F Rosa Rubicondior: Creationism in Crisis - How Order Emerges From Chaos - Naturally

Monday 29 April 2024

Creationism in Crisis - How Order Emerges From Chaos - Naturally


It's a fundamental mantra of creationism that you'll see chanted over and over again as though it’s a proof that their god must exist, "You can't get order from chaos". It’s as fundamental, and as mindless, as the mantra, "You can't get life from non-life".

Both of them ignore the evidence and neither of them can be explained any more so than a parrot can explain its squawks.

And now a Tokyo University team has demonstrated that order can indeed emerge from chaos at different levels from the quantum to the macro level of flocks of birds, when there is a force acting between the particles to make it what they term an 'active matter'. They explain their findings in a highly technical, mathematical paper, the maths of which is quite incomprehensible to me, in the journal, Physical Review Research. The basic requirements for 'active matter' are that the particles (agents) are moving and that there is repulsion between them. In the case of a flock of birds, the repulsion is in the form of maintaining a distance between the individuals.

The researchers have explained their findings in a news release from Tokyo University:

Researchers Kazuaki Takasan and Kyogo Kawaguchi of the University of Tokyo with Kyosuke Adachi of RIKEN, Japan's largest comprehensive research institution, have demonstrated that ferromagnetism, an ordered state of atoms, can be induced by increasing particle motility and that repulsive forces between atoms are sufficient to maintain it. The discovery not only extends the concept of active matter to quantum systems but also contributes to the development of novel technologies that rely on the magnetic properties of particles, such as magnetic memory and quantum computing. The findings were published in the journal Physical Review Research.

Flocking birds, swarming bacteria, cellular flows. These are all examples of active matter, a state in which individual agents, such as birds, bacteria, or cells, self-organize. The agents change from a disordered to an ordered state in what is called a "phase transition." As a result, they move together in an organized fashion without an external controller.

Previous studies have shown that the concept of active matter can apply to a wide range of scales, from nanometers (biomolecules) to meters (animals). However, it has not been known whether the physics of active matter can be applied usefully in the quantum regime. We wanted to fill in that gap.

Kazuaki Takasan, first author
Department of Physics
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
To fill the gap, the researchers needed to demonstrate a possible mechanism that could induce and maintain an ordered state in a quantum system. It was a collaborative work between physics and biophysics. The researchers took inspiration from the phenomena of flocking birds because, due to the activity of each agent, the ordered state is more easily achieved than in other types of active matter. They created a theoretical model in which atoms were essentially mimicking the behavior of birds. In this model, when they increased the motility of the atoms, the repulsive forces between atoms rearranged them into an ordered state called ferromagnetism. In the ferromagnetic state, spins, the angular momentum of subatomic particles and nuclei, align in one direction, just like how flocking birds face the same direction while flying.

It was surprising at first to find that the ordering can appear without elaborate interactions between the agents in the quantum model. It was different from what was expected based on biophysical models.

The extension of active matter to the quantum world has only recently begun, and many aspects are still open. We would like to further develop the theory of quantum active matter and reveal its universal properties.

Kazuaki Takasan.
The researcher took a multi-faceted approach to ensure their finding was not a fluke. Thankfully, the results of computer simulations, mean-field theory, a statistical theory of particles, and mathematical proofs based on linear algebra were all consistent. This strengthened the reliability of their finding, the first step in a new line of research.
Schematic picture of activity-induced ferromagnetism in quantum active matter. Here, moving atoms with spins exhibits the ferromagnetic order (i.e., aligning in one direction) like a flock of birds depicted above.

We study a non-Hermitian quantum many-body model in one dimension analogous to the Vicsek model or active spin models, and investigate its quantum phase transitions. The model consists of two-component hard-core bosons with ferromagnetic interactions and activity, i.e., spin-dependent asymmetric hopping. Numerical results show the emergence of a ferromagnetic order induced by the activity, a quantum counterpart of flocking, that even survives in the absence of ferromagnetic interaction. We confirm this phenomenon by proving that activity generally increases the ground-state energies of the paramagnetic states, whereas the ground-state energy of the ferromagnetic state does not change. By solving the two-particle case, we find that the effective alignment is caused by avoiding the bound-state formation due to the non-Hermitian skin effect in the paramagnetic state. We employ a two-site mean-field theory based on the two-particle result and qualitatively reproduce the phase diagram. We further numerically study a variant of our model with the hard-core condition relaxed, and confirm the robustness of ferromagnetic order emerging due to activity.

Kazuaki Takasan, Kyosuke Adachi, and Kyogo Kawaguchi (2024)
Activity-induced ferromagnetism in one-dimensional quantum many-body systems Phys. Rev. Research 6, 023096. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevResearch.6.023096

Copyright: © 2024 The authors.
Published by the American Physical Society. Open access,
Reprinted under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY 4.0)
In summary, so long as the agents are moving and there is a force acting between them, no external influence is required for the 'active matter' to self-organise. In other words, there is no place for a god in the explanation for how order can emerge from chaos, in contradiction to the creationist dogma that no such phase transition is possible without their magic creator.

And another creationist core belief is shown to be at odds with reality.

Ten Reasons To Lose Faith: And Why You Are Better Off Without It

This book explains why faith is a fallacy and serves no useful purpose other than providing an excuse for pretending to know things that are unknown. It also explains how losing faith liberates former sufferers from fear, delusion and the control of others, freeing them to see the world in a different light, to recognise the injustices that religions cause and to accept people for who they are, not which group they happened to be born in. A society based on atheist, Humanist principles would be a less divided, more inclusive, more peaceful society and one more appreciative of the one opportunity that life gives us to enjoy and wonder at the world we live in.

Available in Hardcover, Paperback or ebook for Kindle


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