Wednesday, 1 August 2012

the condensing universe

Have you ever fried vinegar?

I don't know why I tried it, but if you try it you'll notice at least three things.

1. the vinegar drops shrink as the water in them evaporates
2. they become darker as the percentage of vinegar increases to 100%
3. they skate across the pan due to the Leidenfrost effect

I wondered about how this would look if you could stand on one of those vinegar drops.

From this relative perspective the other drops would appear to be moving further away.

Then I wondered, how would the universe look, if viewed externally.

Could it be like frying vinegar?

What if the size of the universe was fixed, and it was the matter that was shrinking?

What would that tell us about how the laws of physics would need to change so that we, the inhabitants, wouldn't notice?

At the very least, some physical constants would need to change:
1. the speed of light
2. how mass warps space
3. (add more constants here)

The one thing that couldn't be hidden by all this is quantum physics.

In quantum physics matter and energy are converted to each other with no loss.

Atoms are formed from protons and neutrons and the equations balance out perfectly.

It's fundamentally at odds with our everyday experience - where putting something together or taking something apart involves work, effort, energy.

What if the quantum world were no different from our world, except that quantum particles get their energy from the condensing universe?


Isn't technology great?

I have a vision of the future.

It's a hot summer night in (a place near you).

Everyone who wants to see and/or be seen is entering that new great night club.

After paying the price of a cinema ticket (it's a posh place, no riff-raff) each attendee is handed some Google glasses, earphones and a little box to drive them, with a neck strap or belt attachment, depending on attire.

With the glasses and earphones on, attendees enjoy an augmented reality experience.

Those black 16 foot by 9 foot rectangles that looked really odd now show videos thanks to those Google glasses, accompanied by the music being pumped through the earphones.

A hand gesture conjures a mid-air menu.

One of the options is "I'm feeling friendly".

Now your view of the people around you becomes augmented with talk balloons like you see in comics when people are talking.

In the balloon you see various statistics from which you can determine if they would be nice to talk to, as well as their status.

Now to the subject of the post.

The music you're listening to is from a YouTube video, and that video on the wall is from the same video.

According to the YouTube copyright terms of use, you're watching it personally, and because you're seeing the video through those Google glasses you were handed, it's a private viewing.

The fact that everyone around you is dancing to the same beat might lead you to suspect that they can see the same video and hear the same music, but that's just coincidence.

If it were true then this would be a public viewing, wouldn't it?