The majority of cosmologists believe our universe is expanding at increasing speeds. This theory is supported by the “red shift” discovered by Edwin Hubbell and others. In effect, inflation and the Big Bang theories explained the shift to the red, the lower frequency part of the spectrum, for light emitted from galaxies.
The red shift became greater for the more distant galaxies. Hubbell and most modern cosmologists believed this proved that the universe was expanding at accelerating speeds. But this cannot be explained by gravity, which would cause a decrease in expansion over time.
Many cosmologists look to dark energy to explain what is happening; however, this mysterious force is glued into the inflationary theme in an effort to prop the old beliefs up, rather than examining new ideas.
A new theory of cosmology may be in order. Christof Wetterich, a physicist at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, believes that the universe may be shrinking. In his paper, A Universe without Expansion, he discussed a new theory “where the universe shrinks rather than expands during the radiation and matter dominated periods”. He argued that the red shift also could be explained by a shrinking universe.
He wrote: “Only dimensionless ratios as the distance between galaxies divided by the atom radius are observable. The cosmological increase of this ratio would also be attributed to shrinking atoms.” He noted that the light emitted by atoms was also determined by masses of the elementary particles, including electrons. If the mass of an atom decreased, its frequency would be red-shifted.
Wetterich’s shrinking universe did not negate the expansion of the universe during a short inflationary period. But under his theory, the Big Bang no longer was a ‘singularity’ where the density of the universe would be infinite. Now, the Big Bang stretched back in the past for basically an infinite period of time without a singularity. One theory might be that the combination of expansion from the Big Bang and contraction into the Big Crunch would alternate back and forth forever.
However, Wetterich’s theory cannot be tested. Mass can be measured only relative to something else. For example, scientists compare any mass being measured relative to a kilogram standard in a vault in Paris. If the mass in our universe were shrinking proportionally, there would be no way to prove it.
Is Our Universe Shrinking?
So is there any evidence that our universe is shrinking? There may be. Typically, scientists would look for similar interactions between matter and energy. So, let’s consider the conversion of matter to energy in the sun. Currently, the amount of hydrogen in the sun is 70%, helium is 28%, and the other elements are 2%. We know this will change as the sun converts more hydrogen into helium and eventually into heavier elements. This percentage is eerily similar to the amount of dark energy in the universe which is 72%, dark matter is 24%, and other matter is 4%.
God – Intellect vs. Emotion – Comparison Between Sun & Universe
What if dark energy were consuming matter within our observable universe similar to the fusion activity on the sun? If this were true, this could explain the red shift without the problematic singularity. If galaxies were being contracted by dark energy, they would remain proportional as to each other because the decrease in size would be consistent throughout the universe, assuming a homogenous or isotropic universe which most cosmologists believe.
The sun is about 4.6 billion years old, while the universe is about 13.8 billion years old, so this makes this comparison even more interesting. The dark energy may have been consuming matter longer than the sun has been consuming hydrogen, so it makes sense that the percentage of dark energy is so high.
The two processes are opposites. Dark matter would increase while hydrogen would decrease. Think of the conversion to energy by dark matter as more like fission as compared to fusion of the sun. Nuclear fusion and fission are two types of energy released from atomic bonds between particles in the nucleus. The primary difference is that fission is a splitting of an atom into smaller atoms and fusion is combining two smaller atoms into a larger one. The amount of energy needed for fission is less than that for fusion, but the energy released by fusion is higher than that for fission.
However, we do not know that dark energy is a result of fission. We don’t even know for certain that dark energy is energy. We just do not know what it is. It is like putting a jig saw puzzle together which has big pieces missing. You cannot see the missing pieces, but you can sometimes determine what they might look like based on the openings formed by the pieces of the puzzle that you do have locked in place.
We do know that the sun is about half way through its life. The percentage of about 70% could be the middle point for both the sun and the universe’s contraction stage, since we believe that the last stages will consume matter exponentially in a runaway conversion to energy.
The universe may have expanded rapidly until gravity lost out to dark energy. The expansion period probably was for a short period as gravity was a weak force. The expansion more than likely stopped billions of years before our sun and solar system were formed. If this were true, we would be deep into a contraction period now, perhaps over half way through it. However, there could be an argument that since the dark energy already is at the 72% mark, the contraction event is in its last stages.
The other elements in our sun do not include all the elements in the universe, so again it is not surprising that the other elements in the universe are 4%, while the sun only has 2%. It would seem logical to conclude that the 24% dark matter and 4% other matter would be consumed at the same rate. All matter in the galaxies, including the supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies, should be decreasing in size equally. Everything within the galaxy would remain the same as to each other, except anything related to gravity. For example, the black holes would continue to feed on other matter in the galaxies, while some galaxies would continue to merge into neighboring galaxies like Andromeda and the Milky Way.
Coincidental or Coincident Percentages?
The percentages of the elements in the sun and the universe are strikingly similar. Is this by a coincidental accident or is it a coincident impact on both since there are similar forces working on each? The sun is composed of 70% hydrogen, 28% helium, and 2% of other elements. The sun will not create all the elements until it explodes. The universe is composed of 72% dark energy, 24% dark matter, and 4% of all other matter. Are these percentages just a coincidence or is this further proof of homogeneity in the universe? Is there a universal force, perhaps dark energy, which keeps everything equally balanced?
The event of changing from expansion to contraction must have occurred sometime during the 13.8 billion years. Our solar system and earth may have been in the contraction phase since their inception.
Could there also be a parallel in the ending for the sun and the universe? In other words, could the death of the sun as it consumes the last of its hydrogen be an example of the same fate for our universe? If that is true, then we could visualize multiple Big Crunches and Big Bangs, alternating back and forth, much like the suns exploding in supernovas and then accumulating and being born again as stars. This would eliminate the singularity problem in the Big Bang theory.
