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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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Recent Additions: New and Updated Entries in the Past 60 Days
Displaying entries 16 through 30 of 112 found.

An Organic, Conducive, Habitable MultiUniVerse

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Bahcall, Neta. The Dark Side of the Universe. carnegiescience.edu/events/lectures/dark-side-universe. A Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington public lecture to be given on June 25, 2019 by the esteemed Princeton University astrophysicist. The quote below glimpses the latest views on the whole scale composition of this awesome cosmos, which yet seems readily amenable to our human description.

Of what is the universe made? Not only is most of the matter in the universe dark and unconventional but, surprisingly, the major component of the universe may be "dark energy" — a form of energy that opposes the pull of gravity and causes the universe's expansion to accelerate. By combining recent observations of clusters and large-scale structures, distant supernovae, and the cosmic microwave background radiation, we find evidence for a universe comprised of 5 percent normal atomic matter, 20 percent non-atomic dark matter, and 75 percent "dark energy." The observations suggest a universe that is lightweight. With only 25 percent of its critical mass-density needed to halt the universal expansion, the universe will likely expand forever. Dr. Bahcall will discuss the observations of the dark side of the universe and their implications.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Pratt, Gabriel, et al. The Galaxy Cluster Mass Scale. Space Science Reviews. 215/25, 2019. In a topical collection, Clusters of Galaxies: Physics and Cosmology, we cite this entry by eight European astrophysicists for its discussion of how it might be possible to weigh the “total mass of a galactic cluster.” This value is said to be important because it will impact other “cosmological constraints.” We also wish to reflect on how fantastic it is that our worldwise collaborative sentient species can in a few decades be able to consider and achieve such quantifications of universal significance. Surely we peoples must possess some heretofore unrealized purpose and futurity.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > cosmos

Strom, Allison. The DNA of Galaxies. carnegiescience.edu/GalaxyDNA. A Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington public lecture by the Carnegie-Princeton astrophysicist which was presented on April 29, 2019. Again the summary invites an engaging view of galactic phenomena.

Like people, each of the billions of galaxies in the universe developed its own unique traits over a complicated lifetime. Until recently, astronomers have only been able to study galaxies closest to the Milky Way in detail, leaving much of the universe's history a mystery. Dr. Strom will show how astronomers are now using the world's largest telescopes to determine the chemical DNA of even very distant galaxies, and how this information is answering key questions about how galaxies like our own formed and evolved.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

Frontiers of Quantum and Mesoscopic Thermodynamics FQMT 17. https://fqmt.fzu.cz/17. A biannual conference held in Prague in July with a diverse international attendance so to figure out nature’s deepest formations and dynamic arisings. Some 600 speakers and contributors made presentations such as Anton Zellinger, William Wootters, Verdal Vlatko, Joan Vaccaro, and Christopher Jarzynski. A 336 Abstract Book can be accessed from this home page. Select papers are also online in the European Physical Journal Special Topics, for March 2019, introduced by Valcav Spicka, et al.

Recent advances have led to improvements of measurement, imaging and observation techniques at microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic scales. At the same time, we can investigate not only equilibrium features, but also time evolution of classical and quantum systems far from equilibrium at different time scales. The FQMT’17 conference will be thus focused on conceptual and experimental challenges of quantum many body physics, non-equilibrium statistical physics, foundations of quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and quantum thermodynamics. Their further development is needed for understandings and use of quantum correlations, entanglement dynamics; decoherence and dissipation; light-matter interactions; behavior of closed and open quantum systems; roles of initial and boundary conditions; influences of environment, reservoirs and external fields on the time evolution of systems; quantum to classical transitions; and more.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

Ijjas, Anna and Paul Steinhardt. A New Kind of Cyclic Universe. arXiv:1904.08022. The Harvard and Princeton astrophysicist team continues to advance a theoretical finesse of a spatial and temporal series of cosmoses which seems to occur without original inflationary events. Indeed, this conceptual field is in much flux with many opinions and arguments. We note as another example of how human persons, as posted on this worldwide e-print site with thousands of entries each day, can altogether be able to quantify and consider entire universes.

