Philosophy

The Invisible Universe: Temporal Asymmetry, Entropy and Ergodic Dynamics (pt. 1)

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I write on this subject because there is only one substance that I find beautiful, contrary to what most people think. Whilst Kant described a Good Will to be the only conceivable ‘good’ without qualification, intrinsically what cultivates a good will is the abandonment of misology through common sense, a cognitive capacity one can only attain through honesty, the very form that I find attractive and appealing. Honesty is the driving force behind mechanisms compelling truth and therefore reality as it actually is rather than as we want it to be or as we think it should be, the latter the causal imprint for the hatred one has toward thinking reasonably and living with reason. Environmental factors, cognitive limitations, fear, and just plain and utter idiocy blind our capacity to see things as they are, abandoning the laws of common sense to inflate our ego so that we can feel in all its fleeting and transitory sentimentality various moments of futile and superficial happiness, mostly because of the wholeness one feels through the applaud others give to our submission, the very same people that we perhaps subjectively or unconsciously feel contempt towards. Not until one can and with profound difficulty overcome this false reality are they able to comprehend the simplicity of the universe, of existence, of the self and of our perceptions, and perhaps even the unity of it of all, though the latter may be dependent on how gifted the amateur thinker can perceive. My goodness, actually, it is so simple that one cannot help but find it humorous as to why we find it so difficult to overcome – and forgive me when I say – all the bullshit. As I have said on multiple occasions, to reach this state of common sense and reverse the essentially fixed bombardment of false material and irrational beliefs toward the attainment of a spirit of truth, one requires to learn how to love correctly and by doing so they become capable of reaching a cognitive state of mind that provides the clarity to intellectually think and intuitively feel with honesty. This would mean that to find the answers would require you to abandon the answers.
To a degree, the universe can exemplify this process; sometimes the answers to physical laws can only be found following a process of abandoning the laws of physics. It is why I am attracted to the study of cosmology as much as theology and philosophy and conversely politics as a control since the latter is an imagined state that nevertheless exists in reality. As I attempt to set the thesis of this subject and contrary to the fact that I am inconceivably too busy to be sitting here and writing this in the first place, due to such time constraints, it will have to be divided into two parts. The initial post – namely this one – requires details with elementary adequacy an explanation of the early universe prior to my dabbling with the dynamics of cosmological time and other ridiculous propositions of our unrealistic reality that I adore with utmost enthusiasm.
To begin, non-inflationary theories of the genesis of the universe or what we know as the big bang effectively only discusses the hydrogen and helium particles etc &c., that fill the universe or what occurred after the birth of the universe and now that evidence has been shown[1] that the universe is actually expanding, it has led to questioning what could have been prior to the bang in a much more sophisticated manner. And there are multiple theories, such as Brane collision or the collision of two dimensions or that the universe is formed from within a black hole, all of which are interesting particularly with new areas of thought viz., superstrings and the cyclic universe model, but certainly not as persuasive as cosmic inflation and the multiverse theory. That is to say, it is a theory that the universe is constantly expanding while the density remains at a constant and during the process of decay, pockets of new universes form making our universe one of multiple universes in an eternal stretch of fields.
Whilst the [old] theory of the cosmological constant λ was rejected even by Einstein himself and for some time, it appears that the answer for cosmic inflation and the uniformity of the universe can unexpectedly be explained by it. And how?  Repulsive gravity, namely that negative pressure can push exponential expansion far greater than its capacity for decay. When reading on the topic, it was at this point where I found myself throwing whatever it was in my hand, cursing and walking briskly around the room for no apparent reason other than sheer excitement. How can zero build an eternally expanding universe? At elementary level, the underpinning of the cosmological constant is that gravity is not always attractive and can behave repulsively,[2] a necessary formulation to counter the problem with a static universe and the big crunch [collapse of the universe]; the negative pressure will provide the force that pushes things apart while the positive three-dimensional field will keep it together as they work in uniformity and subsequently expand. Whilst Einstein’ depiction of the universe may have been incorrect and why the theory was abandoned, the equations nevertheless remained functional with the laws of general relativity, hence its revival particularly with particle physics.
