# Marcelo GleiserDartmouth College · Department of Physics & Astronomy

Marcelo Gleiser

## About

164

Publications

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Citations since 2017

## Publications

Publications (164)

Agents interacting with their environments, machine or otherwise, arrive at decisions based on their incomplete access to data and their particular cognitive architecture, including data sampling frequency and memory storage limitations. In particular, the same data streams, sampled and stored differently, may cause agents to arrive at different co...

Most amino acids and sugar molecules occur in mirror, or chiral, images of each other, knowns as enantiomers. However, life on Earth is mostly homochiral: proteins contain almost exclusively L-amino acids, while only D-sugars appear in RNA and DNA. The mechanism behind this fundamental asymmetry of life remains unknown, despite much progress in the...

The atmospheres of exoplanets harbor critical information about their habitability. However, extracting and interpreting that information requires both high-quality spectroscopic data and a comparative analysis to characterize the findings. Looking forward to data availability, we propose a novel, assumption-free approach adapting the Jensen-Shanno...

Most amino acids and sugars molecules occur in mirror, or chiral, images of each other, knowns as enantiomers. However, life on Earth is mostly homochiral: proteins contain almost exclusively L-amino acids, while only D-sugars appear in RNA and DNA. The mechanism behind this fundamental asymmetry of life remains unknown, despite much progress in th...

We introduce an epistemic information measure between two data streams, that we term $influence$. Closely related to transfer entropy, the measure must be estimated by epistemic agents with finite memory resources via sampling accessible data streams. We show that even under ideal conditions, epistemic agents using slightly different sampling strat...

Every scientific endeavor begins with mystery. Scientists engage in their research for a variety of reasons-as diverse as their research interests are. But at the core, we find the same sense of awe and wonder that inspires spiritual ways to look at the world.

We introduce a new approach for cosmological parameter estimation based on the information-theoretical Jensen-Shannon divergence (DJS), calculating it for models in the restricted parameter space {H0,w0,wa}, where H0 is the value of the Hubble constant today, and w0 and wa are dark energy parameters, with the other parameters held fixed at their be...

Configurational entropy (CE) consists of a family of entropic measures of information used to describe the shape complexity of spatially-localized functions with respect to a set of parameters. We obtain the Differential Configurational Entropy (DCE) for similariton waves traveling in tapered graded-index optical waveguides modeled by a generalized...

We compute the configurational complexity (CC) for discrete soliton and rogue waves traveling along an Ablowitz-Ladik-Hirota (ALH) waveguide and modeled by a discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation. We show that for a specific range of the soliton transverse direction κ propagating along the parametric time ζ(t), CC reaches an evolving series of gl...

Einstein famously claimed that “the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.” This statement suggests that no amount of scientific explanation will suffice to make sense of the bizarre situation of the human mind within the universe. So what are the actual roles of awe and wonder within the framework of contempor...

Configurational entropy (CE) consists of a family of entropic measures of information used to describe the shape complexity of spatially-localized functions with respect to a set of parameters. We obtain the Differential Configurational Entropy (DCE) for similariton waves traveling in tapered graded-index optical waveguides modeled by a generalized...

We use an information-theoretic measure of shape complexity known as configurational entropy (CE) to investigate numerically the remarkably long lifetimes of spherically-symmetric “resonant oscillons” in three-dimensional and of azimuthally-symmetric oscillons in two-dimensional relativistic scalar field theories, which have been conjectured to be...

We use an information-theoretic measure of shape complexity known as configurational entropy (CE) to investigate numerically the remarkably long lifetimes of spherically-symmetric ``resonant oscillons'' in three-dimensional and of azimuthally-symmetric oscillons in two-dimensional relativistic scalar field theories, which have been conjectured to b...

We investigate the longevity of oscillons numerically, paying particular attention to radially symmetric oscillons that have been conjectured to have an infinitely long lifetime. In two spatial dimensions, oscillons have not been seen to decay. In three spatial dimensions, specific initial Gaussian configurations seem to lead to oscillons with spik...

We investigate the longevity of oscillons numerically, paying particular attention to radially-symmetric oscillons that have been conjectured to have an infinitely-long lifetime. In two spatial dimensions, oscillons have not been seen to decay. In three spatial dimensions, specific initial Gaussian configurations seem to lead to oscillons with spik...

