Sunday, September 27, 2009

Evolution of the Universe

When we contemplate the evolution of the universe from big bang to the present time one wonders at the different forms of our universe from the inception of time. Can any one come out roughly with the number of forms sprung from the same universe? At each point in time, we have discovered a new form being evolved. What are these forms and how significant they assume in their evolution of 13 billion and odd years?

I wrote in my first blog ‘Modern Cosmology’ at http://www.rsridharan.blogspot.com/ that how do we combine all the different factions of the universe into a single format. Some of my friends in different science forums ridiculed at me although some others appreciated and even wondered at my blog. To those who are yet to discern my point in my first blog, here is the simple answer. When we go back from the present to the beginning of the universe, we can see that all different aspects of the present day Universe were once combined into a single point in time! This is what I meant. Isn’t that true and so simple?

And so we begin our journey from the start of the time to the present day evolution. The order of evolution appears to be first the Big Bang and the CMB (cosmic microwave background), next the galaxies, supernovae, quasars, stars, elements, blackholes, cluster of galaxies, planets, moons and finally the living things. One can rearrange this order in any form and we still see all these in the universe have evolved accordingly. When we talk of galaxies, we see that it contains different structures, arms and a center point (blackhole). Next the stars have in them their different layers, different chemical elements numbering to roughly 118 in all, the planets, we can only see planets of our Sun and are still trying to discover few others in our neighborhood stars. Actually there can be millions of planets strewn over the entire universe that contains billions and billions of star systems! Now through our journey, we come to the blackholes which contains an event horizon that hides a central point called singularity where any amount of matter is annihilated with infinite gravitational energy. Of course all these are mind boggling evolutions beyond the grasp of any one.

We now finally come to the evolution of planets. Everybody knows that planets have in them their different layers with their crusts on top and the moons circling outside them. The planets have evolved with water, some with mountains with their volcano’s and lava, continents, icecaps, atmospheres, trees, plants and above all the living creatures.

When we talk of living creatures, we see that the universal evolution is at its best with millions of living forms evolved topping with human beings! And this is only known of the planet we inhabit. What of the millions of other star systems that might host a similar or more of life forms? Dizzily our Universe could be populated with millions of creatures, tribes, hitherto unknown superior life forms as its final evolutionary process? Or may be the universe is still in the process of evolving an ultimate and all powerful form? Never mind, let us return to our planet’s evolutionary creatures we know now.

As one is aware, our human body has its own evolutionary forms. The anatomy of a human being includes, the skull, hair, skin, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, lips (I am talking of myriads of evolutionary forms within the human body), nails, bones, bone morrow, liver, intestine, kidney, heart, lungs, toes, fingers, knees, elbows (all not in order), veins, nerves, blood, flesh etc., and above all the all powerful brain. The evolution of brain is still a mystery to everyone. I have only outlined the different forms that are inside the human body. When one thinks of different type of forms evolved inside millions of other creatures and plants, one would really be awe struck and wonder at the miracle of the subtle evolution of the living things from the time of Big Bang.

One has to be aware that this is only from one planet that contains so many life forms. What of the billions of stars that might host millions and millions of planets those again contain millions of living things in their entirely different formats? To conclude our brief saga, the Universe’s 13.7 billion years of evolutionary process has culminated in a final product which is the sophisticated and highly evolved human beings. Naturally we have a very significant role to play in this universe. Hence we can happily say that we are a special lot until the time we might see some other new form of life in the Universe.

One wonders how subtle that new form of life would be in this long process of Universal Evolution.

