Are there laws independent of the universe?
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06-03-2013, 03:36 AM
Are there laws independent of the universe?
"If you bang two electrons together with enough energy, you produce protons. If there are no independent laws, then all the properties of protons must somehow be 'known' by the electrons. By extension every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe. I find that difficult to believe " - Alan Guth

Besides the question in the title, I has another one to ask.
Where does the universe store all the information required to create the specific reality you exist in?

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06-03-2013, 05:49 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
It's hard to know without an understanding of what "outside the universe" means.

It is clearly true that if you bash enough energy into a small space (by way of bashing protons together or the like) then that unstable energy will condense into relatively stable forms, some of which will further decompose into other things. That's what atom smashers such as the large hadron collider are all about. Push the right amount of energy into a small space, and "poof" out comes a Higgs Boson - a particle that is able to relatively stably act as a vehicle for that energy before it too decomposes into something else.

Why this happens is a different question. Did the energy "know" what it could turn into? Are the laws of physics that drive this - the quantum electrodynamics[1] or related dynamics - are they intrinsic to the energy or are they intrinsic to the space? Perhaps they are intrinsic to something outside of space, outside of our known universe. It's hard to tell so our answer is "I don't know". One interpretation is that we have fields permeating the universe and that when you push just the right amount of energy into one of the fields they will respond in a way that we interpret as a particle, a quanta. That interpretation would suggest that the information about what makes up a stable pattern of energy is related to the field and its physics rather than to the energy released from a collision, and is not embodied in the particles that collided to create the collision.

If we find eventually that the physics of our universe is governed not by space/time itself but by whatever lies outside of our universe then I'm sure it will lead to useful further discoveries. For now it is unknown what if anything exists outside of space and time. We can only say that there are laws of physics in our universe, that they appear at this stage to be constant across the universe, and appear to have been doing so since a small fraction of a second after the big bang. Since we can only reasonably talk about known laws of physics perhaps the more interesting question is "how come the big bang was such a low entropy environment as to allow entropy to increase for all of this time to its present level?". Now that's an interesting question.

As to whether the energy in the universe came from and the matter of the universe, and the information well we don't really know that. I would tend to focus on the questions of energy and matter though because we can even as lay people appreciate the vast scope of these quantities. Information is such a poorly understood term that I'm not sure it is useful to delve into deeply. In theory there isn't all that much information in the universe. That is to say that that the universe appears to be the product of whatever unevenness there was present in the original big bang, plus the laws of physics that have transitioned us from the initial universe state to its present state as we observe it. So in principle the information content of the universe is not all that impressive. Our own species genome and technology is actually the inevitable result of the laws of physics at work and in terms of information compression can be reduced to those laws and the starting state.

Although.. in saying that... another perspective would be to include every quantum interaction/entanglement and probabilistic outcome that has occurred over that time in the information set of the universe. If that uncertainty does need to be taken into account then we would have to say that some of the "information" in the current universe has actually been leaking in by way of random chance over the lifetime of the universe. Random chance itself has zero information content however, so classically I think you would ignore that - unless there is some selection criteria that selects one probabilistic outcome over another over time. For example, all possible universes actually occurred in parallel then our particular universe might be selected for just by the fact that we are in it to observe it... but that's conjecture.

Anyway - short answer is that the information content of the universe is in the starting state at the moment of the big bang and from the laws of physics that have transitioned the initial universe state into its present state. We don't know where the information content of the laws of physics come from, nor do we know where the information content of the initial universe came from. The net information content of the universe may well be zero - ie everything is random chance Wink

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_electrodynamics

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06-03-2013, 05:52 AM (This post was last modified: 06-03-2013 06:15 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
(06-03-2013 03:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  "If you bang two electrons together with enough energy, you produce protons. If there are no independent laws, then all the properties of protons must somehow be 'known' by the electrons. By extension every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe. I find that difficult to believe " - Alan Guth

Besides the question in the title, I has another one to ask.
Where does the universe store all the information required to create the specific reality you exist in?

