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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 16 through 30 of 130 found.


An Organic, Conducive, Habitable MultiUniVerse

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

Wetterich, Christof. Quantum Scale Symmetry. arXiv:1901.04741. In a theoretical 100 page paper a University of Heidelberg physicist describes a natural cosmic repetition which emerges in kind from this fundamental realm. An array of topics run from Classical scale invariant standard model, Particle scale symmetry, and Flow in field space to Naturalness of the Fermi scale, Crossover in quantum gravity, and Cosmon inflation (see 1303.4700). And as we log in such technical entries, within this resource website it ought to be recorded that the Grail goal of complex network systems science from the 1960s and 1980s into the late 2010s to discern, quantify and realize an exemplary recurrence everywhere has at last been achieved.

Quantum scale symmetry is the realization of scale invariance in a quantum field theory. No parameters with dimension of length or mass are present in the quantum effective action. Quantum scale symmetry is generated by fluctuations via the presence of fixed points for running couplings. We review consequences of scale symmetry for particle physics, quantum gravity and cosmology. For particle physics, scale symmetry is closely linked to the tiny ratio between the Fermi scale of weak interactions and the Planck scale for gravity. For quantum gravity, it is associated to the ultraviolet fixed point which allows for a non-perturbatively renormalizable quantum field theory. In cosmology, approximate scale symmetry explains the almost scale-invariant primordial fluctuation spectrum which is at the origin of all structures in the universe. (Abstract excerpt)

For scale invariant inflation no intrinsic mass scale plays a role during the inflationary epoch. Quantum scale invariance can be considered as an exact symmetry. If a single scalar field has a non-vanishing cosmological value, it is a Goldstone boson. Its evolution settles early to a constant value. Inflation, if realized, does not end for a scale invariant model with a single scalar field. One therefore needs at least two physical scalar degrees of freedom. An example is “scale invariant Starobinski inflation”. The constant Plank mass for Starobinski inflation is replaced by a scalar field X. (71)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

Wolchover, Natalie. How Space and Time Could Be a Quantum Error-Correcting Code. Quanta Magazine. Online January 4, 2019. The physical science writer gathers papers, conjectures and findings by frontier theorists to report how the whole cosmos seems to be taking on a holographic essence as it arises from dynamic quantum networks. In so doing, a nascent view of a universal reality deeply distinguished by generative codings function appears in the air. Notable citations herein are Quantum Error Corrrection in AdS/CFT by Ahmed Almheiri, Xi Dong and Daniel Harlow (1411.7014), De Sitter Holography and Entanglement Entropy by Xi Dong, Eva Silverstein and Gonzalo Torroda (1804.08623), and Simulating Quantum Field Theory by John Preskill (1811.10085).

It’s important to note that AdS space is different from the space-time geometry of our “de Sitter” universe. Our universe is infused with positive vacuum energy that causes it to expand without bound, while anti-de Sitter space has negative vacuum energy, which gives it the hyperbolic geometry of one of M.C. Escher’s Circle Limit designs. Escher’s tessellated creatures become smaller and smaller moving outward from the circle’s center, eventually vanishing at the perimeter; similarly, the spatial dimension radiating away from the center of AdS space gradually shrinks and eventually disappears, establishing the universe’s outer boundary. AdS space gained popularity among quantum gravity theorists in 1997 after the renowned physicist Juan Maldacena discovered that the bendy space-time fabric in its interior is “holographically dual” to a quantum theory of particles living on the lower-dimensional, gravity-free boundary. (4)

In exploring how the duality works, as hundreds of physicists have in the past two decades, Almheiri and colleagues noticed that any point in the interior of AdS space could be constructed from slightly more than half of the boundary — just as in an optimal quantum error-correcting code. (5)

Anti-de Sitter Space In mathematics and physics, n-dimensional anti-de Sitter space (AdS) is a maximally symmetric Lorentzian manifold with constant negative scalar curvature. Anti-de Sitter space and de Sitter space are named after Willem de Sitter (1872–1934), professor of astronomy at Leiden University and director of the Leiden Observatory. Willem de Sitter and Albert Einstein worked together closely in Leiden in the 1920s on the spacetime structure of the universe. (Wikipedia)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Adams, Fred C.. The Degree of Fine-Tuning in our Universe – and Others. arXiv:1902.03928. In a 212 page paper to appear in Physics Reports, the collegial University of Michigan astrophysicist (search) enters a broad and deep mathematical survey to date of a stochastic infinity of exo-cosmoses. Its sections go from Particle Parameters, Cosmological Features, Dark Energy, Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, to Galactic Structures, Stellar Evolution, Solar Planets, and more. The main theme is the contingency of this temporally unfolding universe, and myriad vicarious others, with regard to how they might permit living, developmental systems. A conclusion is that while particle values are sharply tuned, astrophysical vistas allow a wider space (wiggle room). A general surmise so far is that our universe with sapient observers may be a better or maximal case. One might note that such witnesses apply J. A. Wheeler’s participatory model whence any extant cosmos requires an internal self-recognition to attain full existence. See also concurrent papers by McCullen Sandora herein.

