Fabric of Spacetime

Would we understand our universe better by thinking of it as a web of spacetime that either: (1) bends around itself or (2) expands first into a macroworld and then contracts into a microworld until it is ready to expand again?

Einstein in his theory of relativity discussed space and time or “spacetime” as if it were a single interwoven continuum.  By combining space and time into a single entity and additionally marrying a three-dimensional universe (length, width, height) with a fourth dimension (time), we create Minkowski space.  And even though Einstein was disappointed that he never could unify the supergalactic universe of gravity with the subatomic world of quantum mechanics, this fabric might well extend from the macroworld into the microworld.  The Big Bang probably is the best example of this nexus.  But we probably leave the four dimensions behind when we journey into the subatomic world.  The quantum world could be ruled by dark energy.  We just don’t know.

Many cosmologists propose that the universe is expanding so that billions of years from now, earth will push into a dark corner of the universe with no sun or other stars in the sky, since our corner of the universe will settle into a “Deep Freeze.”  Of course, this makes no sense if you believe we exist in a closed universe.  A closed universe would probably have edges that were elliptical like orbits within galaxies or the orbits within atoms.  A closed universe also portends an infinite spacetime that could bend around an orbit or could expand and contract forever.

So, the first significant question is:  Is our universe closed or open?  Well, if you believe in the Big Bang, and there certainly is sufficient evidence to prove that event, you must argue that the universe is closed.  Why?  Because an event like the Big Bang had an event horizon, similar to the one predicted at the fringe of a black hole.  In other words, there is another side of the black hole and the Big Bang that we can never see.  Spacetime may stop at this point.  This separation creates an edge or event horizon that could not logically exist in an open universe.

If the universe were closed, then the next significant question is: Is perpetuity served by a curved spacetime or by constant expansions and contractions?  Or is it a little of both?

We know that the strength of a gravitational field can slow the passage of time for an object seen by an observer from a distance.  We also know that time speeds up for space travelers and even for those who reach the top of the Empire State Building.  Those of us, who remain on the ground, age slower.  If we were able to travel to a black hole, as we approached the event horizon, we would probably circle the dark matter close to the speed of light; however, observers on earth would think we were barely moving as time slowed down.

In effect, spacetime would be compressed near the event horizon.  And spacetime might even stop at the entrance of a black hole.  Logically, this may be the portal to a microworld where gravity goes wild and turns the reins over to quantum mechanics.  An example on a smaller scale could be when a star expands into a red giant, then contracts into a white dwarf, shrinking into a black hole, and finally explodes into elements that will eventually come back together again through gravity.  The Fusion-Fission cycle sounds like a miniature Big Crunch and Big Bang, doesn’t it?

And how does the curvature of spacetime come into play?  Well, we know that light bends around large objects like black holes.  We also know that objects bend the spacetime fabric.  We don’t know if the bending of spacetime is such that it encloses itself.  For example if we examined the earth from our perspective on earth, we might think it were flat.  But if we were in space, we would see the curvature of the earth.  That same principle may apply to our perspective of the universe.  We might view the universe as flat from where we are, but if we could see a larger segment of the universe, we might see it as being circular.

The temporal and spatial aspects of spacetime may be part of a unified fabric, but they may also operate on different principles.  In other words, space may move back and forth like an accordion, while time may travel both forward to the future and then back to the past.  The spatial movement is more in line with what we can understand using something like a coordinate grid to define where objects are in relation with each other.  The temporal movement is a more abstract manifold defining when events occur.  It would be difficult for us to imagine that time could move backward into the past.  However, there may be proof that it is doing just that.

We are able to see the light from ancient galaxies, dating back to the earliest galaxies in our universe.  How is that possible?  The light from that galaxy would have zipped in front of us billions of years ago.  Since the galaxy hasn’t existed for billions of years, it hasn’t emitting light for eons.  So, how can we view the light today?

Well, you might argue that spacetime is not regulated by the speed limit of light.  And that probably is true, but remember that there are two parts of spacetime.  Space may expand faster than the speed of light, but this probably occurred for only a short period of time after the Big Bang.  Time, on the other hand, may slow down and then reverse itself.  We are very familiar with spatial reversals of the north and south poles and other reversals that are part of the nature of our universe.  But it is difficult to imagine a temporal conversion that starts heading into the future and then backs into the past.  Quite frankly, it is a concept reserved for science fiction.  However, what else can explain the sighting of ancient galaxies?

Furthermore, we know that the older galaxies have a red shift that evidences an increasing acceleration.  Why would they be moving at increased speeds since gravity would have less of an impact on their movement due to entropy?  Well, it might be because of the additional aspect of time moving backwards.

An increased red shift of ancient galaxies viewed from our perspective may be caused by:  (1) a shrinking of the galaxies in a spatial movement away from each other or (2) a reversal of time creating the synergistic appearance of spatial and temporal movement in multiplying effects.  In other words, if you were to measure the distance from A to B and then include time constriction in that equation or consider the repetition of that movement from A to B by first going forward and then backward in time, your red shift might increase.

It is interesting to note that a red shift could be detected if two galaxies were shrinking just the same as if they were expanding away from each other.  The spacetime fabric may have billions of galaxies embedded in this fabric, so that an expansion of the fabric could also expand the galaxies.  The galaxies would be glued to the fabric and thus would not be flying away from each other.  It seems more likely that the galaxies that currently exist are either being drawn to each other by gravity, like the Milky Way and Andromeda, or they are slowly moving away from each other with only a minor red shift.

So what would explain the significant red shift among galaxies that are further away, who either are no longer in existence or would have very little gravitational tug on the other galaxies?  It might be caused by a mixture of temporal and spatial movements.   Since a contraction of the fabric may have the same effect on the galaxies, the galaxies might be shrinking in a proportional manner so that it would not be detected from our perspective.  As the galaxies got smaller, they would pull away from each other which would increase the red shift.

