Mankind 'shortening the universe's life'
Forget about the threat that mankind poses to the Earth: our activities may be shortening the life of the universe too.
The startling claim is made by a pair of American cosmologists investigating the consequences for the cosmos of quantum theory, the most successful theory we have. Over the past few years, cosmologists have taken this powerful theory of what happens at the level of subatomic particles and tried to extend it to understand the universe, since it began in the subatomic realm during the Big Bang.
But there is an odd feature of the theory that philosophers and scientists still argue about. In a nutshell, the theory suggests that we change things simply by looking at them and theorists have puzzled over the implications for years.
They often illustrate their concerns about what the theory means with boggling mind experiments, notably Schrodinger's cat in which, thanks to a fancy experimental set up, the moggy is both alive and dead until someone decides to look, when it either carries on living, or dies. That is, by one interpetation (by another, the universe splits into two, one with a live cat and one with a dead one.)
New Scientist reports a worrying new variant as the cosmologists claim that astronomers may have accidentally nudged the universe closer to its death by observing dark energy, a mysterious anti gravity force which is thought to be speeding up the expansion of the cosmos.
Huh? quantum physics is wierd to begin with, but this! Would'nt that also mean that I would shorten the life expectancy of everything I observe? I love women, Iwould'nt want to hurt anyone of those that I "observe", maybe the islamists are right after all. Or pherhaps you could shorten the life of the burqas just by staring at them? And what about the poor cat?
(Mumble, muble- Time for a triple layer tin foil hat!) Link