We introduce a new approach for cosmological parameter estimation based on the information-theoretical Jensen-Shannon Divergence (JSD), calculating it for models in the restricted parameter space {H0, w0, wa}, where H0 is the value of the Hubble constant today, and w0 and wa are dark energy parameters, with the other parameters held fixed at their...

We extend the use of configurational information measures (CIMs) to instantons and vacuum decay in arbitrary spatial dimensions. We find that both the complexity and the information content in the shape of instanton solutions have distinct regions of behavior in parameter space, discriminating between qualitative thin- and thick-wall profiles. For...

We extend the use of Configurational Information Measures (CIMSs) to instantons and vacuum decay in arbitrary spatial dimensions. We find that both the complexity and the information content in the shape of instanton solutions have distinct regions of behavior in parameter space, discriminating between qualitative thin and thick wall profiles. For...

We show that a newly proposed Shannon-like entropic measure of shape complexity applicable to spatially-localized or periodic mathematical functions known as configurational entropy (CE) can be used as a predictor of spontaneous decay rates for one-electron atoms. The CE is constructed from the Fourier transform of the atomic probability density. F...

The reach of the scientific method is constrained by the limitations of our tools and the intrinsic impenetrability of some of nature's deepest questions

The reach of the scientific method is constrained by the limitations of our tools and the intrinsic impenetrability of some of nature’s deepest questions. The reach of the scientific method is constrained by the limitations of our tools and the intrinsic impenetrability of some of nature’s deepest questions.

Oscillons are long-lived, spherically-symmetric, attractor scalar field configurations that emerge as certain field configurations evolve in time. It has been known for many years that there is a direct correlation between the initial configuration's shape and the resulting oscillon lifetime: a shape memory. In this paper we use an information entr...

We calculate the gravitational radiation background generated from boson star binaries formed in locally dense clusters with formation rate tracked by the regular star formation rate. We compute how the the frequency window in gravitational waves is affected by the boson field mass and repulsive self-coupling, anticipating constraints from EPTA and...

Science is a constructed narrative of the natural world based on information gathering and its subsequent analysis. In this essay, we develop a novel approach to the epistemic foundations of the scientific narrative, as based on our experiential interactions with the natural world. We first review some of the basic aspects of both Bayesian statisti...

This article offers a critical discussion on the question of the existence of the Universe, starting with creation myths of a variety of different cultures and ending with cutting-edge ideas from modern cosmology. Emphasising the polarised tension between Being and Becoming and its religious and philosophical origins, this article argues that this...

Science is a constructed narrative of the natural world based on information gathering and its subsequent analysis. In this essay, we develop a novel approach to the epistemic foundations of the scientific narrative, as based on our experiential interactions with the natural world. We first review some of the basic aspects of both Bayesian statisti...

We propose a new way of investigating phase transitions in the context of information theory. We use an information-entropic measure of spatial complexity known as configurational entropy (CE) to quantify both the storage and exchange of information in a lattice simulation of a Ginzburg-Landau model with a scalar order parameter coupled to a heat b...

Marcelo Gleiser has had a passion for science and fishing since he was a boy growing up on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Now a world-famous theoretical physicist with hundreds of scientific articles and several books of popular science to his credit, he felt it was time to connect with nature in less theoretical ways. After seeing a fly-fishing cl...

The essence of physical reality-what the world consists of-has been a heated focus of contention for millennia. First with philosophers and then with physicists, the debate has been polarized since the beginning: while those loosely known as Platonists search for an underlying unity in nature, others caution that such unity is unachievable in pract...

We use a novel measure of shape complexity known as configurational entropy to obtain stability bounds of various astrophysical objects. We apply the method to Newtonian polytropes, neutron stars with an Oppenheimer-Volkoff equation of state, and to self-gravitating configurations of complex scalar field (boson star) in ground and excited states. T...

The holy grail of physics has been to merge each of its fundamental branches into a unified "theory of everything" that would explain the functioning and existence of the universe. The last step toward this goal is to reconcile general relativity with the principles of quantum mechanics, a quest that has thus far eluded physicists. Will physics eve...

We present a closed bouncing universe model where the value of coupling
constants is set by the dynamics of a ghost-like dilatonic scalar field. We
show that adding a periodic potential for the scalar field leads to a cyclic
Friedmann universe where the values of the couplings vary randomly from one
cycle to the next. While the shuffling of values...