It appears to be more likely that a red shift would be evidence of a contraction rather than an expansion, since a proportional expansion, in theory, would be like slowly filling a polka-dotted balloon.  Those dots, signifying galaxies, would not separate very much as the balloon gradually expanded.  However, the dots would quickly reduce in size as the air came rushing out of the balloon with a time reversal.  When you add in the potential for time reversal, then the case for a shrinking universe in both space and time becomes more attractive and may explain the substantial increase in the red shift as we view ancient galaxies.

If we can look back and see ancient galaxies, why can’t we see the Big Bang.  Well, it is likely that we will never see anything except the results of the Big Bang.  In other words, we should be able to see the smoke from the gun, but not the gun itself.  And we may have stumbled upon this smoke.

There is an anomaly within the universe which is about 1.8 billion light years across and is located around three billion light years away from our solar system.  Currently, this is the largest structure we have found in the universe.  Little energy emanates from this circular area, which contains about 10,000 fewer galaxies than in other areas of the universe.  In effect, this anomaly has about 20 percent less matter inside it.

This cold spot within our universe has perplexed scientists since 2004, when it was discovered as an oddity in the otherwise homogeneous cosmic microwave background radiation.  This cosmic microwave background which can be traced back to the Big Bang is spread evenly throughout our universe except this area, which is about 2.7 degrees K cooler than the average temperature in the universe.  This anomaly could be the smoking gun for the Big Bang.

One other point that should be mentioned is:  There is a proportion of 3:8:24 that seems to consistently act as a foundation of our universe.  Mathematically we know that about 3% of our universe is visible matter, 24% is dark matter, and 72% is dark energy.  This division of matter and energy in the universe is a ratio of 3:8:24.  This same proportion applies to hydrogen, helium, and all other elements.  This could be a coincidence, but it is not likely.

But what about the missing 1%?  Our formula only accounts for 99% of the universe.  What accounts for the other 1%?  I can only guess, but it could be the ignition or the unknown force that keeps the universe constantly moving from expansion to contraction and back again.

And how does this apply to the closed universe?  Well, we know that neither matter nor energy is created or destroyed in this universe.  The proportionate division makes sense in a closed universe that is balanced for the most part, but needs that 1% to reverse the polarity so that our universe is a perpetual time and recycling machine.

Phase Changes

Forces of both attraction and repulsion exist between molecules of all substances. These intermolecular forces allow molecules to pack together as ice in a solid state or when melted as a liquid state, but when water is boiled, the liquid changes to a gas or steam.  These are phase changes.  The intermolecular forces decrease when changing from a solid to a liquid and then from a liquid to a gas.  The heat is providing the energy to overcome the attractive forces.

It is interesting to speculate on phase changes within our universe.  For example, is it possible that our universe could transition from one phase to another like water becoming steam?  If it does occur, life as we know it would stop when the phase change materialized.

What could precipitate such a phase change?  Well, energy seems to be a strong candidate for that answer.  We know that there is a strange and poorly understood energy called dark energy within our universe.  Could it be the missing link that causes phase changes in our universe?  For instance, we might wonder if dark energy, becoming stronger, might at some point create a phase change so that our universe goes from its current state to something altogether foreign to us.  Of course, we wouldn’t be around to examine it.

Is there any evidence of past phase changes in our universe?  Well, there might be.

There is an anomaly within the universe which is about 1.8 billion light years across and is located around three billion light years away from our solar system.  Currently, this is the largest structure we have found in the universe.  Little energy emanates from this circular area, which contains about 10,000 fewer galaxies than in other areas of the universe.  In effect, it has about 20 percent less matter inside it.  This cold spot within our universe has perplexed scientists since 2004, when it was discovered as a oddity in the otherwise homogenous cosmic microwave background radiation.  This cosmic microwave background which can be traced back to the Big Bang is spread evenly throughout our universe except this area, which is about 2.7 degrees K cooler than the average temperature in the universe.

The Milky Way is included in a cluster of galaxies called Laniakea.  Due to the uneven distribution of matter just after the Big Bang, the universe has lots of filaments and voids, but this giant void completely dwarfs the scale of all known threads or filaments scientists have seen.

This is an anomaly in the model of an expanding homogenous universe.  Scientists followed up with a new survey using the Pan-STARRS telescope to count galaxies in the area and they found a void in the same location where the Planck satellite detected the cold spot.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa used several telescopes to create a three-dimensional map of galaxies that were located less than three billion light years away from the spot.  This survey located a gigantic void with about 10,000 fewer galaxies than expected.   There are other voids in the universe, but this is the largest one discovered to date.  This giant void could explain the colder temperature because as light travels across it, it should lose energy. This could also explain why less energy is emanating from that area.

But we still do not know why there are so few galaxies in this area.  One theory is that this is the origin of the Big Bang.  The Big Bang explosion was so powerful that it blew most of the matter, out of the original entry point, leaving a void.  It also may support the theory that the universe is shrinking since it may show a boundary between the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang and the contraction of the universe which followed when matter passed the cold spot boundary.

All these theories also could simply point to evidence of a phase change, going from attraction to repulsion.  The Big Bang seems to be evidence of a repulsion phase, but the anomaly may be evidence that the repulsion eventually halted and a new phase of attraction to the dark energy may be in progress, eventually leading to another phase of repulsion.

If we want to really think outside the box, we might wonder if this could be the nexus between the universe of relativity and the universe of quantum mechanics.  In other words, the jump from our world of relativity to the quantum world could be simply a phase change.  As the macroworld contracted from dark  energy’s attraction, it would at some point transition into the microwold of quantum mechanics.  Interesting!