Free energy or an infinite universe, which one is it?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

It seems to me we must pick on or the other when you get right down to it, at the moment theory and evidence suggests free energy is impossible but at the same time the universe supposedly popped into existence so that would also suggest free energy is possible or that the universe/something has always existed, so it really comes down to a choice between free energy or an infinite universe, what's more likely?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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A better term to use in place of 'free energy' would be 'violation of conservation of energy.'
You raise an excellent question, which (especially) multiverse and eternal inflation theories of the universe make quite relevant and non-trivial. At the same time, your logic doesn't strictly work as it stands----energy is a property (or concept) within a universe, and thus is undefined and can't be applied to the case of universe formation.
 
  • #3
Discussing whether or not energy is only a property of a universe that already exists or is a property of the class we refer to as 'universes' raises questions that border on the metaphysical. If energy is solely defined within the context of a uinverse and not by a superset of natural laws, properties, or constructs that apply to the more general class we think of as 'universes' (as in the case of any multiverse concept), your interpretation of the question may allow your criticism to be valid in some contexts, but certainly not all of them. If there is a superclass we call 'universes' that contains member elements we refer to singly as a 'universe', then by inferrence, there may be a definition of energy (which we do not currently posess in any currently observable, verifiable form) that is common to all elements of the class and, therefore, may not necessarily be so unapplicable as you surmise. In fact, it may even be a common element that defines the class in such a rigid way as to make it transactionally transferrable and even conservable between class elements (universes) in paralell or even in precedence as in the case of universe formation.

FAPP (for all practical purposes), leaving it undefined is a shell game, or at best, a place holder for as yet unobtained knowledge. But you cannot say with any certainty whatsoever that it cannot be considered in universe formation. That kind of conjecture is explicitly just that... conjecture. The lack of any real knowledge of the state of the universe even AFTER its formation (for several seconds at least) is already a matter of extensive (and rediculously expensive) speculation. As for what sequentially went before universe local time allegedly came into being... that is patently unknown and the available theories vary in form, completeness, and robustness almost as much as a permutation of the initials of all the theory originators taken as a set. The question, in fact, may very easily be extremely relevant.
 
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  • #4
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Discussing whether or not energy is only a property of a universe that already exists or is a property of the class we refer to as 'universes' raises questions that border on the metaphysical.
Since that is the very definition of metaphysics, I think its more than just 'bordering on'---unfortunately.

If energy is solely defined within the context of a uinverse and not by a superset of natural laws, properties, or constructs that apply to the more general class we think of as 'universes' (as in the case of any multiverse concept), your interpretation of the question may allow your criticism to be valid in some contexts, but certainly not all of them.
As we haven't (to my knowledge) ventured outside of the universe, we can only conjecture as to the validity of our concepts on 'larger' scales---personally, I think the entire question is meaningless; or semantic at best.
None-the-less, the features 'we' consider to be 'natural laws, properties' etc are fundamentally intertwined with the nature of our observable universe and its space-time.
Conservation of energy, for example, is an empirical law. It has no absolute value, outside the context of the universe.

If there is a superclass we call 'universes' that contains member elements we refer to singly as a 'universe', then by inferrence, there may be a definition of energy (which we do not currently posess in any currently observable, verifiable form) that is common to all elements of the class and, therefore, may not necessarily be so unapplicable as you surmise.
Fortunately physics is not about inference (see synonym: 'good guess heuristic'), and what 'may' or may-not be is irrelevant to what is observable, testable, and verifiable.

In fact, it may even be....
"In fact" anything "may" be anything. Please review the PF forum rules.



But you cannot say with any certainty whatsoever that it cannot be considered in universe formation. That kind of conjecture is explicitly just that... conjecture.
1) I didn't say it "cannot be considered," I gave reasoning as to why a particular argument wasn't necessarily so. After reviewing the PF forum rules, please review basic logic.
2) What you are saying is the opposite of actuality. Suggesting that our concepts of energy do extent beyond the observable, testable, deductible realm is purely conjectural.
I am saying that you cannot necessarily generalize the concept to a grander scale---which is necessarily the case.


The question, in fact, may very easily be extremely relevant.
After reviewing the PF rules, and then simple logic, please be so kind as to review reading comprehension. Not only did I say that it was, "an excellent question;" but also that modern theories make the question especially "relevant and non-trivial." It is unfortunate that you came here explicitly to look for things to argue against, and even more so that you do it poorly.
 
  • #5
I have no objections to the points you raise. They are all contextually appropriate interpretations. However, the question of context is at issue. It was not I that raised the question of a 'multiverse,' which is, as you say, a metaphysical concept. Perhaps a better road sign when shifting between logic as it applies to such conjecture vs. logic that applies to the far narrower and rigorous realm of what is physically observable in this universe would have been in order?

Since you your last paragraph appears to push past an apparent misunderstanding into the fallacious territory of an appeal to ridicule, but stops short of ad hominem, I see no need to answer it.

My impression of the question was that it was framed outside the realm of possible physical observation in its entirety, hence, my use of the term 'metaphysical.' As such, the set theory argument I used was largely semantic and was limited to that realm, deeming references to the observable to refute the assumed logic of the questioner to be a form of expansion.

It seems you had at least a similar impression as to the metaphysical nature of the question as per your own first reference to multiverse theories. I consider that I misunderstood your words, "your logic doesn't strictly work as it stands" when I interpreted them rather liberally as "cannot be considered." Since the author does not apply any rigor in presenting his logic, it just seemed a leap to me to make such a satement without more information.

Additionally, the term 'undefined' is a very interesting term of art to employ. It did not clear up the perceived ambiguity.

My appologies if you took offense. No ad hominem was intended. Scope issues are particularly nasty ones when it comes to impediments to effective communication.
 
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  • #6
Interesting, so what is more like out of the two or is there an alternative?
 

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