Boltzmann brains

mileyp
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Boltzmann brains

Did anyone read about Boltzmann brains in 18 August (no. 2617) edition of NewScientist?

 

Quote from page 29, 'What little brains are made of':

"As empty space contains a repulsive force known as vacuum energy, it can eventually spawn particles, atoms and even, in theory, conscious entities. These hypothetical "Boltzmann brains" - spontaneous observers of the space around them - challenge our place in the universe. .......

...... In theory, they could take on almost any form, but the larger and more complex they are, the less likely it is that they will appear, according to the laws of probability and quantum mechanics. They could be disembodied brains with eyeballs, floating in outer space. They could consist of a whole body, encased in a space suit and equipped with an oxygen tank. ......."

 

Could someone better versed in physics that I explain how this hypothesis does not violate the first law of thermodynamics?

 


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Vacuum energy operates on

Vacuum energy operates on the same principle that created the universe. The total amount of energy in the universe may be very, very small, (a small positive total must be allowed for due to quantum mechanics), since it was born from a true vacuum, which has a negative energy total, so the creation of matter or energy, in this case, as long as it brings the net quantifiable amount of energy appreciatavely towards zero, is acceptable under the laws of thermodynamics. The spontaneous breaking effect that begins the transition of true to false vacuum (in accordance with the second law of thermodynamics) is generated by a quantum topology effect called virtual vacuum particles, which flit in and out of existence and nonexistence based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, for gaps of time as short as 10^-45 seconds, less than the Planck time. This is called the Casimir effect.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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mileyp
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Thanks, I think I

Thanks, I think I understood that.

 

I'm sure the cosmic hand of god will guide me through wikipedia unto ultimate comprehension.


aiia
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Was there any explaination

Was there any explaination as to how they theorized that particles can be conscious entities?


Cpt_pineapple
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Quote:   Could someone

Quote:

 

Could someone better versed in physics that I explain how this hypothesis does not violate the first law of thermodynamics?

 

Because the net energy would be zero. There is a thing called anti-matter. Flucuations happen in matter/anti-matter pairs. For example, an electron/positron pair could form. But the electron is always accompanied by a positron.

As deluded said, the  total amount of energy is very small. This is accomplished by 'storing' energy in things such as orbits and such. For example, if I wanted to break the Earth's orbit out of the sun, I would have to use energy. 

 

 

 


aiia
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain

Quote:
A Boltzmann brain is a hypothesized self-aware entity which arises due to random fluctuations out of some future state of chaos.

The concept arises from the need to explain why we observe such a large degree of organization in the universe. The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy in the universe will always increase. We may think of the most likely state of the universe as one of high entropy, closer to uniform and without order. So why is the observed entropy so low?
The conclusion that particles are self aware is ad hoc.

Quote:
Boltzmann proposed that we and our observed low-entropy world are a random fluctuation in a higher-entropy universe. Even in a near-equilibrium state, there will be stochastic fluctuations in the level of entropy. The most common fluctuations will be relatively small, resulting in only small amounts of organization, while larger fluctuations and their resulting greater levels of organization will be comparatively more rare. Large fluctuations would be almost inconceivably rare, but this can be explained by the enormous size of the universe and by the idea that if we are the results of a fluctuation, there is a "selection bias": We observe this very unlikely universe because the unlikely conditions are necessary for us to be here.

This leads to the Boltzmann brain concept: If our current level of organization, having many self-aware entities, is a result of a random fluctuation, it is much less likely than a level of organization which is only just able to create a single self-aware entity. For every universe with the level of organization we see, there should be an enormous number of lone Boltzmann brains floating around in unorganized environments. This refutes the observer argument above: the organization I see is vastly more than what is required to explain my consciousness, and therefore it is highly unlikely that I am the result of a stochastic fluctuation.

The Boltzmann brains paradox is that it is more likely that a brain randomly forms out of the chaos with false memories of its life than that the universe around us would have billions of self-aware brains.
This is simply an intelligent design argument.
A "Blinding With Science" tactic.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


deludedgod
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Hang on, that's completely

Hang on, that's completely ridiculous (I'm not directing it at you AiiA, but at the article you copied from wiki).

Boltzmann, one of the most important thermodynamics scientists of the 20th century, did not propose that ultra-low entropy systems were the result of random entropy fluctuations, as that would be probabalistically impossible. It was Schrodinger who realized that decreases in entropy and the construction of high-order information patterns (measured by Gibb's Free Energy) are the result of a very important function in the second law of thermodynamics which dictates that for any concentric set of systems, decreases in entropy in local systems can be attained by a correspondingly larger increase in entropy in the total system. These entropy decreases and high-order systems are not random quantum fluctuations but precise mathematically equatable systems which can be measured very precisely using the basic formulae of thermodynamics (Hemholt'z equations, Gibb's equations, entropy, negentropy, Enthalpy etc).

You can actually demonstrate this by dropping a salt cube into a glass of warm water.

Entropy is in effect a measure of probability states and it has a proportial relationship to temperature (that is, the tend towards disorder is accelerated at higher temperatures). 

But all high-order systems are open, otherwise they would be unsustainable. A closed system does not allow the crossing of heat, matter, energy etc across the boundary from the surrounding to the system. The necessity of all low-entropy systems is an influx of free energy, the expenditure of which is always compliant with thermodynamic, which allows for "order islands", that is, pockets of increasingly high order called the local system where the whole system (assuming closed) tends towards disorder. This is why the net entropy is always >0.

So, no, high-order, low entropy systems are not "random" or "fluctuations". Nothing of the sort.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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AiiA wrote: Was there any

AiiA wrote:
Was there any explaination as to how they theorized that particles can be conscious entities?

 

I don't think they're talking about indivdual particles. I think ithey're talking about a system of particles.