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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 98 found.

An Organic, Conducive, Habitable MultiUniVerse

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

Scholes, Gregory, et al. Using Coherence to Enhance Function in Chemical and Biophysical Systems. Nature. 543/647, 2018. As quantum and complexity studies grow and converge in scope and veracity, they are erasing a classical divide so as to reveal a seamless unity (as David Bohm would say) to cross-advise each other. Here some 19 researchers from Harvard to UC Berkeley and onto Canada and Germany draw serious parallels which appear to infuse a natural universe to us vitality.

Coherence phenomena arise from interference, or the addition, of wave-like amplitudes with fixed phase differences. Although coherence has been shown to yield transformative ways for improving function, advances have been confined to pristine matter and coherence was considered fragile. However, recent evidence of coherence in chemical and biological systems suggests that the phenomena are robust and can survive in the face of disorder and noise. Here we survey the state of recent discoveries, present viewpoints that suggest that coherence can be used in complex chemical systems, and discuss the role of coherence as a design element in realizing function. (Abstract)

Defining and Detecting Coherence Coherence can be classical or quantum mechanical and comes from well - defined phase and amplitude relations where correlations are preserved over separations in space or time. While an intuitive picture for classical coherence is a recurring pattern, quantum mechanical coherence is exemplified by superposition states. The distinction between classical and quantum coherence is not always obvious, but is indicated by special correlations — a notable example is photonbunching and antibunching. Quantum superposition states thereby have properties that are not realized in classical superpositions. (647-849)

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > quantum CS

Torlai, Giacomo, et al. Neural Network Quantum State Tomography. Mature Physics. May, 2018. We cite this paper by Perimeter Institute, D-Wave Systems, and ETH Zurich physicists as an example in the late 2010s of a novel view of “quantum” phenomena. In regard, this deep realm is presently being treated in several ways as brain-like, computational/informative, while other entries may view it in a genomic sense. A further attribute, similar to everywhere else, seems to be a tendency to settle into and exhibit critically poised states.

The experimental realization of increasingly complex synthetic quantum systems calls for the development of general theoretical methods to validate and fully exploit quantum resources. Quantum state tomography (QST) aims to reconstruct the full quantum state from simple measurements. Here we show how machine learning techniques can be used to perform QST of highly entangled states with more than a hundred qubits, to a high degree of accuracy. This approach can benefit existing and future generations of devices ranging from quantum computers to ultracold-atom quantum simulators. (Abstract excerpt)

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

Barrow, John. The Book of Universes: Exploring the Limits of the Cosmos. New York: Norton, 2011. For a long time before the current proof of myriad planets, it was assumed that our bioworld Earth bioworld not be the only one. Since the 1980s, the same logic has led to a proposal of multiple cosmoses, first theoretically and now experimentally. A Cambridge University mathematician and author (search) surveys an infinite spatial and temporal spacescape from its origins to current vicarious infinities. We are thus treated to fractal, Swiss cheese, spinning, undulating, chaotic, magnetic, random, probable, self-creating universes. Again how fantastic is it that we infinitesimal beings can yet imagine and gain such cosmic knowledge?

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Boyle, Latham, et al. CPT-Symmetric Universe. Physical Review Letters. 1/251301, 2018. Perimeter Institute theoretical physicists LB, Kieran Finn, and director Neil Turok can now proceed to contemplate and quantify entire cosmoses with regard to variations if certain nuclear or energetic parameters were different. See also Quintessential Isocurvature in Separate Universe at arXiv:1409.6294 for another take. Within this website view, how fantastic is it that human beings altogether are able to learn about such vistas and imaginations. There must be some auspicious reason and purpose that we can do this.

