Fellow Numinators—armchair travelers—I offer a final “taste of the
Cosmos” as food for your thought. When last we met, our Numination
focused on the microcosm of quantum reality. This time we shall expand
our vision to the limits of the universe. We ourselves lie somewhere
in between. Ours is a macro world compared to that of quantum
mechanics. It requires a huge number of quantum components to
construct us and the world of our lives and experiences. We can have
no direct contact with the quantum world. The properties of our world
only emerge from large numbers of things happening very, very fast in a
microcosm far removed from us in size.
At the macro-end of the size scale, there is a Cosmos that we will also
never navigate. There are spans of time and measures of space that we
know of but can never cross. At least, not as individuals. So, let’s
reach out with our minds, from the comfort of our armchairs, to the
farther galaxies and revisit why their light appears to be red shifted.
The farther away another galaxy is from us, the more red shifted the
light is coming from it. The implication drawn from this by today’s
scientists is that the red shift is due to the Doppler effects of
motion, and the more distant a galaxy is, the faster it moves away from
us. However, what if there were another explanation for the red shift?
What if it were not due to the Doppler effect of relative motion, but
to some other kind of energy loss? Why do we expect that a quantum of
energy, after traveling for several billion years, will be as robust as
it was when it set out? If any energy were somehow “bled off,” the
effect would still be a red shift. A different cause, but precisely
the same effect.
We can verify that Doppler red shifts (those due to the relative motion
between source and observer) are possible, but we can’t verify an
“energy decay” that takes billions of years to occur. Any red shift
looks like any other. For example, light is red shifted when it
travels from a source deeper in a “gravity well” to an observer higher
up. Could the curvature due to a “gravity well” be similar to the
curvature of a universal geodesic? If the red shift of distant
galaxies is not due to their motion away from us, but due to some other
cause, then there was very likely no Big Bang. The universe, on the
grand scale, could be eternal and static. More than one thing could
explain the red shift of light from distant objects. We simply have no
data to sort them out, because all of our observations are restricted
to the near end of forever.
According to the leaps of conjecture we took in our last Numination,
black holes are the very stuff of which we’re made, and the very source
of all creation beyond the original existence of space and the energy
it contains. The tiniest black holes are particles. Stellar black
holes turn into supernovas and generate the heavy elements. Much
larger black holes might erupt to create the protons, neutrons, and
electrons of first generation stars. Cosmic black holes are universes
unto themselves. Our universe could be a very large black hole
contained in a larger one, and so on. All space is warped by the
quanta it contains into finite, but unbounded, chunks. Each chunk is
defined by its geodesic curvature, which is defined in turn by the
paths that light takes to travel through it (which is set by the total
quanta producing the gravity within it). On the Grand Scale, the
universe may be static and eternal.
Now let’s take a look at the “Universe of the Big Bang.” This will
follow the “standard model” pretty closely, but keep in mind that not
every scientist is lined up in lock step over each point in this
description. Based on the observation that galaxies are uniformly
distributed in all three dimensions throughout known space, and that
the more distant they are, the more red-shifted they are, scientists
have inferred that a Big Bang some 15 billion years ago was the origin
of the universe.
This was not an explosion at a point in three dimensional space, but an
inflation of our three dimensional space within a fourth spatial
dimension. The way to think of this is to imagine a balloon. Blow it
up just a little and use a marking pen to put ink dots all over it.
Each dot represents a galaxy. Now blow it up quite a bit more. Notice
that each dot gets farther away from its nearest neighbors. All the
dots move away from each other, but the farther away two dots are, the
faster they move away from each other as the balloon is blown up. The
two dimensional surface of the balloon is an analogy to the three
dimensions of our own universe. Every line around the circumference of
the balloon is a geodesic. Its two-dimensional surface expands into
three dimensions. The Big Bang requires our three dimensional universe
to be the surface of a four dimensional “balloon.”
