If you Google 'Is the Universe a fractal', it tends to pop up with results that say it isn't, which is true. However, the question isn't whether the Universe is a fractal; the question is whether it is a fractal-like entity, which is most likely the case, as the Universe does display fractal-like patterns.
Lightning shares some similarities with fractals in terms of its branching patterns and self-similar characteristics, but it's not typically categorized as a strict fractal. It has a jagged and branching shape that resembles some fractal patterns, such as the Lichtenberg figure. However, lightning does not have the self-similarity property that defines a true fractal, hence why we must label it as fractal-like.
What about the Universe?
Currently, in line with our present comprehension of the cosmos, it is not inherently organized in a fractal structure. Nonetheless, the emerging body of research revealing fractal-esque patterns among the constituents of the Universe has the potential to reshape our perspective on this matter. This phenomenon is highlighted by theories such as the fractal multiverse theory, an amplified version of the multiverse concept (more on that in the next article). While the Universe might not adhere strictly to a fractal pattern, it exhibits characteristics reminiscent of fractal-like formations.
Hence, it is wise to characterize the Universe, at its core essence, as a "fractal-like entity," rather than solely elaborating on the constituents of the Universe. This approach is akin to discussing the various components that constitute a car without providing a concise definition of what a car actually represents. Viewed through the prism of fractal-like geometry, we are presented with the chance to ascribe a designation to the inherent essence of the Universe itself. It's worth emphasizing that we have the latitude to identify the Universe as a fractal entity, not in a strict sense, but rather in terms of its fractal-like attributes.
This notion is particularly intriguing because, if the Universe is fractal-like entity, there exists a possibility to comprehend it without delving into the intricacies of fractal complexities. Instead, one can hold a layperson's grasp of the Universe, avoiding the entanglement with intricate details that often leads to a confined understanding. If this holds true, it opens a window for universal comprehension, extending beyond a limited few. Patterns are universally recognized concepts, and if we can assign this perspective to the Universe, it offers a simplified avenue for grasping its essence. It's actually quite fortunate that the Universe doesn't strictly adhere to a fractal structure, as comprehending the intricacies of fractals can prove to be challenging, particularly in terms of the specifics.
The two-decade old study.
Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data, combined with the pioneering work of Sylos Labini's team, have reignited discussions on the fractal nature of galaxies and the potential implications this discovery holds for our understanding of the universe.
The SDSS has proven to be a game-changer in the realm of observational astronomy. By meticulously cataloguing the positions of hundreds of thousands of galaxies and quasars, this groundbreaking survey has provided scientists with an unprecedented window into the large-scale structure of the cosmos. In the midst of this treasure trove of data, a contentious hypothesis put forward by Sylos Labini's team has sparked intense interest.
At the heart of their proposition lies the idea of fractals—a concept that is familiar to many through its manifestations in natural patterns like snowflakes or coastlines. The fractal pattern hypothesized by Labini's team suggests that galaxies are not randomly distributed throughout the universe, but instead exhibit a repeating, self-similar arrangement at various scales. This theory challenges the conventional belief that galaxies are distributed uniformly on cosmic scales.
What adds weight to Labini's team's argument is the collaboration of physicists Nikolay Vasilyev and Yurij Baryshev from St Petersburg State University. Vasilyev and Baryshev have delved into the implications of the observed fractal pattern, supporting the notion that this pattern extends across vast cosmic scales. Their analysis suggests that the fractal nature of galaxies persists up to scales of approximately 100 million light years. This astounding revelation not only challenges established models of the universe's large-scale structure but also has implications for our understanding of homogeneity in the cosmos.
The concept of homogeneity—the idea that the universe appears uniform on a large scale—is a cornerstone of modern cosmology. However, the implications of the fractal pattern, if validated, could reshape our understanding of this fundamental concept. The notion that galaxies exhibit a fractal arrangement up to scales of 100 million light years implies that the universe's homogeneity must extend over an astonishing scale, possibly beyond the observable universe. This revelation raises questions about the mechanisms that could give rise to such a consistent and repeating pattern across such vast distances.
As the astronomical community continues to grapple with the implications of these findings, it is important to acknowledge that the debate is far from settled. While the SDSS data and the collaboration between Labini's team and Vasilyev and Baryshev offer tantalizing evidence, further observations, analyses, and modelling are required to definitively establish the presence of a fractal pattern in the distribution of galaxies.
The discovery of fractal patterns within the cosmic tapestry underscores the ever-evolving nature of scientific exploration. The universe, with its complexity and grandeur, continues to challenge our perceptions and theories. As researchers push the boundaries of our knowledge, each new revelation opens doors to further inquiries, deeper understanding, and, ultimately, a more complete comprehension of the cosmos.
In the end, whether galaxies truly conform to a fractal pattern or whether the observed clustering is a result of other intricate factors, the pursuit of these inquiries exemplifies the essence of science: the unrelenting quest to unravel the mysteries that shroud our universe and shed light on the patterns that govern its expanse.
There's also a number of recent studies throughout the web you can look up, particularly on Academia and elsewhere.
The field of fractal cosmology is still relatively young, and there is much more research to be done. However, the studies that have been conducted so far provide strong evidence that galaxies and galaxy clusters are not randomly distributed, but instead exhibit a fractal structure. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the universe, and it is sure to be an active area of research for many years to come.
