Monday, March 04, 2013

Question on the big bang and other wonderings

Howard,

I am a trained statistician, which gives me a way of looking at events a
little differently. In general, I see things as distributions instead of
events. It's just like In physics where I was taught that the
temperature of a volume of liquid measures the average of a distribution
of energies of so many atoms.

I was lying in bed this morning, thinking, imagining... Well, you know
how I can imagine. So I ended up thinking about how "messy" complex
systems were, and how the "big bang" would be no different. Yet when I
have seen reference to the process of the "big bang", the events seem to
be uniformly distributed, as if everything went from state "A" to state
"B" to state "C" smoothly.

So, I was wondering, what if the "big bang" wasn't just one "big bang",
but a series of "bangs". For example, what if there was a process that
caused the "big bang" that had many "little bangs" along the way,
similar to the way I have heard we now hypothesize that planets were
formed by many collisions of units of mass.

So what, you might ask. Well, the idea leads me to all sorts of
interesting states of our universe:

1. What if the big bang was actually a series of big bangs? And being
messy, like physical processes really are, there was a certain amount of
mass (and all states of sub-atomic particles) that did not "get back" in
time for the next big bang. Would this process create a distribution of
all sorts of states of matter, sub-atomic particles to heavier molecules
in the universe?

2. Would there be sub-atomic particles unable to change if they were in
deep-enough "space" that "space" as we know it, "matter" as we know it,
did not exist? If so, what would the effect of these things be on the
part of the universe where space or matter existed?

3. Even if there were only one "big bang" (the last one so far), why
wouldn't there "stuff" that was sent so "far" so "fast" that it got
orphaned at the edge of the universe, unable to resolve into anything
because there is nothing there? Would this be a possible explanation for
"dark matter"?

OK. I know I'm just a 58-year-old 10-year-old! And the universe still
fascinates me, enough to take up my morning lounging in bed. But the
idea of using a more statistical, distribution oriented model of the
universe still seems more likely to explain anomalies that one might
only expect to find in the remote tails of distribution functions. Let's
just say, statistics opens the door to many unlikely possibilities in a
universe that is large enough and exists long enough to be very, very,
very diverse.

No need for an answer. Just wanted somebody to talk to.

Love always,
Jim

PS: I still remember the time in 8th grade math (with Miss ???, who
married the PE teacher and became Mrs. Norton) when I brought to her
attention a book I found that said something like, "given enough time,
everything WILL happen, even that clock jumping off the wall as if on
its own". I've never stopped seeing clocks jumping off walls ever since!

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