Monday 24 June 2019

We’re living inside a huge black hole!

According to Niayesh Afshordi, Perimeter Institute Associate Faculty member, we are all living in the event horizon of a huge higher dimensional black hole.

In 2000 Gia Dvali, Gregory Gabadadze, and Massimo Porrati published a paper, “4D Gravity on a Brane in 5D Minkowski Space”, in which they wrote:

The observed weakness of gravity may be due to the fact that we live on a brane embedded in space with large extra dimensions.

The universe appears to us to exist in three dimensions of space. This is a three-dimensional (3D) universe. Imagine that our 3D universe is a subuniverse or brane embedded in a bulk universe that has four spatial dimensions (4D). All known forms of matter and energy are limited to our brane and cannot move to the bulk. It is like flatland, two-dimensional figures live in a two-dimensional world:

Only gravity can propagate in the bulk universe and in 5D Minkowski space, the brane model of Dvali, Gabadadze and Porrati (DGP).

In 2013 three Perimeter Institute researchers, Razieh Pourhasan, Niayesh Afshordi and Robert B. Mann, carried out calculations and argued that it is possible to track the beginning of the universe back to an era before the Big Bang, and we can even avoid the Big Bang singularity. They published their findings in a paper under the title, “Out of the white hole: a holographic origin for the Big Bang” in which they have written:

… our universe emerges from the collapse a 5D “star” into a black hole, reminiscent of an astrophysical core-collapse supernova. In this scenario, there is no big bang singularity in our causal past, and the only singularity is shielded by a black hole horizon.

Thus a 5D black hole (in four dimensions of space and one dimension of time) could have a 4D event horizon (in three dimensions of space and one dimension of time), which could spawn a whole new universe as it forms, that is to say, our entire universe came into being during stellar implosion that created a brane around a black hole. This suggestion avoids the Big Bang singularity. In the standard story, the Big Bang began with a singularity where laws of physics break down. Instead, the scholars postulate that the universe began when a star in a 5D universe collapsed to form a black hole. Our universe would be protected from the singularity at the heart of this black hole by the 4D event horizon.

Scientific American

Scholars first define the brane subuniverse and the bulk superuniverse:

… one way to describe our four-dimensional universe is through embedding it in a higher dimensional spacetime — with at least one more dimension — and investigate its gravitational and/or cosmological properties. This is known as the “brane world” scenario, where the brane refers to our 4D universe embedded in a bulk space-time with 5 or more dimensions, where only gravitational forces dare to venture. Well-known (and well-studied) examples of such scenarios are the Randall-Sundrum (RS) model [bulk universe in a 5D anti-de Sitter space] where 4D gravity is recovered through a compact volume bulk, or the Dvali-Gabadadze-Porrati (DGP) construction…

And then they add the requirement of the holographic cosmology:

Here we study the DGP model around a 5D black hole… We find that viable solutions are indeed possible, leading us to propose a holographic description for the Big Bang, that avoids the Big Bang singularity. … We then give our proposal for a holographic Big Bang as emergence from a collapsing 5D black hole.

The event horizon of a 4D black hole (in four dimensions of space) would be a 3D hypersphere (in three dimensions of space) and it indicates that:

the radius of our 4 dimensional [brane] universe [four-dimensions of space-time] coincides with the black hole horizon in the 5 dimensional bulk [five-dimensions of space-time]

and the radius of our holographic universe < the horizon radius.

When the above team of scholars modelled the death of a 5D star (in five-dimensions of space-time), they found that the ejected material (of the collapsing start) would form a 4D brane (in four dimensions of space-time) surrounding a 4D event horizon (in four dimensions of space-time), and slowly expand. The authors postulate that the 4D Universe we live in might be just such a brane — and that we detect the brane’s growth as cosmic expansion. They therefore explain:

For [… ejected material] chosen to be above […the horizon] the radius of our holographic universe is larger than the horizon radius, meaning that our present cosmos lies outside the horizon of the black hole in the bulk, i.e. [radius of our holographic universe > the horizon radius]. Let us assume that the universe today has its radius larger than the horizon in the bulk black hole. Moving backwards to early times [… back to Big Bang Nucleosynthesis, BBN], as the radius of the universe… decreases, it may or may not cross the […event horizon].