Combining intervals of ekpyrotic (ultra-slow) contraction with a (non-singular) classical bounce naturally leads to a novel cyclic theory of the universe in which the Hubble parameter, energy density and temperature oscillate periodically, but the scale factor grows by an exponential factor from one cycle to the next. The resulting cosmology not only resolves the homogeneity, isotropy, flatness and monopole problems and generates a nearly scale invariant spectrum of density perturbations, but it also addresses a number of age-old cosmological issues that big bang inflationary cosmology does not. There may also be wider-ranging implications for fundamental physics, black holes and quantum measurement. (Abstract)

First, the new cyclic theory resolves the homogeneity, isotropy, flatness, and monopole problems and generates a nearly scale-invariant spectrum of primordial adiabatic, gaussian density fluctuations without requiring special initial conditions or triggering the kind of quantum runaway that leads to the multiverse effect. Second, the density perturbations are
generated without producing a primordial spectrum of tensor fluctuations, a combination that is in agreement with current observations. Third, the evolution of the universe is described to leading order by classical equations of motion at every stage. (1)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Barreira, Alexandre, et al. Separate Universe Simulations with IllustrisTNG. arXiv:1904.02070. MPI Astrophysics and Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, Tokyo theorists study “baryonic effects on power spectrum responses and higher-order statistics.” This German-American cosmic quantification project (see quote) uses ground and telescope instrumentation along with computational visualizations. See also an earlier Separate Universe Simulations entry (Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (448/L11, 2015) for more context.

The IllustrisTNG (TNG + the next generation) project is a suite of state-of-the-art cosmological galaxy formation simulations. Each simulation evolves a large swath of a mock Universe from soon after the Big-Bang until the present day while taking into account a wide range of physical processes that drive galaxy formation. The simulations can be used to study a broad range of topics surrounding how the Universe — and the galaxies within it — evolved over time. These components of the visible matter are organized in a 'Cosmic Web' of sheets, filaments, and voids, inside which the basic units of cosmic structure - galaxies - are embedded. To test our current ideas on the formation and evolution of galaxies, we strive to create simulated galaxies as detailed and realistic as possible, and compare them to galaxies observed in the real universe.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Gould, Elizabeth and Niayesh Afshordi. Does History Repeat Itself? Periodic Time Cosmology. arXiv:1903.09694. As the abstract alludes and lately becoming possible, Queen’s University, Ontario and University of Waterloo, Canada astrophysicists with Perimeter Institute posts proceed to quantitatively imagine temporal, eternal return self-similarities for a whole universe. Again how incredible is it that a tiny habitable ecosphere with a sentient species can suddenly be able to consider entire cosmoses?

It has been suggested that the cosmic history might repeat in cycles, with an infinite series of similar aeons in the past and the future. Here, we instead propose that the cosmic history repeats itself exactly, constructing a universe on a periodic temporal history, which we call Periodic Time Cosmology. In particular, the primordial power spectrum, convolved with the transfer function throughout the cosmic history, would form the next aeon's primordial power spectrum. By matching the big bang to the infinite future using a conformal rescaling (a la Penrose), we uniquely determine the primordial power spectrum, in terms of the transfer function up to two free parameters. Therefore, consistency between cosmic history and initial conditions provides a viable description of cosmological observations in the context of Periodic Time Cosmology. (Abstract excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Linde, Andrei. Universe or Multiverse?. carnegiescience.edu/events/lectures/universe-or-multiverse. A Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington public lecture to be given on June 27, 2019 by the Russian-American Stanford University astrophysicist and 1980s co-founder with Alan Guth of inflationary theory. (Search AL for recent verifications via the Planck satellite and more.) We also cite for its notable perception of multiple cosmoses. (I heard Andrei give his first public lecture in the US in 1983 at Harvard where he used overheads of fractal bubbling cosmoses, so he remains much on message.)

Cosmological observations show that on the largest scales accessible to our telescopes, the universe is very uniform, and the same laws of physics operate in all the parts of it that we can see. Rather paradoxically, the theory that explains this uniformity also predicts that on extremely large scales, the situation may look totally different. Instead of being a single spherically symmetric balloon, our universe may look like a multiverse—a collection of many different exponentially large balloons with different laws of physics operating in each. In the beginning, this picture looked more like a piece of science fiction than a scientific theory. However, recent developments in inflationary cosmology, particle physics, and string theory provide strong evidence supporting this new cosmological paradigm.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Robles-Perez, Salvador. Quantum Cosmology in the Light of Quantum Mechanics. Galaxies. 7/2, 2019. In this MDPI journal, a Spanish mathematician (search) continues his studies which are a good example of how human collective sapience can readily cast imaginative quantifications across any breadth and depth of this awesome presence. Again we beg to ask whoever are we infinitesimal peoples to be able to envision, describe and take forth this grand vista?

