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Lay Hypotheisis on the Universe (Do you think this is plausible?)

  1. Jan 7, 2012 #1
    Time is relative or fractal in nature. The existence of mankind can be said to be very old; it can also be said to have occured in an flash of a moment of all life on Earth. Life on earth can, likewise, be said to have happened in an instant of our young observable universe. You could then say that our enitire universe happens in an instant. Space and time are so closely connected and are really space-time, so it follows that space is also fractal and if you take a look at our universe at the scale of a particle it makes sense that our universe might have come into existence ex nihilo. The reason being that we know this occurs in empty space in our universe. Empty space is constituted of quantum vacuum fluctuations. Particle anti-particle pairs pop in and out of existence instantaneously. It's been posited before that our universe may be located in a virtual particle that will end when it meets it's anti-particle and annihilates. I think it's plausible to posit the idea that our universe is one of many virtual particles in the empty space of another universe and that universe is in the empty space of another universe, ad infinitum. An infinite regress of fractal universes constantly in and out of nothing. Fluctuating as a pattern in an infinite quantum vacuum. Where everything that can possibly exist exists an infinite amount of times and doesn't exist and infinite amount of times in an infinite number of variations. And everything exists forever in it's particular point in time. So our observable universe would be a finite part of an infinite universe, relatively speaking.

    How plausible do you think something like this is? Are you confortable with infinite regresses? If not, why?
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  3. Jan 7, 2012 #2


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    This isn't the sort of thing we discuss here. We like to discuss theories of physics, not personal speculation.

    Since you didn't specify enough details for anyone to know if your speculative idea has any observable consequences, it can't be considered a theory.

    It's not hard to come up with an idea that sounds cool. It's much harder to develop an idea into something that makes predictions about results of experiments.
  4. Jan 7, 2012 #3
    I realize now that it's a unwelcomed speculative post, but I was looking to get opinions from more knowledgable people on the idea and possible things wrong with it.

    Do you know where I could post this kind of thing to get the opinions of more learned individuals than I?
  5. Jan 7, 2012 #4
    Pop science work often creates the very mistaken impression that physics is about vague qualitative ideas. It likely seems that something like String Theory comes about when a bunch of physicists were sitting around (possibly smoking a joint or something) and one of them went "Woah man, like, what if the universe... is, like... just made out of strings man. Strings!". This is of course absolutely NOT how such a thing comes to be. String theory originated when physicists were trying to figure out the mathematical structure of the strong force and realized that it had a striking resemblance to a Beta function. Thus, it's not that a "theory" like yours is "too speculative", it's simply not a theory at all. You have in no way suggested new physical law or mathematical structure, thus there's nothing to evaluate in terms of how it compares to the physical law and mathematical structure we know is experimentally verified.

    Furthermore a few points on physics, even in the pop sci/qualitative realm:

    -What exactly is your definition of an instant? You seem to initially use the words to mean "a non-zero span of time which is small relative to the total time under consideration". But then you say something like "the universe is only an instant", an instant relative to what? Time is a relative quantity WITHIN our universe, you can't assign a time external to our universe because what would you be assigning it to. The big bang was the BIRTH of time and space, not the birth of matter IN time and space.

    -I have no idea what you think the word fractal means, relative and fractal are two words that have completely unrelated meanings. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal

    -Particles and anti-particles don't pop in and out of existence instantaneously (although, as I've said you don't seem to actually have a consistent definition of instantaneous, regardless).

    -"It's been posited before that our universe may be located in a virtual particle that will end when it meets it's anti-particle and annihilates." Who has posited this? I'm not sure if this is a misinterpretation of a real thing or something you simply made up.

    and finally

    -Virtual particles aren't real. That's why we call them virtual. They're a result of applying a physical interpretation to a mathematical approximation scheme used to solve much of the math in quantum field theory. This is because much of the math (what are called non-gaussian integrals) have no closed form solution , thus we approximate. If we knew how to solve these integrals you would never have heard of the concept of a virtual particle. They're not physical reality they're mathematical book-keeping.

    Saying the universe is, like, a virtual particle in another universe, may seem like a "theory" but it's not. What would this say about cosmic inflation? the high-energy cut-off of QFT? The gauge symmetries? Can you get the structure of GR and QFT out of this hypothesis? Developing new physical insights is a lot more difficult then it seems in pop sci stuff.
  6. Jan 7, 2012 #5


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    Other than getting kudos on how "cool looking" your theory might be, there is no where that you can post this and expect meaningful feedback. A scientific theory is very different from the usual meaning of the word "theory".


    Speculating about ideas such as yours is very common and can be a great source of enjoyment for many people, however it NEVER gets you anywhere unless you actually learn about science.
  7. Jan 7, 2012 #6
    I know that string theory and similar things are more than vague theories. The point of my post was just to get feedback on the problems with this idea which you offered, thanks. I appreciate it.

    Well, the point is that our universe could be relative. So our "time and space" is in the nothing of another universes space. But as you pointed out there's nothing I can offer as a way that this could make sense.

    Half of a measure of space, half of a measure of time; half of a half of a space, half of a half of a time; and so on. We percieve time at a certain rate, transcending that subjectivity in an thought experiment you can think of time as fractal.

    I didn't make it up. Edward Tryon believed that the entire universe might be a massive quantum vacuum fluctuation.

    Oh... Did not know that. :redface:

    It's naive lay speculation. I know it's not a theory. Thanks for even replying to this dumb mammals obnoxious posting. :D
  8. Jan 7, 2012 #7


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    What's wrong with it is that it isn't specific enough to say anything about results of experiments. Nothing more can be said about it until you have developed it to the point where it makes a prediction that can be compared to a prediction of another theory, or to results of experiments that have already been performed.

    I don't think there's a place where you can get better answers than here.
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