To briefly explain, gravitational repulsion requires a negative pressure, the latter along with energy density can produce cosmic gravitational fields.[3] In Newtonian physics, gravity is an attractive force and yet in the absence of pressure [pressure is a form of gravity] produces deceleration, even with gravitational fields having negative energy. As a comparative analogy, Coulomb’s inverse-square law in proportion to two charges divided by the square of the distance between them[4] (viz. gravity) the constant in the law is that the force between two positive charges is proportional to the product of their charges (like how two positive charges repel one another) and to calculate the energy density in an electrostatic field, more charge would induce more electric force that it no longer depends on the quantity of the charge, thus the two cancel each other out. In gravitational energy terms, not everything is positive and there are negative energies, with positive energy inflating or getting larger as long as there is an accompaniment of increasing quantity of negative energy, thus both offset each other and you have expansion locked at an exponential rate. In order for inflation to begin, a portion of this negative pressure is required for the existence of the early universe, namely that within the context of the grand unification theory – the merging of strong and weak nuclear forces along with gravitation and electromagnetism into a singular interaction – and the energy of the electromagnetic forces interact to form a unified energy value. This very portion of what becomes the big bang and the universe as we know it would be about the size of 10^-28cm (assumptive of energies being at 10^16 GeV – the problem of thermodynamic arrow relates to inhomogeneity[5] in that anything larger or smaller would make the universe blow apart or suck away galaxies into black holes, an important algorithm vis-à-vis temporal asymmetry where the time-dependence of Ω-1 changes, of which I will discuss later). It then grows at an exponential rate to build what we know as the universe and the mass density does not decrease, namely that it expands at a constant density. Where does the energy – that is constant per volume during growth – come from? As energy equals to positive matter and negative gravity, they cancel one another out in perfect harmony and thus the total energy levels for the universe can be measured at zero.
The universe has no energy, haha… hah… ahh, I need to sleep.
But as I soldier on, I think about my current study of what my capacity is toward attaining an equilibrium between the physical and the subjective by way of strictly managing all that I eat – by eating what is necessary to survive – namely fruit and lots of soup with a high density of nutrients and low carbs together with how well I am able to conserve energy as I analyse its impact on my capacity to concentrate, comparatively, the early universe and all systems in fact rely – in order to reach a stable equilibrium – on the lowest energy state of the whole quantity of the system. Just like concentration, what about the acceleration? This is where the concept of ‘dark energy’ [what I call the ‘will’ of the universe] which makes up about ¾ of the universe comes to the fore or what is known as vacuum energy, considered to be empty [although in cosmology whilst the structure is fundamental to empty space nonetheless contains an energy density, namely the conservation of energy can occur at zero]. The total energy at the beginning of the universe must be at zero with the negative contribution to the energy of the cosmic gravitational field cancelling the energy of matter. Inflation as a constant and eternal is only possible at 0 where matter is being created by the inflation but controlled by the non-uniformity in perfect harmony. The repulsive gravity that drives inflation nevertheless decays [t=10^-33 seconds after the big bang] but the inflation itself remains eternal because the growth of the volume is faster – hence the importance of the thermodynamic arrow of time – than the metastable rate of the decay; the material formed during this process thus becomes the particles required to produce the very same material that forms another universe, ad infinitum (radiation density during this time redshifts away – again I will discuss later in addition to how dark energy appeases the early specialness issue by smoothening the inflationary transition). States of equilibrium can nonetheless be achieved in unstable, disordered environments, such as balancing a spinning basketball on an index finger where for a brief moment in time is in perfect equilibrium but certainly not at a stable one. Inflation is really the physics of scalar fields φ and matter; the particles that make up the universe that form the stuff following the initial phase of inflation leading to the big bang are merely the quantum representation of the (Higgs) fields. In particle physics, the nonzero Higgs field – which is responsible for the emergence of elementary particle masses – contains both positive and negative contributions and has a constant value at every space time point. Observable quantum density fluctuations and tensor perturbations in scalar fields can explain the source of temperature anisotropies (along with universal isotropy, its massive size and relative homogeneity) in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation.[6] As the expansion of the universe is accelerating rather than slowing down under the influence of gravity, it indicates that vacuum energy is simply the energy of empty space and though empty has a mass density (which would mean that it is not actually empty).