We obtain bounds on the stability of various self-gravitating astrophysical
objects using a new measure of shape complexity known as configurational
entropy. We apply the method to Newtonian polytropes, neutron stars with an
Oppenheimer-Volkoff equation of state, and to self-gravitating configurations
of complex scalar field (boson stars) with diff...

We investigate the critical behavior of continuous phase transitions in the
context of Ginzburg Landau models with a double well effective potential. In
particular, we show that the recently proposed configurational entropy, a
measure of spatial complexity of the order parameter based on its Fourier mode
decomposition, can be used to identify the c...

We investigate the existence and properties of kink-like solitons in a class
of models with two interacting scalar fields. In particular, we focus on models
that display both double and single-kink solutions, treatable analytically
using the Bogomol'nyi--Prasad--Sommerfield bound (BPS). Such models are of
interest in applications that include Skyrm...

We investigate the rich nonlinear dynamics during the end of hilltop
inflation by numerically solving the coupled Klein-Gordon-Friedmann equations
in a expanding universe. In particular, we search for coherent, nonperturbative
configurations that may emerge due to the combination of nontrivial couplings
between the fields and resonant effects from...

Spatially-bound objects across diverse length and energy scales are
characterized by a binding energy. We propose that their spatial structure is
mathematically encoded as information in their momentum modes and described by
a measure known as configurational entropy (CE). Investigating solitonic
Q-balls and stars with a polytropic equation of stat...

The canonical way of building theories in physics relies heavily on
Hamilton's principle of least action. The resulting classical solution
to a given theory is one whose energy is minimized; any perturbation to
the solution results in an increase in its energy. The question is
whether there are other quantities that are extremized by the
variationa...

The transition from inflation to power-law expansion is a rich nonlinear
nonequilibrium physical process. For this reason, much is still unknown
about this epoch in early universe physics, which has been dubbed the
``new big bang" by many colleagues. Here I describe results from the
past few years of research, some of which in collaboration with No...

We investigate the possibility that prebiotic homochirality can be achieved exclusively through chiral-selective reaction rate parameters without any other explicit mechanism for chiral bias. Specifically, we examine an open network of polymerization reactions, where the reaction rates can have chiral-selective values. The reactions are neither aut...

We propose a measure of order in the context of nonequilibrium field theory
and argue that this measure, which we call relative configurational entropy
(RCE), may be used to quantify the emergence of coherent low-entropy
configurations, such as time-dependent or time-independent topological and
nontopological spatially-extended structures. As an il...

The history of life on Earth and in other potential life-bearing planetary
platforms is deeply linked to the history of the universe. Since life as we
know it relies on chemical elements forged in dying heavy stars, the universe
needs to be old enough for stars to form and evolve. Current cosmological
theory indicates that the universe is 13.7$\pm...

A key open question in the study of life is the origin of biomolecular
homochirality: almost every life-form on Earth has exclusively levorotary amino
acids and dextrorotary sugars. Will the same handedness be preferred if life is
found elsewhere? We review some of the pertinent literature and discuss recent
results suggesting that life's homochira...

We construct a configurational entropy measure in functional space. We apply
it to several nonlinear scalar field models featuring solutions with
spatially-localized energy, including solitons and bounces in one spatial
dimension, and critical bubbles in three spatial dimensions, typical of
first-order phase transitions. Such field models are of wi...

The phase transition associated with the standard electroweak model is very weakly first order. The weakness of the transition means that around the critical temperature the finite-temperature Higgs mass is much less than the critical temperature. This leads to infrared problems in the calculation of the parameters of the potential. Therefore, theo...

We investigate the nonlinear dynamics of hybrid inflation models, which are
characterized by two real scalar fields interacting quadratically. We start by
solving numerically the coupled Klein-Gordon equations in static Minkowski
spacetime, searching for possible coherent structures. We find long-lived,
localized configurations, which we identify a...

Through a detailed numerical investigation in three spatial dimensions, we demonstrate that long-lived time-dependent field configurations emerge dynamically during symmetry breaking in an expanding de Sitter spacetime. We investigate two situations: a single scalar field with a double-well potential and the bosonic sector of an SU(2) non-Abelian H...

We introduce novel symmetry-breaking control parameters, investigate the possible environmental influences on the evolution of prebiotic chirality, and discuss the possible role of chirality in the transition from chemistry to biology.

It is argued that selection criteria usually referred to as "anthropic
conditions" for the existence of intelligent (typical) observers widely adopted
in cosmology amount only to preconditions for primitive life. The existence of
life does not imply in the existence of intelligent life. On the contrary, the
transition from single-celled to complex,...

