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Multiverse on BBC2 Horizon


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Seems that the whole premise for the infinite Multiverse theory was that because we can only see/detect a fraction of what is probably out there, there must be no limit to the size of the universe? Seems a bit arrogant! Discuss.

Clive

Edited by Smithfire
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I mentioned this in another thread.

I thought it was an excellent episode of Horizon and the I really enjoy and read a bit about the whole multiverse subject  and thought this was a nice introduction to some of the variants.

For further reading that explores the subjects mentioned in the show in a bit more detail plus other aspects of multiverse theory I would recommend reading Brian Greene's The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos.

As an introduction it's a good reader.

Of course the whole subject is or can be quite complex and almost certainly it is misunderstood and dismissed all too easily.

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Watched the program and was a little puzzled.

I have no problem with the idea of more then one universe.

The start of it seemed to be someone saying that beyond the observable limits it was another universe which it is not, it is just beyond where light can get back to us.

Too much seemed to be that other universes were a mirror of ours, couldn't see a reason for that, only one person was there saying what differences they may be in whatever laws of physics the other universes had.

Not sure about the "cool" area being where we were in contact with another universe, we have to have areas slightly hotter and cooler owing to quantum fluctuations at the BB event. And cooler is not a lot cooler, I think they are talking of 1/1,000,000 of a degree.

Too much seemed based on quantum mechanics which tends to be on the small scale and universes tend to be a bit bigger and in QM you can sort of get away with almost anything.

Too much of it seemed wishful thinking of a pet idea.

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Watched the program and was a little puzzled.

I have no problem with the idea of more then one universe.

The start of it seemed to be someone saying that beyond the observable limits it was another universe which it is not, it is just beyond where light can get back to us.

Too much seemed to be that other universes were a mirror of ours, couldn't see a reason for that, only one person was there saying what differences they may be in whatever laws of physics the other universes had.

Not sure about the "cool" area being where we were in contact with another universe, we have to have areas slightly hotter and cooler owing to quantum fluctuations at the BB event. And cooler is not a lot cooler, I think they are talking of 1/1,000,000 of a degree.

Too much seemed based on quantum mechanics which tends to be on the small scale and universes tend to be a bit bigger and in QM you can sort of get away with almost anything.

Too much of it seemed wishful thinking of a pet idea.

I agree with all of that.  I thought the program was very poor, dumbed-down and yet sensationalist.

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Totes agree Steve. People base careers around total supposition?!

Clive

Much science(and mathematics for that matter) begins with a supposition. Eg. Einstein supposes that he is riding along next to a light ray. Reduction ad absurdam in mathematics. Etc etc... Suppositions are just so useful.

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Our understanding of maths and physics can only rule out what is impossible so everything else is up for grabs, It would be nice to think that there is a SGL comunity out there that prey for clouds and make remarks about all equipment being shipped with constant sunshine.

Alan

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The Horizon program was interesting, but I couldn't quite fathom if they were saying that the parallel universes were 'out there' somewhere, beyond our observable universe, or occupying the same 'space' as ours and containing all possible variations of our own.

These things may not be impossible according to the mathematics, but that's not the same as saying that they 'must' exist in any physical sense.

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For many years I have had formal discussion among a select few on the topic of multi universes, we are not altogether sure of what actually lies out there. However I do believe somewhere hidden is that certain key which will unlock this mystery, many have spoken of black holes, how they hold that something magical within the singularity, getting to find that out can be somewhat of a dilemma, though saying that in years to come someone might find a way of getting around the obstacle of gravity, but that's another story.  So yes I definitely believe we live in a multi universe.

Nice topic for a discussion

Ronnie 

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The Horizon program was interesting, but I couldn't quite fathom if they were saying that the parallel universes were 'out there' somewhere, beyond our observable universe, or occupying the same 'space' as ours and containing all possible variations of our own.

These things may not be impossible according to the mathematics, but that's not the same as saying that they 'must' exist in any physical sense.

