Thursday, 26 March 2015

Imagine Infinity.

Both Book of Plebs and Catalysis contain strong references to infinity. For people who are busy with ‘real’ stuff, it can be frustrating trying to ‘create’ time to get your head around abstract concepts like infinity. So I thought I should help by explaining how I use science with imagination to ‘See’ it, so I can then write about it.

No point in jumping the gun however, so let’s first start with the part of infinity that holds the universe we see and touch. This is the physical place where we are born, where we live and also where we leave what’s left over after we’re ‘done’.

Currently, Physics explains the universe in terms of a physical membrane which the nerds call a ‘brane’. Mathematics uses M-Theory to explain how the universal membrane or membranes (Multiverse) might work. This is very heavy stuff for people who are heavily anchored in a time equals money reality.
Wikipedia makes some references to M-Theory and membranes and I’ve left those links intact for anyone who might want to go there, but skip the next three lines if you want the Pleb’s version.

M-theory may provide a framework for developing a unified theory of all of the fundamental forces of nature. Attempts to connect M-theory to experiment typically focus on compactifying its extra dimensions to construct approximate etc.

OK - Here we go. Physics, as the name implies, is about the rules for physical things and they place a limit on how big anything can be. Physics as we understand it, can't exist beyond big, just as it can't apply beyond the smallest elemental or sub-atomic particles.

If something is too big - it will become bigger than a black hole and if it’s too small, it becomes part of gravity and/or energy and loses its physical attributes. It could be that being too physically big and being too physically small, is much the same thing. That’s a little simplistic, but it’s all the science you’ll need right now. If and when you do get time to think about it, it will make sense.

So. Our physical universe can’t contain anything bigger than a black hole nor anything smaller than fundamental gravity or energy. So now we just gather all those physical pieces of all sizes and then press them together, so they can be visualised like a flat membrane. Looking at the CD in the picture above should help. All the physical pieces of everything are now like atoms of plastic, crammed together inside our CD universe.

Let’s say all the biggest things physically possible, like black holes, are at the outside edge and all the smaller and even minuscule and tiny things, (We can imagine so many more of these) are all squeezed together getting smaller and smaller towards the inside. Everything inside the three dimensions of length, width and volume of the CD is physical and therefore conforms to physical rules. We’re almost there.

Time is the fourth dimension and happens all the time. Our futures become the present  before disappearing into the past. All possibilities are by definition possible, but they can’t all co-exist and become the present simultaneously. Some were not meant to be and pass us by, maybe because we didn’t work hard enough in creating them. It could be that we weren’t convinced of our own ability to actually create. Science also says they might happen in another universe, but let's not go there.

Creation  however, is not a physical possibility. It‘s a contradiction of physical law and must therefore come from outside the physical universe. Futures may be created from pieces of previous opportunities that were allowed to pass us by, just as they can also be totally new constructs. Some futures may be tailor made specifically for us and maybe even by us.

Imagine the tiniest fragments of futures yet to be assembled, being funnelled through the centre of the physical CD like mist droplets, except these are still hot and sticky from creation. They are so small that they’re pulled down in a hot whirlwind that whips them through the black hole in the middle of our universe. Those that fly close enough to the inside lip are mutually attracted, like static, and stick where they cool and become solid. As time passes, they coalesce and become part of the physical disk, which must then slowly expand outwards as time is also added and the history of the universe grows longer and larger. The disk expands and grows outwards in a process that might wax and wane, but never stops.

Of course, not all futures and not all possibilities will happen and some of these pieces of not yet solid physical stuff, might blow through the centre without touching, and become lost. Those future fragments might never come back again but who knows for sure. Everything is possible.

Now, every single thing that we can currently experience is physically on that physical disk. All the possibilities that may yet happen are not. They are still hovering outside the disk both above and below. Now, imagine throwing the disk away like a frisbee.  The problem here is that all stars and all light is inside the CD. So you'll need to see it with your mind’s eye as it gets smaller and smaller with distance. It will disappear from sight in less than a hundred meters, which is relatively trillions of light years. At that stage, we could say it is lost inside infinity.

There would be no physical reason to think that it could ever be found again because without something else to use as a reference point, there is no direction. There would seem to be nothing everywhere, except of course, for you. You could of course re-imagine it as it was before you threw it and decide not to, because out there, time doesn’t have to obey physics. You are above or below but either way, you are no longer bound by physics.

In my books, imagination and our ability to create is what makes futures happen and every future is possible. Infinity is so big that it contains endless possibilities for everyone that will ever live and even then, there will be infinitely more room for infinitely more possibilities. Only this kind of infinity could accommodate ‘Things’ that are larger than life itself.

It would be quite natural to wonder what might be achieved here by someone out there, especially when you can see yourself outside - looking in. 

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