The Precarious Laws of Nature

By examining the model universes we generate when the theories of physics are altered in certain ways, one can study the effect of changes to physical law in a methodical manner. It turns out that it is not only the strengths of the strong nuclear force and the electromagnetic force that are made to order for our existence. Most of the fundamental constants in our theories appear fine tuned in the sense that if they were altered by only modest amounts, the universe would be qualitatively different, and in many cases unsuitable for the development of life. For example, if the other nuclear force, the weak force, were much weaker, in the early universe all the hydrogen in the cosmos would have turned to helium, and hence there would be no normal stars; if it were much stronger, exploding supernovas would not eject their outer envelopes, and hence would fail to seed interstellar space with the heavy elements planets require to foster life. If protons were 0.2 percent heavier, they would decay into neutrons, destabilizing atoms. If the sum of the masses of the types of quark that make up a proton were changed by as little as lo percent, there would be far fewer of the stable atomic nuclei of which we are made; in fact. the summed quark masses seem roughly optimized for the existence of the largest number of stable nuclei.


If the laws of nature were different by a very small amount, the Universe would not work in such a way as to produce life.

Folksonomies: physics life universe laws of nature

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0.2 percent:Quantity (0.010000 (neutral:0.000000))

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Quark (0.866222): dbpedia | freebase
Proton (0.852210): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Hydrogen (0.822009): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Neutron (0.812143): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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 The Grand Design
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Hawking , Stephen W. and Mlodinow , Leonard (2011-09-01), The Grand Design, Bantam, Retrieved on 2011-12-12
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: science quantum physics m-theory


    12 JUN 2011

     The Scientist's Unique Perspectives on Nature

    Examples of scientists giving us unique explanations of natural phenomena.
    03 JUN 2013

     The Delicate Balance of Nature

    Memes about how if things were just a little different in the universe, we would not exist.
    Folksonomies: nature laws universe
    Folksonomies: nature laws universe