If the Big Bang had simply been an explosion in three dimensions, it
would have produced an expanding sphere of matter and energy. The
energy would have traveled away from the point of origin at the speed
of light, and the matter at some lesser speed. The explosion would be
like a shell. Empty space would lie ahead of its wavefront, and
relatively empty space would be enclosed within the expanding shell.
Observations show us that this is not the case—we find that galaxies
are distributed uniformly in all directions. Hence, the “balloon”
scenario. In the standard model, the inflation of space itself does
not have to obey the “speed limit” of light, and it is postulated that
the universe initially expanded much faster than light could propagate
through it. It is claimed that, even now, radiation from the original
explosion is still reaching us. This radiation is called the Cosmic
In the standard model light also follows the paths of universal
geodesics, and the geodesics themselves are still expanding. It has
not been determined if they will continue to expand forever, stop at
some point, or even reverse and contract into some kind of Big Crunch.
In fact, the mechanism and implications of this kind of expansion and
contraction continue to be the subjects of lively scientific debate.
Many crucial points in this model are far from being resolved—but, the
fact of the Big Bang is rarely questioned.
One problem with the standard model is that so many aspects of it
appear to be unrelated. Or, worse yet, that so many “fortunate”
coincidences have ocurred to produce a universe in which we could
arise. Of course, if this hadn’t been the case we wouldn’t be here.
Given the fact that we are here, some scientists say it doesn’t matter
how fantastically improbable a universe based on our model is, the
model need only be supported by the fact that we are here. However,
the best scientific theories and models have plausible connections all
the way through. The standard model falls a bit short in this area.
What we have tried to do with this series of Numinations is to suggest
alternatives for some of the assumptions of relativity, quantum
mechanics, and the Big Bang. To summarize a bit, the model under
Numination has it that there was no Big Bang—it postulates a different
explanation for the red shift of distant galaxies. Our Numination has
it that quanta (photons) are the constituents of everything (matter is
simply energy in special configurations). This model has it that there
is a deterministic reality at the quantum level, and only our inability
to access it limits us to models involving “probability clouds” and
“wave functions.” It posits that three dimensional space is infinite,
and that time has no beginning or end; that geodesics form in three
dimensional space causing “pockets” (black holes) that are
topologically equivalent to “surfaces” in a four dimensional continuum
(but that there is no “real” fourth dimension).
In the Numination model, geodesics result from the gravitational
curvature of space, a curvature that is defined by the propagation of
light. The geodesics of a black hole expand when there is a sustained
pressure (incredible fireball produced by the total annihilation of
matter) within it. On the smallest scale this is the case when an
electron annihilates a positron. On larger scales, it would be more
like the early stages of the Big Bang as it is currently conceived, but
space itself would not expand, only the geodesics within it would
change. All quanta travel exactly at the speed of light as compared to
the background of space. When a black hole eruption into the next
higher “geodesic environment” was complete, the original black hole
would cease to exist. All quanta previously trapped within it would be
Time in this model is nothing more than a comparison between periodic
phenomena. The most basic of these are linked directly to the
universal constant, the speed of light. Less fundamental
phenomena—from the semi-fixed and semi-chaotic orbital mechanics of
photons and particles, to the phenomena of heat, entropy, information
theory, and biological processes—have a huge asymmetry of probability
that gives an absolute direction to the passage of time. Time as a
scalar unit is a convenience in defining physical models. Time as we
experience it is an emergent property. Time as a dimension, or the
concept of “time travel,” is nothing more than a confabulation of
unrelated concepts (an intriguing fantasy).
Space and the quanta it contains may never have had a beginning, but
the geodesics of our present universe did, and every photon and
particle within it had a beginning and will have an end, in that they
transmuted from, and will trasmute into, other photons or particles.
All objects and phenomena are simply localized rearrangements of space
and collections of quanta. Original creation? There is no such thing!
Recycling is total and eternal. Everything is made from something that
existed before. Everything is either a copy of something else, an
accidental arrangement, or it lies somewhere in between. Evolution is
the process that allows new arrangements to emerge, but no process
permits a change in total quanta.
And, this Numination is no exception—it’s been traveled, tasted, and
it’s ready for recycling!
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