End of Days

Many people consider death as the “end of days” for them.  If this were true, then they would be the luckiest living creatures in the universe.  They should welcome death if it is, in fact, the end to everything.  Why?  Because eternity is not quite what you might expect it to be.  How would you like to live forever trapped in a burning oven?  Would you want to be in infinite pain?  Would you enjoy being with yourself for all eternity?

Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that death will be the “end of days” for anybody or anything in the universe.  Why?  Because all matter and energy in the universe remains a constant amount and thus is in a perpetual recycling system.  Matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in our universe.

If scientists are correct about there being a Big Bang, then there was a beginning for our universe that was created outside our universe.  In effect, the universe has a boundary.  It may be a phase change or it may be moving from one universe to another (God, the Creator, by definition, does this), but it is a birth of a system that cannot be destroyed within our universe.  In other words, we and all the other matter and energy in our universe are locked into this system forever.  There is no end of days for us.

So, what the hell is going on within our universe?  Will matter and energy forever expand into space?  Many scientists believe that our universe will eventually expand into a Deep Freeze with no boundaries for our universe.  This is primarily based on the “red shift” which indicates that most of our galaxies are moving away from each other at increasing speeds.

Of course, the red shift could also be an indicator that the galaxies are shrinking away from each other at an expanding rate.  If the matter in the galaxies were being converted to energy, perhaps even dark energy, this could enhance the contraction of matter as the energy became more prevalent.  We could not detect the difference between galaxies expanding away from each other and galaxies shrinking away from each other.

If the entire universe is connected in a space-time continuum with mass warping the fabric with gravity, I wonder if energy (E = mc squared) has the opposite and greater effect on the fabric.  In effect, it might warp the fabric in the other direction, pushing us back in time and in size.  It could be a return to the Big Bang, when the universe was packed tightly in a small cell.  This may sound quite preposterous, but it could explain how the universe never ends since it transfers from high energy to high mass and then turns back again in a perpetual recycling mechanism.

I can only speculate that dark energy is inside all mass in the quantum world.  It would be everywhere in the universe, either as the inner world of mass or as energy itself.  So, you may ask:  “Why aren’t the planets in our solar system getting farther apart from each other?”  The answer may be that gravity prevails in solar systems with matter controlling the quantum effect.  However, in space with less matter, the dark energy may control and thus consume the mass of galaxies, causing shrinkage.  Of course, the increase in dark energy would cause an acceleration of this consumption.  It might be called the Big Bang – Big Crunch cycle.

If the only force working on mass is repulsion, no matter what the cause (dark energy or otherwise), it cannot coexist with gravity controlling outside the galaxies.  In other words, if dark energy were causing expansion of mass outside the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy would not be able to overcome the dark energy within space and be headed our way.  But if dark energy were causing a uniform shrinkage in size in both the Milky Way and Andromeda, we wouldn’t be able to detect the contraction.  And gravity could still be drawing the two galaxies together.

The quantum world, perhaps also known as dark energy, in both our solar system and galaxy appears to be static with a clear separation from matter.  Logically, matter should slip right through the quantum world and be consumed, but something holds it back.  Instinctively, you might argue that the quantum world must be pushing against the pull of gravity to hold it back.  However, I believe there is a different barrier than just a balance between the two forces.

It seems to me that dark energy is in the business of converting mass to energy, just like the sun, thus causing contraction of mass and not expansion.  Dark energy may not be powerful enough to consume matter in our solar system or galaxy, where gravity rules.  But in space, dark energy may be a more powerful force and may be able to convert matter into additional dark energy.  As the dark energy increases in space, the galaxies might shrink at a faster pace.

Of course, this is only a theory based primarily on logic and thinking outside the universal box.

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.

Gravitational Waves

Scientists have made the first direct observations of gravitational waves, which are ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted by Albert Einstein.  It is similar to ripples caused by a rock thrown in a pond, but the difference is that these may go on forever through the space-time fabric.  The hero is LIGO, which is an acronym for Laser Inteferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory.  LIGO picked up gravitational waves created by two merging black holes, which occurred about 1.3 million years ago.  Yet, we can still hear them, rippling through the fabric.

Wow!  So, what does all this mean?  Well, it may herald a future in astronomy where we can finally learn more about the dark side of our universe.  LIGO may pick up gravitational waves caused by both dark matter and dark energy.  Perhaps we will detect waves from the Big Bang.  Only time will tell, but at a minimum astronomers will be able to study other black holes.

LIGO was designed to search for compact binary objects such as pairs of neutron stars or black holes, locked into the spiraling dance of death.  In 1993, Joseph Taylor and Russell Hulse won the Nobel Prize in physics after showing that binary neutron stars radiated gravitational energy.  This was the precursor or indirect proof of gravitational waves.

