The number of ways you could perturb the

universe
by changing just a single

particle for a single

moment of time.

If you pick a random particle at a random moment in
its

history and move it momentarily to another
randomly-selected position in space, you would have an

alternate universe
that is the same as our universe except for a single
perturbation.

Modeling the (expanding) universe as a

hypersphere whose diameter is increasing at the speed of light,
if the age of the universe in

Planck units is T,
then the 4-dimensional

volume of the universe in Planck

space-time units is (1/4 T) (4/3

*pi* T

^{3}).
If the number of

particles in the

universe is P,
then the number of possible perturbatons involving
a single particle is 1/3

*pi* P T

^{4}.

Using realistic values for P and T, P=10

^{97} and
T=8.78×10

^{60}, the single-perturbation count comes
out to about 6.2×10

^{340}.

The

factorial of the single-perturbation count is the number of possible alternate universes with the same

age, number of particles and

laws of physics as our own. That number is much larger,
about 10

^{10343}.
From a

quantum mechanics point of view, viewed by an observer outside our universe, there are about
10

^{10343} overlapping

wavefunctions
inside our universe.

You can find a web page with more on this subject on

Google with the search phrase "mrob single perturbation universe".

Copyright © 2001-2002 Robert Munafo. Robert Munafo is mrob27.