete reasoning isn’t enough to just stop looking and dismiss everything we do know or think about the subject. We know for a fact that existence is more than material; even the physicists can be backed into a corner and made to cry Uncle on that one, since all the math and suppositions point that way. The level of activity operating beneath the veil of what we can directly observe is incredible and frighteningly unpredictable. Really, the only success we’ve had is in perfecting the art of detailing the ways that it is unpredictable and extrapolating from there.
Now, as I see it, the one big dichotomy in the current understanding of how time and space work together is that while we have an entwined entity known as “spacetime” only space “expands” while time is fairly uniform as it progresses. But the only thing that supports this is astronomical observation. The math doesn’t back it up and quantum-level experimentation laughs in its face. If the spin and path of one part of a particle pair can determine the spin and path of its twin in what looks to us like the past, it may just be possible that the past isn’t what it used to be.

Huckleberry’s Hyper-Calvinist Super-Position ‘Model’

Those quotes around “model” are very loose.
I don’t have a model per se; I have no research, no set of maths, or really anything else at all to back up what you’re about to read. It is blatantly, patently, unapologetically pie-in-the-sky conjecture piled high atop Mount Supposition.
I freely admit this.
Now, one way to reconcile the machinations of large and small things, to allow the validity of particle pairs determining their past states with future action, that facilitates a coherent field theory that accounts for spatial expansion, temporal relativity and that brings whatever gravity is into its fold is to throw time out the window entirely.
Picture a universal model where everything from conception (Big Bang, God’s Cognition, whatever else) to entropic exhaustion takes place in an instant. The momentum, spin and path of every particle, the oscillation of every sub-particle string has already played out, it’s simply a quirk in our level and angle of perspective that provides some semblance of temporal progression to reality as we perceive it. Instead of a causal/deterministic universe that Einstein desperately wanted to find, and instead of a Wild West coin flip that contemporary physicists can’t seem to escape, one answer that can reconcile both is a strictly deterministic (in fact one that has been wholly determined) model where all events have occurred essentially simultaneously. In this way, gravity can be reconciled not as a “force” or “interplay” of a sub-particle that we can’t find; it can simply be described as anticipatory momentum from our perspective.
The problem here is that, like Schrodinger’s cat, time theoretically works in a different fashion outside the box than it does inside – from the observer’s view there is cohesion and temporal progression; from inside the box there is an entirely different state of affairs. Every item in the box, including the cat and everything that comprises the cat, occupies every piece of spatial/temporal real estate that it ever did or ever will in one glorious lump, until the lid is lifted and a different structure is imposed.
The only superficial difference between an instant and infinity is that only one seems like forever, on the whole they’re the same damn thing.
Absurd, I know.
But like I’ve been saying, it’s just ideas.
That all this is.

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2 Responses

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  1. Giraffe said, on June 20, 2014 at 14:08

    Is it too late to say I’m sorry I asked? Kidding. I enjoyed the series.

    Not to get all religious*, but your model does fit with some ponderings of my own. If time is a property of the universe, then whatever caused the universe must exist outside of time. God, whose name is “I am” is eternal. From His point of view outside of time, the past, present, and future, would all be observed at the same instant. He then could see what choices we make without determining them. Or maybe they are determined. I want to believe I have free will because it sure feels like I do dammit. I’m not sure what that has to do with physics.

    I can’t think about this stuff for too long without feeling like I am in over my head.

    *that means I am going to get all religious. Apologies to Neal DeGrasse Tyson

  2. Doom said, on June 21, 2014 at 18:14

    Oh, well, yes. Yes indeed. In other words, of course I didn’t expect you to answer the universe and all in under :30 (whatever that really means), and be spot on. I just wanted to see you stick your… foot in the mud and see what patterns would emerge. It’s just a story, you know, even if it happened to be true.

    And, of course we should look. Just not assuming not-God as default, even barring him from the discussion. Yeah, I understand why that is tempting. Otherwise everything is because “God”. Of course, as things stand now far too often, the other answer “not-God” is too easy, and just as wrong. How about some that do each? Never mind. I mostly see anything we do, professionally, socially, politically… as… for the most part… filler between birth and death. We only get to actually choose good or evil a very few times in life, the rest is busy living between moments of merit, or demerit.

    Still… I’ll have to read and think more, before I respond to the meat. Just worked a long day, for me. Pushed every fiber, pulled every string and some theories about those, and… However, I will gladly thank you for the ride. It’s been quite entertaining.

    Oh… having been Zen for a bit, I am surprised more physicists don’t explore that. It definitely beats the falsity and obvious incorrectness of so-called atheism. It really does align itself well with physics, at the deeper end. But, like physics, it is ultimately… not enough, or for me. I still find it philosophically interesting, just not religiously sound. Actually, much as physics, science, math, engineering… if engineering and math seem to at least function, or possibly, and reliably when they do. Urhm, no offense. Or as close to that as I can get? Summit like that. Blathering now. Sorry. I’ll be back. But thanks, again.


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