Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ghost heart, Boltzmann brain

The heart has 3 billion cells that beat in synchronization to pump more than 7,500 litres of blood each day through 100,000 miles of blood vessels.
News reports of the successful creation of a beating heart using substrate and new cells (e.g. here, here and here) communicate what needs to be said effectively enough, but miss something intriguing and complicated -- a kind of Cheshire cat in reverse -- with regard to the ghostly scaffold used in the experiment (as shown in the image above from Nature's news piece) .

Perhaps there is a connection to be made -- in a touchy-feely poetical non-space that might not be as useless as many people will immediately rush to say it is -- between this and debate about Boltzmann brains as described by Dennis Overbye (Big Brain Theory: Have Cosmologists Lost Theirs?):
Rather than simply going to black like “The Sopranos” conclusion, however, the cosmic horizon would glow, emitting a feeble spray of elementary particles and radiation, with a temperature of a fraction of a billionth of a degree, courtesy of quantum uncertainty. That radiation bath will be subject to random fluctuations just like Boltzmann’s eternal universe, however, and every once in a very long, long time, one of those fluctuations would be big enough to recreate the Big Bang. In the fullness of time this process could lead to the endless series of recurring universes.

No comments: