One of her recent and sensational speeches was devoted to a very intriguing topic: can an almighty God (in this case, the Christian Creator, as ordinary people are used to perceive him) be bound by the laws of physics of our universe, and if so, how exactly?
And, if we consider the issue more broadly, if there are forces in the Universe that can violate physical laws, then why have we not yet witnessed such events?
Can God move faster than the speed of light?
From the school bench, we all remember that there are no objects in the world that can move faster than the speed of light. Photons propagate in vacuum at a speed of 299,500 km / s – it would seem that the figure is absolutely phenomenal.
However, a few years ago, a group of physicists suggested the existence of particles that overcome the speed limit of light. At present, this is only a theory, not supported by evidence. Assuming that tachyons really exist, they would distort the very fabric of space-time. It is possible that this is happening at a level that modern instruments simply cannot register – but so far there has been no evidence of this.
Things get much more interesting if we try to calculate how far light has traveled since the hypothetical birth of the universe, the Big Bang. According to the latest calculations, in the 13.8 billion years of the existence of our reality, the very first photons have already traveled 1.3 x 10 23 kilometers.
At the same time, the Universe continues to expand at a rate of about 70 km / s per Mpc (Mpc = megaparsec, or “30 billion billion kilometers). Thus, the distance to the edge of the universe at the moment is about 46 billion light years.
It is worth noting that in fact the Universe is much larger than we can see. The farthest object from Earth that astronomers have been able to see is the galaxy GN-z11, about 13.4 billion light-years away from us.
That is, when the very first spark of light flared up in the Universe, it was only three billion light-years away from what would become the Milky Way in the future.
We cannot survey the entire Universe that was formed after the Big Bang, because the light of the very first fractions of a second of the new reality simply has not yet reached us. Therefore, it is impossible to assert with 100% probability that physical laws are not violated or distorted in areas that are still inaccessible to the gaze of the sensitive apparatus of mankind.
Can God move faster than the speed of light? It is possible, but if this happens on any significant scale, then it is outside the boundaries of observable space. In addition, one of the most popular views is that our universe is only part of the Multiverse, a larger region of space.
A few words about the multiverse
The idea of a multiverse is supported by the theory of inflation – the idea that the universe greatly expanded before it was 10^-32 seconds old. Inflation is an important theory because it can explain why the universe has the shape and structure that we see around us.
But if inflation can happen once, why shouldn’t it happen two, three times, and so on? With the help of modern experiments, scientists have already established that quantum fluctuations can cause pairs of particles to suddenly appear, and after a moment, just as suddenly disappear. And if particles can produce such vibrations, then why not whole atoms or universes?
It has been suggested that during a period of chaotic inflation, different processes occurred at different rates – thus, quantum fluctuations in expansion could give rise to “bubbles” of reality that exploded and became independent universes.
But does the familiar concept of God fit into the Multiverse? Well, the distinguishing feature of our Universe is that its most complex structure has incredibly developed in such a way that the simplest elements eventually formed such a complex and in some sense anomalous phenomenon as life, which later also gained intelligence.
Scientists cannot and do not seek to answer the question of whether this was a deliberate plan of some higher power or just a fantastic series of accidents – not scientific, but religious institutions are studying this issue. But with the very theory of the existence of the Multiverse, science works with pleasure and enthusiasm.
So far, the hypothesis of the existence of parallel worlds has one extremely weak point: so far, no common ground has been identified between our “reality bubble” and others. However, this brings us to another, no less curious question.
Quantum entanglement: can God be in two places at the same time
Regular readers of our journal are well aware that every year the interest in the quantum “edge” of our universe is steadily increasing.
This is due to the fact that in the scientific community for more than half a century there has been a paradox: the physical laws of “classical” reality cease to work at the quantum level of the universe, where matter suddenly begins to behave anomalously and unpredictably – quantum mechanics is studying them and trying to find a connection between them.
One of the popular theories of quantum mechanics allows for the existence of a phenomenon known as “quantum entanglement”. Its essence is simple and complex at the same time: if two particles are entangled with each other, then by manipulating one of them you automatically affect the other, even if it is at a colossal distance from its pair and, at first glance, they are completely unable to interact with each other. friend.
Imagine a particle that breaks up into two subparticles, A and B. The properties of the subparticles must be added to the properties of the original particle – this is the principle of conservation. For example, both particles have a quantum property called “rotation” – roughly speaking, they move as if they were tiny compass needles.
If the original particle has zero “spin”, one of the two subparticles must have a positive spin and the other a negative one, which means that each particle has a 50% chance of getting a positive positive or negative spin (According to quantum mechanics, particles, by definition, are in a mixture of different states until you measure them).
Properties A and B are dependent on each other – they are entangled – even if the particles are in different laboratories on different planets. If you measure A’s spin and find it to be positive, then your colleague, by measuring B’s spin at exactly the same time, will find a negative spin.
But – and here everything becomes much less obvious – if the subparticle A showed a positive spin during the measurement, then its relative B at the same moment becomes negative. In other words, information about the state of the spin was transmitted between two subparticles instantly, and this is not a figure of speech.
This transfer of quantum information seems to be faster than the speed of light. Even Einstein himself described quantum entanglement as “spooky action at a distance,” admitting he doesn’t fully understand its nature.
So, after all, there is something in the world faster than the speed of light: quantum information. This does not prove or disprove the existence of God, but, according to Monica Grady, it helps to think of him in physical terms and represent him as, for example, a stream of entangled particles that transmit quantum information so quickly that for you and me it is as if he is simultaneously in two places. Or three. Or… perhaps even in several universes of the same Multiverse.
Professor Grady herself admitted that her lecture is unlikely to even partially answer the questions posed. Indeed, in order to consider God from the point of view of science, he first needs to be given a scientific description and characterization, which has not yet been done by even the most prominent scientist.
Moreover, there is no experiment in the world capable of measuring the hypothetical force that makes up the entire Universe and, perhaps, an immeasurably larger layer of reality all of it. And yet, the concept of some absolute value in itself is a very convenient starting point, referring to which physicists can build interesting hypotheses and derive theories that describe the world around us.
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