Wednesday, December 7, 2016


THE WAY IT ALL WORKS                 December 2016

This is an attempt to suggest a basic mechanism that underpins the workings of the Universe. It is by no means a coherent theory, and offers no mathematical basis. It is simply an exploration of an idea that came to me in the early hours of the morning a while ago.

The idea partly has its origins in something I wrote a long time ago called ‘Backtracking’ This describes a mechanism for ‘exploring’ a domain to find a ‘target’, and using this information to gain an end result.

I was reminded of this in a recent program on BBC Click, which described how Alibaba (?) were attempting to deliver products before they were ordered, by using big data analytics to predict where they were needed.

This mechanism is prevalent in many areas, such as decision making, geographical exploration, and optimization. The underlying process is the utilization of a number of concurrent test trials and a selection from them. In some ways this is similar to evolution. It does not have inherited characteristics, but there is a process of trials in an environment, and a selection from those trials.

Now to the Universe, with all that we know about it:

General relativity, Quantum theory, basic attributes of mass, charge and spin.
Bosons and Fermions et al.
Quantum foam, wormholes, black holes, zero point energy and virtual particles.
Oh, and dark energy and dark matter.

What this is all telling us is that the Universe is somehow globally connected as well as locally. The shape of the space anywhere depends on the matter in the rest of the Universe, and a particle at one end can somehow be ‘coupled’ with one at the other end.

It seems reasonable to think of the Universe as a collection of events which are transactions between one part of it and another. If there are no events, the Universe is static, boring, and possibly impossible. Transactions involve transferring attributes of one part to another.

The mechanism I envisage of all these events is a selection process where different outcomes are ‘tried’ concurrently, and one is selected. The trial potentially involves the rest of the environment (i.e. the Universe). This gives us a picture of global connectivity and the distributed nature of quantum transactions (where a particle can seem to be in more places than one).

Quantum theory seems to be telling us that at bottom everything is discrete; you cannot divide the Universe into infinitely small parts. So this mechanism must be discrete itself, taking place on a connected network of event nodes.

Now you may well ask ‘how is this happening all over the Universe’. Well, good question, but remember that gravitational and electrical fields extend all over the Universe. They are just another way of looking at things that we are used to.

So every event is a kind of selection process, the Universe is fundamentally a kind of evolutionary system. This is why Feynman’s ‘Sum over Histories’ works. Each event really is a kind of composite of all possible ones.

Well, that’s about it. I thought this was going to be a lot longer. I may add to it in future, but my brain is beginning to get tired. And hopefully, I have explained the basic idea.

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