Friday, June 6, 2008

Time and Cosmology

I got a nice heads up from the BBC RSS feed today, which had a story Hints of 'time before Big Bang' today that cited Sean Carrol, who blogs at Cosmic Variance. That led me to a post of his on the same general subject of the Arrow of Time as an advert for his article in Scientific American.

From the BBC article, which is reporting on work submitted Physical Review Letters and presented at the American Astronomical Society this past week, we see that: Their model suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously from apparently empty space. And that this 'cold' empty space would result in an ordered initial state for the universe, so that the Second Law of Thermodynamics will then necessarily produce an Arrow of Time.

Ooh, lots of German Capitalized Words in that paragraph.

Anyway, their argument is based on attributing a systematic variation of the CMB across the sky to a non-uniformity in the space of some other universe that gave rise to our universe as a bubble ... in someone's LHC or RHIC?

I don't have anything to add on the physics since this is well outside the limits of my knowledge of GR and cosmology. This is just posted as a heads up to anyone who happens to read my blog, but I will remark that Chicago's loss was Caltech's gain.


Matt said...

This also is all way outside my own area, but it's very interesting to read about. The asymmetry in the microwave background looks pretty real, and surely it means something.

That said, I tend to think that cosmology (for all its great successes) is out of its depth at times much before 10^-14s or so. We don't even have adequate theory for what might happen in the LHC at a few TeV, or an understanding of dark matter and dark energy in the modern universe.

But hey, physics has beaten harder problems than those. I hope to live to see these new ones solved, and both the LHC and the Planck satellite should help get us some data from very different perspectives.

CarlBrannen said...

Dr. Pion, you might enjoy my new pion mass formula. It's similar to the 1/n^2 energy formula for the energy of hydrogen excitations, but with an addition for the color force that has the effect of tripling the states (and masses) at a given spherical harmonic:

A minor correction is here:

These are generalizations of Koide's formula for the leptons. I extended that formula to the neutrinos in 2006 and got a bunch (well, for an amateur) of citations to it in the literature. The very simple formula gives the masses to the three lowest mass pi, pi_1, and pi_2 states, nine masses in all. The form of the formula is the same as the charged and neutral lepton formulas already in the literature.

And I'm writing up the paper on the subject, for submission to Foundations of Physics, here. The basic idea is to think of the color force as it would apply to qubits with no momentum or position information. Solve that problem exactly and you have a first cut at a QM approximation to the wave function for the meson: