If The Multiverse is Real, Do Universes Have Different Physical Laws?

A group of scientists got together recently to think about the potential for different universes in a multiverse to have different laws of physics.  Here is an excerpt from an article in Gizmodo.com about what they discussed.

Multiverse Thought Experiment Suggests Life Could Still Exist Under Different Laws of Physics

Perhaps we’re not alone but instead reside in a multiverse stocked with all sorts of fantastical realms. These other universes are somewhat—but not exactly—like our own. Maybe gravity acts differently, or particles come in different shapes and sizes. Could life still exist in any of these bubbles?

A team of researchers at the University of Michigan asked these questions but took things a step further. They removed one of the four fundamental forces of nature, the weak nuclear force, from their hypothetical universes. And according to their calculations, these altered circumstances wouldn’t rule out life.

……Scientists have noticed that while some slight tweaks to these constants would make the entire universe uninhabitable, according to their equations,, other tweaks wouldn’t. Perhaps there are a whole slew of multiverses out there with different values or different standard force strengths. So, in this new study, the physicists removed the weak force as a thought experiment to see what would happen.

The results: well, it sort of depends on a bunch of other factors, like the ratio of neutrons to protons, and the ratio of three-quark particles to light particles, which could both alter how the final weak force-less universe would look.

But if you pick the right ratios such that there’s enough heavy hydrogen, then stars could still burn and galaxies could still form. These stars would burn through a different process, and look redder. Stars could still form heavier “alpha elements” like carbon, oxygen, and others through nuclear reactions. Core collapse supernovae that usually distribute these elements rely on the weak force, so they’d need to be transported by stellar winds, instead. And even though the abundances of elements would be different, life could form—though there are other factors like the ratio of carbon to oxygen that could affect its habitability.

Read More at Gizmodo.com


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