Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have made a groundbreaking discovery that has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. In a study published in Science Advances, they reveal the existence of a range in which fundamental constants can vary, providing the necessary viscosity for vital life processes within and between living cells. This revelation not only sheds light on the origins of these constants but also deepens our understanding of their profound impact on life as we know it.
Physical constants play a pivotal role in shaping the very fabric of our universe. These quantities are believed to be both universal and unchanging over time, serving as the building blocks for nuclear reactions and influencing the formation of molecular structures essential for life. However, their origins have remained a mystery until now. This research brings us one step closer to unraveling the enigma of where these fundamental constants come from.
Surprisingly, the study finds a direct link between viscosity and fundamental constants, opening up a new avenue of exploration in the field of life sciences. Motion is crucial for life processes within and between cells, and viscosity determines the properties of this motion. If fundamental constants were to change, the viscosity would be affected, profoundly impacting life as we know it. For instance, if water becomes as viscous as tar, life in its current form would cease to exist. This applies to all life forms that rely on liquid states for functioning.
The Delicate Balance
Any alteration to fundamental constants, whether an increase or decrease, would spell trouble for flow and liquid-based life. The researchers anticipate that there exists a narrow window within which these constants must fall. Even a minute change, such as a few percent difference in values like the Planck constant or electron charge, could render the viscosity of our blood too thick or too thin for the proper functioning of our bodies. This delicate balance highlights the intricacies of life’s dependence on the finely tuned nature of fundamental constants.
The Evolution of Fundamental Constants
The prevailing belief was that fundamental constants were fine-tuned billions of years ago to facilitate the creation of heavy nuclei in stars. At that time, life as we know it did not exist, and there was no apparent need for these constants to enable cellular life billions of years in the future. However, this research presents a surprising revelation – these constants are inherently bio-friendly, enabling the flow within and between living cells.
Furthermore, this discovery suggests an intriguing parallel with biological evolution. Just as traits were acquired independently through evolutionary mechanisms, it is plausible that the multiple tunings of fundamental constants over time have led to sustainable physical structures. By harnessing the principles of evolution, we may gain valuable insights into the origins of these constants and the intricate relationship between nature and physical structures.
The exploration of fundamental constants has taken a radical turn with the recent discovery by researchers from Queen Mary University of London. Understanding the range in which these constants can vary and their impact on viscosity opens up new possibilities for unraveling the mysteries of our universe. This revelation not only brings us closer to understanding the origins of fundamental constants but also highlights their vital role in the existence of life as we know it.
As we continue our journey of scientific discovery, bridging the gap between physics and life sciences, we may unlock profound insights into the intricate mechanisms that govern our universe. By embracing the principles of evolution, we can further our understanding of the origin and significance of fundamental constants, shedding light on the fundamental nature of our existence.