Topological phase transitions for the whole Universe...?

In summary: The only "predictions" in this case would be a set of probabilities for different outcomes, based on the model. And again, without any evidence that such a phase transition has actually occurred, we can only make guesses about what those outcomes might be.
  • #1
Suekdccia
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TL;DR Summary
Topological phase transitions for the whole universe...?
Physicist Grigory Volovik has put forward some ideas about the universe undergoing a topological phase transition (especially in the early stages of the universe). He published a book called "*The Universe in a Helium Droplet*" where he explained his ideas. You can find a brief discussion here (https://arxiv.org/abs/1407.6681).

In one discussion I had with Mr. Volovik, he mentioned that depending on the type of topological phase transition that could have occurred in the universe, all the fundamental symmetries of the universe (spacetime symmetries, translation symmetries, CPT invariance, internal invariances...) could be all emergent from a more fundamental state without symmetries (like in Holger Nielsen's "random dynamics" proposal (https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/526845/what-is-the-universe-in-a-helium-droplet-about) where all symmetries in the universe would be emergent)

I asked him if this was all speculation or if there was some truth behind and he replied that although we don't know if the universe actually took this "path", we know that this topological phase transition would be possible. Since you have a note on the "seriousness" of the book, do you agree? Would that be possible according to what we currently know about physics (although we don't know if this actually occurred at some point of the universe's history)? Or, on the contrary, we don't even know if these transitions are even possible to begin with?
 
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  • #2
Suekdccia said:
Would that be possible according to what we currently know about physics
I don't see how anyone could claim that we know such a thing is possible, since we have no evidence that any such thing has happened and the only theoretical models that contain such a possibility are speculative ones that also have no evidence to support them.
 
  • #3
It is not even clear what it means to know anything is possible that we don't know has happened, or to know the alternative, that something is impossible. It seems better to simply avoid either term in science, since science is about what seems most likely, not what seems possible or impossible. We are simply trying to decide where to invest our efforts, and what observations we need to do, so the right way to say it is not that we know it is possible that such a phase change could occur, but to argue that it is worth such-and-such investment or observation to decide if such a phase change actually did occur. That's all that needs be said, or can be said, in science. (At the end of the day, science is always about winning a bet. If we have cancer, we turn to science not because we know something is possible or impossible, but simply because we think it maximizes our chances, so is worth the investment.)
 
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  • #4
Suekdccia said:
TL;DR Summary: Topological phase transitions for the whole universe...?

Physicist Grigory Volovik has put forward some ideas about the universe undergoing a topological phase transition (especially in the early stages of the universe). He published a book called "*The Universe in a Helium Droplet*" where he explained his ideas. You can find a brief discussion here (https://arxiv.org/abs/1407.6681).

In one discussion I had with Mr. Volovik, he mentioned that depending on the type of topological phase transition that could have occurred in the universe, all the fundamental symmetries of the universe (spacetime symmetries, translation symmetries, CPT invariance, internal invariances...) could be all emergent from a more fundamental state without symmetries (like in Holger Nielsen's "random dynamics" proposal (https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/526845/what-is-the-universe-in-a-helium-droplet-about) where all symmetries in the universe would be emergent)

I asked him if this was all speculation or if there was some truth behind and he replied that although we don't know if the universe actually took this "path", we know that this topological phase transition would be possible.
Well, models have predictions, Does his model have predictions? ...from theory to observations.
à la inflationary model (or others)
 

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