Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Entropic Anthropic Principle - how time is maximized

The physical effects of the Big Bang created numerous principles and laws that have yet to be broken in spite of a lot of projections and speculation about the eventual and final fate of the usable energy of our expanding universe.

The inevitable heat death of the universe is one of the more obvious projections of an expanding "entropic" universe, but this conclusion doesn't completely justify the fact that the extremely small positive value of the cosmological constant means the big bang actually resulted in a near perfect balance between runaway expansion and gravitational recollapse, which actually puts the universe about as far away from the tendency toward heat death as you can possibly get, and yet still be heading in that direction. The principle of least action says that it is no coincidence that this near-perfectly symmetrical configuration is also the most energy-efficient means for dissipating energy, because this means that tendency toward "heat-death" is most economically restricted to the most-even distribution of energy possible.

The universe actually expresses a grand scale natural preference toward the most economical form of energy dissipation, so if the second law of thermodynamics is telling us that the entropy of our expanding universe increases with every action, then the anthropic principle is telling us that this will occur by the most energy efficient means possible, since the flatness of the universe is one of the many coincidentally ecobalanced requirements of the principle.

If the second law of thermodynamics points the arrow of time, then the anthropic principle determines that time and work is maximized.

We actually have evidence that the near-flat yet expanding universe is structured so that the entropy of the universe always increases in a manner that tends toward "maximum-energy" and maximum uniformity via the most-even form of energy dissipation possible, given that "nothing is perfect to start with"... so to speak.

Meaning that far-from equilibrium dissipative structures *can* serve as a natural damping mechanism... IF the universe is finite and causally bound...

We have no stability mechanism that explains why an expanding universe doesn't just blow itself apart, and even then, the entropy of our near-flat universe is much less than it should be, given any practical model of structure forming turbulence that occurs with expansion.

Unless far from equilibrium dissipative structures, (like us, humans, and black holes), serve to conserve the expansion process in order to maximize energy. Surely, the configuration of our universe must follow the least action principle.

Quantum mechanics depends very much on Hamiltonian mechanics, and so it isn't inherently able to describe dissipative structuring. This can be done, however, by way of a special master case for the "Lindblad equation", which derives that flatness acts as a natural harmonic damper mechanism that keeps the imbalanced expanding universe from evolving inhomogeneously, so this is the most natural configuration.

This will necessarily maximize the time that the expansion process takes, and that's what a flat universe accomplishes via anthropic structuring.

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1 comment:

Heresiarch said...

Sorry if I missed something, but I don't see any reference to Lee Smolin's notion of Comological Natural Selection as a nonteleological alternative to Intelligent Design when accounting for anthropic coincidences. Basically, he taps Darwinian logic to come up with a model of the evolution of universes in which physical constants that skew universes toward black hole production give those universes an adaptive advantage in the ensemble of universes.
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