The Universe, Time, Life, Death
A random babble about my beliefs surrounding life, death, the universe and the concept of time.
Hi Tiff, a very interesting piece. On the self repeating universe — I think Charlie got carried away there a little bit. We don't know if the Universe is finite or infinite. The Big Bang theory should suggest a boundary, making it finite and also expanding. There may well be other universes out there of course — this stuff is way beyond what we can observe. I think he is mixing together two different concepts. One — is the idea of parallel universes, which is something that's needed to remove some of the paradoxes arising from suggesting time travel is possible (math suggests that there is nothing prohibiting it, but we do need those extra layers). This is the one where you have multiple copies f you existing in different dimensions. The other is the size of the universe and his argument for it's need for self replication. The argument he makes is — there is a finite number of particles and therefore a finite number of possibilities of how these particles can interact and therefore if the universe is infinite — there bound to be a repetition. From the point of view of physics — that statement is actually wrong I am afraid. Once we go to the quantum mechanics level — there is no certainty in the outcome of interactions of particles, we get into realm of probabilities, making the number of possible outcomes essentially infinite. So even if the universe itself is infinite — it doesn't necessarily mean that if you go far enough you will find an exact replica of the same planet, with the same people doing the same things etc. etc. There is a CHANCE that you will of course, but it is infinitely small. We are getting into the realm of what is infinity devided by infinity. Mathematically there is no answer to that.
Another thing I would throw out there is if we believe that there are multiple universes, separated by gargantuan swathes, billions upon billions of light years of space (if space is indeed the right way of calling it), there is no reason to suggest that the physics observable in those universes is going to be exactly the same. All our knowledge of physics is essentially derived from observations of how our Universe works. Everything we see and therefore assume to be self evident is part of that Universe, so we simply don't know if it it's possible to have a very different one, where particles will be different and interactions will work differently. Each Universe could theoretically have it's own unique physics.
Anyway, don't mean this as a criticism, just my two cents.