According to this radio broadcast, Stephen Hawking’s butt boy, Brian Greene, claims that humans are very close to being able to “create their own Universes.” Readers of this blog shouldn’t be surprised that Greene’s (probably Salvia-induced) hallucinations have reached this new low. But fans of Greene’s might be disheartened. At least now they can know the truth.
Greene’s idea has a couple of premises. One is his mythological view of history, that the beginning of the Universe happens “over and over and over again.”
He also talks about – get this – a “cosmic bubble bath.” If you listen carefully enough, you’ll notice that he admits his theories are a “mental exercise.” Indeed. So basically Brian Greene is doing Yoga, not physics. I ask you:
Interestingly, Brian Greene also justifies the Holocaust in this broadcast. He says, “I don’t think it’s a good guide to use our senses and our intuition to determine what we think is right or wrong.” Well Brian, that’s what Hitler said. Don’t worry, you just think genocide is wrong. Really the math works out quite nicely!
Without further ado, here are Brian Greene’s instructions for how to build a Universe:
If you want a manageable way of building a Universe, what you want to be able to do is build something pretty small. But a small thing is not a Universe, so it has to expand. For something to expand, there’s got to be some outward push, there’s got to be some repulsive push. And that’s where this repulsive side of gravity come into the story. There are conditions, which according to the Laws of general Relativity, the laws Einstein wrote down a long time ago, well tested, those laws tell us that in this context of the right energy density carried by the right substance, you will have repulsive gravity, which means, if you can build this little seed, this little nugget, it will on its own start to expand, grow, faster and faster and faster, begin tiny and sprouting into a gigantic Universe. You can calculate that the nugget that we believe perhaps gave rise to our unvierse – maybe someone created it in their aprartment in some other universe – was about roughly, mmm, ten to the minus 26 cneitmeters across, weighed about ten pounds. That’s small! You wouldn’t really think intuitively you could build the whole universe from ten pounds of stuff. … But it turns out that that’s all you need, because the repulsive side of gravity is so powerful that it actually injects energy from gravity itself into the expanding space. So from that point of view all you need is the seed and the gravity takes over and does the rest of the work.
Now Mr. Greene thinks this “seed” needs a black hole. But how to get a black hole? As always, Greene has the answer.
It turns out that black holes don’t have to be big. You give me any object, and if I squeeze it sufficiently small … it will be a tiny black hole. There’s nothing that you could give me that I couldn’t turn into a black hole by squeezing it sufficiently small.
And if you’re worried that the Universe would expand and kill everyone, don’t be.
This Universe that you create would in essence create its own space. It wouldn’t encroach on your space by expanding into your domain, your house, into your region. It would expand by creating new space, space that hadn’t existed before. So it would be off on its own, if you will, creating its own bubble universe. What you’re creating on the other side is there, and in principle you could go there.
If you feel like after that primer, you’re still not quite able to make your own Universe, don’t feel bad. Greene’s instructions are border-line incoherent, and where they are coherent, they are impossible. For example, everyone knows that creating a black hole would cause Planet Earth to be sucked into itself. And so on.