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Ltryptophan's avatar

The physical and quantum physical study of matter reveals much about our observable world, what does the observable world's structure reveal about worlds and dimensions that lay beyond our telescopes?

Asked by Ltryptophan (9112 points ) August 21st, 2011

Let’s start with the Men In Black outro. Aliens playing marbles with our universe. Grand.

So, clearly we can see the inside of our own marbles. They are little silicon based spheres. When we take deeper and deeper looks into them I think it is safe to say that we are not seeing tiny little cosmoses. (maybe I am wrong, and by all means correct me) Maybe micro aliens live on tiny beams of energy…and their worlds are not something we
Regardless, the question at hand is if we can see the effect of these tiny worlds on our own world, can we look around our world ourselves and see if we can understand what we are compared to something much larger? For instance, seen from space waves don’t look like waves. They look like they are just sort of sitting there. Now, we know they are 20 feet high and all tumultuous power, and that beneath them is the deep!

But surely this sort of thing’s tinyness compared to the expanse of space must tell us something in much the same way that our observing an electron in person might tell us much. Are we constantly observing the microcosmic forces of a much larger universe?

Maybe I’m not quite making myself clear.

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11 Answers

digitalimpression's avatar

I think I see what you’re getting at. Let me see. By looking at the smaller pieces of our own perceivable world, can we or can we not intuit, decipher, or decode an element, ingredient, or an entire recipe which exists outside of our perceivable world.

Basically: If I examine the flour, can I tell that it is actually part of a pancake.

To a very small extent I think you can. There are patterns that emerge when you examine or research anything in great detail. By enlarging, snip snipping with some scissors and superimposing these patterns onto a hypothetical bigger picture, I think it is conceivable that we could draw some conclusions. However, without actually taking a bite out of the big piece of pie with some hard scientific data, it all becomes a bit moot.

trickface's avatar

I know exactly what you mean.

If we cannot see beyond the limit of our universe, who is to say we are not the marble in another beings hand? I’m not an expert of science and I don’t know how far we can see into our own objects; iotas, atoms, electrons etc but it’s a fantastical concept thinking just how far can we see into there, the electrons rotating around the atom thanks to gravity, much the same as the planets to their stars.

Ltryptophan's avatar

I am specifically wondering if our macro observations about the world presently around us that we observe with our own eyes might contain some clues as to a higher universal/superuniversal physical system, as if we were standing near an electron and were able to conclude it was a part of a larger world full of objects of which it was a very tiny component.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t think so. Our Universe could be sitting on the back of a giant tortoise for all we know.

rOs's avatar

GQ! I won’t be surprised if we hear more about this in the future.

I’ve also been thinking that all we see (and don’t see) is just a micro/macrocosm of something else, and everything seems to fit into some grand ‘pattern’ (then maybe there are multiple versions of that, occasionally overlapping).

As for my subjective viewpoint, I feel like I’m “tuned-in” when I’m doing the “right” thing. Maybe when we are “playing our part” in the grand patterns of the universe, we feel rewarded for it. – Einstein had his own opinion about this feeling. His words seem especially relevant today.

Silence04's avatar

I myself, have always thought of our life/world to be like fractals, infinitely large and also infinately small. If you look at how things opporate on our know quantum level, it’s not much different from our know macro level.

Stars in our sky die, just as atoms pop out of existence. We could just be part of the cellular structure of something greater. And vise versa, our known “atoms” disapearing could be like something else’s “stars” dying…

Qingu's avatar

Something important to keep in mind:

The universe does not appear to be symmetrical with respect to scale.

If you look inside a microscope you will see what appears to be a completely different world that runs by completely different rules— not a miniature version of our human-scale world. Likewise, galaxies behave very differently from solar systems.

Most importantly, the physics of subatomic particles are based on probability; this is completely different from the Newtonian physics that appear to govern our own “scale” of reality. Superficially, an electron swirling around a nucleus might look similar to a planet orbiting the sun. But when we get down to it the electron is completely different and utterly strange compared to a planet; the electron doesn’t even seem to exist at any point in space in time definitively.

I am not suggesting that each “scale” has its own separate laws of physics. Rather, completely new and novel patterns—and even new laws—emerge as you scale reality up.

rOs's avatar

Good clarification! I think emergence has a lot (if not everything) to do with how the universe works.

wundayatta's avatar

I would be very careful about pursuing this analogy. I think it’s nice as a fictional premise, but without a strong scientific background in cosmology and quantum mechanics, I would be very skeptical about the utility of this kind of theory.

If it is a reasonable theory, you can design a set of testable hypotheses to see if there is any evidence to support the theory. Since this idea has been around a long time and since there’s been no news from the physics front that there is much in the way of evidence to support this (at least, that I know of), then I would be very skeptical, and would use this idea for a science fiction premise.

Your description does remind me of fractals. That patterns are replicated on larger and larger scales as you zoom out. But other than that, I don’t remember ever seeing anything about this idea except in science fiction, where is has been a standard trope for decades.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@wundayatta I agree! That is my point. It’s not that way is what I think is obvious. It is like this is reality, and any other super reality is COMPLETELY unrelated to this one in the sense that we can work up from where we are to get to it. I think that quantum physics will tell us about the bigger picture before the big picture will tell us about the even bigger picture for sure.

I guess one way to say it, since I am not so eloquent in physics, is that all the complexity we observe has the most to do with what is very “small”, and that everything that is big and observable is not so much the same as that. Ahem, I mean, electrons have a specialness that is not like a planets specialness. More the planet is an expression of the workings of a inestimable group of things the size of electrons.

That’s my point. The universe does not seem to be a microcosm of a bigger thing. That is my argument exactly. It doesn’t seem to be acting in the cold mathematical way that subatomic particles do. There are big rocks just floating about, etc.

mattbrowne's avatar

The study reveals that there must be a “cosmic event horizon” with the unobservable part of our universe hidden beyond it.

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