There is a widespread assumption that the universe in general, and life in particular, is 'getting more complex with time'. This book brings together a wide range of experts in science, philosophy and theology and unveils their joint effort in exploring this idea. They confront essential problems behind the theory of complexity and the role of life...

We present a comprehensive, nonperturbative analytical method to investigate the dynamics of time-dependent oscillating scalar field configurations. The method is applied to oscillons in a double well Klein-Gordon model in two and three spatial dimensions, yielding high accuracy results in the characterization of all aspects of the complex oscillon...

The activation-polymerization-epimerization-depolymerization (APED) model of
Plasson et al. has recently been proposed as a mechanism for the evolution of
homochirality on prebiotic Earth. The dynamics of the APED model in
two-dimensional spatially-extended systems is investigated for various
realistic reaction parameters. It is found that the APED...

We present a numerical investigation of the dynamics of symmetry breaking in both Abelian and non-Abelian [SU(2)] Higgs models in three spatial dimensions. We find a class of time-dependent, long-lived nonperturbative field configurations within the range of parameters corresponding to type-1 superconductors, that is, with vector masses (mv) larger...

The search for life elsewhere in the universe is a pivotal question in modern science. However, to address whether life is common in the universe we must first understand the likelihood of abiogenesis by studying the origin of life on Earth. A key missing piece is the origin of biomolecular homochirality: permeating almost every life-form on Earth...

Most biomolecules occur in mirror, or chiral, images of each other. However, life is homochiral: proteins contain almost exclusively L-amino acids, while only D-sugars appear in RNA and DNA. The mechanism behind this fundamental asymmetry of life remains an open problem. Coupling the spatiotemporal evolution of a general autocatalytic polymerizatio...

We develop an analytical procedure to compute all relevant physical properties of scalar field oscillons in models with quartic polynomial potentials: energy, radius, frequency, core amplitude, and lifetime. We compare our predictions to numerical simulations of models with symmetric and asymmetric double-well potentials in three spatial dimensions...

A generalized autocatalytic model for chiral polymerization is investigated in detail. Apart from enantiomeric cross-inhibition, the model allows for the autogenic (non-catalytic) formation of left and right-handed monomers from a substrate with reaction rates epsilon L and epsilon R, respectively. The spatiotemporal evolution of the net chiral asy...

We investigate the stochastic dynamics of a particle in the presence of a modulated sinusoidal potential. Using the time derivative of the winding number, we quantify the particle's motion according to its running time, the time it runs monotonically to the left or right. For a range of model parameters, we show that, in the overdamped regime, the...

We investigate the role of nonperturbative, bubblelike inhomogeneities on the decay rate of false-vacuum states in two- and three-dimensional scalar field theories. The inhomogeneities are induced by setting up large-amplitude oscillations of the field about the false vacuum, as, for example, after a rapid quench or in certain models of cosmologica...

Nonlinear field theories can be used to study both standard physics questions, or to study questions such as the emergence of order and complexity. These theories are generally derived from the symmetries of a given problem and the interactions that respect those symmetries. Formally one can then quantize the system to find the masses of the fundam...

The role of asymmetry on the evolution of prebiotic homochirality is investigated in the context of autocatalytic polymerization reaction networks. A model featuring enantiometric cross-inhibition and chiral bias is used to study the diffusion equations controlling the spatiotemporal development of left and right-handed domains. Bounds on the chira...

The dynamics of phase transitions plays a crucial rôle in the so-called interface between high energy particle physics and
cosmology. Many of the interesting results generated during the last fifteen years or so rely on simplified assumptions concerning
the complex mechanisms typical of nonequilibrium field theories. After reviewing well-known resu...

We show numerically that the low-momentum scattering of a vortex-antivortex pair leads to an oscillon for low scalar to vector mass ratios in the 2d Abelian Higgs model. The spherically symmetric oscillon lives 2-4 orders of magnitude longer than the fundamental time scales and has an associated dipole gauge field strength and charge density. The a...

We show that the annihilation of vortex-antivortex pairs can lead to very long-lived oscillon states in 2d Abelian Higgs models. The emergence of oscillons is controlled by the ratio of scalar and vector field masses, beta=(m(s)/m(v))(2) and can be described as a phase transition in field configuration space with critical value beta(c)similar or eq...