Both fundamental constants that describe the laws of physics and cosmological parameters that determine the cosmic properties must fall within a range of values in order for the universe to develop astrophysical structures and support life. This paper reviews current constraints on these quantities. The standard model of particle physics contains both coupling constants and particle masses, and the allowed ranges of these parameters are discussed. We then consider cosmic parameters, including the total energy density, vacuum energy density, baryon-to-photon ratio, dark matter contribution, and the amplitude of primordial density fluctuations. These quantities are constrained by the requirements that the universe lives for a long time, emerges from the BBN epoch with an acceptable chemical composition, and can produce galaxies.

On smaller scales, stars and planets must be able to form and function. The planets must be massive enough to maintain an atmosphere, small enough to remain non-degenerate, and support a complex biosphere. These requirements place constraints on the gravitational constant fine structure constant, and nuclear reaction rates. We consider specific instances of fine-tuning in stars, including the triple alpha reaction that produces carbon, and effects of unstable deuterium. For all of these issues, viable universes exist over a range of parameter space. (Abridged Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Jimenez, Raul, et al. Measuring the Homogeneity of the Universe. arXiv:1902.11298. We enter this posting by University of Barcelona, University of the Western Cape, Dartmouth College and Imperial College London (Alan Heavens) astrophysicists as a 2019 example of how our nascent worldwide intellect has become able on its own to consider and quantify an entire cosmos. For some context, this achievement reaches across some 30 orders of magnitude from our minute, precious, maybe rarest habitable observance to the whole expansive universe.

We propose a method to probe the homogeneity of a general universe, without assuming symmetry. We show that isotropy can be tested at remote locations on the past lightcone by comparing the line-of-sight and transverse expansion rates, using the time dependence of the polarization of Cosmic Microwave Background photons that have been inverse-Compton scattered by the hot gas in massive clusters of galaxies. Thus we can test remote isotropy, which is a key requirement of a homogeneous universe. We provide explicit formulas that connect observables and properties of the metric. (Abstract excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Linde, Andrei and Vitaly Vanchurin. How Many Universes are in the Multiverse? Physical Review D. 81/083525. 2010. Stanford University cosmologists offer mathematical and physical considerations to date about the presence and proliferation of universes. In the 1980s Linde was famously with Alan Guth an original conceiver of an inflationary cosmic origin, which seems to be holding its own by way of the latest Planck space telescope. A further interest here is an emphatic endorsement of the need for participant observers to record and bring a cosmos into full existence.

We argue that the total number of distinguishable locally Friedmann universes generated by eternal inflation is proportional to the exponent of the entropy of inflationary perturbations and is limited by the number of e-folds of slow-roll post-eternal inflation. We discuss the possibility that the strongest constraint on the number of distinguishable universes may be related not to the properties of the multiverse but to the properties of observers. (Abstract)

One of the implications of this result is that one can talk about the evolution of the universe only with respect to an observer. In the limit when the mass of the observer vanishes, the rest of the universe freezes in time. In this sense, the number of distinct observable histories of the universe is bounded from above by the total number of the histories that can be recorded by a given observer. (9) Potentially, it may become very important that when we analyze the probability of existence of a universe of a given type, we should be talking about a consistent pair: the universe and an observer who makes the rest of the universe “alive” and the wave function of the rest of the universe time-dependent. (9)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Sandora, McCullen. Multiverse Predictions for Habitability: Number of Habitable Planets. arXiv:1902.06784. The Tufts University postdoc cosmologist continues his ONCE quantifications after Number of Stars (1901.04614) as our human abilities become cognizant of infinite vicarious cosmoses. This study covers the now known presence of some quintillion planetary objects of every possible kind, in and out of solar systems, whereupon life and sentience may or may not evolve. Sections include Why does our universe naturally make terrestrial planets, Fraction of stars with planets, What sets the size of planets, What is the metallicity needed to form planets, Why is interplanet spacing equal to the width of the temperate zone, and so on.

