"Some Regions of the Universe are Not Favorable for Life"
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December 27, 2012

"Some Regions of the Universe are Not Favorable for Life"

 

 

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"The answer may be that other regions of the Universe are not quite so favorable for life as we know it, and that the laws of physics we measure in our part of the Universe are merely ‘local by-laws', in which case it is no particular surprise to find life here," says John Webb of the University of New South Wales .

One of the most cherished principles in science - the constancy of physics - may not be true, according to research carried out at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Swinburne University of Technology and the University of Cambridge in 2011.
The study found that one of the four known fundamental forces, electromagnetism - measured by the so-called fine-structure constant and denoted by the symbol ‘alpha' - seems to vary across the Universe.
The first hints that alpha might not be constant came a decade ago when Professor John Webb, Professor Victor Flambaum, and other colleagues at UNSW and elsewhere, analysed observations from the Keck Observatory, in Hawaii. Those observations were restricted to one broad area in the sky.
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The research team, however, has doubled the number of observations and measured the value of alpha in about 300 distant galaxies, all at huge distances from Earth, and over a much wider area of the sky. The new observations were obtained using the European Southern Observatory's ‘Very Large Telescope' in Chile.

"The results astonished us," said Professor Webb. "In one direction - from our location in the Universe - alpha gets gradually weaker, yet in the opposite direction it gets gradually stronger."

"The discovery, if confirmed, has profound implications for our understanding of space and time and violates one of the fundamental principles underlying Einstein's General Relativity theory," Dr King added.

"Such violations are actually expected in some more modern ‘Theories of Everything' that try to unify all the known fundamental forces," said Professor Flambaum. "The smooth continuous change in alpha may also imply the Universe is much larger than our observable part of it, possibly infinite."

"Another currently popular idea is that many universes exist, each having its own set of physical laws," Dr Murphy said. "Even a slight change in the laws of Nature means they weren't ‘set in stone' when our Universe was born. The laws of Nature you see may depend on your ‘space-time address' - when and where you happen to live in the Universe." 

Webb said these new findings also offer a very natural explanation for a question that puzzled scientists for decades: why do the laws of physics seem to be so finely-tuned for the existence of life?
The zones and regions of the observaaable Universe listed below are the ones that astrobiologists have concluded have little or zero chance of supporting life as we know it. The listing of "dead zones" was compliled for Rare Earth -- Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe by University of Washington scientists Peter D. Ward (Professor of Geological Sciences and Curator of Paleontology) and Donald Brownlee (Professor of Astronomy and member of the National Academy of Sciences).

Early Universe: The most distant known galaxies are too young to have enough metals for formation of Earth-size inner planets. Hazards include energetic quasar-like activity and frequent super-nova explosions.

Elliptical Galaxies: Stars are too metal-poor. Solar mass stars have evolved into giants that are too hot for life on inner planets.

Globular Clusters: Although they contain milllions of stars, the stars are too metal poor to have inner planets as large as Earth. Solar mass stars have evolved to gaints that are too hot for life on inner planets.

Small Galaxies: Most of the stars are too metal deficient.

Centers of Galaxies: Energetic star building and black-hole processes prevent development of complex life.

Edges of Galaxies: Most stars are too metal poor.

Planetary Systems with "Hot Jupiters": Inward spiral of the giant planets drives the inner planets into the central star.

Planetary Systems with Giant Planets in Eccentric Orbits: Unstable environments. Some planets lost to space.

Future Stars: Uranium, potassium, and thorium too rare to provide sufficent heat to drive plate tectonics.

The Daily Galaxy via Swinburne University of Technology

Comments

So, the laws of physics may be only "local bye-laws"!
Looks like Reg Mundy in "The Situation of Gravity" was right all along....
Where does that leave us in understanding the universe?

Alpha is NOT constant !!!
Oooooh what a mess we're in.
Are we at the point of understanding what understanding is?
Don't think so.......

What is so extraordinary about John Webb statement?
NOT A THING,
Even I, with no degree in anything can say that !!

"Why do the laws of physics seem to be so finely-tuned for the existence of life?"

A religious man would say - 'God,' and a scientific man would say 'because!"