The development of prebiotic homochirality on early-Earth or another planetary platform may be viewed as a critical phenomenon. It is shown, in the context of spatio-temporal polymerization reaction networks, that environmental effects--be they temperature surges or other external disruptions--may destroy any net chirality previously produced. In o...

We investigate the emergence of time-dependent nonperturbative configurations during the evolution of nonlinear scalar field models with symmetric and asymmetric double-well potentials. Complex spatio-temporal behavior emerges as the system seeks to establish equipartition after a fast quench. We show that fast quenches may dramatically modify the...

We investigate the emergence of time-dependent nonperturbative configurations
during the evolution of nonlinear scalar field models with symmetric and
asymmetric double-well potentials. Complex spatio-temporal behavior emerges as
the system seeks to establish equipartition after a fast quench. We show that
fast quenches may dramatically modify the...

The basic properties of oscillons -- localized, long-lived, time-dependent scalar field configurations -- are briefly reviewed, including recent results demonstrating how their existence depends on the dimensionality of spacetime. Their role on the dynamics of phase transitions is discussed, and it is shown that oscillons may greatly accelerate the...

We investigate the properties of $Q$-balls in $d$ spatial dimensions. First, a generalized virial relation for these objects is obtained. We then focus on potentials $V(\phi\phi^{\dagger})= \sum_{n=1}^{3} a_n(\phi\phi^{\dagger})^n$, where $a_n$ is a constant and $n$ is an integer, obtaining variational estimates for their energies for arbitrary cha...

We investigate the role played by fast quenching on the decay of metastable (or false vacuum) states. Instead of the exponentially slow decay rate per unit volume, Gamma(HN) approximately exp([-E(b)/k(B)T] (E(b) is the free energy of the critical bubble), predicted by homogeneous nucleation theory, we show that under fast enough quenching the decay...

Extremely long-lived, time-dependent, spatially-bound scalar field configurations are shown to exist in d spatial dimensions for a wide class of polynomial interactions parameterized as . Assuming spherical symmetry and if V″<0 for a range of values of ϕ(t,r), such configurations exist if: (i) spatial dimensionality is below an upper-critical dimen...

I report on recent work concerning the existence and stability of self-gravitating spheres with anisotropic pressure. After presenting new exact solutions, Chandrasekhar's variational formalism for radial perturbations is generalized to anisotropic objects and applied to investigate their stability. It is shown that anisotropy can not only support...

I present a non-technical and necessarily biased and incomplete overview of our present understanding of the physical universe and its constituents, emphasizing what we have learned from the explosive growth in cosmological and astrophysical data acquisition and some of the key open questions that remain. The topics are organized under the labels s...

We investigate the nonequilibrium evolution of a scalar field in (2+1) dimensions. The field is set in a double-well potential in contact (open) or not (closed) with a heat bath. For closed systems, we observe the synchronized emergence of coherent spatiotemporal configurations, identified with oscillons. This initial global ordering degenerates in...

We investigate, analytically and numerically, the emergence of spatio-temporal order in nonequilibrium scalar field theories. The onset of order is triggered by destabilizing interactions (DIs), which instantaneously change the interacting potential from a single to a double-well, tunable to be either degenerate (SDW) or nondegenerate (ADW). For th...

We investigate the stability of self-gravitating spherically symmetric
anisotropic spheres under radial perturbations. We consider both the Newtonian
and the full general-relativistic perturbation treatment. In the
general-relativistic case, we extend the variational formalism for spheres with
isotropic pressure developed by Chandrasekhar. We find...

We investigate the approach to thermal equilibrium of (1+1)-dimensional stochastic Ginzburg–Landau models at varying cooling rates. The nonequilibrium dynamics is modeled by coupling the field to an external heat bath with damping rate η. We argue that the departure from thermal equilibrium can be measured from the absolute value of the rate of cha...

We study the nonequilibrium growth of a weakly interacting homogeneous Bose gas after a quench from a high-temperature state to a temperature below the Bose–Einstein critical condensation temperature. We quantitatively characterize the departure from thermal equilibrium and observe the presence of two equilibration time scales. The equilibration ti...

We study the effects of anisotropic pressure on the properties of spherically symmetric, gravitationally bound objects. We consider the full general-relativistic treatment of this problem and obtain exact solutions for various forms of the equation of state connecting the radial and tangential pressures. It is shown that pressure anisotropy can hav...

This paper has been withdrawn. A much-improved version can be found at hep-ph/0209176.