How good is our universe at making habitable planets? The answer to this depends on which factors are important for life: Does a planet need to be Earth mass? Does it need to be inside the temperate zone? Are systems with hot Jupiters habitable? Adopting different stances on the importance of each of these criteria, as well as the underlying physical processes involved, can affect the probability of being in our universe; this can help to determine whether the multiverse framework is correct or not. (Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Sandora, McCullen. Multiverse Predictions for Habitability: The Number of Stars and their Properties. arXiv:1901.04614. A Tufts University postdoctoral cosmologist (search) provides an extensive review of an implied spatial and temporal presence and properties of multitudinous, contingent universes. It opens with a reevaluation of 1960s Drake equation factors of stars in a cosmos, planetary systems, how many likely habitable, can life then evolve, reach intelligence, and finally an anthropic civilization as our own. A half century after Frank Drake proposed it, exoworlds are now known to be the common rule. Sandora goes on to cite solar photosynthesis as another major feature, along with stellar varieties such as red dwarfs, tidal locking on a planet without a moon, and more. Future entries plan to evaluate probable habitable worlds, evolutionary courses, and a global acumen able to perform a cosmic function of self-description, illumination, and sustainability.

In a multiverse setting, we expect to be situated in a universe that is exceptionally good at producing life. Though the conditions for what life needs to arise and thrive are currently unknown, many will be tested in the coming decades. Here we investigate several different habitability criteria, and their influence on multiverse expectations: Does complex life need photosynthesis? Is there a minimum timescale necessary for development? Can life arise on tidally locked planets? Are convective stars habitable? Variously adopting different stances on each of these criteria can alter whether our observed values of the fine structure constant, the electron to proton mass ratio, and the strength of gravity are typical to high significance. This serves as a way of generating predictions for the requirements of life that can be tested with future observations, elevating the multiverse scenario to a predictive scientific framework. (Abstract)

Until this point, we have considered the number of observers throughout universes with different microphysical constants and, weighing against the expected relative frequencies of
such universes in a generic multiverse context, have determined the probability of measuring the three values of our constants as they are. Our findings show that these probabilities depend sensitively on the precise requirements for habitability that are assumed, as we have demonstrated by separately considering the expectations that complex life is proportional to the number of stars, that it is dependent on photosynthesis, the absence of tidal locking, that it can only arise around tame stars, that it requires a certain length of time to develop, and that its presence is proportional to the total amount of entropy processed by the system. (22-23)

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Biology Physics

Lee, Chiu Fan and Jean David Wurtz. Novel Physics Arising From Phase Transitions in Biology. Journal of Physics D. 52/2, 2019. In a Special Issue on Collective Behaviour of Living Matter, Imperial College London bioengineers enter another example of the current synthesis of physical phenomena with living systems via a formative agency whence life transitions in kind through serial evolutionary and developmental phases. Thus, universal behaviors previously noted at condensed matter critical points can likewise be seen to occur in biological activities. A further aspect is that many free, contingent entities are yet seen to give rise to an overall coherence. By turns, as worldwide physical and biological sciences cross-inform, a unitary organic procreative ecosmos gains a revolutionary veracity. The work merited notice in Nature Physics (Jan. 2019) as Biological Transitions by Mark Buchanan. Also in this issue, e.g., see Phase Transitions in Huddling Emperor Penguins, Density Distributions and Depth in Flocks, and Emergence of Cooperativity in a Model Biofilm in this collection. See also Physical Principles of Intracellular Organization via Active and Passive Phase Transitions by Joel Berry, et al in Reports on Progress in Physics (81/4, 2018). The third quote is the Issue proposal by Ben Fabry, et al.

Phase transitions, such as the freezing of water and the magnetisation of a ferromagnet due to temperature changes, are familiar physical phenomena. Lately, such collective behaviours at a phase transition are similarly found in effect for living systems. From cytoplasmic organisation inside a cell to the migration of cell tissue during development, phase transitions have emerged as key mechanisms underlying many biological processes. However, a living system is fundamentally different from a thermal system, with metabolism and motility being two hallmarks of its nonequilibrium nature. In this review, we will discuss how such driven chemical reactions can arrest universal coarsening kinetics expected from thermal phase separation, and how motility leads to the emergence of a novel universality class when the rotational symmetry is spontaneously broken. (Abstract edits)

Collective phenomena are intimately linked to the phenomenon of phase transitions in physics. At a typical phase transition, a many-body system with constituents that interact only locally with their neighbours, be they molecules or living organisms, can collectively change their behaviour upon change of a single parameter, such that the universal behaviour is modified. By universal, we mean that certain properties of the system are independent of the microscopic details. Recently, phase transitions in living systems have come under attention, whence the generic non-equilibrium nature of biological systems gives rise to novel collectivities not seen before. (1)

