The Infinite Wall

I - only I - the Nothing and the Infinite in one. Climbing the infinite wall.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Big Bounce

Interesting new findings in physics suggest that the universe did not start in a Big Bang, but rather is cyclical with at least one Big Bounce. Read more to find out. For my own part, I find that model more aesthetically pleasing than the plain Big Bang theories. And aesthetics matters. The ramifications may be interesting; not the least, they may unsettle the seeming current consensus which has the universe exploding at increasing speed by the help of "dark energy". For the Bouncing Universe theory suggests that the Big Bounce we know the Bang side of wasn't singular, again implying that our universe will ultimately have to go through a Big Crunch before it bounces off into a new Big Bang. Getting all sci-fi here ... The result I linked to above was calculated using a special version of quantum mechanics which I honestly don't know too well. Well, not at all, really. It seems to involve space being woven by some kind og one-dimensional quantum threads. We tend to understand by building models from what we already know, and so I immediately thought of information flowing around on a graph. What are the chances of preserving structured information (there's some redundancy for you) on that graph as it writhes through the Big Bounce? More precisely: What are the chances of preserving the kind of information structure that makes up consciousness through such a Big Bounce? And when will we see the first sci-fi / cyberspace novel depicting such an event?


  • At 10:00 PM, Anonymous JasonK said…

    The novel series has been around for a while. Orson Scott Card's Ender Series:
    Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, & Xenophobia.

  • At 11:57 AM, Blogger Einzige said…

    If events from the previous iteration can have zero impact on the next, I wonder if that means something akin to Neitzsche's "Eternal Returning" is, in fact, true.

    Of course, there's no reason to assume that initial conditions at the start of each new expansion would always be identical.

  • At 2:31 PM, Blogger Solan said…

    Thanks for tip, JasonK!

    Einzige: Maybe it takes a universe's timespan to forget, so that the previous iteration has impact on the next, but not the one after that. Or asymptotic forgetfulness, or something like that.

  • At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Brian Micklethwait said…

    I am not much of an SF reader, but I do recall a story by (I think) Poul Anderson called (I think) Tau Zero, in which Our Heroes get to, as it were, the end of the Universe, and do survive it. They kind of orbit it, and then when it comes back out, they rejoin, so to speak. I think.

    So if that's right, it's already been done at least once.

  • At 12:03 AM, Blogger Solan said…

    Hi Brian. I read Tau Zero ages ago, and remember the story; they had an engine which brought them up to relativistic speeds but the "brakes" wouldn't work, and so they just had to wait for a Big Crunch and then Bang to rejoin some segment of the new and expanding universe whose velocity matched their own.

    But it seems that by current theory that circling the singularity would just not be possible. Everything --also including the hopeful time
    travellers-- would be squeezed into the pin-point singularity, and have zero chance of survival in any form resembling human.

    But it might be that on a very deep and fine-structure level of the universe, it is possible for some information and some information-bearing beings to survive the chaotic upheaval a Big CrunchBang would be. Imagine a piece of paper going through the shredder, and being recycled into a new sheet of paper; maybe informaton left in the structure of the paper's fibres would survive the shredding and so
    survive the process into the new piece of paper. Or maybe some exotic physics would allow structures to survive the shredding and recycling
    in a way structures in paper don't.


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