There is a formal analogy between the evolution of the universe, when it is seen as a trajectory in the minisuperspace, and the worldline followed by a test particle in a curved spacetime. The analogy can be extended to the quantum realm, where the trajectories are transformed into wave packets that give us the probability of finding the universe or the particle in a given point of their respective spaces: spacetime in the case of the particle and minisuperspace for the universe. The wave function of the spacetime and the matter fields altogether can then be seen as a super-field that propagates in the minisuperspace. The super-field can thus be interpreted as made up of universes propagating, i.e., evolving, in the minisuperspace. (Abstract excerpt)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Sandora, McCullen. Multiverse Predictions for Habitability: Fraction of Life that Develops Intelligence. arXiv:1904.11796. The fourth installment by the Tufts University cosmologist of his studies (search) of an apparent multicosmos milieu. The first three entries dealt with the number and properties of stars, how many habitable planets may be there, and the fraction of planets that develop life. In this edition, the relative presence of candidate suns, earths, and (micro) organisms informs what conditions are necessary for intelligent beings to evolve and emerge. His approach, as the Abstract notes, is to evaluate the many cometary, radiative and geologic cataclysms which could wipe out any sentient phase. The second long quote is a good synopsis, might we add a “Cosmotropic” significance? To reflect on it all, how curious to reach such a scenario, some 400 years after Galileo, whence a most favored universe seems to bring forth its own self-retrospective witness. What human identity and purpose might ever be realized?

Do mass extinctions affect the development of intelligence? If so, we may expect to be in a universe that is exceptionally placid. We consider the effects of impacts, supervolcanoes, global glaciations, and nearby gamma ray bursts, and how their rates depend on fundamental constants. It is interesting that despite the very disparate nature of these processes, each occurs on timescales of 100 Myr-Gyr. We argue that this is due to a selection effect that favors both tranquil locales within our universe, as well as tranquil universes. Taking gamma ray bursts to be the sole driver of mass extinctions is disfavored in multiverse scenarios, as the rate is much lower for different values of the fundamental constants. In contrast, geological causes of extinction are very compatible with the multiverse. Various frameworks for the effects of extinctions are investigated, and the intermediate disturbance hypothesis is found to be most compatible with the multiverse. (Abstract)

To recapitulate our results: the number of habitable stars in the universe is the backbone of this computation, and this factor exerts a pressure to live in universes with stronger gravity. The fraction of stars that have planets, on the other hand, was relatively insensitive to the laws of physics. The most important factor was found to be the fraction of planets that develop life. This was sensitive to the assumptions made, and led to many predictions for the distribution of life throughout our universe. The fraction of planets that develop intelligence can be similarly constraining. The follow-up we performed about the deleterious effects of mass extinctions, does not play as large a role, but can still be nontrivial. There is one final factor which we have not discussed, which is the average number of observers per civilization. However, we refrain from incorporating into our present analysis, because it is hard to say much about this factor without veering into speculation. The viewpoint here is “it takes a village to raise a question,” that is, the consciousness you enjoy is not wholly your own, but is in part inherited from the whole history of society. By shifting the selection pressure onto the civilization rather than the individual, sidesteps this complication completely. (30-31, edits)

Animate Cosmos > Organic > Biology Physics

Crosato, Emanuele, at al. Thermodynamics of Emergent Structure in Active Matter. arXiv:1812.08527. Nine years after this title phrase came about, University of Sydney, Complex Systems Research Group theorists EC, Mikhail Prokopenko, and Richard Spinney quantify energetic properties that further distinguish this spontaneously animate materiality. As the quotes say, as 2020 near, our website survey is well able to report a truly organic, fertile ecosmos from which phenomenal persons arise, awaken and discover.

Active matter is rapidly becoming a key paradigm of out-of-equilibrium soft matter exhibiting complex collective phenomena, yet the thermodynamics of such systems remain poorly understood. In this letter we study the nonequilbrium thermodynamics of large scale active systems capable of mobility-induced phase separation and polar alignment, using a fully under-damped model which exhibits hidden entropy productions not previously reported in the literature. We quantify steady state entropy production at each point in the phase diagram, revealing characteristic dissipation rates associated with the distinct phases and configurational structure. This reveals sharp discontinuities in the entropy production at phase transitions and facilitates identification of the thermodynamics of micro-features, such as defects in the emergent structure. (Abstract)

In this letter we have explored the thermodynamic character that emerges from the rich collective dynamics exhibited by active matter and highlighted a hidden entropy production where rotational timescales impact dissipation in the translational degrees of freedom. Our results suggest that the richness, commonly associated with the phase structure of active matter, is mirrored in its thermodynamics, opening up a new tool to study collective phenomena on both a micro and macroscopic scale. Important questions remain, including the delicate issue of TRS which we have shown to dramatically influence any thermodynamic interpretation. We hope that the work will contribute to a deeper understanding of the thermodynamics of active systems and, more broadly, the dynamics that can lead to emergent structures. (5)

Animate Cosmos > Information

Cuffaro, Michael and Samuel Fletcher. Physical Perspectives on Computation, Computational Perspectives on Physics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018. As the title implies, this wide-ranging, authoritative collection covers the on-going cross-synthesis of physical, condensed matter, and quantum phenomena with an algorithmic-informational basis. As this fertile merger proceeds, an epic revolution appears to be coming to fruition in our collaborative, worldwide midst. To wit, it may be possible to at last aver, as long intimated, that this cosmic and Earthly existence is distinguished by a double, generative dimension. Typical chapters are Ontic Pancomputationalism by Gualtiero Piccinini and Neal Anderson, On Characterizing Physical Evolution as Information Processing by Owen Maroney and Christopher Timpson, and The Natural Science of Computation by Dominic Horsman, et al. An Abstract for Quantum Theory as a Principle Theory by Adam Koberinski and Markus Mueller is appended next.

