Friday, September 26, 2014

Here Be Dragons Pt V

In 2005 our Cassini spacecraft made some amazing discoveries about Saturn and her moons. The moon Enceladus has a volcanic "hot spot" centred on its South Pole. The pole, which should be the coldest region on the moon, is the hottest! This spot emits an enormous plume of vapour which maintains Saturn's E Ring. Old theories of radioactive decay or tidal stress can not explain this hot spot.
Enceladus' core and behaviour can be modelled with a central singularity of 10^12 kg. This mass is typical for a primordial singularity. This object consumes only 2.8 kg per year and generates 10^9 watts of radiation. Water and other molecules near this centre are heated to a plasma. Electrons are stripped from atoms, and the resulting ions are drawn into circular orbits. The resulting current generates a magnetic field with the "positive" pole in the South.
Electrons and positively charged ions spiral along magnetic field lines to form bipolar jets, the classic sign of a singularity. The Northern jet is composed of electrons which are absorbed by the moon's interior. More energetic ions of the Southern jet penetrate these layers to warm the South Pole. Escaping ions spiral into space, exactly as observed by Cassini.
Unless Saturn's Rings are replenished, they would decay within 100 million years. Then we would face the anthropic question of why they exist in the right time for humans to view them. Thanks to the Cassini spacecraft, we have witnessed the E Ring being resuppllied from a moon. This observation suggests that similiar processes maintain the rings indefinitely.
Saturn and her Rings have long been objects of wonder and mystery. The processes that build moons and planets have been going on for billions of years. Humans have yet to understand what is before their eyes and beneath their feet. There is more to this solar system than meets the eye.


Blogger Zephir said...

Well, Louise - if you're right, then I'll eat my slipper.

11:34 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

I've been thinking lately that there is no such thing as a true singularity. This is a result of my synthesis of your work, John Kulick's "snowflake universe" idea, and Stephen Wolfram's computational universe.

We think of space as being continuous. What if space is quantized? If so, there are quanta of space, and energy/mass/charge/spin can only exist in these quanta. This information could then only have two behaviors - it could move from one quantum of space to a neighboring quantum, or it could "dwell" in that quantum before moving to the next.

The quanta of space would have some shape. A logical guess would make that shape a sphere one Planck length in diameter. Other (particularly the Platonic) shapes or sizes could be chosen, but a sphere presents the fewest theoretical problems and a good starting point. It can be readily shown that many other configurations (particularly anything smaller) reduce mathematically to that shape and size.

These spheres would be packed together, each with neighbors constraining its movement in three dimensions, but they would not necessarily be packed as tightly as possible. The most neighbors possible would be 12, but 8 or 4 would similarly constrain a sphere.

If a sphere has 12 neighbors, it cannot move. If each of those spheres also has 12 neighbors, they similarly cannot move. A sphere with fewer neighbors could move relative to its neighbors. A sphere with no neighbors would be unconstrained; it would also not be part of the universe, as no information could flow into or out of that quantum.

If we accept that space is quantized, then the Planck length has fundamental physical meaning. It is the distance between the centroids of adjacent quanta of space.

Similarly the Planck energy has fundamental physical meaning. It is the maximum amount of energy that can be stored in a quantum of space. Hence, no singularities.

Now, if you have a universe where each quantum of space is both fully constrained in movement (12 neighbors) and completely full of energy or information, there is no movement possible. In such a universe, there is no time, and no such thing as a speed of light.

Such a universe would be bounded. If all the mass and energy in our current universe was compressed in this way, every quantum of space filled to the brim, it would be about 10^-15 meters across.

What of the quanta of space outside that spot? They would still exist on the edges, but there would be no interaction between those quanta and that big crunched seed. No information would flow into them. The quanta in the seed would be packed as tightly as possible, but further from the seed, the fewer neighbors, and with no mass or energy to constrain movement, the quanta outside the seed do not exist at all from a perspective within that seed.

So, after a big crunch you're left with a hyperdense region of space and energy, and nothing else. There's nowhere for the energy to go, no non-full regions of space to move into. The remaining 10^60 or so quanta of space are full and can't move. The only movement possible at that point would be a Brownian jostling with movements of the quanta smaller than one Planck length.

What of the quanta that are on what is now the edge of space? They don't have 12 neighbors. They can move relatively far more than quanta in the center. Quanta on the next layer in are similarly less constrained, as they might only have 10 or 11 neighbors. (continued)

9:45 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

The passage of time as we know it at this point is nonexistent - both an infinite amount of time and no time at all pass. Call it an indefinite period of time. Eventually, after all the jostling, somewhere in that little seed a quantum of space moves enough to open up a gap behind it, a gap large enough that a quantum of space could fit there, if one existed.

This is where John Kulick comes in. He postulates that the universe is moving through a fourth dimension, picking up new empty quanta of space from that dimension. His math shows that since the universe is increasing in size, the path each quanta takes through that fourth dimension is curved; each particle would be going in a straight line but is being pushed to the side a little bit by the new quanta manifesting.

So the universe in its seed form eventually has a quantum move enough to make space for a new quantum to appear. This is an empty quantum somewhere in that 10^-15 m seed, not necessarily perfectly in the center.

Now energy can flow from one quantum to another. Also, the shape of space near that new quantum has been distorted, enough that another new quantum can be added, and another. Bang.

The insertion of these new quanta of space into the existing universe IS the passage of time. This is why time and space are intimately connected, and why there is an arrow of time. New space is being inserted into the gaps between existing space all the time. The Big Bang was not a single event but rather is a continuous process, one that continues even now, everywhere.

A direct result of Kulick's math is that the speed of light would vary with the inverse cube root of the age of the universe.

9:46 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Fascinating thoughts, Ed. My latest work is on the quantum nature of space/time.

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