A Boundary Between Life and Death?
What is Life?
What is Death?
Can physics, the science of the observable universe, say anything objective about those two states?
The research I published (see EXPERIMENT) is a low energy analog of the expanding universe (Analogs are analogies. And analogies can be represented by mathematical functions that model behaviors—behaviors that might be similar to one another).
When we drop oil into water, we see that droplets of oil are less dense and float on the surface of the water. The tension across the boundary between oil and water is quite high so we call them immiscible fluids, or they don’t mix—that’s why the two fluids stay separated when we try to mix them together.
Investigating these two fluids further, we see that when a water-based fluid is injected into an oil-based fluid, the boundary between the two is influenced by the amount of tension between the molecular regions within each of the fluids.
The nature of an expanding boundary (the boundary relationship: the kind and amount of information the boundary transmits) depends on the curvature of the boundary, the tension/diffusion at the boundary between the two fluids/regions and the flow of each fluid/region across the boundary. As the radius of extension (of the inner fluid/region) increases, the curvature of the boundary decreases (k=1/r=2p/C), then tension begins to dominate the flow that determines the shape of the boundary between the two.
In the approximate 2-D universe of my experiment, if both fluids are sluggish in their flow (highly viscous) then higher energy mathematical components across their one-dimensional interface can be eliminated. Even so, the remaining math tells us how we can expect that expanding boundary to grow and behave.
At this point, I must make this declaration that many do not understand. I certainly didn’t when I began my research videotaping a droplet of water in oil. The droplet begins to oscillate back and forth about the injection hole. It is this back and forth movement that forces the expanding boundary to deform (go unstable or buckle).
So, before we consider our interpretation of “life,” let’s explore “existence” on this simple expanding boundary between two fluids.
First, let’s look at four types of developing boundaries when a water-based droplet expands into an oil-based region:
For high tension interfaces, if the boundary is a product of instability between the two fluids (the outer fluid flows more sluggishly than the inner fluid. That means the outer fluid can’t get out of the way of the expanding inner fluid fast enough) then the boundary will be seen to buckle or deform into two basic regions: wave crests and wave troughs.
- The wave troughs are analogous to high mass centers or localities. The higher their curvature (concave upward in the direction of velocity), the harder they are to move. Fluid flows around the troughs and so the troughs extend little (similar to a decrease in universal expansion around centers of gravity).
- When wave crests flatten, the amplitudes of potential perturbations in time are approximately zero or composed of statistical error (It may be that zero, just as whole dimensions, doesn’t exist). This is a quantum phenomenon since the quantity of initiating boundary waves over time is related to the magnitude of the instability between the two fluid regions.
- Eventually, depending on the number of oscillations, the wave crests grow to a certain maximum number about the boundary. More wave troughs are created, and then branching similar to the fractal growth of crystals can occur. The motive force behind deforming the boundary is the pressure drop across it (the magnitude of the tension times the developing curvature between the fluids).
- When tension between the fluid regions approaches zero (they mix), then no matter where we sample on the boundary, molecular regions are broken down due to diffusion of the fluids into each other, and the boundary disappears.
What is needed for something, or some shape, to exist for any duration at 100% on this unstable boundary? (In death the analog being: you are a superposition of relationships across the boundary. You are the boundary. If boundary disappears, relationship disappears, and you might too.)
If something exists for a time (like consciousness and identity), the boundary must exist for a time, and, it follows that the boundary must change shape while allowing information to flow across it. For the following boundary locations (YES, NO, or MAYBE) the seat of the experience of awareness, or consciousness, exists:
- [NO]The wave trough, analog to a locality of a massive gravitational center, curves space to such an extent that no information can cross it, so that part of the boundary cannot exist as a major player of awareness.
- [YES]Before memory/shapes are intensely manifested on the crest boundary, curvature drops toward zero, and the boundary opens to random perturbations whose probabilities depend on the parameters of the fluids that relate across it. This is may be the quantum state that leads to the quantity of waves that first impose themselves on the perimeter of the boundary. This part of the expanding boundary (the wave crest) may be the experience of the What Is Behind What Is (WIBWI). (I will later discuss the possibility that the identity mind is a mapping, a virtual world that attempts to make sense of the WIBWI, while bearing little or no resemblance to it.)
- [NO]Early on, the flattened wave crest can transmit information and so is central in forming a sort of memory/shape storage , though once created, this boundary becomes so highly curved that it will not permit the transfer of any new information. (The boundary shape might be analogous to an identity template. It constrains the way new information is filtered through the mind (using the shape of neurons or neural tissue), but it does not exist as experience, though experience (the experience of sampling) educates future shapes or identities).
- [MAYBE]In the experiment, at the end of the two-phase droplet’s life, both boundary crests and troughs are of high curvature and no information can cross them. This may be analogous to an entropic ground state of the universe. Eventually, tension in the molecular region goes to zero, and its identity evaporates away through diffusion. In other words, the boundary ceases to exist. (However, in this process of diffusion, if it happens slowly enough, fluid molecules will organize themselves (as with inviscid water-based fluids into honey). More research is required to discover if the new language growing out of this diffusion is as robust as the information transfer from the quantum condition of near zero pressure drop.)
Next Topic: Sampling and Memory on A Primitive Relationship Boundary