Well the thing is it was wholly dependant on which version of the multiverse they were talking about as to where that particular MV may or may not exist.

For example the first one mentioned, the quilted multiverse essentially would exist in our universe as a whole but beyond our observable universe so in normal 3 dimensional space  whereas the Many Worlds interpretation would see the universes branching off into Hilbert space https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert_space and other theories will have other locations for their universes.

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May I ask...

What is the point of finding out?

If there are MV's - what are we going to do with that knowledge.

At least the surgeon who thought about organ replacement had a goal to achieve with it rather than just 'because were human and we are able to think blah blah blah'.

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May I ask...

What is the point of finding out?

If there are MV's - what are we going to do with that knowledge.

Is there a need to have a point? Its interesting to know for it's own sake.

Even if we do find out, we may find a use for the knowledge in the future. Lots of things happen that way (invention of the post it note, as an example)

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The same question can be asked then for many aspects of science, cosmology, quantum mechanics, standard model, particle colliders et al.

I mean who cares how or what created the universe, if there was a big bang or not or whether we will collapse in on ourselves or expand forever into cold space.

I don't think that is a fair criticism to level solely at MV proponents, then again I don't think that is a fair criticism  to level at anyone trying to unravel the inner workings of the universe but that's just me.

I have no doubt that advances in computing like quantum computing, q-cryptology, medicine and many other applications will eventually transform our lives for the better(or devastatingly for the worse :D). After all we are made up of all this stuff to begin with, like most sciences it may not be obvious at the beginning but it almost always pays off in the end.

Plus I have seen Sliders and sliding looks a blast, I want me some of that but this time I'll hang on to the home coordinates.

Edited by JB80
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I caught some of it the other night and missed the beginning so found that it was being shown later in the week and set it to record. I shall watch it with interest. I just about get the idea that a particle can be in two places at once but I can't see how that translates to things consisting of multiple particles (like a universe) but then again, physics never was my forte at school (or anywhere else for that matter!).

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The same question can be asked then for many aspects of science, cosmology, quantum mechanics, standard model, particle colliders et al.

I mean who cares how or what created the universe, if there was a big bang or not or whether we will collapse in on ourselves or expand forever into cold space.

I don't think that is a fair criticism to level solely at MV proponents, then again I don't think that is a fair criticism to level at anyone trying to unravel the inner workings of the universe but that's just me.

I have no doubt that advances in computing like quantum computing, q-cryptology, medicine and many other applications will eventually transform our lives for the better(or devastatingly for the worse :D). After all we are made up of all this stuff to begin with, like most sciences it may not be obvious at the beginning but it almost always pays off in the end.

Plus I have seen Sliders and sliding looks a blast, I want me some of that but this time I'll hang on to the home coordinates.

I remember Sliders! Great show.

The subject of multiverses is interesting, but it seems like a case of running before learning how to walk.

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So somewhere in another multiverse there was an Horizon special on 2CBB  dismissing the possibility of a multiverse :laugh:

I do enjoy the topic and I enjoyed the programme.However, I think the Brian Greene represents the theory in a much better way and the examples he uses are more imaginative. Admittedly Nova has a lot more time and are not restricted to 1 hour on prime time TV :smiley:

Edited by Pig
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Seems that the whole premise for the infinite Multiverse theory was that because we can only see/detect a fraction of what is probably out there, there must be no limit to the size of the universe? Seems a bit arrogant! Discuss.

Clive

I didn't see the programme but no cosmologist I've ever read has said anything even remotely like, '... the whole premise for the infinite Multiverse theory was that because we can only see/detect a fraction of what is probably out there, there must be no limit to the size of the universe? '

1) The multiverse hypothesis does not originate primarily from our inability to detect everything that's out there. I think that here you are probably talking about dark matter and dark energy which may or may not exist but which do not require there to be a multiverse. A single universe can quite happily have both.

2) The size of the universe has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of other universes.

