Re: poly: eschatology

From: Damien R. Sullivan <>
Date: Sun Jan 11 1998 - 16:46:28 PST

On Jan 11, 9:57am, Hal Finney wrote:

> Unless there are some ad hoc topology wraparounds, the zero and negative
> curvature universes are infinite in spatial extent, with an infinite
> number of stars, unlike the closed universe.
Say what? I have heard no cosmologist besides Eric Lerner suggest the
universe is infinite in extent and mass. Finite and expanding is the
canon, no?

> a note added late about the recent discovery of apparent anisotropy in

Is that considered solid?

> I don't have a clear picture of what the attraction was
> of a closed universe despite the lack of physical evidence

Was there any attraction? I thought they were all trying for the barely
open, the flat and critical universe, pretty much because critical mass
(omega=1) was considered theoretically satisfying. It's the
gaping-wide-open universe which annoyed all the theorists.

Oh, wait. John Gribbins, in _Schrodinger's Kittens_, had some idea about how
the retarded and advanced waves of E&M send information back and forth
through time so that inertia or quantum effects or something (I skimmed, much
prefer the decoherence school myself) works out. This is cosmic bookeeping
information (which seems to me to be inherent in either the Coulomb or
Lorentz gauges of classical EM) not 'real' information usable by us.

The point is, I remember that could work only if the universe was
eventually closed, so that the advanced waves bounce back or something.

{Hal's URL}
Einstein was prepared to contemplate a flat quasi-Euclidean universe
(which would be non-Machian), but he refused to even consider a
hyperbolic universe (which would be positively ANTI-Machian). As
he put it, "The Lord is subtle, but he's not malicious".

The last quote is why I like the open universe myself. I fail to grasp
why the hyperbola is so evil, though... oh, something about making Gen.
Rel. happy which I'm not equipped to understand.

My own crackpot idea is that the universe has a net charge to go with
the posited matter/antimatter imbalance. Foomph, a cosmological
constant with a mechanism.

-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-)

"Foreign aid could be delivered by ICBM."
        -- Larry Niven, "The Roentgen Standard"
Received on Mon Jan 12 00:38:29 1998

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