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The Antrhopic principle

  1. Dec 28, 2008 #1
    Gamma Ray Bursts are huge explosions in the Universe where a tremendous amount of energy is released and vanished in seconds. We are talking of billions of degrees hot. Now, just imagine GRB’s to be more frequent in our galaxy, how would this have affected life in our planet? How is the Antrhopic Principle related to the fact that we still here? I mean, intelligent sentient beings. It makes me wonder about the probability for a GRB to affect us in a negative way, exploding somewhere in our galaxy. If not, do you think that it is a coincidence that we are here talking about this or are we just lucky? The Anthropic Principle would help us argue that we are at a safe distance from GRB’s because of the current status of this planet, that is, a planet with intelligent beings. These explosions have the power to destroy life as we know it, yet they seem to be selective of the galaxies where they occur. Our Milky Way seems to lack the property needed to allow GRB’s. Coincidence? Anthropic Principle in Action?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2008 #2
    Speak for yourself. My existence is due to more than the lack of GRBs.
  4. Dec 28, 2008 #3


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    GRB's are likely pop 1 super massive stars - the kind that no longer exist in the MW or any other nearby galaxy.
  5. Jan 4, 2009 #4
    GRB's may be used as a "yard stick" to determine which galaxies are most likely to have planets with life. After all, how can something living survive a huge gamma explosion?
  6. Jan 5, 2009 #5
    What makes you think that gamma ray bursts can be used as a 'yard stick' to determine which galaxies contain habitable planets?

    I suggest that you do some reading, you could start with




  7. Jan 6, 2009 #6
    Depending on the duration of the burst, if one hit the earth it would only affect one half of the planet, the half facing away from the burst would be pretty much shielded right? So it wouldnt wipe out all life?
  8. Jan 16, 2009 #7
    "A nearby gamma-ray burst could possibly cause mass extinctions on Earth.[1] The short duration of a gamma-ray burst would limit the immediate damage to life. However, a nearby burst might alter atmospheric chemistry by reducing the ozone layer and generating acidic nitrogen oxides ultimately causing severe damage to the biosphere" (Wikipedia).
  9. Feb 19, 2009 #8
    The idea of a particle moving and being affected by external forces is followed by the idea of the field. Later on, we encounter the concept of quanta. This is certainly a simplistic way to put it, but it suffices to demonstrate that physics is an evolving system.
    If we look at the history of physics for the last 200 years, we see how the focus has been on unification of all the forces. In thermodynamics or electromagnetism we see how one force or type of energy is never created or destroyed, but only transformed. Einstein’s dream was to find the “Theory of Everything”, not far from today’s main goal in the 21st century. There have been two major theories that defy unification: Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. One deals with the very large, the other with the very small. But they both have something in common, the belief in symmetry. The general theory of relativity, quantum electrodynamics, electroweak theory, and even string theory, they all follow the main principle that there is symmetry in the world. They are all intimately related to mathematics. This may seem an obvious observation, but let me continue with the next step in the development of physics. After symmetry we find that the anthropic principle has been gaining acceptance. This principle states that a human understanding of the universe is not an accident. The universe knew that we were coming as I read once in an article. I believe that the gamma ray bursts which have an incredible power to destroy life as we know it don’t occur in our vicinity for a reason. There is a delicate balance between the miracle of life and the destructive power of a black hole. Physics has no alternative but to accept the anthropic principle as a law of nature. The evidence will continue to point to the fact that this universe is unique in terms of preserving life. A multiverse may be seen as an alternate explanation for why are there humans pondering about the origins of the cosmos, but it requires much more faith to be certain of infinite universes than to see this one as an universe tied to human understanding. All we need to remember is Occam’s razor in order to accept our one and only universe as the economical way to the truth.
  10. Feb 20, 2009 #9
    Such explosions are likely essential to creating the heavier elements in the universe. Perhaps they destroy some beginnings on life locally in the term term which is what you are focused on, yet over the longer term they are the basis for new beginngs.

    Stars via fission/fusion can only form elements up to iron, but when they collapse, explode they create heavier elements which are dispersed and form the seeds for the formation of new stars,planets,etc with a wider range of elements....
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