Indeed, crossing the […event horizon] means that at some early time the radius of the universe was smaller than the horizon radius. Since nothing can escape the horizon of a black hole, one would exclude […the ejected material] for which [… its radius of holographic universe…] at some [later times] cross the [event horizon]. Consequently, one may interpret the crossing [radius of our holographic universe = the horizon radius] before BBN as the emergence of the holographic universe out of a “collapsing star”: this scenario replaces the Big Bang singularity.

Tuesday 18 June 2019

Magic Mushrooms could replace Anti-depressants!

I started reading this article in the Indepedent with a curious mind! Interest in the potential medical uses for psychedelics, such as “magic mushrooms” and LSD, has rapidly increased in recent years, leading to the opening of the world’s first formal center for psychedelics research in April — and the center’s leader is already prepared to make a bold prediction about the future of psychedelics in medicine. The ideas are bloomed since the cannabis oil became a prescribed medicine recently.

Emotional Release

Carhart-Harris is currently leading a Centre for Psychedelic Research trial to compare the ability of psilocybin, or “magic,” mushrooms and leading antidepressants to treat depression.

He told The Independent that so far, participants are reporting that the psilocybin leaves them feeling like they’ve experienced an emotional “release,” while patients often criticize antidepressants for making them feel like their emotions are “blunted.”

Wishful Thinking

Given the ‘positive’ feedback from study participants and psilocybin mushrooms’ extremely low risk for overdose or addiction, it’s not hard to see why Carhart-Harris is optimistic that doctors will soon be able to use psychedelics to treat patients. Although, we know that the ‘magic’ mushrooms are abundantly available in the streets and self medicating is not uncommon in UK. 

Another psychedelics researcher, James Rucker from King’s College London, isn’t so sure about Carhart-Harris’ timeline (which I’m not comfortable either), telling The Independent that five years is “possible… but only if everything goes to plan, and you know what they say about best-laid plans.”
So next time when you travel through M1,  look out for majestic magic mushroom fields! 

READ MORE: Magic mushrooms could replace antidepressants within five years, says new psychedelic research centre [The Independent]

Sunday 9 June 2019

Mindful consumption

Overtime, I have realised that I am  taking far more from the universe than I will ever be able to give back. 
The constant exercise of differentiating between needs and desire has been an eye opener.*  
Endeavour is to live responsibly, endeavour is to live with conscience. 

For eg:

1. Do I really need the water that is being poured in my glass at the restaurant?
Will that water not go down the drain (literally) when I leave my table? Am I being fair to those who are walking miles for drinking water and yet what they get is hardly safe enough to consume?
2. Do I really need to wrap that gift by buying ‘free’ gift wrapping paper?
Because that shiny/ non-biodegradable paper is going to be trashed (literally) once the gift is opened?
3. Do I really need to buy gifts when I am not sure if they will be used and needed by the receiver because I want to look good?
Isn’t it wiser to buy fruits or dry-fruits with the same amount of money and with almost certainty that they will be consumed?
4. What do I do when I am at buffet?
Do I listen to my stomach or do I fill my plate with everything available (either because its free or because I have paid for it all)?
5. What do I do when the guy at Subway (the foodchain) offers me two forks and four tissue papers when I am going to be eating alone?
Do I return one fork and three tissue papers (or all four, if I carry my own hanky) to him or I just walk away from the counter and throw away unused forks and tissue papers? 
6. Just because something is ‘bio-degradable’, should I use it?
Can I even avoid a paper bag or a cloth bag because a tree was chopped to make that paper and earth was subjected to atrocities to create the piece of cloth? Can I ‘reduce’ my consumption even before thinking of ‘reuse’ or ‘recycle’? 
7. What happens when I go to eat Thaali
There are so many things I know I might not eat (for eg katori of Dahi or that Bengali mithai) .. Do I return it immediately so that it can be offered to someone else or do I let it sit on my plate and leave it untouched only to be thrown away later?
8. Do I really need that cotton Kurti because it looks cool?
The fashion industry is far more evil than what meets our eye. From what it does to the environment while growing cotton and jute to how it treats humans to how it treats textiles and garment waste is mind-bogglingly dirty. 
9. Do I really need that extra pair of shoes because I don’t have 'that' particular shade of orange?
Do I take into account that once processed, footwear is almost impossible to degenerate on face of the earth (including leather)?
10. Do I need to cook elaborate meals when guests visit me?
Can I cook just enough so that everybody including myself can have a great time and no food is wasted (or we don’t continue to eat same food for next three days well after it has lost all its nutrients)
11. Do I need to buy things just because they are in sale and they are cheaper?
Do I need to buy them because there is ‘return policy’? I was reading a case study on how big retail conglomerates dump returned goods in the ocean and its unbelievable how our oceans are constantly being subjected to waste created because of our greed. 
12. Am I respectful when I am visiting a tourist destination? 
Do I take rules such as ‘keep silence’ ‘do not litter’ seriously enough? Do I allow the place to consume me or my overbearing presence consumes the place? 

I have been asking these and such questions for a couple of years now. 

What else can I ask? 
How else can I live mindfully?

Saturday 8 June 2019

10 Life Skills from Public Speaking

1. Increase in self-confidence
Public speaking will help you increase your self-confidence. By public speaking you are increasing your skill at communicating with others, making you more confident around people.
2. Makes you more comfortable around other people
Public speaking increases your comfort level around people. Whether it’s a small or large group you will learn to be more comfortable around people despite of group size.
3. One of the best ways to generate sales (or get a better job)
If you own a business or do some form of work on the side public speaking is one of the best ways to generate sales. Understanding how to effectively get your message across to another person can help you generate more sales for your company.
Public speaking skills are also important in securing a better job. It is how you present yourself at a job interview that will be the ultimate decider as to whether or not you land that higher paying job and whether or not you get paid in the higher bracket or lower bracket of pay rates.
4. At some point in your life you will need to do it
Almost every single person will need to speak in public at some point in their lives. Every public speaking opportunity is an opportunity to grow your leadership, your influence and your career.
By becoming a confident and capable public speaker you instantly put yourself above many other people who refuse to stand up and speak.
5. It will allow you to make a difference in your life, business, community, career
Every speaking opportunity is an opportunity to grow in leadership and influence. Having the opportunity to influence people’s thoughts put you in a position to create real positive change in people’s lives.
6. Skills learned can boost performance in other areas of life
Public speaking will improve your communication skills, your leadership skills, your confidence and your ability to read and understand people. There are multiple other skills you will learn when public speaking that can actually boost your performance and fulfilment in other areas of your life.
7. Public speaking allows you to demonstrate your knowledge
90% of people will avoid getting up in front of people to give a speech. By standing up and speaking to a crowd you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field and you have a great opportunity to share your knowledge.
8. Public speaking allows you to improve upon your knowledge
One of the best ways to learn is to teach, and public speaking is exactly that…an opportunity to teach. Public speaking is important because it helps you to improve your knowledge. The preparation that goes into a speech and the fact that you have to work out how to communicate to others effectively makes you understand your content that much better.
9. Public speaking differentiates you in the workforce
By having the confidence and ability to speak in public you can differentiate yourself in the workforce. This could put you in line for the next promotion or keep your head off the chopping block when the next redundancy rolls around.
10. Public speaking will help you form a tribe of supporters around you
By standing up in front of people and delivering a talk you can attract like-minded people around you. Seth Godin calls this a tribe and I think it is a great concept.