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Old Sep 20th 2016, 08:47 AM   #1
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Phase boundaries

This might be a bit hard to work with because I haven't the faintest idea where to start.

When the Universe cooled a bit after the big bang the electro-weak force broke into two parts: electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force. The mode is symmetry breaking. In this process the Universe "falls" into a particular state, which is more or less random and is fixed by what we know the properties of our Universe are. (Field strengths, massless photons, etc.) One of the parameters is the electroweak mixing angle.

What I am looking for here is purely theoretical...so far as I know there is no basis for even asking this question, much less analyzing it. But hey, I'm me.

What happens if the Universe doesn't fall into a single "domain" which is measured by the mixing angle? What happens if two regions (domains) of space-time fall into different mixing angles? Then we have two "phases" of the Universe with slightly different properties. My question is this: How might we do Physics across the boundaries? It's something like a question of phases but I can't manage to think of a simpler conceptual example.

Any thoughts?

-Dan
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Old Sep 20th 2016, 09:30 AM   #2
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Would you be envisaging the two domains as being separated along spatial dimensions,
or are they different multiverse incarnations,
perhaps coexisting at the same space-time coordinates but separated along the mixing angle coordinate...
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Old Sep 20th 2016, 12:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
Would you be envisaging the two domains as being separated along spatial dimensions,
or are they different multiverse incarnations,
perhaps coexisting at the same space-time coordinates but separated along the mixing angle coordinate...
I'm thinking of two "bubbles" or "balloons" that are both expanding into the same space-time. I am presuming for now that the two balloons will be discrete but that has to be shown at some point.

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Old Sep 20th 2016, 12:23 PM   #4
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Then the two "bubbles" would be completely independent. There would be no way for information to go from one to the other so any being living in one could not know of the existence of the other.
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Old Sep 20th 2016, 04:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HallsofIvy View Post
Then the two "bubbles" would be completely independent. There would be no way for information to go from one to the other so any being living in one could not know of the existence of the other.
Good. You are making me sharpen up what I am trying to mull over. Thanks. (Sorry, that sounds a bit pretentious, doesn't it?)

I'm not sure that there wouldn't be a way to communicate across the boundary.. Again, I'm going to use an example that isn't quite right, but should serve to illustrate what I'm groping toward.

Imagine an infinite dipole sheet separating two domains. The dipole layer creates a discontinuity in the electric field. But we can pass a particle, charged or otherwise, between the two domains.

So even though the two domains are disjoint we could potentially still have particle flow from one balloon to another.

-Dan
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Old Sep 21st 2016, 07:02 AM   #6
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So you are considering two separate domains,
but they are contiguous over a certain region.
Space and Time are both continuous across the divide,
Only the electroweak mixing angle changes (and this is a step change).

If such a region were within observable distance of us
what might we see?
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Old Sep 21st 2016, 09:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
So you are considering two separate domains,
but they are contiguous over a certain region.
Space and Time are both continuous across the divide,
Only the electroweak mixing angle changes (and this is a step change).

If such a region were within observable distance of us
what might we see?
A slight change to your comment: In order to keep the photon massless we also need to change the relative strengths of the EM force vs. the weak nuclear force. Other than that yes, that is my question. I don't know how to approach it.

-Dan
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Old Sep 21st 2016, 02:15 PM   #8
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Based only on what I have just read on Wikipedia (literally minutes ago),
If just the weak force is changing, then you will get a domain with more or less radioactivity.
The neutron (for example) will become more or less stable.

A photon crossing the boundary of from one domain to another would likely not notice any difference.
However by viewing the photons coming from the other region, we could probably deduce the difference from the behaviour of supernovas.
The energy (and I am guessing the energy spectrum) of supernovas would be different as nuclear interactions mediated by the weak force would be different.

While pottering around Wikipedia making sure that I had at least some grounding for my reply, I came across this article which you might find interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weakless_Universe
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Old Sep 21st 2016, 03:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Woody View Post
Based only on what I have just read on Wikipedia (literally minutes ago),
If just the weak force is changing, then you will get a domain with more or less radioactivity.
The neutron (for example) will become more or less stable.

A photon crossing the boundary of from one domain to another would likely not notice any difference.
However by viewing the photons coming from the other region, we could probably deduce the difference from the behaviour of supernovas.
The energy (and I am guessing the energy spectrum) of supernovas would be different as nuclear interactions mediated by the weak force would be different.

While pottering around Wikipedia making sure that I had at least some grounding for my reply, I came across this article which you might find interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weakless_Universe
I'll check that out later. I'll get back to this after I've perused it. Thank you!

-Dan
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Old Sep 22nd 2016, 06:18 AM   #10
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Going back to your original post on this thread,
You indicated that the state entered after symmetry-breaking is essentially random,
which then leads you on to your further thought about different states in neighbouring domains.
However if the state entered after the electro-week symmetry breaking were actually completely random,
then we could end up with adjacent particles having different states.
That way lies chaos.
However;
If one can apply a crystallisation style analogy
such that a seed of symmetry-breaking would encourage the surrounding region to adopt the same broken symmetry state,
then one could envision separate seeds setting off separate symmetry-breaking episodes,
leading to the scenario you first thought of.
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