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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

Robert McEachern: on 2/21/17 at 15:21pm UTC, wrote "As preposterous as it sounds, the idea is largely grounded in accepted...

Pentcho Valev: on 2/19/17 at 16:40pm UTC, wrote Peter Woit defines "Fake Physics" and gives examples: Fake Physics Here...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/12/17 at 15:38pm UTC, wrote At the begining, several years ago ,I didn't understand well this...

Steve Dufourny: on 2/12/17 at 15:26pm UTC, wrote You are welcome Zeeya, I like these mathematical extrapolations because...

MIROSLAW KOZLOWSKI: on 2/12/17 at 12:02pm UTC, wrote Dear Zeeya Merali Why we need another universe ( or univereseS)...

Zeeya Merali: on 2/9/17 at 18:58pm UTC, wrote Thanks Steve.

Steve Dufourny: on 2/9/17 at 18:48pm UTC, wrote Hello Mr Durham,Zeeya, It is a beautiful article.These multiverses are...

Zeeya Merali: on 2/9/17 at 16:54pm UTC, wrote Thank you Ian for those lovely words! The book includes interviews with...


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FQXi BLOGS
February 26, 2017

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Review of “A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes” by Zeeya Merali [refresh]
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Blogger Ian Durham wrote on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 16:51 GMT
In all the talk of the multiverse that gets tossed around these days, there's a subtle but important point that is often lost: there are really two completely different notions of a multiverse. What one thinks of when someone utters the word "multiverse" likely depends on whether one is most influenced by cosmology or by quantum physics. To the latter, the multiverse is typically viewed in the context of the Everett-DeWitt interpretation of quantum mechanics in which every process that includes more than one possible outcome, leads to a bifurcation of the universe in which the process occurred, into multiple universes, one for each possible outcome of the process. In such a multiverse (whose core idea is due more to DeWitt than Everett), everything that can happen, will happen.

In the inflationary multiverse, each "universe" is really a patch of space that becomes isolated due to eternal inflation. This is subtly different than the Everett-DeWitt model which suggests an actual bifurcation of reality. As it turns out, the difference could also have ethical and moral implications, some of which are discussed in Zeeya Merali's new book A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes (Basic Books, 2017; $27.99).

Merali's book explores the quest by some physicists to produce new, "baby" universes in a lab. As preposterous as it sounds, the idea is largely grounded in accepted physics, though does remain highly speculative. In an Everett-DeWitt model, new universes are constantly being created ad infinitum as we blithely go about our day. There appears to be little we could do to affect change in any branching universe within this multiverse model. On the other hand, the inflationary universe model of the multiverse holds the promise of intentionally planning the creation of a baby universe which raises the thorny question of whether we would be responsible for the suffering of any living beings produced in that universe. We would, to some extent, be playing God.

These and other issues are tackled head-on in Merali's book, but in an engaging and subtle manner. The book is largely constructed from a series of interviews with physicists around the globe who are either actively thinking about how to create baby universes or who played a role in the development of inflationary theory. As someone who has been interviewed by Merali multiple times, I can personally attest to her ability to make the interviewee feel at ease and this sense clearly comes across in the book. Interviews are more like discussions with Zeeya.

One get’s the sense, though, that this project was less about writing a book and more about her own quest to more fully understand the universe. At times, one gets the impression that she is wrestling with some deeply personal questions. Far from detracting from the narrative, however, I think it adds to the human aspect of the story.

I did have a few minor quibbles here and there, but Merali is an accomplished scientist herself having received her PhD in physics from Brown University under noted cosmologist Robert Brandenberger, and so some of my quibbles might be considered "professional differences." In all, it was an enjoyable book that addressed an exciting area of modern physics research in a thought-provoking way. For anyone interested in the "big questions," this book is essential reading since it deals with perhaps the biggest question of all: can we—should we—humble human beings create a universe?

A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes is available to buy here.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali wrote on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 16:54 GMT
Thank you Ian for those lovely words! The book includes interviews with many FQXi members and other eminent scientists, so I hope that there is plenty here for our community members to enjoy.