Biological systems are becoming primarily known as networks of interacting genes and proteins. Yet a simple analysis of fundamental genetic programs fails to explain higher-level functions such as multi-cellular aggregation, tissue organization, embryonic development, and whole-scale behaviour of groups of individuals. Such collective processes are often insensitive to microscopic details of the underlying system and instead are emergent properties that arise from local interactions between cells or individuals. In recent years, novel theoretical and experimental approaches have spurred the development of statistical models of complex biological systems and generated much progress in our understanding of emergent collective processes in biology. (Issue Summary)

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Chemistry

Breik, Keenan, et al. Programming Substrate-Independent Kinetic Barriers with Thermodynamic Binding Networks. arXiv:1810.12889. UT Austin and UC Davis researchers including David Doty press on with a frontier synthesis of chemical catalysis and energetic systems.

Engineering molecular systems that exhibit complex behavior requires the design of kinetic barriers. While programming such energy barriers seems to require knowledge of the specific substrate, we develop a novel substrate-independent approach. We extend the recently-developed model known as thermodynamic binding networks to programmable kinetic barriers that arise solely from the driving forces of bond formation and configurational entropy of separate complexes. Our model is robust such that several variations lead to equivalent energy barriers. Our results yield robust amplifiers using DNA strand displacement, a popular technology for engineering synthetic reaction pathways. (Abstract excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Chemistry

Brijder, Robert. Computing with Chemical Reaction Networks. Natural Computing. Online January, 2019. A Theoretical Computer Science Group, Hasselt University, Belgium researcher, in collaboration with David Doty (search RB and DD) and others, provides a tutorial survey of novel, growing realizations that chemical phenomena can be appreciated, and indeed availed, as another form of programmic operations.

Chemical reaction networks (CRNs) model the behavior of chemical reactions in well-mixed solutions and they can be designed to perform computations. In this tutorial we give an overview of various computational models for CRNs. Moreover, we discuss a method to implement arbitrary (abstract) CRNs in a test tube using DNA. Finally, we discuss relationships between CRNs and other models of computation.

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Chemistry

Brijder, Robert, et al. Democratic, Existential, and Consensus-based Output Conventions in Stable Computation by Chemical Reaction Networks. Natural Computing. 17/1, 2018. In a technical paper RB Hasselt University, Belgium, David Doty UC Davis and David Soloveichik UT Austin metaphorically allude to an electoral polarity of aye and nay options as a good way to explain and represent chemical interactions.

We show that some natural output conventions for error-free computation in chemical reaction networks (CRN) lead to a common level of computational expressivity. Our main results are that the standard consensus-based output convention have equivalent computational power to (1) existence-based and (2) democracy-based output conventions. The CRNs using the former output convention have only “yes” voters, with the interpretation that the CRN’s output is yes if any voters are present and no otherwise. The CRNs using the latter output convention define output by majority vote among “yes” and “no” voters. These results support the thesis that the computational expressivity of error-free CRNs is intrinsic, not sensitive to arbitrary definitional choices. (Abstract) (universal democracy)

David Soloveichik Research Interests: Natural computing: models of computing inspired by nature. Computation is not a man-made phenomenon. From our brains to the regulatory networks of bacteria, nature provides fascinating examples of information processing, which is quite different from electronic computers. : Formal models of distributed computing help us to discover the potential and limits of chemical information processing. We study models inspired by self-assembly and chemical reaction networks.

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Chemistry

Saitou, Naruya, Naruya. Introduction to Evolutionary Genomics. International: Springer, 2018. A National Institute of Genetics, Mishima, Japan population geneticist provides after 2013 a second edition which further joins our homo sapiens genetic endowment with a deep ancestry in life’s emergent development. Three main sections are Basic Processes of Genome Evolution, Evolving Genomes, and Methods for Evolutionary Genomics.

Topics and Features: Introduces the basics of molecular biology, covering protein structure and diversity, as well as DNA replication, transcription, and translation; Examines the phylogenetic relationships of DNA sequences, and the processes of mutation, neutral evolution, and natural selection; Presents a brief evolutionary history of life, surveying the key features of the genomes of prokaryotes, eukaryotes, viruses and phages, vertebrates, and humans; Reviews the various biological “omic” databases, and discusses the analysis of homologous nucleotide and amino acid sequences; Provides an overview of the experimental sequencing of genomes and transcriptomes, and the construction of phylogenetic trees.

