The Location of the Universe?


Lee Smolin talked about this years ago in his book "The Life of the Cosmos" where he proposes (mostly as a thought experiment) that the multiverse is nothing more than an endless series of universes generating universes by means of blackholes, which leads to an evolutionary progression of traits within those universes (each new universe would be nearly identical to its parent universe, but not a perfect copy).

An excellent book, highly recommended.
It seems the more questions we answer, the more we have.
I still can't explain in my own mind why, if life in the universe is as plentiful as we've been led to believe, we have not found radio waves that would signal their existence? I know not all life would be "intelligent" but it seems that if life were as common as all that we should be hearing a cacophony of myriad communications. Yet, there is nothing.

Yeah, the inverse square law is a bitch.
@1, I'm big into Lee Smolin's theory. Glad to see others are on the same boat.
It certainly invites plausibility. The logic behind this hypothesis is an intriguing one — not only for cosmology and physics, but also for philosophy.
Also, under this rubric, the concept of age and time become sort of moot, as age marks a presumed finite beginning from which time is measured. If there is no beginning, then how can the cosmos be assigned an age?
I think the universe is far more complicated than human beings will ever be able to understand.
This reminds me of the Star Trek TNG episode where Beverly asks the computer "What is the nature of the universe?"
Very good, Telsa. People don't grok infinity very well, but it looks like you're beginning to get it.
I agree that the more questions we answer, the more we end up having. And that's what I love about science, it never stops, there is always that search for a better answer or an alternate answer.
"All this has happened before. All this will happen again."

Smolin's book is more philosophical than scientific (although he's a theoretical physicist), so yes. He talks about why it may be impossible to ever come up with any evidence, let alone scientifically prove, such an idea.


Yep. Science is amazing, but it's not Truth or reality, just a useful mode of thought. The nice thing about science, as opposed to other institutions, is that it's fundamentally revolutionary, even if those revolutions can be painfully slow.

So while we'll never understand anything, let alone the whole universe, completely, our knowledge will become more and more nuanced.
You always were, You always are,
and You always will be.
More nuanced in our understanding is a good way to put it.
I'm with 6. Why do you feel it is more spectacular to be more than 13 billion years old? Age queen.
COULD our universe be located there? Yes, it could. IS it located there? Likely not.
Telsa and 58,
While space has no specific direction in the Cosmos, Time most assuredly does. It is related to the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the principle of entropy, to wit; that the amount of entropy is constantly increasing in the cosmos, or more simply stated, that disorder is growing. This is clearly understood when you consider that events (or time) never happen in reverse (like a movie running backwards). The result of this "time direction" is to deduce that at one time entropy in the cosmos was very low or nil, and therefore, there must have been a beginning. Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity (the properties of light), has more to do with time than his General Theory of Relativity, which is an theory of gravity.
Just 100 years ago physicists thought our galaxy was alone, an island floating in a vast, empty universe. Today, our entire universe, complete with billions and billions of galaxies, could all be an accidental reverse-regurgitation from a worm's black hole. (paraphrasing a bit here.)

Suffice to say, it's all mad confusing, and we are dealing with such tiny amounts of information about what is actually happening out there, let alone what could be out there (to say nothing of 'in here', ye gods!) that, like @7 suggests, we may never understand it all.

Heck, even our oldest space-faring robots have only just passed the termination shock of our leetle solar system. Most of our other information comes from telescopes. While those are amazing, we have no idea what they are missing, because our 'limb' of the universe could be moving away from any other 'limb' of the universe so fast that the light from the other limbs wouldn't ever reach us. Huge 'chunks' of the universe will always ever be unseen by us.

And we wonder why we don't hear radio waves from other civilizations out there. Those things are damn slow, and the galaxies are moving pretty damn fast, and there's hella noise out there, and... and maybe there are more effective ways to send messages that we haven't discovered yet. Who knows. We may never, but the search is extremely exciting!
@17 About that entropy thing. "Disorder is growing". How does one explain the very clearly ordered evolution from simple acid chains, to unicelluar life, to complex human beings requiring culture? Seems like those steps away from entropy, steps to more stable and complex structures would suggest something else is at work here. You could say the laws of thermodynamics only apply to 'non-living' matter, but everything that makes up us was once 'non-living' matter too.
My thoughts? While our "observations" are the only valid way we have of assessing the universe, they're about as accurate as the proverbial blind man's description of an elephant.
@19 I think there are dimensions we have yet to discover. Dimensions that defy explanation from our ordinary ability to observe but which connect to stars as a sort of living thing.
And I think life could originate in super novas.
Everyone knows the Center of the Universe is in Fremont, around which Seattle revolves.
@18: It doesn't matter how fast two objects are moving relative to each other; light just about always travels at 3x10^8 m/s in a vacuum, and so distance and relative speed are no obstacle to light EVENTUALLY reaching us.
@19: Entropy increases in the universe as a whole and in all other closed systems. The Earth, however, is an open system; energy is put into it by the Sun, and this influx in energy drives what would otherwise be some very non-spontaneous processes. Basically, a localized decrease in entropy can be achieved by causing a greater increase in entropy elsewhere in a closed system.
Please look these things up if you want to know more.
Entropy can be confusing. At first glance it does appear that life violates the 2nd law by organizing itself. But all life gains entropy as organisms age (here we have evidence of the direction of time, again) until eventually they become so full of entropy that they die and decay, so the net amount of entropy in the universe is still increasing. Incidentally, the direction of Time (increase in entropy) would seem to negate any method of faster than light travel, as ftl travel would violate the law of causality (cause always precedes effect), thereby reducing the net amount of entropy in the universe.
I don't know why I decided to pursue a career in observational astrophysics... this is the stuff people always ask me about, you can go on forever without disproving it scientifically and it sounds so cool

Oh wait I remember: I suck at math.
@23 -- Actually, look up "de Sitter horizon".
Others, thanks. I really need to go research entropy a lot more it appears. Cheers. >zip!< *poof!*