Friday, August 30, 2013

Immortality: Possibilities and Impact


Ah, if we could only live forever!

Not only is that an ‘incomplete sentence’ (according to MS Word), you’d better not wish that from the proverbial Genie in the bottle or…a Loud (explained later)! If you did you’d be very sorry around about the time you reached 120 years OLD! I mean have you ever seen a person in their late 90s let alone older? No, what you want to wish for is ‘to stop aging’. But, is this even in the realm of possibility?

Perhaps the primary reason we age is that our telomeres deteriorate. Because of this, our cells can only divide about 50 times.

Telomeres eh? What’s a Telomere?:
A chromosome is a long strand of DNA. At the end of a chromosome is a telomere, which acts like a bookend. Telomeres keep chomosomes protected and prevent them from fusing into rings or binding with other DNA. Telomeres play an important role in cell division.

Researchers can use the length of a cell's telomeres to determine the cell's age and how many more times is will replicate. This is important in anti-aging research. When a cell stops replicating, it enters into a period of decline known as "cell senescence," which is the cellular equivalent of aging.

In my sci-fi ‘The Spiral Slayers’ the Loud (an alien species that comes to the human world of Amular and are about 1,000 years ahead in science and technology) bestow three things on the humans:
1.      They restore their DNA to perfect condition, which will restore an older person to their prime age (around 28-32 years old). There is no immediate effect on someone at their prime age or younger.

2.      They replace everyone’s telomere with nanite replacements, which will not deteriorate and will keep all chomosomes functioning properly (that is to say, they stop the aging process).

3.      They infest the humans with other specialized nanite, which ‘super charge’ their immune system.

Well, why didn’t nature do this in the first place? In the story, the Loud tell the human race that all planet or solar system bound species must have this ‘timer’ to control their population. Once a species goes inter-stellar this ‘timer’ can be ‘removed’ and indeed must be removed because bound by the speed of light and the enormous distances between stars, you need a lot of time just to get around.
Now understand, you can still get your ticket clocked by being hit by a train, shot in the head, etc. I think people might do a lot more to avoid accidents…what do you think? What about daredevils?

If everyone where perpetually at their prime age or younger, society would change drastically and I explore this in my book (I was completely surprised when Kirkus Reviews noticed this and called my story “ intense, philosophical sci-fi”). Think about funeral homes, hospitals, insurance, sports, doctors, saving for retirement, etc. Think about marriages, divorces, the death sentence or, life imprisonment.
Unfortunately, if our planet were given this virtual immortality right now, in 20-50 years our species would most likely go extinct.

Think about it! Think population. The next post will be ‘Immortality: The problem with…”.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Inter-Super Cluster Travel Part 2

Carrying on from last time… to travel across the universe through hundreds of super clusters, we can’t do anything about the vast distances involved, we can’t accelerate past the speed of light so we can’t do anything about the time involved except redefine time making billions of years doable and survivable.
We have an almost infinite and renewable energy source (two singularities), we have the renewing biosphere needed for life, our ship is made out of nanite-based materials that won’t decay, we have immortality (we don’t grow old) and we have a hibernation chamber that will preserve us for millions, even billions of years. Finally we have the time compression from our near light speed and proximity to a singularity.

Any yet, eventually we will still be stymied by a universe that is expanding faster than the speed of light.
If we look at current physics for a solution, it strongly suggests that if we look below, that is smaller than, the virtual quarks and gluons popping in and out of existence…look into what is sometimes referred to as ‘the foam’, there we will find wormholes which can transport matter from one point to another faster than light. To use these however, three problems immediately come to mind.

1.      First, there’s the landmark issue that applies to any method of beating the speed of light; violation of casualty[1].

2.      Second, how could we possibly use such a tiny passageway for anything?

3.      Finally, if they exist at all, these wormholes are generated randomly, last only brief and random lengths of time and, lead to random locations.
This time, if we look to current physics, well, we find...suggestions (that’s perhaps too strong a word) of ways we might get around these problems…or, paths that, if extended, could resolve these problems.

To get around violation of causality we can (as my story does) embrace the quantum ‘Other Worlds’ theory. This goes back to the double slit experiment where light traveling through two slits cut into, say cardboard, creates a wave pattern on a cardboard backdrop. I don’t have the room here to go into details but it shows us that sub-atomic particles travel in waves of probability. The ‘Other Worlds’ theory says that this probability wave does not collapse and that all probable futures really exist in alternate dimensions or timelines. This knocks down ‘causality’ because if someone goes back in time and kills their grandmother, they simply create a separate timeline in which they do not exist while they can go on existing in their own timeline.
The second and third problems of how we might use these tiny wormholes are a bit harder and I’m afraid you’ll have to read my sci-fi series to find out how I get around these.