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Universal

Saladino, Raffaele, et al. Chemomimesis and Molecular Darwinism in Action: From Abiotic Generation of Nucleobases to Nucleosides and RNA. Life. 8/2, 2018. University of Tuscia, CNR. Rome,and Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno biologists including Jiri Sponer experimentally produce and quantify early abiotic conditions akin to a warm pond wherein better adaptive candidates are selected from many precursor biochemical variations.

Molecular Darwinian evolution is an intrinsic property of reacting pools of molecules resulting in the adaptation of the system to changing conditions. It has no a priori aim. From the point of view of the origin of life, Darwinian selection behavior, when spontaneously emerging in the ensembles of molecules composing prebiotic pools, initiates subsequent evolution of increasingly complex and innovative chemical information. On the conservation side, it is a posteriori observed that numerous biological processes are based on prebiotically promptly made compounds, as proposed by the concept of Chemomimesis. Molecular Darwinian evolution and Chemomimesis are principles acting in balanced cooperation in the frame of Systems Chemistry. (Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Information

Benioff, Paul. Language is Physical. Quantum Information Processing. 1/6, 2003. At the outset of 21st century perceptions that quantum phenomena has an informational essence, the Argonne National Laboratory mathematical physicist proceeds from Rolf Landauer’s 1990s avowal (search) that physical reality is innately linguistic to scope out this novel expanse. So we have an early glimpse of a creative continuity from quantum realms and substantial matter to life’s rise as it reaches (and becomes manifest as) our loquacious sapience. The early paper is also at arXiv:quant-ph/0210211.

Some aspects of the physical nature of language are discussed. In particular, physical models of language must exist that are efficiently implementable. The existence requirement is essential because without physical models no communication or thinking would be possible. Efficient implementability for creating and reading language is discussed and illustrated with a quantum mechanical model. Linguistic expressions can have meaning, either as an informal or a formal language associated with a mathematical or physical theory. Inclusion of intelligent system in the theory domain means that the theory, e.g., quantum mechanics, must describe in some sense its own validation. Maps of language contents into physical states are discussed. (Abstract excerpts)

It is also quite likely that the ability to think or reason depends on the existence of physical models of language. Without entering into details of this complex subject it seems reasonable to expect that distinct conscious states of the brain correspond to distinct physical states of the brain. This would be expected to be the case independent of how one reasons or thinks (e.g. in picture sequences or word sequences, etc.). If such physical states did not exist, then it is likely that reasoning, thinking and even consciousness would not be possible. That is, physical representations of language are a necessary, but probably not sufficient, condition for the existence of communication, thinking, and possibly even consciousness. (499)

Animate Cosmos > Information

Davies, Paul. The Demon in the Machine: How Hidden Webs of Information are Solving the Mystery of Life. London: Allen Lane, 2019. The British physicist and popular author is now at Arizona State University as director of the BEYOND Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science. This latest volume since 2010 draws upon collegial projects and papers, plus meetings with many co-investigators such as Gregory Chaitin, Stuart Kauffman, Steven Benner, David Chalmers to Lee Cronin, Philip Ball, Giulio Tononi, Michael Levin, and more so to range from cosmos to consciousness. The result is a clearest glimpse to date of a 21st century integral reunion of biology and physics, human and universe, via a missing generative, informative principle.

At the outset, two main predecessors are James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879) whose familiar demon of sorts served as an ordering agency and Erwin Schrodinger (1887-1961, (search) who in his 1943 What is Life? held that some “source code” must be in active effect. At the cusp of 2020, as this site tries to report, a worldwise cumulative intelligence (which is noted (102) in coherent groupings) seems to be coming altogether into a credible synthesis. In regard, the work joins the frontiers of evolutionary creativity, complex self-organization, algorithmic computation, network theory, integrative consciousness, morphogenesis, quantum biology, and further afield. As the second quote says, while olden material physics does not show signs of life, if such a bevy of novel principles is added to cosmic nature, it increasingly reveals an organic essence and human persons whom are indeed written in.

A lot of the ideas I present here originate with my colleague Sara Walker at ASU who has greatly influenced my thinking over the past five years. Sara shares my enthusiasm for seeking a grand unified theory of physics and biology organized around the concept of information. “Life is the next great frontier of physics” she declares. (2)

There is no evidence that the known laws of physics are rigged in favor of life. But what about the new informational laws of the sort I am conjecturing here? My hunch is that would not be so specific as to foreshadow biology as such, but they might favor a broader class of complex information managing systems of which life as we know it would be a striking representative. It’s an uplifting though that the laws of the universe might be intrinsically bio-friendly in this general manner. If the emergence of life, and perhaps mind, are etched into the underlying lawfulness of nature, it would bestow upon our existence as living, thinking beings a type of cosmic-level meaning. (217)

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