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March 8, 2013
Another multiverse model has been discussed by Smolin. He proposes that “baby”universes can sprout from existing ones via the mechanism of gravitational collapse. According to the classical picture, when a star implodes to form a black hole, a spacetime singularity results in the interior of the hole. Smolin suggests that a quantum treatment would lead instead to the nucleation of a tiny new region of inflating space, connected to our space via a wormhole. Subsequent evaporation of the black hole by the Hawking process severs the wormhole, thereby spatially disconnecting the baby universe from ours. Furthermore, following Wheeler (‘Some Strangeness in the Proportion’, H. Woolf, ed., Addison-Wesley, 1980),  Smolin proposes that the violence of gravitational collapse might ‘reprocess’ the laws of physics randomly, producing small changes in values of parameters such as particle masses and coupling constants. Thus the baby universe will inherit the physics of its parent, but with small random variations, similar to genetic drift in biological evolution. This process could continue ad infinitum, with baby universes going on to produce their own progeny. It would also imply that our universe is the product of an earlier gravitational collapse episode in another universe. Those universes whose physical parameters favoured black hole production, for example by encouraging the formation of large stars, would produce more progeny, implying that among the ensemble of universes with all possible variations of the laws of physics, those universes with prolific black hole producti on would represent the largest volume of space.   SMOLIN, DAVIES

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