Friday, 15 February 2008

Butterfly effect and the Universe

butterfly effect
Thirteen point seven billion years ago, according to our best knowledge, the Universe has been a very very hot soup of energy in a rapidly expanding space, then basic elementary particles of matter formed, such as quarks, gluons and leptons, forming a plasma. This extremely hot particle soup was not homogenous; for instance, matter prevailed over antimatter, and larger particles such as atoms formed. This asymmetry can be seen as a result of a butterfly effect on subatomic level: Very small variations in the conditions lead to very large changes in the system. Without such an effect, atoms, stars, planets, and living organisms never would have evolved.

It is very interesting that this effect can be seen on all levels of energy and matter. Every human being owes his existence to a whole cascade of butterfly effects: Just suppose some time traveler would have delayed the moment of your conception by only a second, or the ejaculation of your father would have been a bit less lusty because of a negative thought, or your mother would not have enjoyed an orgasm because thinking of the unpaid rent, then you never would have existed because, in your place, another person would have been begotten.

Or imagine a person killed in a car, crashing into a tree. The tree has grown from a seed that was dropped by a bird. The seedling was about to die but then an earthworm loosened the soil, so the roots found sufficient nutrition, and the tree grew up. Then, twenty years later...

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/jennie_m/120536832/

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