In reality the multiverse hypothesis has several origins including,

- The fine tuning problem. It seems that, in order to have a universe capable of making stars, which make atoms, which make molecules, which make us, the fundamental forces of nature have to be fine tuned to a degree which seems unlikely. Rational minds are suspicious of coincidences this improbable and suspect that they are missing something more fundamental. (For example, it would have saved a lot of time if people in the past had been suspicious of the idea that the Earth lay in the middle of the universe. Big coincidence. Big mistake. Science learns from its mistakes.)

- The role of the observer in determining outcomes in quantum theory. This lead to the 'Many Worlds Hypothesis' which suggests that everything that can happen does happen but that one observer is only aware of one series of outcomes.

- String Theory which shows some (fading?) hope of unifying gravity and quantum theory but which depends on the existence of other dimensions.

(For what it's worth I don't think much of the second two but my point is to show how the multiverse hypothesis did originate, which is not as the OP suggested.)

The OP accuses the cosmologists of arrogance but might it not be the other way round? 'The only universe and set of dimensions I can see are the only ones that exist.'  Might this not, perhaps, be at least an over-confident assertion? I think it more modest to consider that we might not know about everything that there is because it may not be accessible to us.

Beamer3.6M, you ask 'If we find out, what are we going to do with that knowledge?' I can answer that very easily indeed. We are going to know it. And that's plenty good enugh for me. I believe that, for a very short period of time, I will be alive and aware of being alive. I have surroundings. I want to know about them. Of all the ambitions I have (which include wanting all sorts of nice entertaining toys and all sorts of other pleasures) my greatest ambition is simply to know more before the lights go out. For me, it's all the practical and material stuff which goes, 'Blah blah blah.'

Taking an anti-intellectual stance on an astronomy forum seems odd to me. No?

:confused: lly

Edited by ollypenrice
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May I ask...

What is the point of finding out?

If there are MV's - what are we going to do with that knowledge.

At least the surgeon who thought about organ replacement had a goal to achieve with it rather than just 'because were human and we are able to think blah blah blah'.

What are we going to do with it? Well apart from marvel at it maybe nothing, but what about the miriad other things affecting day to day life that we benefit from. Would you have us all just accept what we know is and dare not venture any further? 

Sorry, but I just cannot get my head around this line of thinking. Seems an odd mind set for someone interested in astronomy. I mean, whats the point of looking at stars etc? we'll never go there. Pushing the boundaries and wondering "what if" is why we don't have to live in caves and die at the age of 30

http://spinoff.nasa.gov/Spinoff2008/tech_benefits.html

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1) The multiverse hypothesis does not originate primarily from our inability to detect everything that's out there. I think that here you are probably talking about dark matter and dark energy which may or may not exist but which do not require there to be a multiverse. A single universe can quite happily have both.

2) The size of the universe has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of other universes.

Well to be fair to Smithfire the show in question did start off with the 'Quilted multiverse' theory which is pretty much solely defined by an infinite universe. Of course this infinite number of pockets of observable universes in and infinite global universe is maybe not the traditional way of thinking what a multiverse is and it is easy to see why some may see it as a stretch but nonetheless it is a valid theory.

I also think to my mind at least this is possibly the least controversial of all the theories and most plausible, it doesn't really require any changes to traditional cosmology or QM and can exist as long as the universe is infinite but has a finite amount of constitutional parts and relies on repetition. 

Either the universe is finite or it's not and I don't really think this is fringe thinking.

I also don't think this version would rule out other theories existing within.

The other theories can be a lot more complex but even they had their beginings in traditional Quantum Mechanics and in general came about as a search to make QM more elegant, parralel universes exist basically by default in the traditional theory and have to be denied by introducing unsupported processes into the equation making it less elegant in a way, ie; wave function collapse.

I find it all fascinating and am glad there are a lot of people out there trying to figure these things out. No matter what the theory is whether it's a singular universe or multiverse I honestly think we are still in the infancy stages of our understanding but believe it is important to at least try to get a grip on it.

Edited by JB80
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