Every creature or object in this world will start to deteriorate and disintegrate at some point. Their energy and particles will eventually spread uniformly throughout the entire universe. The phenomenon that causes matter and energy to spread gradually is called “thermalization,” and it’s irreversible. The beginning of this process is difficult to pinpoint.
Jürgen Berges, a theoretical physicist at Heidelberg University in Germany, said: “If you start far from equilibrium, like in the early universe, how does the arrow of time emerge, starting from first principles?” Berges has been studying this problem for more than ten years, struggling to understand universality in far-from-equilibrium dynamics.
Berges and his colleagues have been researching this phenomenon for the last few years. They observed systems of all kinds, from the hottest plasma ever produced to the coldest gas.
Scientists Revealed The Universe’s Origins Via Thermalization Process Of Far-From-Equilibrium Systems
The results of the study show that, no matter what the system consists of, the matter will always obey the same universal rule of evolving over time. According to researchers, the initial stages of thermalization include different dynamics than the rest of the process. It seems that far-from-equilibrium systems exhibit fractal-like behavior, meaning that they display the same characteristics at different spatial and temporal scales.
However, Berges’ team also discovered that a value called the “scaling exponent” intervenes in later stages of thermalization and rescales the speed of particles. This fractal-like behavior can be observed in all types of quantum systems.
Nicole Yunger Halpern, a quantum physicist at Harvard, expressed her opinion on the discovery: “I find this work exciting because it pulls out a unifying principle that we can use to understand large classes of far-from-equilibrium systems. These studies offer hope that we can describe even these very messy, complicated systems with simple patterns.”
Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News. She covers politics and the economy.