[1] Violation of casualty is where you ‘kill your mother before you are born’ type of thing by traveling back in time which is what you do when you get from one point to another faster than the speed of light.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Inter-Super Cluster Travel Part 1

In 'The Spiral Slayers' I don’t travel merely between planets, stars, galaxies or even galactic clusters—I travel across dozens and even thousands of galactic super clusters. As far as I can tell, this is, not to put too fine a point on it, simply a matter of time. This is truly traveling across the universe and, if you add to this, as my story does, that you cannot accelerate past the speed of light, then you are really having the time of your life and a whole lot more. However, can it really ‘work’?

Traveling across such distances is clearly not impossible, in fact it has been done, if by nothing else than by photons (light). Nevertheless, we must face it, if we cannot travel faster than light and we cannot do anything about the distances involved than the only thing we are left with is time so, what would it take besides lots of time?
It would take:
1.      An enormous and renewable energy source.
      2.      Renewable, nanite based materials that would hold up to deep time (billions of years)
             without decaying.
3.      A sufficient renewable biosphere to supply air, water, food, etc.
4.      Immortal or at least very long lived beings.
5.      Hibernation chambers that could suspend life for millions of years at a time to keep our immortal beings from going insane by the passage of deep time.

So, we have an energy source what will propel our craft up to .99999 the speed of light and power it for millions of years (in my story, this is two black holes). We have a structure that will survive both the distance and time and not decay or wear away. We also have a renewable planetary biosphere to provide the requirements of life for beings who will live long enough and we have a way to keep them sane. Finally, we have another not so little built-in advantage—the compression of time from not only our near light speed but also from our proximity to two singularities.

Are we read to cast off?
Well, that depends on how far (i.e. long) we want to go. There’s at least one element I’ve left out--the universe is expanding and, not only is that expansion already exceeding the speed of light if we look at our observable universe end to end, it is constantly accelerating. Eventually we will be stymied by this.

Is there a way around this short of an FTL drive? I do not really want to tell you how my story gets around it but I can point in the general direction, which I’ll do in my next post.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Traveling across the universe without falling off the edge!


The universe is a strange place. It is a space-time structure, which, because of gravity, may fold back upon itself. We can only see a portion of it called the Observable Universe, which has a radius of about 47 billion miles. And, it is universally agreed that it is much larger than that and most scientists believe that it is in fact infinite!
Hmm…wait a minute…the latest estimates I’m aware of place it’s age at 13.7 billion years old so how could we have a visible diameter of 94 billion? As I said, a strange place. Obviously, although matter cannot accelerate past the speed of light, the universe can expand faster than the speed of light. As for how can we see objects 47 billion light years away--this is because the universe was expanding while that light was traveling toward us (I know…but you’ll need Google to get further explanations on this one).
New discoveries indicate that the universe may not be infinite but finite and in my four part sci-fi series, The Spiral Slayers, it is finite. So could we ever reach the universe’s edge and, if we could, what would it look like and what would be beyond it?

Both in reality (if it is finite) and in the Spiral Slayers’ universe, the answer to these questions are both ‘no’ and ‘maybe’.
The ‘no’ part of this is that space-time, as I have already pointed out, folds back upon itself because of gravity and, we are part of space time and simply can’t remove ourselves from it. Long before we came anywhere close to the universe’s edge, space time would bend both our view and path away from it and we could never reach it.

The maybe part is that perhaps we can see the edge of the universe or at least a portion of it every time we look at a black hole. This edge might be the event horizon or it may be the singularity itself. In my story it’s the latter.
As for what we'd find beyond the universe, we don't know and, in my story and probably in reality as well, anything outside the universe is unknowable. However, if a singularity is the edge then we can see the effects from outside and those indicate that a unistate (AKA a singularity) exists beyond the edge.
Here is a very interesting documentary on this subject—it’s a bit long but really worth watching!
In the next post we’ll talk about probably one of the more controversially elements of my story; traveling between galactic super clusters and across the Observably Universe while observing light’s speed limit.
Rusty Williamson

Sunday, August 4, 2013


I'm going to try to break up my previous posts so that they (as well as future ones) are shorter.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

The dream particle: The super speck.