See below two of my other blogs, The Rules of the Universe and Modern Cosmology

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Rules of the Universe

In my first blog, I drew the attention of the scientific community to find a solution to the vexing problems of cosmic origin, raised questions concerning the reason for our existence, the mysterious mechanisms that keep us alive and finally, why it is all so hard to know the truth about our role here and does God really play the dice with us? (See Modern Cosmology http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/blog/6797-modern-cosmology-17241.html - http://rsridharan.blogspot.com/ )

Once we know how to unlock the cosmic order, most of our daunting problems are solved. At present, the Universe appears to us like a magical World of Harry Porter, as we are yet to learn the rules of reality! Even the scientists wonder at every turn of event from the moment of Big Bang. (All experimental evidence leads us to believe in the BB – thanks to thousands of scientists all over the world who have approved the Large Hedron Collider (LHC), a Time Machine of the 21st century, catapulting us close to the beginning of time)

At the outset Physicists are perplexed as to the nature of things in our early Universe – Gravity the mother of all forces suddenly separates itself from the Strong, Weak and Electromagnetic forces and assumes unimaginable proportions! Locking together all matter in the Universe, this one gigantic force becomes a huge Monster, almost swallowing the entire Cosmos! Making large chunks of matter disappear in no time; gravity plays havoc inside black holes, crushing them into non-existence.

Dark Matter, the hypothetical Savior, presumed to constitute 23 percent of the entire Universe, with 4 percent of the visible matter, checks the gravity under control and protects the galactic structures from collapsing into oblivion! Then there is the all powerful Dark Energy like Dark Matter, another hypothetical omnipresent force in the Universe which permeates everywhere and counters the Monster gravity from annihilating the entire Cosmos! Suddenly the Dark Energy swells; the Dwarf Universe becomes a Giant! Called Vishwaroop in India, this phenomenon is a common place in Indian mythology.

At quantum level, the Entanglement (Entanglement is a term used in quantum theory to describe the way that particles of energy/matter can become correlated to predictably interact with each other regardless of how far apart they are) is a real and tested phenomenon, an instantaneous communication of the particles. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance!”, because it defied the common sense. We live in a weird World!

Whatever man has endeavored so far, it has not become apparent for him to comprehend the Cosmos - he is at a loss to know the rules of the Universe! As the saying goes, man proposes God disposes, nature has inherent beauty and it is not easy for us to see the hidden order. For us it is more of a magical world than a logical reality! The rules are simple, but we can not see them – it requires the genius of an Einstein coupled with the logic of a Kasparov to know the rules of this Universe.

To quote an example, the chess analogy from the famous physicist Richard Feynman (the Nobel Prize winning physicist) once noted that discovering the laws of physics is like trying to learn the laws of chess merely by observing chess games. You notice that bishops stay on the same color squares; you write this down as a law of chess. Later, you come up with a better law – bishops move diagonally. And, since diagonal squares are always colored the same, this explains why bishops always stay on the same color. This law is an improvement – it is simpler, and yet explains more. In physics, discovering Einstein's theory of gravity after knowing Newton's theory of gravity is a similar type of discovery. As another example, noticing that pieces don't change their identity in a chess game is similar to discovering the law of mass-and-energy conservation.

Eventually, say, you see a chess game in which a pawn reaches the other end of the board and is promoted. You say, "Wait, that violates the laws of chess. Pieces can't just change their identity." Of course, it does not violate the laws of chess; you just had never seen a game pushed to that extreme before.

Now we are pushed to that extreme anyway! Things appear to make no sense. In place of reality, we imagine and create a God that work wonders for most of us!

Like a novice in chess, we blink at each moment in time and end up nowhere. We make wrong moves. We lose on time even before our adversary gets smarter! How do we beat this Universal Computer? First one has to know the rules in real life. The rules are very harsh indeed! You make one long move, you lose your life! We have sacrificed many lives to know the order of this Universe! With great endeavor we have even built an ultimate machine the Large Hedron Collider (LHC) – that will go back in time and see whether the hidden order exists. Do we still stand a chance to make a smart move? Time will tell!

As Feymann said it is not enough to accept nature as they are, one has to comprehend the entire order in it to know its beauty! A GM in chess visualizes the whole position at a time, and then uses his intuitive ability to see its hidden beauty, combines his technical skills and leads the game to a logical victory. This entire he does it in fleeting seconds!

