What is the smallest possible state change in the Universe?

In summary, the conversation revolves around the fundamental state change in the universe and whether science has determined what it is. The concept of information and Shannon entropy is brought up as a possible way to define the change in the universe, but the question remains unanswerable due to its vagueness and our current understanding. The thread has been temporarily closed for moderation.
  • #1
Chenkel
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TL;DR Summary
I am curious about the type and quality of the fundamental state change in the universe.
Hello everyone!

I was wondering what is the fundamental state change in the universe? I.E the universe is in one state, then it goes into another state, what is the state change?

Has science determined what it is?

Do we know the dimensional units of the quantity?

I'm not sure if this has a simple answer, an advanced answer, or if the answer is unknown.

Let me know what you think, thank you!
 
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  • #2
Chenkel said:
Summary: I am curious about the type and quality of the fundamental state change in the universe.

Hello everyone!

I was wondering what is the fundamental state change in the universe? I.E the universe is in one state, then it goes into another state, what is the state change?

Has science determined what it is?

Do we know the dimensional units of the quantity?

I'm not sure if this has a simple answer, an advanced answer, or if the answer is unknown.

Let me know what you think, thank you!
This is far too vague to be answered. I'd say it is a bit. Something turned from true to false or vice versa.
 
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  • #3
fresh_42 said:
This is far too vague to be answered. I'd say it is a bit. Something turned from true to false or vice versa.
Could it be multiple bits? An infinite number of bits?

Do physicists ever treat an infinitesimal change in time as the most fundamental change?
 
  • #4
Chenkel said:
Could it be multiple bits? An infinite number of bits?

Do physicists ever treat an infinitesimal change in time as the most fundamental change?
See, that is the problem with your question. How do you define the state of the universe? There are many things that could and do change all the time. Hence, as you only said 'state' and 'smallest', I thought of information. And the smallest bit of information is a bit, e.g. an electron that turns from bounded to free, the atom to an ion.

Look up: Shannon entropy.
 
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  • #5
fresh_42 said:
See, that is the problem with your question. How do you define the state of the universe? There are many things that could and do change all the time. Hence, as you only said 'state' and 'smallest', I thought of information. And the smallest bit of information is a bit, e.g. an electron that turns from bounded to free, the atom to an ion.

Look up: Shannon entropy.
Sounds like Shannon Entropy is the number of states that a variable can represent, i.e a 8 bit number can represent 2^8 = 256 different states.

It seems you're saying at the very least information is changing. Has this been proven?

If information is changing relative to time, how do we know time didn't change information?

If I am in a tiny container for a very long time, and I want to press a button to get out, the information changing the button from off to on may be a function of my patience.
 
  • #6
Thread locked temporarily for Moderation...
 
  • #7
Chenkel said:
Sounds like Shannon Entropy is the number of states that a variable can represent, i.e a 8 bit number can represent 2^8 = 256 different states.

It seems you're saying at the very least information is changing. Has this been proven?

If information is changing relative to time, how do we know time didn't change information?

If I am in a tiny container for a very long time, and I want to press a button to get out, the information changing the button from off to on may be a function of my patience.
As I already mentioned, your question is unanswerable due to its vagueness. Information and Shannon entropy is the least common denominator. You can consider every single particle in the universe as a random variable with discrete states and all together define the change of the universe. This would at least be a definition to work with. Its limits are the limits of our current understanding, e.g. black holes or the concept of a vacuum.

This thread remains closed.
 
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Related to What is the smallest possible state change in the Universe?

1. What is the smallest unit of measurement in the Universe?

The smallest unit of measurement in the Universe is the Planck length, which is approximately 1.616 x 10^-35 meters. This is the smallest distance that can be measured according to the laws of physics.

2. Can anything be smaller than the Planck length?

According to our current understanding of physics, the Planck length is the smallest possible unit of measurement. It is considered to be the limit of our ability to measure distance.

3. How does the Planck length compare to other units of measurement?

The Planck length is incredibly small, even compared to other microscopic units of measurement such as the nanometer (1 x 10^-9 meters) or the angstrom (1 x 10^-10 meters). It is often described as being on the scale of the size of the universe compared to the size of an atom.

4. Can the Planck length change?

The Planck length is a fundamental constant, meaning it is a fixed value that does not change. However, some theories suggest that the Planck length may have been different in the early stages of the universe's formation, but this is still a topic of debate among scientists.

5. How does the concept of the Planck length relate to the concept of the smallest state change in the Universe?

The Planck length is often considered to be the smallest possible state change in the Universe. This is because it is the smallest distance that can be measured, and any change in distance smaller than the Planck length would not be detectable according to our current understanding of physics.

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