Thursday, January 3, 2008

Strange theories

Recently I stumbled on some strange and surprising theories. Personally I like a lot to read about theories or facts that defines normal logic. However, while I do agree that the world is a strange place I think that it follows some logic. Perhaps we cannot see this logic right now with the tools we have but, it is still there. And if it is there it can be found. Eventually.

The first theory is a very straight forward one. It simply asks the question - is there an opposite to absolute zero? Now we all know that absolute zero is -273 Celsius. At this temperature there is no movement at all. But is there are a maximum temperature?
The question may seem a bit strange, but well, the answer is even strange.
While nobody knows exactly what it is, there are 4 contenders. The first one is plank temperature.
This is the temperature believed to be at the beginning of our universe. It is about 10^32 kelvin. the other two contenders are 10^30 and 10^17.
However the last contender is a real surprise - it is 0 kelvin, that is -273 C. And no this is not a typo. There are actually people who believe that absolute zero can also be the maximum possible temperature. While it sounds shocking the underlaying idea as I see it, is very simple: we don't know what happens at absolute zero. The laws of physics we know stop working there. The some think happens when we reach plank temperature. Thus going both ways we get to the same situation.
You can read about it more here.

The second theory is .. well it is barely a theory actually. It is more like a mind game. Before saying what it is about we will need some background:
While we never met with an alien civilization, many speculations about this subject exists. One of such speculations is an attempt to rank them according to their development level. This whole attempt is based mostly on our current understanding of physics so it may be right but it also may be completely wrong.
According to the current rank system there are four ranks of civilizations.
A rank one civilization uses all the energy of its planet. A rank two uses all the energy of its star. And rank three - of the whole galaxy.
As you can see we are not even rank one civilization. We only recently started to use wind and solar energy and such use is hardly widespread. In fact electricity is not widespread enough yet. There are areas on earth that are almost totally untouched by civilization.
Now when we now this we can discuss the theory I mentioned. We as a civilization are in constant threat of a catastrophe capable of destroying all of us. An ice age or an asteroid, and we will disappear. A rank one civilization is mush more stable. A change in weather cannot destroy it. With such energy at its disposal it should be capable of controlling the weather. But still even such civilization can be destroyed by an asteroid or another sufficiently great catastrophe. A rank two civilization can be destroyed only by a supernova. Rank three has colonized all the galaxy so even this is not a threat for it. But what if the universe has an end? This is, what if the universe itself will be destroyed?
The theory I mentioned stays that a type three civilization should have enough energy and knowledge to create a new universe for itself. And thus, such a civilization is truly immortal. Perhaps you don't see anything weird in this line of thought. But to me the idea of creating a new universe seems strange. It is one thing when such claims are made from an religious perspective. But here this is not the case.

The third one is probably the most bizarre. It says that time is slowing down and will stop at some point. It is offered as an alternative to dark energy. At lest the theory claims that our planet will be long gone by then...
You can read about it here.

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