It is a combination of modern physics, mathematics, logical order and intuitive ability that one requires to know the rules of our Universe. Unless one sees the entire hierarchy in order, we can never be able to piece together the complexity of this stupendous and infinite Cosmos! The rules of the Universe are so intricate that we require many Einstein working on different mathematical models, to uncover the hidden order! It requires the intuition of a genius and masterly of a mathematician to realize the beauty of our Cosmos!

Teach the modern computer a little intuition, there we are, we know the order of this Universe!
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Modern Cosmology

I have been thinking a new way of unfolding the mysteries of our cosmos! There are these jargons- dark energy, dark matter, visible matter, entanglement, speed of light, black holes, inflation, big bang, gravity, strong weak and electromagnetic forces, voids of space, spacetime etc etc... How do we combine all these into a coherent whole?

The idea that something can travel faster than the speed of light is a confirmed fact in the quantum world! The same is unthinkable in the classical world, which limits us to the speed of light as discovered by that famous physicist Albert Einstein. Then there are these mysteries- entanglement, inflation, black holes and what not. The age of the universe has been taken as 13.7 billion years. When something can travel faster than the speed of light, is this limiting age a real one? What is dark matter? What is dark energy? what are black holes? - these are the mysteries for which no answers are as yet found. We live in a universe where 73 per cent is dominated by a mysterious dark energy, 23 per cent by an equal mystic dark matter and the rest of 4 per cent in the real, real world! What do these things mean? - Contemplate.

In the past years, physicists have tried their best to unify all forces without much of success. Great minds have toiled and burnt midnight oil with only frustrations and unfulfilled dreams! However the quest for knowing the unknown never waned - mankind will never rest until the truth is set free! Great telescopes, Colliders and many more mega structures are invented and yet the truth appears to be elusive! Kaleidoscope is what the Universe mimics to the great thinkers of our time. Everything appears to be magical - the great magician never lets down his secrets! Every step we take and climb up the cliff, we never seem to go up even to a little height! We fall. It is as though a never ending quest. Man has started it all and will never accept defeats until he exists. Mind will never rest without solving the great mystery.

The story runs like this
'Ten little Indians went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were Nine.
Nine little Indians sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were Eight.
. . . etc . . . and to the last
One little Indian left all alone'
And then may be the ultimate truth unfolds!

Who will be the great player? Who will end our quest? Einstein did come near it - but succumbed fighting the forces! You find a little truth and then the whole truth widens ! You are constantly provoked to a hide and seek play. It is an inversely proportionate game - the more close you try to reach the goal, the less you actually progress. Man never admits defeats. He is surrounded by mirages at every epoch of age. The greatest of all is his steadfast desire to go in the logical path. Our minds are developed to reason at every point of time. Alas! The ultimate truth still eludes him. He becomes, as though a fish thrown out of water! Wriggles and dies. The ocean of truth lies right in front of him, and never able to see it. He surmises without much of luck. What is the truth? Why do we exist? What makes us tick? Why the ultimate truth eludes us? Are we all a part of the mirage, never to see the light? Nope ! Albert Einstein proved it wrong! He did see the light! "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind". He has shown us the way. He showed that the mystery lies in layers. The more layers you embrace, the more you are enlightened. The ultimate truth should dawn on him. He has the reason to believe in solving the mystery.

Never die a fool! Nature will never play dice with his own creation! We are the part of that ultimate truth. It is as though our own eyes are blind to our organs. Though the progress is visible, he has to accelerate his prowess. There is an exponential expansion after the big bang. We need a parallel processing to catch up with the unfolding and elusive Cosmos. Catch me if you can is what the challenges the Universe throws on us. One day the great truth will have to be known. At what rate this feat is feasible? Man has tried all his ages, inching his own extinction before the ultimate truth he envisages dawn on him. We have a great advantage of our predecessors who have shown us at what rate we should progress to know the ultimate. Though the accelerated efforts of a modern man looks real, much, much more has he to expound.

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