Can We 'Break the Universe'? Re: False Vacuums.

Date: Sun Jan 30 2000 - 21:29:52 MST

I just finished reading S. Baxter's new book, 'Manifold Time'. Although I
enjoyed reading it, the last 5-10 pages of this 400+ page book was very
disturbing. And scary.

 In a nutshell, the discussion is that our universe, being metastable, i.e.,
not in its lowest energy state, is like living in the 'wrong neighborhood'.
 The proclaimed goal, at least announced by some of our descendents a billion
years hence, is to time-travel back to present day, and induce a quantun
tunneling effect that brings back the universe to its 'true, vacuum state'.
This has the unfortunate 'side effect' of instantly destroying all of
humankind, in fact all life forms, all matter in our 'false universe'.

The lofty and 'moral' goal is our descendents as 'the end of time, is that
since we are currently residing in a 'false vacuum' state, and the universe,
in order for it to be the 'mother' of untold other future universes, with
untold fecundity (life), (black holes are a big keyword in this book) our
descendents deliberately induce a true vacuum which spreads at the speed of
light, and eventually will destroy the universe.

The first question: Does anyone who has studied this theory of 'false
vacuum's' feel that 'breaking the universe' is indeed possible? If not now,
in the near future??? Secondly, the 'noble goals' that the author impresses
upon the reader, are, IMHO,rather irritating, and anathema to me. Why would
you, or anyone, want to destroy our life, so that we can be the 'proud'
progenitor of future lifeforms in trillions of other universes, trillions of
years hence? Its not our fault we were born in the 'wrong neighborhood'!

Any takers on this.



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