At times, the advocacy for string theory begins to sound a bit like a religion. But, in an important sense, it IS a religion. They’re trying to make sense of the universe and eventually, that shades into metaphysics.
You don’t have to believe in God but that’s less complex than the typical alternatives.
While we are here, wouldn’t an infinite universe include the possibility that it doesn’t exist? Playing with infinity is playing a dangerous game.
The researchers think that star formation happens mainly at the perimeter (conveniently, one might add).
As stated by Ethan Siegel, it sounds like nonsense. But Siegel makes it sound like physics, which is certainly a feat.
Ethan Siegel: The Universe isn’t a true fractal, but even in the realms where it’s only approximately a fractal, there are still some compelling cosmic lessons just waiting to be learned.
At NG: In other words, it’s looking even more likely that there’s some fundamental ingredient of the cosmos—or some unexpected effect of the known ingredients—that astronomers have yet to pin down.
It is bound to shed light on many current mysteries and controversies — and to create new ones instead.
At Quanta: “The consensus now is that it is a small effect that does not, in the end, cause too much trouble,” Nadathur said. But that 2% could yet prove consequential. Durrer is investigating whether backreaction might help resolve a growing cosmological crisis.
Louise runs through a number of ideas that sound popular in the lunchroom but don’t stand the test of careful thought. Just for example, “one day science will answer the question of why the universe exists.” But that’s not what science does. Generally speaking, science answers “how” questions, not “why” questions.
Great physicists, and filmmakers, have pondered the mystery. Is the arrow of time a way of creating causality in our universe?
“not an electric charge, but some sort of charge”? Okay… At least we are still in the world of hard science here. One thing: They had better trademark the name Q-ball. If their idea takes off, they will be glad they did. Go Q-balls!
At Eurekalert: As pointed out by Giulia Rubino, lead-author of the publication, “although time is often treated as a continuously increasing parameter, our study shows that the laws governing its flow in quantum mechanical contexts are much more complex. This may suggest that we need to rethink the way we represent this quantity in all those contexts where quantum laws play a crucial role.”
Hossenfelder: Inside a neutron and proton there aren’t just three quarks. There’s really a soup of particles that holds the quarks together, and some of the particles in the soup are anti-particles. Why don’t those anti-particles annihilate? They do. They are created and annihilate all the time. We therefore call them “virtual particles.” But they still make a substantial contribution to the gravitational mass of neutrons and protons.
In their view, it supports the entire discipline of cosmology in the sense that cosmologists are reputationally dependent on it. This is a new type of criticism of the Big Bang.