Sep 062010

If you know me then you know that in addition to music, technology, and all of the other crazy things I do I also have an interest in cosmology and quantum mechanics. What kind of a Mad Scientist would I be without that?

Recently while watching “Through the wormhole” with the boys I was struck by the apparent ratios between ordinary matter, dark matter, and dark energy in our universe.

Here is a link to provide some background:

It seems that the ratio between dark matter and ordinary (observable) matter is about 5:1. That’s the 80/20 rule common in statistics and many other “rules of thumb” right?

Apparently the ratio between dark energy and all matter (dark or observable) is about 7:3. Here again is a fairly common ratio found in nature. For me it brings to mind (among other things) RMS calculations from my electronics work where Vrms = .707 * Vp.

There are also interesting musical relationships etc… The only thing interesting about any of those observations is that they stood out to me and nudged my intuition toward the  following thought:

What if dark energy and dark matter are really artifacts of ordinary reality and quantum mechanics?

If you consider the existence of a quantum multiverse then there is the “real” part of the universe that you can directly observe (ordinary matter); there is the part of reality that you cannot observe because it is bound to collapsed probability waves representing events that did not occur in your reality but did occur in alternate realities (could this be dark matter?); and there is the part of the universe bound up in wave functions representing future events that have yet to be collapsed in all of the potential realities (could this be dark energy?).

Could dark matter represent the gravitational influence of alternate realities and could dark energy represent the universe expanding to make room for all future potentialities?

Consider causality in a quantum framework:

When two particles interact you can consider that they observed each other – thus collapsing their wave functions. Subsequent events from the perspectives of those particles and those that subsequently interact with them record the previous interactions as history.

Another way to say that is that the wave functions of the particles that interacted have collapsed to represent an event with 100% probability (or close to it) as it is observed in the past. These historical events along with the related motions (energy) that we can predict with very high degrees of certainty make up the observable universe.

The alternative realities that theoretically occurred in events we cannot observe (but were predicted by wave functions now collapsed) might be represented by dark matter in our universe.

All of the possible future events that can be reasonably predicted are represented by wave functions in the quantum filed. These potential realities have been proved to be just as real as our observable universe by experiments in quantum mechanics and are generally represented by quantum entanglement effects etc.

Could it be that dark energy is bound up in (or at least strongly related to) the potentials represented by these wave functions?

Consider that the vast majority of particle interactions in our universe ultimately lead to a larger number of potential interactions. There is typically a one-to-many relationship between any present event and possible future events. If these potential interactions ultimately occur in a quantum multiverse then they would represent an expanded reality that is mostly hidden from view.

Consider that the nature of real systems we observe is that they tend to fall into repeating patterns of causality such as persistent objects (molecules, life, stars, planets, etc)… this tendency toward recurring order would put an upper bound on the number of realities in the quantum multiverse and would tend to stabilize the ratio of alternate realities to observable realities.

Consider that the number of potential realities derived from the wave functions of the multiverse would have a similar relationship and that this relationship would give rise to a similar (but likely larger) ratio as we might be seeing in the ratio of dark energy to dark matter.

Consider that as our universe unfolds the complexity embodied in the real and potential realities also expands. Therefore if these potentialities are related to dark matter and dark energy and if dark energy is bound to the expansion of the universe in order to accommodate these alternate realities then we would expect to see our universe expand according to the complexity of the underlying realities.

One might predict that the expansion rate of the universe might be related mathematically to the upper bound of the predictable complexity of the universe at any point in time.

The predictable complexity in the universe would be a function of the kinds of particles and their potential interactions as represented by their wave functions with the upper limit being defined as the potentiality horizon.

Consider that each event gives rise to a new set of wave functions representing all possible next events. Consider that if we extrapolate from those wave functions a new set of wave functions that represent all of the possible events after those, and so on, that the amplitudes of the wave functions at each successive step would be reduced. The amplitude of these wave functions would continue to decrease as we move our predictions into the future until no wave function has any meaningful amplitude. This edge of predictability is the potentiality horizon.

The potentiality horizon is the point in the predictable future where the probability of any particular event becomes effectively equal to the probability of any other event (or non event). At this point all wave functions are essentially flat — this “flatness” might be related to the Planck constant in such a way that the amplitude of any variability in any wave function is indistinguishable from random chance.

Essentially all wave functions at the potentiality horizon disappear into the quantum foam that is the substrate of our universe. At this threshold no potential event can be distinguished from any other event. If dark energy is directly related to quantum potentiality then at this threshold no further expansion of the universe would occur. The rate of expansion would be directly tied to the rate of expansion of quantum potentiality and to the underlying complexity that drives it.

So, to summarize:

What if dark matter and dark energy represent the matter and energy bound up in alternate realities and potential realities in a quantum multiverse?

If dark matter represents alternate realities invisible to us except through the weak influence of their gravity, and if dark energy represents the the expansion of the universe in order to accommodate the wave functions describing possible future events in the quantum field for all realities (observable and unobservable) with an upper bound defined by the potentiality horizon; then we might predict that the expansion rate of the universe can be related to it’s inherent complexity at any point in time.

We might also predict that the flow of time can be related to the inherent complexity of the wave functions bound in any particular system such that a lower rate of events occurs when the inherent complexity of the system is reduced.

… well, those are my thoughts anyway 😉