Thursday, August 24, 2006

Islands In The Stream

Right now, somewhere in existence, you have a clone reading my clone's blog.

Let that settle in for a moment.

You. Have. A. Clone.

OK, not a genetic clone, per se. Your clone is reading this and having the exact same reaction you just had: "What the fuck....????"

It's because of your O-region. And his/hers.

Let me see if I can ratchet the science to a simple level. At it's most complex, hell, even I get lost in it.

You might be familiar with the concept of "the multiverse", meaning that our universe is one of an infinite number of universes that have all possible histories because of the infinity involved.

Easy enough. Here's where it gets complicated...

Right now, in this universe (not some other), you have at least one clone, and possibly millions. Billions. Because our universe is not infinite.

According to Alex Vilenkin, author of Many Worlds In One: The Search For Other Universes, it's because our universe is finite that it's probable that you are not alone in being you.

Think of this universe as a giant infinite pancake, sitting on a griddle (or a piece of swiss cheese, sitting in a mold). As the pancake heats up and cooks, small bubble form.

Each of thee bubbles is an O-region in our island universe, the pancake. This pancake is roughly 10^150 light years across (our visible universe is only 1.5x10^10 light years across, even if some stars are 10^40 years to get here, but I'll get to that in a moment). What this implies is that....well, an enormous number of O-regions can exist within this universe. But the point is, the number is finite.

Now, let's look at the make up of our universe. Each particle in it occupies a particular point in time-space. Meaning there's a finite number of particles in the universe. Vilenkin estimates this to be 10^90. The timeline of our universe also maintains finite permutations (timeline, in this case being defined as the "history" of each particle in space). Vilenkin estimates this number to be on the order of a googolplex (in this case, 10^10^150).

I promise, the math goes away soon.

So...finite, if enormous possibilities in our universe. Our universe is an O-region is a far larger "island universe" (pancake on a griddle). Implying that there are plenty of other bubbles (O-regions) in our infinite pancake (island universe).

Let's start doing some pondering. The island universe is infinite. The O-region is not, which means that while O-regions are finite themselves, the number of O-regions is not. If only an finite number of "histories" can exist within an infinite means that the histories repeat themselves, and some of them repeat themselves exactly, since by quantum mechanics, anything that can happen will, so long as it doesn't violate the conservation laws of physics.

Which means that anything can happen: our planet can suddenly swallow itself up in its own black hole.

Or another me is struggling to type this post without boring you or getting totally confused!


Misery loves company!

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