Archive for August 9th, 2011

Tiny Bubbles

Science Men now believe they possess experimental data indicating the existence of multiple universes.

We already know that such universes exist. But Science Men, being Science Men, like to have something they can call “proof.”

Formerly, Dr. Hiranya Peiris, a cosmologist at University College London, had written with her colleagues a paper for Physical Review Letters, in which it was noted that there do exist Difficulties, in trying to observe other possible universes, from within the “bubble” of this one.

However, Dr. Peiris—who, as a female homo sapiens, validates Dr. Possum’s repeated assertions on this blog that some Science Men are, in fact, women—in that paper proposed an inspired solution.

To wit:

The inflationary para-digm has been very successful at explaining the initial conditions giving rise to our observable universe. Considering the initial conditions for inflation itself leads to the possibility that our observable universe might only be a tiny piece of a vast multiverse. In this scenario, known as eternal inflation, our observable universe resides inside a single bubble nucleated out of a false vacuum de Sitter space. The rate of bubble formation is outpaced by the accelerated expansion of the inflating false vacuum, and therefore inflation does not end everywhere.

Eternal inflation is ubiquitous in theories with extra dimensions (string theory being the primary example) and positive vacuum energy. However, testing this scenario is extremely difficult since eternal inflation is a pre-inflationary epoch: any signals from outside of our bubble would naively appear to be stretched to unobservable super-horizon scales. While this is in general true, one prospect for probing this epoch lies in the observation of the collisions between vacuum bubbles. These collisions produce inhomogeneities in the inner-bubble cosmology, raising the possibility that their effects are imprinted in the cosmic microwave background.

And lo: that is just what has been done. Through scrutinizing seven years of data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anistotropy Prove, which presents in minute detail the residual glow from the moments of this universe’s formation, Peiris and her people have detected, through just such afore-referenced “collisions,” remnants of several extra-this-place “bubble universes.”

And thus:

The idea that other universes—as well as our own—lie within “bubbles” of space and time has received a boost.

Studies of the low-temperature glow left from the Big Bang suggest that several of these “bubble universes” may have left marks on our own.

Though, then, to the BBC, to, like, bring us all down, Dr. Peiris throws this wet blanket:

Dr Peiris said that even if these bubble universes were confirmed, we could never learn anything further about them.

“It would be wonderful to be able to go outside our bubble, but it’s not going to be possible,” she explained.

Bollocks. With respect, here, I think the good doctor is thinking too small. As I have observed on this blog before, when I was but a wee lad, no one with a Right Mind even believed that “multiverses” existed, except in the too-fertile minds of aberrant science-fiction writers. Yet, today—behold: this piece—they are Real.

So, who’s to say we “can’t” go outside the bubble of this universe? Certainly not I. And that is why I am even now preparing to enter into an experiment, with an esteemed extra-gifted colleague, in which these bubbles of space and time shall, hopefully, be utilized to move breakfast from one place, and worldtrack, on this planet, to another place, but same worldtrack, on this same planet.

Stay tuned. Brave new world(s).



When I Worked

August 2011
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