We propose that the state of the universe does not spontaneously violate CPT (see below). Instead, the universe after the big bang is the CPT image of the universe before it, both classically and quantum mechanically. The pre- and post-bang epochs comprise a universe/anti-universe pair, emerging from nothing directly into a hot, radiation-dominated era. CPT symmetry selects a unique QFT vacuum state on such a spacetime, providing a new interpretation of the cosmological baryon asymmetry, as well as a remarkably economical explanation for the cosmological dark matter. Several other testable predictions follow: (i) the three light neutrinos are Majorana and allow neutrinoless double β decay; (ii) the lightest neutrino is massless; and (iii) there are no primordial long-wavelength gravitational waves. (Abstract excerpt)

Charge, parity, and time reversal symmetry is a fundamental symmetry of physical laws under the simultaneous transformations of charge conjugation (C), parity transformation (P), and time reversal (T). CPT is the only combination of C, P, and T that is observed to be an exact symmetry of nature at the fundamental level. The CPT theorem says that CPT symmetry holds for all physical phenomena, or more precisely, that any Lorentz invariant local quantum field theory with a Hermitian Hamiltonian must have CPT symmetry.

Animate Cosmos > Quantum Cosmology > exouniverse

Jamieson, Drew and Marilena LoVerde. Quintessential Isocurvature in a Separate Universe. arXiv:1812.08765. SUNY Stony Brook, Cosmology Group astrophysicists consider various theoretical models with regard to the nature of an entire cosmos. As noted above in Boyle, et al, this ability must imply something significant and purposeful about our planetary sapience. For an example of an earlier usage of this title concept, see Separate Universe Simulations by Christian Wagner, et al at arXiv:1409.6294,

In a universe with quintessence isocurvature, or perturbations in dark energy that are independent from the usual curvature perturbations, structure formation is changed qualitatively. The existence of two independent fields, curvature and isocurvature, causes the growth rate of matter perturbations to depend on their initial conditions. We perform the first separate universe simulations for this cosmology. We demonstrate that the power spectrum response and the halo bias depend on scale and initial conditions and that the presence of the isocurvature mode changes the mapping from these quantities to the halo auto- and cross-power spectra, and the squeezed-limit bispectrum. This allows our results to be used to predict the halo power spectrum and stochasticity with arbitrary large-scale curvature and isocurvature power spectra. (Abstract excerpt)

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 a latest consideration of spatial and temporal presence and contingent properties of conceivable multitudinous universes. The study first evaluates Drake equation factors of stars in a cosmos, planetary systems, how many likely habitable, can life then evolve, reach intelligence, and get to an anthropic civilization as our own. A half century after Frank Drake first proposed it, exoworlds are now known to be the common rule. Sandora goes on to cite solar photosynthesis as a major feature, along with stellar varieties such as red dwarfs, also tidal locking on a planet without a moon, and more. Future entries will evaluate probabilities of 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

Lambert, Jean-Francois and Maguy Jaber. Minerals and Origins of Life. Life. Online, 2018. Sorbonne Universite and Institut Universitaire de France materials scientists explain and post this special open issue about realizations that nature’s cosmic materiality seems to be an inherently suitable substrate for the occasion and rise of living systems. See, e.g., How do Nucleotides Adsorb onto Clays? and especially The Paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon (Morrison, Runyon and R. Hazen herein).

When life arose on our planet, a complex mineral world was already present and certainly interacted with the first biomolecules. How it channeled chemical evolution has been the subject of much speculation; specific roles for minerals have been invoked for the emergence of the three main distinguishing features of life: Information storage, metabolism, and compartmentalization. Mineral surfaces may have aided selectivity in adsorption and/or polymerization, thus forming a subset in the space of possible proteins and nucleic acids. A lot remains to be understood concerning the relevant molecular surfaces and their interactions with biomolecules.

As regards metabolic activity, mineral surfaces are well-known as catalysts, but they can act as reaction media offering thermochemical conditions and allow macroscopic gradients and cyclical variations to produce the molecular-level imbalances characteristic of life. This includes chemical energy in the form of molecular-scale concentration gradients, and the appearance of proto-metabolic cycles including reactions with mineral surfaces. Minerals may also have played a role in compartmentalization, to offset dilutions that would destroy emerging prebiotic systems. (Issue proposal excerpts)

Animate Cosmos > Organic

Morrison, Shaunna, et al. The Paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon Revisited. Life. 8/4, 2018. This paper in a special issue Minerals and Origins of Life (Lambert herein) by SM, Simone Runyon and Robert Hazen of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC continues Hazen’s decade long project (search) to prove that planetary and extraterrestrial materials are conducive substrates for life to originate. (The Hadean Era is some 4.6 – 4.0 billion years ago.) His work with colleagues goes on to imply that appropriate mineral formations evolve in reciprocal tandem with living systems. By these insight, a long list of prebiotic organic materials and mineral species can be identified. Redox gradients and other reactivities in the mix reveal a native inherency made and meant for life to appear and develop. See also, for example Titan Mineralogy: A Window on Organic Mineral Evolution in American Mineralogist (Vol. 103, 2018).

