III. Ecosmos: A Revolutionary Fertile, Habitable, Solar-Bioplanet, Incubator Lifescape
1. Quantum Cosmology Theoretic Unity
Lederman, Leon. The God Particle. Nature. 448/310, 2007. A perspective paper in a special section on the Large Hadron Collider, wherein nine articles provide a good review of the past 50 years of the particle paradigm. But one wonders if this endeavor has more than run its course, scoffing up funds, as others have noted, which cannot detect in its benthic depths a self-organizing cosmic to human genesis.
Lemoine, Martin, et al, eds. Inflationary Cosmology. Berlin: Springer/Praxis Publishing, 2008. Papers from a 2006 Paris colloquium on the 25th anniversary of the theory that the universe, in its first instant, experienced a vast ballooning expansion from a singular point of origin. With some modifications, this phenomenon has been verified and serves to unify a number of disparate findings. A lead, notable article is by Andrei Linde on this past history, and its latest multiverse and anthropic implications.
Levin, Michael and Xiao-Gang Wen. Photons and Electrons as Emergent Phenomena. Reviews of Modern Physics. 77/3, 2005. Another example of a welling, fundamental shift from an inanimate, 20th century physical nature composed of particles alone. A quite different universe is lately being realized, which is here composed of “string-nets” (not to be confused with string theory) from whose “condensations” develops the overt intricate structure of the universe. A reference is made to Nobel laureate Philip Anderson, we would add Robert Laughlin, Stephen Adler, and others who propose, in this nascent revision, some deeper, non-particulate realm as the real source of a cosmic gestation.
As we probe nature at shorter and shorter distance scales, we will either find increasing simplicity, as predicted by the reductionist particle physics paradigm, or increasing complexity, as suggested by the condensed-matter point of view. We will either establish that photons and electrons are elementary particles, or we will discover that they are emergent phenomena – collective excitations of some deeper structure that we mistake for empty space. (879)
Lightman, Alan. The Accidental Universe. Harper’s Magazine. December, 2011. How curious and worrisome that a venerable icon of American literature, founded in 1850, would in the 21st century publish an article like this purported to be the despairing epitaph of centuries of physical science. An MIT cosmologist and author, Lightman wholly buys the string theory multiverse that male physics has spun itself into to hand down an erroneous, ill-considered death sentence. Life, persons, and earth are but a vicarious happenstance of insensate, soulless, cosmoses that bubble in and out of existence. In fact, as the January 2013 Foundations of Physics on this theory (search de Haro) contends, the physics jury is still out, quite divided, so no such rush to judge and condemn should be made. A new book by Perimeter Institute director Neil Turok The Universe Within: From Quantum to Cosmos, reviewed below takes strong issue with these myopic pronouncements. A deep polarity palls these theoretical realms over “to be or not to be,” such a dire fate should not be foisted on a public unable to challenge it.
This long and appealing trend (that nature has an intelligible purpose) may be coming to an end. Dramatic developments in cosmological findings and thought have led some of the world’s premier physicists to propose that our universe is only one of an enormous number of universes with wildly varying properties, and that some of the most basic features of our particular universe are indeed mere accidents—a random throw of the cosmic dice. In which case, there is no hope of ever explaining our universe’s features in terms of fundamental causes and principles. (35)
Linde, Andre. The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe. Scientific American. November, 1994. The Russian-American cosmologist describes the universe as a “self-generating fractal” which reproduces in an analogous biological fashion. In late September 1983, to a packed physics auditorium at Harvard, I heard the young emigre from the Lebedev Physical Institute in Moscow present his first public lecture in the United States on this vast scenario.
Inflationary Cosmology after Planck 2013.
By this March 2014 revision, the Russian-American, Stanford University, physicist posts his latest understandings of an initial vast expansion of a universe from a singular point of origin. Linde, along with Alan Guth, were the prime conceivers of this theory in the 1980s. The 84 page paper summarizes his talks at the summer 2013 Post-Planck (Satellite) Cosmology conference in Grenoble, France. It offers a unique vista on the frontiers of physics whence a string theory landscape might imply an inflationary multiverse, anthropic principle, and so on.
The best available explanation of the observed uniformity of the universe is provided by inflation. However, as soon as this mechanism was proposed, it was realized that inflation, while explaining why our part of the world is so uniform, does not predict that this uniformity must extend for the whole universe. To give an analogy, suppose the universe is a surface of a big soccer ball consisting of multicolored hexagons, see Fig. 2. During inflation, the size of each hexagon becomes exponentially large. If inflation is powerful enough, those who live in a black part will never see parts of the universe of any different color, they will believe that the whole universe is black, and they will try to find a scientific explanation why the whole universe must be black. Those who live in a red universe will never see the black parts and therefore they will think that there is no other universe than the red universe, and everybody who says otherwise are heretics. But what if the whole universe started in the red state? In the next section we will show how quantum fluctuations can lead to transitions between different colors and simultaneously make inflation eternal. This means that almost independently of the initial state of the universe, eventually it becomes a multicolored eternally growing fractal. (16-17)
Linder, Eric. Mapping the Cosmological Expansion. Reports on Progress in Physics. 71/5, 2008. A good introduction to the theory and experiment of a universe that seems to be flying apart. One is curiously led to wonder why such cosmos has evolved to accomplish its own descriptive observation by our earthmind. See also “Dark, Perhaps Forever” by Dennis Overbye in the New York Times for June 3, 2008 for latest views on dark energy, matter, and acceleration disputations.
