Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Musings on Dark Matter

Most of you know me to be a hard Sci-Fi fan. I haven’t talked about Sci-Fi subjects here in a while so I’m going to take a detour away from politics for a bit and talk about something completely different. If Sci-Fi isn’t your thing, feel free to skip along to the next post, I won’t mind. I'll be back to politics and malfeasance of elected officials soon enough.....

Like most amateur writers, deep down, I've toyed with the idea of writing the next great Sci-Fi novel. Most Sci-Fi revolves around some unique scientific hook. Some revolve around more than one such as Niven's Known Space Series does. A Dysonian ring world, a species that had the ability to psychically enslave an entire galaxy, a species that stumbled upon advanced technology developed by a prior race before it had evolved a means of self-control. Niven was nothing if not prolific for sure. But since the series grew out of multiple stories that kind of grew together as time went on, that is not all that surprising.

Anyway I had a thought about dark energy and/or dark matter that you might find interesting as such a possible hook. Or it might be something so pitifully obvious to everyone else that I'll sound like an idiot. I'm just going to have to gamble on that. =D.

Now I'm certainly not a cosmologist by any stretch of the imagination, hell I can hardly add 2+2 without a calculator, so abstract math involving 11 dimensional vibrating strings is WAY beyond my comprehension. But the thought occurred to me that most of the contenders for a "theory of everything" generally involve the possibility of "Multiverses" of one sort or another with differing physical constants for each, with each multiverse being basically a closed system unto itself.

But what if they aren’t closed? What if under certain circumstances they can "leak" or bleed over onto multiverses whose physical constants are very close in value to each other. Since Multiverses exist outside a frame of reference for “place”, for all intents and purposes, they are all basically superimposed upon our own. For instance a universe whose physical constants are exactly the same except the value of pi, or the Planck constant, or one of the other physical constants is say, one part per one hundred billion billion different (I’m picking a number out of my arse obviously to make a point), close enough that gravity waves in one multiverse are very near resonance with our own and the dark energy/matter are really the beat pattern caused by the slight difference in frequency. What if, instead of there being an infinite number of permutations for the physical constants, there is instead a fundamental “graininess” or “quanta” at this level of abstraction, just like there is in quantum physics, possibly they might even be linked somehow? Suppose that there is a fundamental “quanta” for the stepwise differences between the constants in each universe. That would mean that there could still be an infinite number of universes, but that there are well defined energy gaps between each. If so, it might be possible to jump those gaps, the same way it is possible to make photons jump from one quantum energy state to the next. If that were the case, then dark energy or dark matter might be the manifestation of such leakage into our universe. That would help explain why it is so difficult to account for them in the standard model.

Now, what if the leakage isn’t halted/reversed the leakage will accelerate until the gravity waves reinforce each other and go into amplification. I have read that one theory of the big bang is that it was actually caused by two universes merging and such mergers are fundamentally unpredictable and could statistically happen at any time. Suppose such leakage over time causes such a merging? But that leakage also happens to make it possible to communicate, or even pass from one universe to another. Would we as a race be able to forego such a window into another universe, even if we know we might very well not only destroy our own but every other one as well? What if another race won't?

Clearly there is a lot more needed to make this into a true Sci-Fi story, at this point it isn’t even a proper outline. Just a whole bunch of “what if”….


Anonymous duhmoose said...

You might want to check out "The Gods Themselves" by Isaac Asimov. Decent read on two universes bleading together.

March 29, 2007 7:22 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Hmm, I've never been a huge Asimov fan, he tends to gloss over technical and scientific concepts too much for my taste, but in spite of that I have read many of his seminal works, but that one has escaped me. I'll check it out. Thanks.

March 29, 2007 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

So 96 percent of the known universe is leakage from another universe? Damn, we're insignificant.

March 29, 2007 2:55 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Eric, maybe, maybe not. You assume that the gravity "leakage" is as strong as it would be for regular matter, but what if it is many times stronger? I would presume that since the physical constants are different, the resultant strength of the natural forces would also be different. If that were the case, then it might not need to be as much as 98% of all the matter in the universe to be equivalent to it.

March 29, 2007 6:54 PM  

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