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Rupture of the Fine Constant

~ The Luckiest Resolution to the Fermi Paradox ~

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The recent Muon G-2 experiment is nearly definitive proof of a Fifth Force of Nature. Are we sure that’s all of them? Meanwhile, the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E wing is researching Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, aka Cold Fusion. Their work seems related to the electromagnetic phenomena studied by Ken Shoulders, key scientist and inventor in the early era of semiconductors. And there’s always been that pesky Casimir Force, among other oddities of physics, beckoning to starry-eyed theorists. What if there is something lurking in physics, which might explain why we see no alien civilizations gobbling stars around us?

Breaking the Rules

Folks are quick to dismiss time-travel. Yet, it is important to remember that we have a number of competing hypotheses for the mechanisms within Quantum Mechanics, with the Copenhagen Interpretation being only the standard in textbooks, not among researchers. We simply lack experiments today which might distinguish between the competing viewpoints; they are all, naively, equally likely.

So, consider that many of these hypotheses for our universe allow time travel. One of the first time-travel cosmos discovered, by Kurt Godel, was sent to Einstein as a sort of mathematical joke — yet, our universe seen from afar is suspiciously similar to the one Godel described. Leonard Susskind, eminent Stanford physicist involved in deeper understandings for decades, has his own hypothesis — “Retro-Causality”. If I had to bet whether we are in a time-travel universe or not, then the abundance of forms of it from each hypothesis tilts my guess in favor of time-travel’s existence.

Susskind’s Retro-Causality in particular radically simplifies all the equations of the quantum world, while requiring that some CAUSES can happen in the FUTURE, while their EFFECTS are felt in the PRESENT. Time-travel pops-up in many forms.

In addition, traveling faster than light involves a sort of time travel — you reach places when the universe says, using light as its clock, that you hadn’t left your starting-place yet. But that sort of trickery requires negative mass, which seems destined forever out of reach. Unless there’s some way to warp the rules.

Emergent Systems

The human heartbeat is roughly steady when we are at rest, yet the signals sent to the heart are a cacophony of chaotic pulses, which interact with the state of the heart muscles, canceling neatly into a gently undulating rhythm. When we look at the activity from afar, it is regular, predictable. Yet, up close, those patterns are the product of a soup of other signals, and altering those signals changes the beating of the heart. Arrhythmia. Similar experiments in the sleep-cycles of mosquitoes were able to nudge the bugs into chaotic, arrhythmic insomnia.

How many of the ‘rules’ of physics that we assume to be so fundamental might really be the ‘settling-point’, the equilibrium behavior of a more chaotic, variable soup beneath? Physics as we see it may only be the ‘emergent’ patterns of an underlying process. Those emergent rules, just like the mosquito’s sleep-cycle, could be altered or disrupted in tailor-made environments. I have a suspicion that, as we gain facility with atom-scale magnetic vortices and coherent globs of electron-solitons, we will notice more tilts and tatters in that web of rules we took to be so steady. Have you seen the work on time crystals?

If someone found that forests of carbon nanotubes could be resonated with alternating voltage-spikes, forming a moiré to amplify Casimir-inspired distortions for a shell of negative mass, I would nod solemnly. Why? Because we don’t see stars being devoured by alien cultures.

The Fermi Paradox

It’s worrying that, though life arose so quickly here on Earth, we don’t see aliens in every direction. Something is wiping them out before they get into space to dodge shared calamities. We have to assume that those extinction forces are at work here, too — our civilization is unlikely to survive itself.

Unless! There may be something siphoning all those civilizations away, causing them to evaporate only a short time after they attain advanced technologies. If they discover time-travel, the kind which makes branching universes, with new timelines to discover, then the temptation to leave this existence may be overwhelming.

After each big mis-step, folks in charge would want to go back and do things better. When relatives and friends go back, to see their lost loved-ones, that would become a reason for you to travel back, as well — to the time before your friends left! Explorers and industrialists would both see more opportunities in their own pocket timeline, beginning far before anyone else.

Time travel is not guaranteed. Yet, multiple competing hypotheses each have their own form of it. And if we can go back, then it is likely that eventually we all will. If that’s not what empties the universe of civilizations, I worry about what does.



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