And with Webb, it's going to be interesting to scan the data with my fractal AI software that I am developing.
Tracing our cosmic journey to the very inception of the Big Bang and even before, where the dance of quantum fluctuations was underway, I find myself immersed in a contemplative belief that I've personally held for years. It's a belief that gains substance in the context of the Universe being akin to a fractal-like entity, a notion that resonates with the idea that true nothingness might be an elusive concept.
Consider this perspective: what physicists often categorize as nothingness is, in reality, a form of existence. The froth of quantum fluctuations, often dismissed as mere nothingness, stands as a testament to this idea. Thankfully, it is becoming more mainstream that the quantum stuff is now being called out as something.
When we cast our gaze upon the cosmos, we invariably perceive existence. There's something out there, something here, and something over there. Even when we contemplate the apparent voids between galaxies, we ultimately conclude that these are not true vacuums; rather, something substantive resides within. Consider this: if we were to completely empty a room, would that room truly be devoid of substance? The answer, it seems, is no. This notion persists even when we envision the distant future of the universe, its Heat Death, where a fundamental principle remains steadfast: energy cannot be either created or destroyed—the immutable law of energy conservation. This implies that eradicating every semblance of existence is a truly unattainable endeavour.
Does something always exist?
Imagine if we were to embark on an even more ambitious endeavour—stripping the universe of everything it contains. Envision a scenario where we could press a cosmic "delete" button, erasing:
Would the Universe then lapse into absolute nothingness? Not quite, within the cosmic canvas still lingers something: spacetime. This enigmatic medium, intertwined with the principles of general relativity, defies our efforts to eliminate it. One might wonder, "Could we not delete spacetime itself?" Such a notion runs afoul of the foundational law; thermodynamics' First Law that we earlier contemplated. Energy, the cornerstone of all existence, remains impervious to annihilation.
Nothingness vs Somethingness
So, it's my personal pondering that, if the Universe is a fractal-like entity, it could support my pondering that somethingness could be a fundamental law of the Universe. Somethingness Law? Oh, you bet I'm coining that one! Let's call it the "Somethingness Law" because, well, who needs voids when you can have a Universe brimming with somethings? 😉
While I acknowledge that we're wading into the philosophical waters here—philosophy is fair game in this space— but I'm going to venture to put forth a wee argument for further support. Imagine the cosmic stage is set: enter the Block Universe theory, a headliner that claims the Universe isn't just a fleeting act; it's an everlasting saga. According to this theory, the Universe sets up shop for an eternal run, and that's where the concept of somethingness enduring indefinitely gets its groove. Picture the Block Universe like a four-dimensional play script, where every scene that's ever played out, is playing out, or will play out is jamming on repeat. Past, present, future—it's all sharing the spotlight on this cosmic stage. So, although this is verging onto philosophy, I must say that there are hypotheses & theories out there that pulls us back into cosmology, just barely.
So, here's the cosmic pondering: if the Universe were to be this mesmerizing fractal-like entity, it might just lack a true rock bottom. Imagine, descending through the layers of reality from subatomic particles to the intricate building blocks that compose them, all the way down to the enigmatic strings and their convoluted dance—it's possible that even these are constructed from deeper constituents, and those from yet more components, an endless dance of cosmic matryoshkas. Reductionism could find itself in an everlasting rabbit hole; a journey that just keeps going and going and considering one aspect of fractals is infinity, this then further supports this pondering. What's intriguing is that one key aspect of fractals is their connection to infinity; this, in turn, lends further support to our contemplation.
However, it is important to note that the infinite nature of fractals is not literal. In reality, there is a limit to how much you can zoom in on a fractal, because the computer or device that you are using will eventually run out of memory. But patterns will still appear to be infinite, because the details will become too small to see.
The infinite quality of fractals remains a mathematical abstraction and cannot be perfectly realized in the tangible world. While the universe doesn't conform strictly to a fractal structure, but the aforementioned supports show it displays fractal-like characteristics on a grand scale. This concept envisions the universe as a boundless, fractal-esque entity, potentially giving rise to a genuinely infinite cosmos.
Naturally, this pondering session has pulled us into philosophy. The philosophical framework that I'm considering to further fortify these musings is the principle of plenitude. This strange principle, in a nutshell, asserts that all conceivable realities, events, and entities that can exist, indeed do exist; the Universe is full, brimming with abundance. It proposes that the Universe teems with a rich array of diverse elements, encompassing every possible combination and variation. While often invoked in discussions surrounding metaphysics, cosmology, and the essence of existence, it's important to acknowledge that this principle doesn't enjoy universal consensus and can spark debates among philosophers and scholars. Nonetheless, it adds a captivating conclusion to our musings. This principle ushers in an infinite expanse of existences, leaving no room for the void of nothingness. The presence of 'something' stands resolute.
So, we've delved into studies, hypotheses, theories, and even philosophy to articulate my humble contemplations on the potential fractal-like essence of the cosmos. In a whimsical twist, I've playfully coined this the "Somethingness Law," while also illuminating nothingness for what it genuinely represents – a concept.
TL; DR nothingness doesnae exist.
Read similar pondering here.