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Quantum life forms - viperzerofsx - 03-29-2016

Hello! so I found this article a while ago but never saw much more on the subject. The idea is hypothetical quantum life forms I'm trying to visualize it

Quote:Life as we know it is based on chemistry but what, asks Randy D. Allen of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oklahoma State University, if life elsewhere is based, not on chemistry but on quantum mechanics?

An alien life form that can manipulate subatomic particles like our cells manipulate chemical compounds. Humans have existed as a species for less than a million years and we are, as far as we know, the only species on Earth that has even the vaguest notion of physics. We only discovered the atom and learned to unleash its power, Allen observes, within the last century: "Our understanding of quantum mechanics is rudimentary, at best, yet we are on the verge of developing practical quantum computers that promise virtually unlimited computational power. It is conceivable that, in the billions of years since the Big Bang, other organisms evolved at some time and some place that have already mastered quantum mechanics. Let’s say that intelligent, social, organisms with chemically-based metabolism, fundamentally not unlike ourselves, evolved on a planet somewhere in the universe. Their unquenchable curiosity about the universe (or, like us, their unquenchable desire to exploit it) led them to develop efficient quantum computers. They realized that, with such computers, the whole of their existence could be computerized, all memories and life experiences, all emotions and motivations, could be transferred to a collective “quantum brain”. In effect, their “species”, though biologically extinct, could become immortal. No more inefficient metabolism requiring huge energy input, no chemically derived bodies to wear out, no reproduction, no death, no taxes. Just supermassively parallel collective consciousness with unlimited capabilities. Perhaps, through super symmetry or entanglement, they can “see” or “feel” the entire universe. Maybe, they’ve gained the ability to manipulate elementary particles and can control its evolution and its fate."

seems like a good way to get a sufficiently advanced alien, but how plausible is it really?

RE: Quantum life forms - Drashner1 - 03-29-2016

Stripped to basics, the article is really just imagining that at some point in the past some alien race could have figured out how to upload their minds into their computers and might then go on to become even more technologically advanced than they already were, eventually reaching a level of intelligence and technology that would seem magical to us in the here and now.

None of that is really new, either by OA standards or Transhumanist standards in general.

If/when we figure out how to upload our minds into computers, then things like immortality, sharing thoughts, and possibly some form of group mind being created are all longstanding ideas in this area, along with other things. The article tries to put a new spin on things by waving the quantum wand, but in reality we don't know if quantum computers will ever be general purpose machines, nor are they believed to be required for uploading to work. There is also nothing to support the idea that, even if we mastered general purpose quantum computers, that this would lead to any level of control over the fundamental forces of the universe. It might. But it is just as likely that it won't, or that any such comtrol would come from something else, or be developed as a result of a civ being old enough or increasing its intelligence via conventional computers or the like.

Beyond that, the article isn't very well written and seems to be kludging a bunch of ideas together (virtually all of which I've seen before), without very good editing or transitions between them. I've seen better, including OA discussions and articles.

If you'd like to kick around the ideas in the article in more general terms, OA touches on a lot of them and we are generally up for a chatSmile

What would you like to talk about?


RE: Quantum life forms - viperzerofsx - 03-29-2016

(03-29-2016, 03:31 AM)Drashner1 Wrote: What would you like to talk about?

I guess what I really wanted to talk about is this"An alien life form that can manipulate subatomic particles like our cells manipulate chemical compounds." You ever read watchmen with Dr Manhattan? or Evangelion with Rei? they both seem to have powers inspired by the strangeness in quantum mechanics and I was trying to imagine a really alien species like that. Of course I have no idea if its really plausible, it doesn't seem to be (I've seen odd stuff on that site before but it did get me thinking), but if it has some basis in truth it might be interesting to explore in fiction.

RE: Quantum life forms - stevebowers - 03-29-2016

Most of those abilities would be replicable with OA transapientech/godtech; the difference would be that there would need to be some real-world infrastructure, either warp bubbles or some other metric engineering, or perhaps structures and equipment made from, or partly made from magmatter. Note that godtech in OA has some real limitations, even if those limitations are quite generous.

Of course anything the transapients and archai in OA could do would also be do-able by any alien civilisation at roughly the same level as the Spehirotics; there could be remnants of ancient god-tech lying around in the Galaxy, some of which could be sophont or trans-sophont. So god-like aliens that are very difficult to detect are a definite possibility in the OA scenario. I would assume that the Terragen archai and transapients would be aware of this possibility, and deploy detection systems sensitive enough to detect entities of this type.

RE: Quantum life forms - Drashner1 - 03-29-2016

Various authors have written stories that include (or are about) entities that might be more in line with what you're thinking of here.

Creatures living on neutron stars, made out of dark matter, or existing as stable patterns in the magnetic fields generated by a black hole have all been described. Also a few living stars or lifeforms living in stars.

Limiting ourselves to authors who are also physicists:

Dragon's Egg and it's sequel Starquake by Robert L. Forward - life on a neutron star

Eater - by Gregory Benford - a living black hole (actually a lifeform of magnetic fields and plasma with the black hole basically powering it).

The Galactic Center series by Benford also has passing mention of magnetic entities living around the black hole at the galactic core and he's also done a story about creatures made of interstellar plasma (can't recall title atm).

RL scientists have also speculated about future civs converting themselves into beings of electron-positron plasma to survive into deep time.

In all these cases, the beings involved could sometimes do some impressive things, but this was mainly as a result of the energy and scale they lived at. They couldn't modify physical laws or play games with quantum effects. But they could be quite cool in their way and at least some have a basis in real world physics.

Hope this helps,