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Compact Cosmos

51 50 FINETUNINGMULTIVERSES through the wormhole For us,the universe is just right. The anthropic principletakes this a step further by stating that if it wasnt, we wouldnt be here. One example of such cosmic benevolence is a convenient energy level of carbon which allows significant quantities to form in stars. Without it carbonbased life would be stuck for raw materials. The behavior of matter and energy pivots on twenty or so finely tuned constants, including the masses of fundamental particles, the strengths of the forces binding atomic nuclei, and the relative weakness of gravity compared with the other forces. If these constants were varied even slightly then the universe would be a very different place. Atoms might be so unstable that matter itself could not exist,or stars would evolve unable to build the heavier elements needed for life. Perhaps the universe might not even get beyond an initial miniscule fireball. Some theories allow for parallel universes, which can have very different rules. It could be that some or all possibilities, including ourselves,may exist as players in a larger multiverse. Joining all this together,like holes in a Swiss cheese,could be the task of wormholes,highly speculative tunnels burrowing through the fabric of spacetime to link normally widely separated regions. Creating a longlived wormhole big enough to allow safe passage would probably require exotic matter and feats of engineering a trifle beyond our current feeble technologies.
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