They're both wrong. One for being too superstitious, and the other for being too narrow minded. (Or simplistic)

@ Maritime Jack
Thank you for reading my book, you may now be a conscious influencer of destiny. If so, I hope the awesome responsibility you bear does not prevent you sleeping at night. Please choose carefully the path you persuade us to tread, as you may be that third-class passenger on the Titanic and I have no wish to go down with you.

The Hunt: Physical, Emotional, & Intellectual Deprivation

Restak: [M]alnutrition is only the tip of the iceberg; below the surface lies a vicious cycle of malnutrition, an absence of environmental stimulation, impaired behavioral responses, and problems in quality of mothering…

Chavez: The better-fed infants were more playful and required more attention and more protection against accidents, thus causing the mothers to feel a greater concern about them. The mothers found that they had to talk to their children more often and had to begin what, under other circumstances, was rare in the community: establish closer emotional contact with their infants. Soon the participation of the father and the brothers and sisters became necessary.

Meisama: One sees that the rate of brain development in advanced species is relatively slowed down, perhaps for the purpose of allowing longer interaction with the environment during the critical periods of developmental plasticity of the brain. Consequently, the brain in these species is more complex and well-developed.

Restak: As a general rule, the more advanced an animal species, THE QUICKER ITS NEWBORNS ACHIEVE INDEPENDENCE…Cultural evolution is best thought of as a dynamic process in which survival considerations may encourage certain behaviors at one time and punish them severely at another…No doubt our culture would recoil at a society so overbalanced in one area and would condemn its geniuses to the modern equivalent of the hunt. (recursively doping the semiconducting fulcrum)

Lettvin: But if someone does the frog a ‘favor’ by killing the insects, the frog will starve to death. It is not so much insects as their movements which stimulate the frog’s visual perception.

Restak: Blakemore and Cooper placed newborn kittens into special chambers with either vertical or horizontal stripes. When the kittens were removed…[t]he horizontal cats…walked into the legs of the laboratory chairs. The ‘vertical’ cats…were incapable of jumping across from one table to another at the same height.

Jerison: The ‘true’ or ‘real’ world is specific to a species and is dependent on how the brain of that species works.

Held & Hein: [T]he first kitten, the active explorer, developed perception, while the passive animal remained blind.

Restak: [O]our conception of ‘reality’ is best explained as an act of construction based on statistical probabilities. When theses probabilities are skewed, as in the distorting rooms, our perceptions are wrong. But even then we can correct for errors, depending on our capacity to interact with the stimulus. (proprietary system crash is absolutely ensured, hence planned obsolescence)

Bower: The infant ‘forgets’ how to reach for an object, only to recover the capacity at a later date, based on more efficient mechanisms. [a] phase two infant can literally follow his hand to an object…while a phase one infant is dependent on vision [only], and thus is open to the effect of illusions and tricks played on it by perspective. Such a change…acts to increase the likelihood of a smooth transfer from one skill to another. (recursion)

Gregory: When his handicap was swept away as if by a miracle, he lost his peace and self-respect. He learned to rely on his [new-found] vision, once he had it, but this very reliance cost him his self-respect. As a blind man he had gotten on very well, but when he finally could see, his previously remarkable achievements seemed paltry and his position almost foolish. He felt that he had lost more than he gained, by the recovery of sight.

Careful when you awaken the Cyclops, and all his children on the hydra. Better to be recognized as a janitor than the next Newton at the end of an empire, which you may readily measure by the extermination and replacement of the family, and associated small businesses, by government.

The empire offers resistance inconsistent with human biology, employing emotion against itself. Space will have many resistors. You are not going to learn anything about building and programming the reactor in a government school for what by now should be obvious reasons. Until the chain reaction of negative feedback backlash reaches your position…

What poses for intelligence in this country is no better than a stupid DC computer, which is why the real economy is contracting, income inequality is growing, and the middle class is being wiped out. Control artificial complexity, hiding ignorance from itself, is extinguishing curiosity, closing the social mind to anything but artificial diversity.

Do you want pink tennis shoes or polar bears? Do 3D printers solve the inconsistency?

Most regions of the Universe are not favorable for life.


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