Is it all a mere number game?

I will continue here with my earlier theme on the origin of our universe(see my earlier posts). The mystery of our existence only deepens further if we explore the science behind the origin of our universe. Call it fine tuning or design or creation,cutting edge science ony seems to strengthen our instinctive faith in the existence of the supernatural. If and when the mystery is resolved,we will perhaps witness a great convergence of science and spirituality.

As the title of the post suggests,here I will try to capture some of the salient ideas presented in a brilliant book titled – “JUST SIX NUMBERS” by the Cambridge university cosmology professor Dr Martin Rees(published in 1999).
Dr Martin Rees forcefully argues that there are just six crucial numbers that make a perfect recipe for the creation of our universe. I will illustrate his thesis with just one magic number:
It is the number defining the force which glues together the components of an atom(neutrons & protons)to form a stable atom. This force is given the symbol ‘EPSILON’. Let me try and explain the significance of this number in terms of the creation of the universe:
At the time of BIG BANG,the universe was filled with just hydrogen gas(or atoms). As the universe began to expand,HYDROGEN ATOMS got transformed into heavier and heavier elements like Helium, Carbon,Magnesium,Iron etc etc, in order to form the universe that we know and experience. And this would take place at ultra high temperatures in the STARS (as crucibles) by a process known as FUSION. This is where the significance of the force EPSILON arises. Scientists have measured the value of EPSILON to be precisely 0.007 (I don’t know whether the creation of the famous fictional character ‘James bond 007’ was inspired by this number!) .
Now comes the arguments concerning the so called FINE TUNING of this number. If the value of EPSILON had been slightly lower at 0.006,the universe would have been filled with just bland HYDROGEN and nothing else,implying that there would have been no life.
On the other hand,if EPSILON had been slightly higher at 0.008,hydrogen would have got transformed to Helium readily leaving very little gas to fuel STARS. Therefore, ‘no stars – no life’. Isn’t this unerring ‘fine tuning’ very profound and intriguing?

I will not go into the details of the other five numbers except to say that according to Dr Rees,the formation and stability of our universe is even more sensitive to the values of the other numbers than EPSILON.
Dr Rees refers to these six magic numbers as the COSMIC NUMBERS possessing what he calls PROVIDENTIAL VALUES.

These far reaching scientific findings make one wonder whether it’s all a NUMBER GAME. Everything that we see in the universe may be defined by a set of numbers. From Science to philosophy to humanities,and Arts – numbers define everything. Take for instance Music and dance.There is no music without numbers. The beats,rhthm form the very basis of these two art forms. Similarly painting and sculpture also depend heavily on concepts of Symmetry which are mathematical functions. How about religion? Religious faiths as well as superstitions seem to be heavily inspired by numbers – whether it is chanting of a ‘mantra’ 108 times or belief in unlucky numbers like 13 etc.
There is no need to labour the point further – it is all self evident.

One wonders whether the mother of all numbers(represented as INFINITY) is manifested beautifully through the individual numbers. The unverse is created by unique numbers,sustained by another set of unique numbers and may finally be destroyed also by subtle changes in those numbers. And INFINITY holds the key to all these phenomena.

Published in: on September 11, 2010 at 11:03 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The value of Epsilon is not 0.007, instead it is much lower than this. Please refer this link :

    • i read the link. The terminologies used are different. Epsilon I am referring to in my post is the measure of nucleur strength and it is indeed 0.007,whereas in the link referred by you epsilon refers to gravitation fine structure.

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