A preliminary list of plausible near-surface minerals present during Earth’s Hadean Eon (>4.0 Ga) should be expanded to include: (1) phases that might have formed by precipitation of organic crystals prior to the rise of predation by cellular life; (2) minerals associated with large bolide impacts, especially through the generation of hydrothermal systems in circumferential fracture zones; and (3) local formation of minerals with relatively oxidized transition metals through abiological redox processes, such as photo-oxidation. Additional mineral diversity arises from the occurrence of some mineral species that form more than one ‘natural kind’, each with distinct chemical and morphological characteristics that arise by different paragenetic processes. A rich variety of chemically reactive sites were thus available at the exposed surfaces of common Hadean rock-forming minerals. (Abstract)

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 > Biology Physics

McFadden, Johnjoe and Jim Al-Khalili. The Origins of Quantum Biology. Proceedings of the Royal Society A. Vol.474/Iss.2220, 2018. A University of Surrey, UK biologist and a physicist who have each authored prior works (search) achieve a unique, thorough history of this incipient synthesis from A. N. Whitehead, Erwin Schrodinger and others such as organicists and vitalists, aka the Cambridge Theoretical Biology Club, to its worldwise fruition today. From this retro-vista, an Order from Order phrase can be coined, which is seen in effect by a flow of recent findings, as the abstract notes.

Quantum biology is usually considered to be a new discipline, arising from recent research that suggests that biological phenomena such as photosynthesis, enzyme catalysis, avian navigation or olfaction may not only operate within the bounds of classical physics but also make use of a number of the non-trivial features of quantum mechanics, such as coherence, tunnelling and, perhaps, entanglement. However, although the most significant findings have emerged in the past two decades, the roots of quantum biology go much deeper—to the quantum pioneers of the early twentieth century. We will argue that some of the insights provided by these pioneering physicists remain relevant to our understanding of quantum biology today. (Abstract)

Clearly, quantization applies to all matter at the microscopic scale and has long been assimilated into standard molecular biology and biochemistry. Today, quantum biology refers to a small, but growing, number of rather more specific phenomena, well known in physics and chemistry, but until recently thought not to play any meaningful role within the complex environment of living cells. (1)

What remains indisputable is that the quantum dynamics that are undoubtedly taking place within living systems have been subject to 3.5 billion years of optimizing evolution. It is likely that, in that time, life has learned to manipulate quantum systems to its advantage in ways that we do not yet fully understand. They may have had to wait many decades, but the quantum pioneers were indeed right to be excited about the future of quantum biology. (11)

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 > Universal

Brandao, Fernando, et al. Generic Emergence of Classical Features in Quantum Darwinism. Nature Communications. 6/7908, 2015. FB University College London, Marco Piani, University of Waterloo, Canada and Pawel Horodecki, Technical University of Gdansk press on with verifications and enhancements of W. Zurek’s original theory (see below) that multiple variations and selective retentions occur even within this deepest, austere realm. Fig. 1 is titled Quantum Darwinism treats the environment as a carrier of information, while Fig. 5 is Quantum correlations leads to classicality.

Quantum Darwinism posits that only specific information about a quantum system that is redundantly proliferated to many parts of its environment becomes accessible and objective, leading to the emergence of classical reality. However, it is not clear under what conditions this mechanism holds true. Here we prove that the emergence of classical features along the lines of quantum Darwinism is a general feature of any quantum dynamics: observers who acquire information indirectly through the environment have effective access at most to classical information about one and the same measurement of the quantum system. Our analysis does not rely on a strict conceptual splitting between a system-of-interest and its environment, and allows one to interpret any system as part of the environment of any other system. (Abstract)

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