Thursday, March 21, 2013

I know Why Our Universe Seems to Be Expanding When It Should Be Getting Smaller

I know Why Our Universe Seems to Be Expanding When It Should Be Getting Smaller
Even if we cannot look beyond our universe, we might still be able to detect signs of another universe if, sometime in the distant past, it came careering into ours, leaving behind vestiges of that crash for some wily observers to pick up on.
- Steve Nadis, "When Universes Collide", Discover, December 2012

To start, let's make it clear that no one knows the extent of our own universe. We in the Milky Way galaxy are near one side of it. We only estimate where we think the far side is (thus how big the universe is) by measuring light that we believe travelled from its far side to reach us.

From this we also estimate the age of our universe (time since the Big Bang) at 13.8 billion years. Did that light bend, as Einstein predicted, on its long route? Would we have a way to tell if it did? Would bending of the light (or other radiation) affect measurements? When calculating distances, we tend to think of linear measurements, not measurements that bend.

If light from distant parts of the universe bends along its route, how can we calculate linear dimensions of our universe? Is everything bent consistently or does the bending vary from location to location? As you can see, what we know for certain is far less than physicists would have us believe by their confident statements.

By definition,"universe" should mean "everything that exists anywhere." That is simply not enough any more. The imaginations of cosmologists and other physicists who study what is "out there" far beyond what we can see or even detect, to learn more, have stretched even farther out.

M-theory, known more generally as String Theory, predicts that 11 dimensions and multiple universes are possible. "Possible" because these fit with the complicated and convoluted mathematics. (In physics, math rules. Anything that can't be proven by mathematics tends to be denied as non-existent.)

It follows, within the theory if not within reality, that multiple universes raise the possibility that two could collide. Or, as they are mostly composed of nothingness interspersed with a few trillions of stars and planets, one might pass right through another.

If one universe were to pass through another, how might that play out? In general, there is so much space between stars that the likelihood of one smashing into another is low. But not out of the question completely. Cars and trucks on highways are not supposed to crash into each other either.

Might one smashup account for asteroids, or even planets, in our own solar system? Might the various fields such as gravity be so upset that stars might be pulled away so they paired up with other stars as binary systems?

Physicists have calculated that this long after the Big Bang our universe should be coming back together, contracting, due to the slowing down of the stretching and the influence of gravity and perhaps other forces that want to bring the universe back to a unity.

But that is not happening. Our universe is mysteriously expanding still, even faster than ever before, except during the first short period of time after the Big Bang. Physicists have conjectured dark matter (dubious evidence so far) and dark energy (still mostly in the imagination) to account for the mystery.

We know that matter of the kind we know is subject to laws of physics, such as gravity and centrifugal force. But dark matter supposedly need not be confined by such laws. Disconnect, illogical, right? And what kind of matter would not reflect light, at all? We don't even have any evidence that dark matter has a gravitational effect on the matter we are more familiar with.

Using the Kepler observatory/telescope in space, astronomers can now locate planets in distant star systems. But the system has so far not been able to identify anything that could be called dark matter. So far the hundreds of planets they have located are ordinary star satellites that reflect light, but the light can't be seen because it is too dim and they planets are too far away.

What if, millions of years ago, two universes began to pass through each other? We can't see the far side of our own universe. What we can see and measure seems to be expanding rather that contracting. What is more, it seems to be accelerating its expansion, not slowing down.

What if the expansion physicists are measuring is really the other universe moving away from our own? Our universe could have slowed, stopped or reversed direction, while the other universe gives the impression that the whole is expanding. We couldn't tell because we look at so little of it at one time. Could physicists tell the difference between evidence from two different universes if they saw it? Or might they just use mathematics to devise some other explanation they can accept because it fits their belief set?

Not likely they could differentiate one universe from another. A majority of physicists still prefer to believe that only one universe exists, our own. Why not consider other possibilities?

Job security. Academics put their positions at risk when they publicly support any suggestion that goes against the tide of the establishment. Remember how the careers of Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann imploded after they revealed they had successfully created power by cold fusion in 1989, but others later found it could not using the same method? (Today cold fusion is being studied and explored frantically in many labs and facilities around the world.)

Let me leave you with this. Might a second universe passing through our own account for ghosts, reports of space aliens, experiences of people in different dimensions and many other phenomena we can't explain?

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want their children to grow balanced lives, not skewed by over-emphasis on intellectual or physical development.
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fernenland said...

There is an interesting report here on probing the shape of the universe through sound:
Does the sound/shape of the universe change?

Bill Allin said...

It seeems like early stages for this method, but if everything makes vibrations it could be measured.
Thanks for the link.