January 03, 2007

I heard an NPR segment this morning (I was listening to the Shuffle in the kitchen, so the segment is likely no where near recent) about some scientists who are seriously looking into ways to create a man-made universe. Something about creating a mini black hole and then introducing something to that black hole which triggers the repulsive aspect of gravity. Yes, we normally think of gravity as The Great Attractor, but apparently it can also be The Great Repulser. Given the "equal and opposite force" thing I remember from sixth grade and the more or less dual nature of just about everything, I can't say I'm all that surprised. Here's hoping the trigger for gravity's more repulsive aspect isn't all that common... I may not be fond of falling, but I'd rather not be uncontrollably driven further and further into space.

Anyway, there are some scientists thinking about man-made universes. Which, as a thought, is kind of interesting. And the NPR segment did cover why they are thinking about it: curiosity, mostly. What wasn't discussed was what might happen to this universe when a second universe suddenly starts expanding in the middle of it. I've always thought of additional universes in parallel with this one, an endless row marching toward the horizon, each one more or less oblivious to the next.

But if a new universe starts expanding in the middle of this universe, what happens? Is the new one constricted by the boundaries of the old one? And if so, are the boundaries of the new one permeable? Or does the new universe smash everything in the old universe while filling all the space contained by the old one? Do the universes intersect somehow? What happens at that intersection? (Is the portal between universes in the lab where the new universe was created? That should do interesting things for both lab traffic and reputations.) Is it a calm intersection, and life everywhere goes on as usual? Or is it a swirling vortex of quantum physic madness, sucking in and reshaping everything it can?

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