A century ago our picture of the cosmos was of a small, young and static universe. Today we have a far grander and richer universe to inhabit, one that carries information on the strongest and weakest forces in nature, whose history runs from singularities and densities and temperatures far beyond our terrestrial and laboratory access to the vacuum and temperatures near absolute zero. Understanding our universe relies on a wide range of physics fields including thermodynamics, classical and quantum field theory, particle physics and gravitation. (2)
Lloyd, Seth. The Digital Universe. Physics World. November, 2008. The director of the Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory at MIT makes a succinct case for a cosmos essentially composed of and understandable by software and hardware, a “computational” reality. A cousin to Stephen Wolfram’s “cellular automata” new science, this approach, although advancing a dual realm, remains mechanistic in kind. Yet one wonders since Lloyd extols the molecular double helix as a prime example, might by a simple turn of metaphor could a “genetic” universe be apprehended. Such an informational literacy could in a stroke become akin to a “cosmic genetic code.” This fertile materiality, akin to a person, would both be an independent source while manifest in the complex living forms unto us that it spawns and evolves. And by consequence, would it not imply primordial, maternal and paternal complements? This is the grand Ptolemaic to Copernican, machine to gestation, revolution just now there for the asking.
Information and computation are not merely social and technological phenomena. Information lies at the heart of physical law: the physical quantity called entropy is in fact information about the microscopic motions of matter. Every atom and elementary particle carries with it bits of information. (30) The digital nature of the universe finds one of its most elegant expressions in the genetic code: a strand of human DNA contains two bits per base pair and registers about six billion bits in its three billion base pairs. (32) The combination of the holographic principle with the quantum geometric limit suggests a full computational picture of the universe. The universe consists of information/bits located in space, and events/bit-flips occurring in space-time. (35-36)
Loll, Renata. Quantum Gravity from Causal Dynamical Triangulations: A Review. arXiv:1905.08669. The Radboud University and Perimeter Institute theorist continues her collegial studies of a fantastic cosmos which we peoples evolve and emerge and awaken from with our phenomenal abilities to explore and learn. A natural philoSophia might then be that we are the very microcosmic selves who are made and meant to so quantify, realize, affirm and take forward a procreative genesis universe.
We give a topical, comprehensive overview and assessment of recent results in Causal Dynamical Triangulations (CDT), a modern formulation of lattice and quantum gravity nonperturbatively from a scaling limit of the lattice-regularized theory. In this manifestly diffeomorphism-invariant approach one has computational access to a Planckian spacetime regime, which is explored with the help of invariant quantum observables. During the last few years, there have been numerous new and important developments and insights concerning the theory's phase structure, the roles of time, causality, diffeomorphisms and global topology, and renormalization group methods. We will focus on these new results, primarily in four spacetime dimensions, and their geometric and physical implications. (Abstract edit)
The Emergence of Spacetime or Quantum Gravity on Your Desktop.
Classical and Quantum Gravity.
The Utrecht University physicist describes her work with colleagues Jan Ambjorn and Jerzy Jurkiewicz (see Quantum Cosmology) related their theory of “causal dynamical triangulations” (Google for more info). As a novel approach to loop quantum gravity, it portends to reveal a self-similar fractal structure as the essence of time and space. Also Google their 2005 arXiv paper: Reconstructing the Universe.
Loll, Renate, et al. Quantum Gravity in 30 Questions. . . For a summer tutorial, Radboud University, The Netherlands, University of Naples, and University of Szczein, Poland theoretical physicists course through topics such as Why should I learn about perturbative gravity, What technical tools are needed to make progress, and What is loop quantum gravity. One wonders who are we enabled, brave students who proceed to learn about and quantify, re-present thes sidereal stretches. And for what procreative purpose.
Quantum gravity is the missing piece in our understanding of the fundamental interactions today. Given recent observational breakthroughs in gravity, providing a quantum theory is more urgent than ever. We provide a guided tour in the form of 30 questions which ranged from basic motivational and background material to a critical assessment of the status quo and future of the subject. We highlight the identification of quantum observables and the development of effective numerical tools as critical to future progress. (Excerpt))
Luminet, Jean-Pierre. The Status of Cosmic Topology after Planck Data. Universe. December, 2015. In this online journal, the CNRS Marseille astronomer reports that an overall cosmic geometry does indeed exist, as found by our composite Earthwide technical investigation. We cite for this reason, and once more to record how fantastic it is that such beings as us on the frozen crust of a bioworld are yet able in a few years to fathom these vast dimensions and lineaments. Surely there ought and must be an intent and purpose for such discoveries, some greater creation to participate in and contribute to.
In the last decade, the study of the overall shape of the universe, called Cosmic Topology, has become testable by astronomical observations, especially the data from the Cosmic Microwave Background (hereafter CMB) obtained by WMAP and Planck telescopes. Cosmic Topology involves both global topological features and more local geometrical properties such as curvature. It deals with questions such as whether space is finite or infinite, simply-connected or multi-connected, and smaller or greater than its observable counterpart. A striking feature of some relativistic, multi-connected small universe models is to create multiples images of faraway cosmic sources. While the last CMB (Planck) data fit well the simplest model of a zero-curvature, infinite space model, they remain consistent with more complex shapes such as the spherical Poincaré Dodecahedral Space, the flat hypertorus or the hyperbolic Picard horn. (Abstract)