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 18:48 GMT
Hello Mr Durham,Zeeya,

It is a beautiful article.These multiverses are more subtil than we imagine considering many paramters.It is even intriguing when we correlate with the singularities, the souls and the uniquenss.Thanks for sharing.

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FQXi Administrator Zeeya Merali replied on Feb. 9, 2017 @ 18:58 GMT
Thanks Steve.

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 15:26 GMT
You are welcome Zeeya,

I like these mathematical extrapolations because the subjectivity and objectivity can converge considering that earch we can create our own universe Inside the universe and the multiverse returning towards this uniqueness considering the quantum singularities and main gravitational codes turning aroung a king of matjematical physical complex cosmological singularity.The central BH in my model.It is intriguing when we insert the spherical volumes for these singularities and we extraopolate with multiverses,multispheres for me I see it like that.We have many roads of analyses, subjectives and objectives for the quantum scale and the cosm scale.The fact to have different spherical volumes for the central singularity for the different universes imply that we have different gravitational aether Inside this universe.Wowww the combinations are incredible for both electromagnetic and gravit forces in each closed evolutive system.In all case the spherisation by encoding is foundamental in all universes.The relevance is to correlate thje constants like c with these volumes for example.If all this is correct, mr tegmark has made a relevant work.Because when we consider that all we have a road Inside all these universal sphères Inside the main sphere, and that our central main mathematical physical codes, our souls is correlated, it is incredible the combinations.I am intrigued by these multiverses multispheres about this main centyral biggest singularity.If Mr Tegmark is right, so our central BH is not the main central sphere of God if I can say.The imagination appears to be infinite in its intuitive extrapolation.We can create so for our singular soul, our own universe if we go still farer with this singularity.It is crazy in fact this universal mechanic.Wowww

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Steve Dufourny replied on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 15:38 GMT
At the begining, several years ago ,I didn't understand well this multiverses.Now Of course in strudying on this Platform since many years,I see better this generality.I didn't understand this problem of uniquenss if I can say.But now after all when we consider these spherical volulmes for the centyral mathematical physical singularities ,thazt becomes very relevant considering these multispheres because we have a central main singularity at all this system.That permits to ask ourself better asks about the center where all has began in our model of Big Bang to make simple.If we insert these volumes and this matter not baryonic ,we can have better answer for our central singularity but also a road for the others spherical volumes of others singularities of others universal sphères.If I correlate with the encoding and the spherisation, so the fact that matters evolves and encode, so we can even extrapolate the different electromagnetic and gravitational systems for each universes.Where is this singularity,entropical, the main center ?in our universal sphere or no? The other relevance is to correlate with the body soul mind problem and this quantum gravitation more this subjective analyse of own universe where intentions and souls could converge.It is fascinating considering that main entropy is infinite in its potential.You imagine the kinetic distribution with these spherical volumes ? wowwww wowww wowww very relevant .

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MIROSLAW KOZLOWSKI wrote on Feb. 12, 2017 @ 12:02 GMT
Dear Zeeya Merali

Why we need another universe ( or univereseS) created by Homo Sapiens Sapiens?

1. For writting new papers to Phys. Rev. Letters ?

2. To play one game in town

3. To find that Old Creator maked the faults?

My answae is

1....95%

2. 3%

3. 2%..

To the point I cite David Bohm

In some sense man is a microcosmos of the Universe therefore what man is, is a clue to the Universe. We are enfolded in the Universe

David Bohm

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Pentcho Valev wrote on Feb. 19, 2017 @ 16:40 GMT
Peter Woit defines "Fake Physics" and gives examples:

Fake Physics

Here is some elaboration:

A Big Bang in a Little Room

Yet what Peter Woit describes are metastases, not the Original Malignancy. Here it is, presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson as "a cosmic conspiracy of the highest order":

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries, pp....

view entire post


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Robert H McEachern wrote on Feb. 21, 2017 @ 15:21 GMT
"As preposterous as it sounds, the idea is largely grounded in accepted physics..."

That ought to be viewed as an indictment of "accepted physics", rather than as support for the hypothesis.

Rob McEachern

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