In the Spiral Slayer universe the super speck is the smallest, most elementary particle.

The super speck or speck particle has some amazing properties.

1.      It vibrates and has three trillion different vibrations.

2.      It is a reflective particle which means that if surrounded by a single state[1] (the complete death of a universe) it reflects itself ten times and all reflections reflect ten times continuing up to (VV)V times where V are the number of vibrations (three trillion).

3.      The super speck’s reflective burst (A.K.A. the Big Bang) begins by only expanding space time (i.e. in the beginning reflections only differ in directional alignment). Then, over the course of the burst, begin switching to the expansion of timelines (i.e. reflections also differ in phase alignment). After about four billion years the changeover is complete and all reflections expand the number of timelines. This soon fills up quantum space becoming the cause of the universe’s expansion. As more space is created this creates more timelines. This self-feeding circle causes accelerating expansion.

4.      Within its three trillion vibrations is encoded all the information needed to create a universe.

5.      When an intelligent species reaches the Rho level of development, Speculators, who translate the speck’s vibrations, begin to replace scientists and the scientific method.

6.      When an intelligent species has translated all of the speck’s vibrations, they will ‘know’ everything that is knowable[2] and be at the Phi level of development.

7.      When an intelligent species comes to understand all of the knowledge from the speck, they will ‘know and understand’ everything knowable and be at the uppermost level of development: the Omega Level.

8.      Universes die when their expansion has stretched out the speck particles so much that their vibrations vanish and speck reflections die until only one speck particle is left.

9.      When only one speck particle is left (this is always the original and only real speck particle) the dynamics of the cosmos changes and the remaining speck becomes the only thing that exists which means it contains all the energy that exists and is surrounded by a single state. This triggers the reflection burst that creates the next universe.

10.   Speck particles that are aligned join to form speck strings or sStrings and these create space time.

11.   Aligned sStrings become tangled creating permanent knots (the quirks and gluons that create matter) and temporary knots (virtual quirks and gluons).

12.   The sStrings (and therefore sString knots) can only interact with other sStrings whose speck particles are aligned creating the macro here and now space time we know.


(The following discussion is greatly simplified in some areas)

There are two types of speck alignment. To interact, both must be aligned. The speck particle can be pictured as a vibrating line of energy. Vibrations differ in frequency, distance along the string, distance from line when straight, direction(s) in 3D space, speed, curve(s) and shape. There is directional alignment (direction of the string in 3D space) and there is phase alignment, which is alignment of the vibration cycle.

Directional alignment:

Below the level (size) of quarks and gluons, macro space time as we know it falls apart. When a universe is born, reflections of the speck particle explode outward tumbling this way and that. As this happens, aligned specks bond into sStrings. Only specks (and sStrings they form) that are ‘aligned’ can interact with each other and they do this no matter where they are physically located in the realm of the sStrings (A.K.A. foam). In our macro view of space time this inability to interact appears as space time—a distance in space time between objects.

If your finger pushes an object, the sStrings in your finger and the object are aligned but maybe anywhere in the realm of sStrings. Likewise, an sString in a star does not interact with an sString in your finger because they are out of alignment even though in the realm of the sStrings they may be right next to each other and again, this alignment difference and inability to interact translate to distance and time in our macro view.

This of course means that only aligned sStrings can interact to form real or virtual quarks or gluons but to tangle and knot together they must also be next to each other in the sString realm.

Wormholes are possible within the realm of the sString because of this difference between our macro space time and the virtual physical layout within the sString’s realm. Wormholes are pipe-like structures formed by sStrings that can change the alignment of sStrings passing through them therefore changing their physical location in our macro space time.

Phase alignment:

The second type of alignment is phase or rhythm alignment meaning the alignment of the vibrations. The alignment of the sStrings (ergo the speck particles that form them) are what creates the macro space time probability timelines. As you look towards a distant star, the space time perceived between you and the star is a gradual change of the speck particle’s directional alignment. You see the star as it was in the past when its speck particles were the same alignment as yours and everything you see around you, you see in the macro space time past. This is all directional alignment.

