Volume 1, Issue 1 
1st Quarter, 2006

The Physics of Immortality, Threats to Terran Society, & Self-Replicating Nanotechnology, and An Exchange Between Frank Tipler and Ray Kurzweil Regarding Ways to Avoid an End to the Universe

Frank Tipler, Ph.D. and Ray Kurzweil, Ph.D.

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In order for this process to work, the Higgs field must have an enormous negative energy density in the present environment. It is Tiplersomething to the order of 10 to the 30th grams per cubic centimeter. For comparison, the human body has an energy density of 1 gram per cubic centimeter; the center of the earth has about 10 grams per cubic centimeter. Imagine 10 to the 30th larger than that.

Obviously, nothing like that is around today. It is, according to the standard model, we're just not aware of it. So it must be almost canceled out to 1 part in 10 to the 50th. Now, the standard model says this other thing has to be the positive cosmological constant. If no matter existed, then these two - a positive cosmological constant and an effective cosmological constant of opposite sign from the Higgs field - would precisely cancel.

The standard model tells us that matter was created in the early universe by this process that I have described and the result of this electroweak tunneling, as I've called it, is to cause us to be in what is occasionally called a false vacuum. This actually raises the Higgs energy density higher than the negative value it would otherwise be.

Therefore, let's think about the implications of the standard model picture of why there is more matter than antimatter in the universe. If we were to reverse this process by matter annihilation, say by the reaction - this is allowed in this process - a proton plus an electron goes to two photons, written gamma. Now I should mention in passing that the standard model says in this particular process, baryon number which I've called "B," is not conserved; lepton number, which I've called "L," is not conserved. In other processes outside of this, these are very good conserved quantities. But B minus L is conserved.

In the reaction I have written here (p + e => 2y), p plus e, proton is a baryon, it has +1 unit of baryon number. The electron is a lepton. TiplerIt has +1 unit of lepton number. So, on the left-hand side of the reaction, we have +1 -1, which is zero, no leptons or baryons, so this process can go.

If this process were to go, if you were to annihilate, say, hydrogen atoms to give you pure energy, then the Higgs field would relax to its true minimum and that would stop the acceleration.

What I find really interesting is that reasons can be given to think this process is actually accessible to human technology - or perhaps I should be somewhat more general - human download AI technology, in the relative near future. I have described and outlined how these ideas might be tested in a recent paper I published.

If this process works, then is not only will it allow us to stop the universal acceleration, it will provide us with an ultimate energy source, because what is now holding up generation of energy is conservation of baryon and lepton number.

Consider nuclear reactions. Consider a fusion reaction. Four protons go into one helium-4 nucleus. We can get out .7% of the rest energy of the four protons. We cannot get out more than that because baryon number forms a barrier to doing that. This process goes beyond conservation of baryon number, again allowed by the standard model. It would allow us to convert matter entirely into energy and that would provide an ultimate energy source much beyond what we now have.

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