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06-03-2013, 06:39 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
(06-03-2013 03:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  "If you bang two electrons together with enough energy, you produce protons. If there are no independent laws, then all the properties of protons must somehow be 'known' by the electrons. By extension every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe. I find that difficult to believe " - Alan Guth

Besides the question in the title, I has another one to ask.
Where does the universe store all the information required to create the specific reality you exist in?
How would one know about laws outside of the universe without being able to observe things outside of the universe? It's a fair question, but unanswerable.

The second question isn't fair, though -- you're equivocating the word "information". You're trying to make it sound like their had to be a blueprint for the universe like there is for your typical house. The universe was formed from chaos (like a cavern or a forest, for example) and thus didn't need "information" to plan its creation. The laws that set up how the universe works simply happened to be, and our hindsight bias makes us think about how perfect it all came out... to use the forest example again, you may marvel at how all of the trees seem to be roughly a uniform height, but nobody planned it that way... you're simply looking at it in a way that ignores the randomness, focusing on tree height rather than the uneven spacing of trees or the non-uniform look when examined up close.

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06-03-2013, 07:56 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
(06-03-2013 03:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  "If you bang two electrons together with enough energy, you produce protons. If there are no independent laws, then all the properties of protons must somehow be 'known' by the electrons. By extension every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe. I find that difficult to believe " - Alan Guth

Besides the question in the title, I has another one to ask.
Where does the universe store all the information required to create the specific reality you exist in?

They say there is no such thing as a stupid question, but....
First off this quote by Alan Guth is complete nonsense the way it is written.

As stated before, we only know about our own universe and of that, all the matter that makes up all the billions of galaxies only accounts for about 4% of what we now know about the much larger extent of our universe. Dark matter about 24% and Dark energy about 73%. My figures may not be completely accurate as the areas of cosmology looking into it are just getting their feet wet.

As far as the notion of stored information. No
There are no blueprints storing information within matter.

We as human beings can examine matter and energy and measure it's properties, then write it down on a piece of paper or type it into a computer as a way of storing the information.

Do I need to explain pencil & paper as a storage device for information ?
Cause part of me thinks you'll have a question about that.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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06-03-2013, 08:15 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
(06-03-2013 03:36 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  "If you bang two electrons together with enough energy, you produce protons. If there are no independent laws, then all the properties of protons must somehow be 'known' by the electrons. By extension every elementary particle must carry around enough information to produce the entire universe. I find that difficult to believe " - Alan Guth

Besides the question in the title, I has another one to ask.
Where does the universe store all the information required to create the specific reality you exist in?
Title question: Well, we can dream up a whole bunch of laws independent of the universe. We won't actually FIND them, because they're nowhere in the universe for us to find. If they were, we wouldn't call them independent, would we? They'd be laws without force, us whimsically imagining things to no effect.

Second question: No specific location. Universal properties do not have a specific locality or jurisdiction. I'd question whether there is any information storage at all. It's not like electrons have to consult some "how to be an electron" manual.

Should this be in the science forum?

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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06-03-2013, 08:24 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
Are there laws independent of the universe?



This is such a poorly framed question that it is impossible to answer. Why don't you clarify and also try sticking to one question and topic at a time?
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06-03-2013, 10:39 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
(06-03-2013 08:24 AM)Julius Wrote:  Are there laws independent of the universe?



This is such a poorly framed question that it is impossible to answer. Why don't you clarify and also try sticking to one question and topic at a time?
A is an inequivalent with Not A always, at all times, and in all human cultures. This is one example of a universal principle that leads to:
http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/logic.php
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06-03-2013, 11:27 AM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
(06-03-2013 10:39 AM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  
(06-03-2013 08:24 AM)Julius Wrote:  Are there laws independent of the universe?



This is such a poorly framed question that it is impossible to answer. Why don't you clarify and also try sticking to one question and topic at a time?
A is an inequivalent with Not A always, at all times, and in all human cultures. This is one example of a universal principle that leads to:
http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/logic.php
Oh that site... Laugh out load

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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06-03-2013, 12:29 PM
RE: Are there laws independent of the universe?
Quote:Oh that site... Laugh out load
Um, do you disagree with my premise? A is an inequivalent with Not A always, at all times, and in all human cultures...?
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