Nevertheless, there are a plethora of issues raised at this point. The confusion or controversy really boils down to the concept of disorder and the cosmological epoch. Namely, is the universe a n-dimensional De Sitter space dSn, is it a 3-manifold Poincaré dodecahedral space, the flatness problem where Euclidian geometry applies only at a large scale; is it three-dimensional, four-dimensional, or nine-dimensional squished into three as string theorists propose? And what about the mass density? The small-scale inhomogeneity and density perturbations? The other and perhaps more interesting one is the problem of entropy potentially being extremely low at this point. Whilst warm inflation – modelled on the standard or ‘cold’ inflationary theory[7] – purports a small portion of the vacuum energy density is converted to radiation, whereby the radiation density stabilises during the process of coupling [between inflation and radiation fields], during the decay phase, the scalar field oscillates to become radiation particles that slowly reheats the universe and when this occurs [reheating and inflation together] they become coupled into a unified process. The connection between the flatness problem and entropy is a complex one, particularly related to whether the early universe was adiabatic and why spatially the conditions at the beginning were flat, something I will further delve into in the next part as I tackle this problem in more detail. Nevertheless, remaining at an introductory phase on the subject, remember that when inflation begins, the energy stored in the gravitational field as it expands increases whilst the energy density remains constant, thus the gravitational field itself has a repulsive energy density as it expands in volume, with the total energy being very close to 0 without violating the conservation of energy. It may mean that inflation requires a non-adiabatic, extremely low entropy to occur, entropy being the measure of randomness and low entropy itself considered perfectly ordered. If inflation increases entropy, it appears that at the point of inflation, the entropy had to be smaller and the uniformity of the energy density during inflation becomes responsible for the low entropy conditions. What is currently in debate is namely why – in the past – did the universe begin with low entropy and yet the product being the second law of thermodynamics?
I want to maintain that the observable universe (and one should note the keyword here being ‘observable’) would imply that the universe is flat (k=0) or that inflation is pushing Ω to 1 with Ω being the mass density divided by critical mass density, thus the asymptotic curvature of the universe is being exponentially flattened by the expansion at 10^35 seconds after the bang. What that means is that should Ω=1 the curvature must equal to 0 (or be extremely close to it) and the effect would be infinite expansion. Thinking about that model, such expansion could causally be the precise reason we have an arrow of time fixed in perfect and irremediable harmony, although no theory of randomness can explain the arrow of time and the problem of low entropy during the early phase of the universe and the successive phase transition of expansion and cooling. When assessing temporal asymmetry, however, the concept of low entropy during the beginning phases of the universe – whilst objectionable, or perhaps superfluous – is nevertheless useful when ascertaining the thermodynamic arrow. The second law of thermodynamics purports that the time flows in a linear direction as we know it, namely from past to present to future. The question here is that as the universe expands and progresses over this time, from an ordered state – namely that of low-entropy – it is moving toward a high-entropy disordered universe. Entanglement in ordinary quantum mechanics which can perhaps work as a correlation in that the measurements of the relationship between two particles relies on contact sometime in the past, the interaction or exchange following even when these particles are at a far distance and in a disordered state from one another remain organised and can even affect one another’ quantum state. As a consequence, while separate their properties can only be measured as one. There is an invisible but an active link between the particles. In quantum field theory, entanglement entropy rather than being a correlation is a causality under the assumption of a symmetry of a pure state that has ergodic properties.
I will further delve into the problems of time and the singularity in part-two of this blog post in a couple of weeks, particularly regarding thermodynamics, ergodicity and an asymptomatically time-symmetric universe. But really, the idea that we are merely a speckle fixed on an eternal directrix is the overall point and genuinely makes it unfathomable to me why people care about the most insipid of worldly things. That is from a scientific perspective. From a social and political perspective, the continuing exhibition of irrational activities characteristic of a cohort of madmen coercing the rate of existential threats such as global warming and ocean acidification that is leading to clear ecological combustion can perhaps be the reason why I chose politics as a study rather than physics. I chose human rights and moral philosophy rather than ancient history (which is my greatest love) because it is humans themselves that are the driving mechanism to our very own extinction. The reason as I said in the first paragraph is because of their failure to love and it is this that is ultimately the cause of their failure to think rationally and see the world for what it is.
[1] Stephen T. Thornton and Andrew Rex, Modern Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Cengage Learning (2012) 578
[2] Behram N. Kursunogammalu, Stephan L. Mintz, Arnold Perlmutter, The Role of Neutrinos, Strings, Gravity, and Variable Cosmological Constant in Elementary Particle Physics, Springer Science & Business Media (2007) 182
[3] Maurizio Gasperini, The Universe Before the Big Bang: Cosmology and String Theory, 160
[4] John Gribbin, Mary Gribbin, Jonathan Gribbin, Q is for Quantum: An Encyclopedia of Particle Physics, Simon and Schuster (2000) 92
[5] Murray Gell-Mann and James B. Hartle, Time Symmetry and Asymmetry in Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Cosmology,  (February, 2008)
[6] Alejandro Gangui, Cosmic Microwave Background Anisotropies and Theories of the Early Universe, SISSA-International School for Advanced Studies (1995)
[7] Mar Bastero-Gil, Arjun Berera, Ian G. Moss, Rudnei O. Ramos, Theory of non-Gaussianity in warm inflation (Dec 2014)

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