However, the change of phase alignment determines and separates the timelines. This is the probability wave observed in the two slit experiment where light passing through the two slits (in the two slit experiment) forms a wave pattern. Different realities are timelines whose speck particle’s phase alignment has changed. The inability to interact in this case does not translate to time space or distance. It does not translate at the macro at all. Even though we can only see and interact with the timeline we are on, it is there and takes up time and space in the quantum realm. Our universe ran out of quantum room about four billion years ago and at this point the ever accelerating expansion of the universe began as more and more alternate timelines came into being and needed more quantum room.

In the next post we will switch from the quantum realm to the cosmic realm and discuss where the edge of the universe is and how it is possible to travel across the universe.

[1] A single state means that everywhere you look is the same. Examples of this are a singularity or an absolute vacuum (where there are not virtual particles are anything else). A single state cannot exist within a universe.
[2] Anything within the universe is knowable. Anything beyond the realm of the universe is unknowable.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Development of the Spiral Slayer Universe Part 2 :What happened to strings and the birth of a dream particle.


This is an interesting, though complex, story! 

Between the late eighties and the early 2000s I was totally into string theory. I was there for the five different theories, the bane worlds and M-theory that combined the five theories. The downfall of superstring theory, at least for myself, was only months away but, in reality, for myself anyway, was already happening due to a number of items. 

I had no issue with string theory’s biggest problem, which was that it could not make any predictions that could readily be tested. Because I was a ‘believer’, I even had my own arguments for this quandary. They went like this: in fact, there were predictions strings could make… it’s just that Relativity and/or quantum mechanics and/or QED had already made these predictions and lab tests had already confirmed them. Not only did it sound good, it was true…for instance, ‘strings’ could absolutely predict gravity but so could an apple. 

The first crack in my stringy beliefs was no more than just an uneasy feeling I got when I heard Mr. Stringman himself--Brian Green—pronounce, “(string theory) is too elegant to be wrong.” OK, I’ve been sitting here for many minutes trying and I cannot explain why this hit me as so wrong. 

There were other minor things—especially ‘M-Theory’ that supposedly explained the five different string theories but not, it seemed, itself. However, the absolute showstopper was the big lie and I’m just now realizing it’s something that’s going to be a little hard to explain but I’ll do my best.  

One of the bedrocks of any theory’s reliability is that the math behind it is finite. That is to say, that it produces few or no answers that are infinite. It’s called or referred to as the theory’s level of approximation. The leading contenders in quantum physics—superstrings and Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG)—had both been proven ‘finite’. Article after article since the mid-80s had stated that the superstring theory was proven finite. That foundation supporting string theory, after all these years, was simply a given or, so they said. 

Around 2002 a physicist named Lee Smolin—a giant in the field--was asked to write a report on the state of all the different quantum theories currently on the table and, to make a long story short, he discovered that no one had ever proven any of the five string theories to be finite! To my knowledge, no one has done it yet. Evidently, someone, somewhere, at some time had just stated this and everyone had just jumped on board--unbelievable! 

Personally, I pretty much gave the big finger to string theory. 

Understand that I had based The Spiral Slayers universe on string theory! Bane worlds were playing key parts in the story. I almost completely give up on the story…hell, I almost decided to chuck science and writing sci-fi completely. I went into a deep depression and stopped all work on The Spiral Slayers book, the trailer and definitely on my reading of science books.  

Perhaps three months later, I tried to convert to LQG but my heart wasn’t into putting my faith into any quantum theory being worked on. I needed my own and I remember thinking, I’ll have to sleep on it.

Believe it or not that night I had a dream in which I was talking to a scientist in a white lab coat who told me that the universe was just a reflection of itself--that this was why every part of the universe was like every other part. I proclaimed ‘the holographic theory’ but he shook his head.

He went on to say that, this was because the most elementary particle was a new type of particle--a 'reflection particle' that it reflected itself. This was the reason for the universe’s past expansion periods.

Also, and this made perfect sense, this most elementary particle contained all the information needed to build our universe. This data, he continued, was not stored like data on a disk drive but rather within the way the particle’s vibrations affected and fit or didn’t fit with the other vibrating particles around it. Also, any change to one particle affected every particle because each one was just a reflection of itself and, this changed propagated very quickly defining, BTW, the speed of light. This smallest particle was called… *

*... and, I woke up. I looked over at my wife next to me in bed and she reached over and rubbed the tip of my nose. I jerked away in surprise and give her a quizzical look and she said that I had had a speck of something on my nose… 

…and right then the super speck particle replaced string theory. 

In the next post, well see how this new ‘dream’ particle fit perfectly with my story even solving some problems I’d been agonizing over.