Closed or Open Universe
Our universe is either closed or open. If it is closed, it has a boundary, but not necessarily a separating line or ending location. It could be a separating event. If it is open, it has no edges or boundaries.
God – Intellect vs. Emotion – Closed Universe
God – Intellect vs. Emotion – Open Universe
Many cosmologists believe that the universe is open and will continue its expansion forever as a result of insufficient gravitational attraction of mass to halt that expansion. This comports with the Big Bang expansion theory. However, cosmologists may find the closed universe theory more compelling if offered a new perspective.
The typical explanation of a closed universe is that it has boundaries just like a circle. In a closed universe, there would be a Big Bang causing matter to expand and then dark energy would cause the universe to collapse in a final singularity, the Big Crunch.
God – Intellect vs. Emotion – Big Crunch
However, if the limit of our closed universe were an event, then the shape of the universe would be unlike anything we know on earth. For example, the Big Bang could have started the expansion which could have continued on until an event when dark energy reversed this process, causing a contraction.
If our universe were expanding forever into deep space, sometimes called the “Big Freeze,” then we would be living in an open universe. Is there any evidence proving that this is a closed universe since that seems to be a minority opinion?
Well, there might be four arguments that favor a closed system.
1. There are clear boundaries between the macroworld of gravity and the microworld of quantum mechanics. Boundaries between these two universes are obvious because the laws of gravity do not apply in the quantum world. And demarcation lines prove closures exist.
2. The Big Bang theory proves that our universe broke out of a shell as if it broke open the boundary and popped into a closed universe. We cannot see beyond the Big Bang because it probably is not in our universe. The “Big Freeze” theory does not make sense since our universe is expanding at increasing speeds. Clearly, if our universe were headed out into an infinite open space, it would be slowing down. Interestingly, the outermost solar systems in galaxies are moving around the center of the galaxies at the same speed as the inner systems. We would expect the systems near the edge of the galaxy to slow down since the gravitational attraction of the super-massive black holes in the center of the galaxies would decrease.
3. This proves that there is an invisible order in our universe, which would not exist in an open system. It could be dark energy or the original imprint from the creation of the galaxy, but for the purposes of our argument, it doesn’t matter what you call it. We just know that it exists.
4. In an open system, entropy would be the rule as everything slowed down, failed, disintegrated, and came to a final, frozen end. In a closed system, there would be an order and design imprinted on galaxies and everything else in the universe. Of course, entropy also exists in a closed universe, but it is offset by order and design.
Conservation of Matter and Energy
In a closed universe, there is a law called conservation of matter (mass) and energy, which means that all matter and energy within our universe can neither be created nor destroyed. Matter may be converted to energy and energy may transform into matter, but the total amount of matter and energy in our universe would remain constant.
This transformation from one form to another may be the mechanism that allows our universe to run infinitely. We understand that a circle is representative of a form that permits an infinite pattern of repetition. It is a little more difficult for us to imagine a closed universe that is like a balloon in that it expands to a point and then it contracts back again in a perpetual motion machine for our universe. It is quite possible that “dark energy” in our universe is increasing in strength as more matter may be turning into this strange form. Mathematical formulas indicate that this poorly understood force currently accounts for about 72% of our universe and it may be increasing.
If dark energy were able to convert matter into itself, we might expect that the matter within our universe (solar systems, galaxies, clouds of interstellar dust, and dark matter) could be shrinking. If the downsizing of matter is consistent, then galaxies would appear to be pulling away from each other. The only exceptions would be the galaxies that are so close to each other that gravity of matter would control their movement, drawing them together.
The red shift discussed above proves exactly that. Gravity only impacts those galaxies that are in proximity to each other. Dark energy may be converting mass to energy, and as the dark energy is enhanced, the shrinkage of matter would increase.
Are Shrinking Galaxies Remaining Proportional?
The galaxies may remain proportionate to each other since the effect of dark energy may be consistent on any matter throughout our observable universe. The shrinking of galaxies would look like the galaxies were racing away from each other toward a larger gravitational force. Is there any evidence that galaxies are remaining proportionally the same? There may be.
Let’s examine the Milky Way galaxy. Based on our understanding of the theory of gravity, the outer stars of our galaxy should be moving more slowly as their speeds would be decelerating. That’s not happening. The stars on the outside rim of the galaxy are moving just as fast as the inner stars. This does not comport with our understanding of gravity. This appears to be pretty good evidence that the mass of our Milky Way is locked into the same configuration, proportion, and speed.
If the dark energy is exerting this force, reducing the size of matter as it gobbles it up, the galaxies will be racing away from each other because they could be decreasing in size at an increasing rate. This shrinking effect could accelerate as dark energy became more prominent in our universe. In Einstein’s formula (E=mc squared) a kilogram of mass is converted to 299,792,458 squared joules of energy. If all the mass in our existing universe is being converted to energy, the amount of energy produced would become so astronomical that at some point, there would probably be runaway conversion. In other words, the acceleration of our shrinking mass in the universe would increase exponentially.
There is much that we do not know and perhaps never will. Most of the universe is invisible to us, and even if it were visible, we probably still would not understand it. But the law of conservation of matter and energy seems to be a solid law with no exceptions in a closed universe. That is why it is critical for cosmologists and other scientists to think outside the box. Even though the theory of a shrinking universe, which involve a combination of the Big Bang, the Big Crunch, and the Big Bounce, cannot be proven, it cannot be proven wrong either. It should be considered as a mainstream theory along with the expansion theory.