Tuesday, 2 February 2016

An Infinite Series?

SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York,2004), Interlude, pp. 94-99.

The New Virginians kidnap a physicist, Ralph Barnes, so that he can explain the Gate to them but Barnes refuses to help "'...a fascist bastard like [Rolfe]...'" (p. 96) Rolfe will neither kill Barnes nor return him to FirstSide so the latter winds up running a burger joint in the Commonwealth. An avowed dissident is allowed to reside and earn his living.

Having seen the Gate, Barnes thinks that the Big Bang must have been a quantum fluctuation initiating an infinite series of universes. Thus, apparently, a standing waveform drawing on zero energy would solve the dark matter problem. This sounds like some passages in Poul Anderson's Starfarers. See here and here.

If there is an infinite series of universes, might, e.g., the Commonwealth of New Virginia, the Angrezi Raj and the Domination of the Draka be separated from each other by infinite distances? No. Any two or even three universes can be separated only by finite distances however great even if there is an infinite series of such universes. But they could be so far apart that their cross-time travelers will never encounter each other in the entire histories of any of their universes.

No comments: