Towards inclusion of biology in cosmology



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Recording Details

Speaker(s): 
PIRSA Number: 
19110104

Abstract

Cosmologists wish to explain how our universe, in all its complexity, could ever have come about. For that, we assess the number degrees of freedom in our Universe now. This plays the role of entropy in thermodynamics of the Universe, and reveals the magnitude of the problem of initial conditions to be solved. In our budget, we account for gravity, thermal motions, and finally the vacuum energy whose entropy, given by the Bekenstein bound, dominates the entropy budget today.

There is however one number which we have not accounted for: the number of degrees of freedom in our complex biosphere. What is the entropy of life? Is it sizeable enough to need to be accounted for at the Big Bang, or negligible compared to vacuum entropy?