Search This Blog

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Science Gone Horribly Wrong

In this week's "New Scientist" magazine there is a little two page piece about work at Case Western Reserve U. by Kraus and Dent that postulates that observing the universe destroys it, or at least resets its quantum state so that it goes through a dangerous period of non zero vacuum in which the possibility that all of existence will go "poof" and wink out or become devoured at the speed of light by high energy vacuum. I know quantum theory is stranger than we can wrap our little heads around, but this concept of vacuum destruction by Schrodinger cat effect goes too far. The immediate question is "Why doesn't a sheep looking up and observing the stars also reset the quantum state?"

I've known about the idea that the idea that what we think of ground state vacuum could well be just a stopping point where, given enough time, the entirety of existence could tunnel through to a lower state, and no longer be the cozy little universe where we live. What a wimpy, and I might add insecure cosmos we have that can't take a few glimpses?

In the same NS issue the String boys are flogging the vast void in the universe that is nearly a billion light years long as proof of other universes, perhaps made of exotic materials and rules of physics. I should note that the "void" is not empty, and contains billions of stars, just not as many as we should expect. The string theorists predict in excess of ten to the five hundredth power universes were and are being created. Cool! You couldn't cram that many grains of sand in our universe if you had the power.

Most of this stuff is mathematical postulation. Predicting and explaining is what science is all about, and most of this stuff will eventually be exist only as a funny mistake some folk made way back when. They'll eventually get it right but it takes time.

No comments: