What is the smallest possible state change in the Universe?

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Chenkel
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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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fresh_42
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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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Chenkel
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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?
 
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fresh_42
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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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Chenkel
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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.
 
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berkeman
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fresh_42
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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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