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Just Six Numbers

The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe
Auteur(s): Martin J. Rees
Narrateur(s): John Curless
Durée: 6 h et 44 min

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How did a single "genesis event" create billions of galaxies, black holes, stars, and planets? How did atoms assemble - here on earth, and perhaps on other worlds - into living beings intricate enough to ponder their origins? What fundamental laws govern our universe? 

This audiobook describes new discoveries and offers remarkable insights into these fundamental questions. 

There are deep connections between stars and atoms, between the cosmos and the microworld. Just six numbers, imprinted in the "Big Bang", determine the essential features of our entire physical world. Moreover, cosmic evolution is astonishingly sensitive to the values of these numbers. If any one of them were "untuned", there could be no stars and no life. This realization offers a radically new perspective on our universe, our place in it, and the nature of physical laws.

©2000 Martin Rees (P)2018 Recorded Books

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  • Michael
  • 2018-12-16

Old Fine-Tuning Book

This book is a bit out of date, and I found not very enlightening.
The author discusses just six numbers:

Epsilon - Nuclear efficiency
Omega - Density parameter
Q - Ratio of gravity to rest mass energy
D - Spacial Dimensions
N Ratio of nuclear force to gravity
Lambda - Cosmological Constant

Why just these six? That was not completely clear, other than those were a framework to discuss "fine tuning".
There are actually quite a few (about 29) constants, each if tweaked would lead to a different universe.

Cosmological Constant
Gravitational Structure Constant
Fine Structure Constant
Strong Structure Constant
15 particle masses
4 quark mixing
4 neutrino mixing

Not only are there a bunch of constants...they can be reformulated in many, many different ways. Thus these should not be considered "fundamental" constants, but just one basis for describing our current measurements..

You might notice the speed of light and Plank's constant are not on the list. Those can be set to 1.0 to define u111111nits in a natural way.

I am very dubious of fine-tuning arguments.
The "fine tuning" argument has been used as evidence for a Creator or a Multiverse.
Yet neither of these arguments seem valid.
We just don't know what we are talking about here.
We are sure our current theories are not completely correct, as our two major theories don't work together.
When we understand the actual mathematics of the universe, there very well may be connections between these many measured constants tieing them to fewer constants, or maybe even fixing all of them.

I find the exercise of using our existing (wrong) mathematical theories to predict what the universe would be like if each of these constants was varied (and the others held constant) to be dubious at very best, and silly at worst. I am also dubious of treating such constants as on a continuum when then universe itself appears to be quantum (discrete) in nature.

I have read a bunch of fine tuning books and this was not one of the best.

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