We give a condensed and accessible summary of a recent derivation of quantum theory from information-theoretic principles, and use it to study the consequences of this and other reconstructions for our conceptual understanding of the quantum world. Since these principles are to a large extent expressed in computational terminology, we argue that the hypothesis of "physics as computation", if suitably interpreted, attains surprising explanatory power. Similarly as Jeffrey Bub and others, we conclude that quantum theory should be understood as a "principle theory of information", and we regard this view as a partial interpretation of quantum theory. (AK & MM Abstract)

Animate Cosmos > Information

Ensslin, Torsten, et al. The Physics of Information. Annalen der Physik. 531/3, 2019. An MPI Astrophysics theorist introduces a special Physics of Information issue in this European journal in print since 1799. Some 320 years later this distinctive quality, not evident until our 21st century, has become a primary feature of what can be known as physical reality. In regard, the lead paper is Information and the Reconstruction of Quantum Physics by Gregg Jaeger (herein), see also Information Theory for Fields by T. Ensslin, and Entropic Dynamics: Quantum Mechanics from Entropy and Information Geometry by Ariel Caticha.

Information is virtual. It can be carried by speech, an image, scratches on a stone, patterns in a photon field, the connections of neurons in our brains or even by the wavefunction of an electron. Information does not depend on the actual means of transmission. Information is physical. It needs to be sustained by a physical substrate which requires energy or work. Without a physical world, information can not be stored, processed, or transmitted. Actually information about the physical laws governing our Universe can be found everywhere and in everything. Could it then be that the real fundamental elements of this world are tiny bits of information? (1)

Animate Cosmos > Information

Jaeger, Gregg. Information and the Reconstruction of Quantum Physics. Annalen der Physik. 531/3, 2019. In a lead paper for a Physics of Information issue, the Boston University physicist philosopher first reviews precursor efforts by John Bell, Anton Zellinger, Jeffrey Bub, Carlo Rovelli onto Lucien Hardy, Giulio Chiribella, and others. Into the 21st century an informational component has conceptually become a prime, definitive quality. This expansive advance is then seen to augur for a wider synthesis toward a truly cosmic narrative reality.

The reconstruction of quantum physics has been connected with the interpretation of the quantum formalism, and by a deeper consideration of the relation of information to quantum states and processes. This recent form of reconstruction has provided new perspectives on physical correlations and entanglement that can be used to encode information. Here, a representative series of specifically information‐based treatments from partial reconstructions that make connections with information to rigorous axiomatizations, including those involving the theories of generalized probability and abstract systems is reviewed. (Abstract excerpt)

The reconstruction of quantum mechanics has historically been intertwined with the interpretation of the quantum formalism and, more recently, with the relation of information to quantum state transformation. Given that quantum mechanics, like information theory, involves probability at a fundamental level, it is to be expected that the two can be related. The deeper exploration of the connection of quantum mechanics to information has led to the idea of reconstructing not only quantum mechanics and quantum field theory but to the seeking of connections with space–time theory in a more general sort of quantum theory based specifically on informational principles rather than more obviously physical principles known from previous forms of physics. (1)

Animate Cosmos > Intelligence

Baluska, Frantisek and Arthur Reber. Sentience and Consciousness in Single Cells: How the First Minds Emerged in Unicellular Species. BioEssays. 41/3, 2019. University of Bonn (search) and University of British Columbia psychologists trace a developmental continuum of conscious knowing acumen which seems to be reaching ever deeper into life’s origins, and by inference even further into a sensitive genesis cosmos.

A bottom‐up, cellular‐based concept of the origins of sentience has been put forward. Because all life is based on cells, any evolutionary theory of the emergence of consciousness must be grounded in mechanisms that take place in prokaryotes, the simplest unicellular species. It has been posited that subjective awareness is a property of cellular life which emerges as an inherent feature of the very first life‐forms. All other varieties of mentation are the result of an evolutionary course based on this singular event. It has also been identified that three cellular structures and mechanisms that likely play critical roles here are excitable membranes, oscillating cytoskeletal polymers, and structurally flexible proteins. Finally, basic biophysical principles are seen to guide those processes that underlie the rise of supracellular sentience from cellular sentience in multicellular organisms. (Abstract)

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