The Multiverse Redux Redux Redux

The rumors are true, and they are jaw dropping.     Mainstream physics is moving ever closer to describing the universe as an infinite number of *other* universes, all of which are out of our own frame of reference.    Like any sane person it’s hard to digest this concept of a multiverse, but it is consistent with observations and theories in physics, and the idea is gaining a lot of traction in the mainstream physics community:

the multiverse has developed rapidly from a being merely a speculative idea to a theory verging on respectability. There are good reasons why. Several strands of theoretical physics – quantum mechanics, string theory and cosmic inflation – seem to converge on the idea that our universe is only one among an infinite and ever-growing assemblage of disconnected bubble universes.

Thanks to my pal Roy for sending this NEW SCIENTIST Article I’m still trying to digest about an approach to measuring the metaverse, an important step if the idea is to move from speculation to strong scientifically verifiable reality.      I think as with some other  notions that hinge in part on the theory of relativity it may be necessary to accept the following:

…for physics to make sense, you must restrict your description of the universe to what a single observer can see. It’s a profoundly different approach from the old idea that we can describe the entire universe from an observerless, God’s-eye-view.

11 thoughts on “The Multiverse Redux Redux Redux

  1. Some physicists (funny, most of them seem to be from high-powered private universities, such as Stanford) may describe a multiverse, and use all sorts of high powered mathematics to do so, but they’ve yet to travel in the M-verse, much less shown us a postcard.

    Traditional, or “normal” science generally depends on observables, on confirmation, or at least likely inferences. The m-verse people have not made observations nor really do they have likely inferences: they offer “possible” worlds, and then with some bizarre mathematics (usually set theory), they claim these possible worlds exist. Not confirmation whatsoever.

    For that matter, there’s a tradition of applied science which upholds pragmatism to some extent; i.e. not what is it, but what does it do….and if a supposed theory or hypothesis or discovery doesn’t really result in some measurable outcome, or work, or function in some sense, it’s probably meaningless.

    Were separate dimensions to actually exist, perhaps some clever scientist could harness some energy from it, or make use of it in some sense, and this they cannot do, anymore than NASA will be journeying to Alpha centauri in the near future (and the speed of light a constant, which pop-science people forget daily…they also forget that even most of serious physicists, like Bohr, opposed the outlandish mystical interpretations of QM).

  2. Oh, SNAP! You mean the postcard I just got on EBAY from Metaverse 22-567-12.3 is a ….. FAKE? I spent all my magic beans.

    I agree with the pragmatism principle H, but note that the physicist in that article is proposing some *measurements* that support the existence of a metaverse.

    The problem with pragmatism and common sense is that it really starts to break down at both the quantum and the macrocosmic levels – ie you simply cannot explain things at those levels without resorting to some complex math and physics and even then … it’s not easy. However it’s better than without using those constructs.

  3. Yes, but the measurements are fundamentally statistical, ie, involving probability–a point lost on many nerds who get their physics from NewSci, or SciAm, if not popular mechanics. Bohr and Heisenberg generally engaged in statistical analyses…and even something like an observer effect becomes negligible at very minute levels.

    In so far as any bizarre , non-local or non-deterministic theory relies on statistical estimations (and not actual observations, and involves no actual….application (pragmatism is not just common sense-ism, but verification via functionality), it’s…just a theory, perhaps plausible but not really confirmed. We might also question whether millions of shekels in research funds should go to the esoteric physics, cosmology, etc. instead of say the medicine, economics department, or civil engineering, etc

    • Not only question, but we should INSIST that budgets should mostly prioritize pressing human needs before we fund interstellar research, which I think I’d leave to donations and the innate sense of curiousity that would drive the funding.

      Govt that governs best, funds least… hmmm… not sure I like the sound of that one, as Sudan passes that test and we fail it and I sure as heck don’t want to live THERE.

      perhaps plausible but not really confirmed.

      Sure, but almost all “new” complex ideas are going to face this challenge. I’m not challenging your skepticism here which is always warranted, but I think it is incumbent on those who say “let’s explain this in simple terms” to do that and still account for the following sticky wickets.

      1. What is matter? What is energy? Where did it come from? Where is it going?

      2. Why does Subway say “ANY” $5 foot long when Philly Cheese Steaks are $8+

      • Heh. Cheese steaks? Bad joss, Duck. In the universe next door might cost you, dharmically speaking. Roast turkey–

        Niels Bohr Im not, but it would seem that responsible scientists would demand some observable proof, not only mathematical models–not just a thought experiment such as Schroedinger’s Cat, but like make the cat disappear.
        Schroedinger’s singularity…

      • There’s another issue brought up by the New Scientist and Sci.Am. popularization of quantum physics and relativity. The articles, while informative, often create a sort of fad-like craze among some in Consumerland (see New Worlds for examples).

        Many humans lacking much advanced knowledge of modern physics (really, I meet very few people, even techies, who quite understand what the Copenhagen Int. of QM implies) will seize upon the latest supposed finding or experiment as support for some mystical or supernatural view–even orthodox christians (and jews and muslims presumably) know use the stranger aspects of quantum physics (wave-particle collapse, brother! ) as support for a religious or mystical view– why, given separate dimensions, one might be ….Heaven! (or hell, or purgatory, or nirvana, or Tolkien-land, what have you).

        The pop-science (even when based on cutting edge research, etc) creates false hopes–really, it’s a sort of Futurity fetish. Many techies hope for some super-science which will solve all of our problems, or provide us with Star Trek-like gear–de-materialize,Capn!

        That’s not going to happen in the near future (or far future, most likely). Real progressive should oppose the Futurity fetish, I believe (though that’s not the same as luddite-ism). Sane applications of technology are needed, which is not the same as Star Trek-like fantasies….

      • Note, Mr. Duck–your massive list to the right here—>>

        makes editing rather difficult at times when the wordssssssss extend into the links….


      • However fascinating these ideas are, Mr. Duck, one has to be aware of the effect of the Futurity Fetish, which alas, is not limited to only silicon valley geeks and dweebs, but trickles down to the hardware store: yo Bubba didja hear about this goldang multiverse stuff?

        As with Byronia of New Worlds–he doesn’t know a partial derivative from his favorite pancake hut, but now, via the popularization of quantum physics and relativity think’s he’s Steven Hawking, squawking about the Intelligent Universe, and a Reason “for the strangely self-orgnanizing nature of life in this universe.” Wow! Anthropomorphic Intelligent Design 101, via MIT/Stanford, if not the Mormons (then Leibniz said something of the sort in about 1700, with far more subtle arguments).

        NewSci and SciAm articles regarding the latest grand theories of everything (rarely verified, but merely speculative) often serve as mystical escapism for the semi-educated.

      • Horatiox sorry about the format problems – I’m using templates and too lazy to change them to stop the overlap, though it’s on “the list” of todo stuff.

        I agree that in general practical should trump future speculation. However I think you are too pessimistic about “really, really big” change a ‘comin given the very rapidly growing body of neuroscience information combined with processor speed improvements and massive cheap parallel computer capability. IBMs 2018 may be somewhat optimistic, but we’ll see some unbelievable things as human and machine capabilities continue to converge.

    • Oh, but to be clear I reject pretty much all the “new age” metaphysics stuff and agree that the legitimate stuff is abused by poorly informed or opportunistic or gullible folks.

      Reality may not be what it seems, but it’s very unlikely to conform to the silly ideas that do not subject themselves to the critical review required of all good science.

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