Patrick Brady, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who worked on LIGO explained the project:  “LIGO senses those last few minutes or seconds of the waves generated just before the objects crash into one another.”  He said that LIGO begins to hear the impending collision once the orbits tighten to about five times per second.  At that point, the gravitational waves reach a frequency of 10 hertz, or cycles per second, the low end of its range.  And in the few minutes left in their lives, the tightening spiral causes both the frequency and strength of the gravitational waves to increase.  Brady concluded, “That means they sweep right through the most sensitive band of the LIGO instruments.”

Scientists are in the early stages of developing supermassive LIGOs to find supermassive black holes in the center of galaxies.  Just like light giving off different frequencies, the gravitational waves also give us different frequencies.  Thus, we will need to develop supersensitive instruments that can detect unique chirps in a field of crickets.  Currently, there are only two detectors online (LIGO and Virgo, the European Gravitational Observatory’s primary instrument in Italy), but researchers will create more and improve them incrementally.  They will broaden the range of detectable waves and pinpoint sources of waves.  Italy’s Advanced Virgo instrument will come online in the fall of 2016.  Others will follow.

In December, the European Space Agency launched the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) Pathfinder into orbit 932,000 miles from Earth.  Even though, Pathfinder will not be searching for gravitational waves, it will prove that a hypersensitive, space-based wave detector is possible to launch into space.  Space will be able to filter out the static and noise detected with earth-based instruments.  Martin Hewisson, LISA Pathfinder scientists said, “We want to make this the quietest place in the solar system.  If LISA is successful, scientists can build a gravitational wave detector called eLISA, which will consist of three spacecraft in an equilateral triangle connected by laser arms.  This detector will pick up gravitational waves generated by binary supermassive black holes, ultra-compact binaries, and small black holes falling into supermassive black holes.

Different events produce gravitational waves of different frequencies. The above graph compares those sources against operating and future detectors.  This shows the potential for future astronomers being able to detect not only where black holes are located in our universe, but perhaps even locating the Big Bang.

But even before we have eLISA, new ground-based gravitational wave detectors should turn on within a few years.  These new instruments will allow astrophysicists to triangulate the positions of waves and hone in on their sources.  An upgraded version of Virgo will begin observations in the fall of 2016 in conjunction with LIGO.  Advanced Virgo’s improvements will increase its sensitivity ten times.  This will allow researchers to probe a volume of space thousands of times larger than before.  Virgo could pick up a gravitational wave signal once per month, or even per week, with its enhancements.  LIGO India is a proposed detector that would serve as the third in the LIGO family and could be operational by 2022.  In Japan, crews have blasted and excavated tunnels in the abandoned Kamioka mine to make way for the Kamioka Gravitational Wave Detector (KAGRA).  KAGRA is expected to detect signals from neutron star mergers every one or two months once it is fully operational.

The Einstein Telescope represents a third-generation detector that is in the design phase.  It would be hundreds of times more sensitive than the instruments we have now.  This telescope will be buried underground to reduce noise.  It will form a full triangle like eLISA and will have three detectors: two for low-frequency signals and one to detect high frequencies.

A new era in astronomy is set to begin based on a heightened sense of listening.  So, what is the gravity of this new discovery?  Well, certainly it gives us a new tool for detecting dark matter through sound, which otherwise cannot be detected with sight.  But more importantly, it gives us a basis for using our imagination to carry beyond the simplistic theory of the Big Bang and expansion until everything freezes in the icy depths of space.  Now, we know that Einstein got it exactly right and that the space-time fabric carries throughout the universe.  This fabric is so connected that gravitational waves created over a billion years ago still vibrate across the fabric.

What does all this mean?  Well, I’m not certain, but I think it means that everything in our universe, including time and the Big Bang are still in this fabric.  That may mean that past, present, and future are just nouns that help us imagine where we are in that fabric.  And whether this fabric encloses on itself so that time is continuous or whether this fabric is part of a perpetual time machine that expands and contracts, it really does not matter.  Because the primary point is that the universe is all interconnected in one fabric.  Solar systems are connected to galaxies and galaxies are connected together, so that our universe is one entity.  We don’t know if there are other universes which are also connected like cells in an organism, but we know that we are connected in our universe.

This helps explain a lot of mysteries in our universe.  Now, we know why the stars orbiting on the outside of the Milky Way galaxy are traveling at the same speed as the stars on the interior.  They are all connected in the space-time fabric.  Typically, you would expect the exterior stars in a galaxy to slow down as they get farther away from the center, which probably houses a supermassive black hole.  But if they are in the same fabric as those stars located closer to the center, the distance from the supermassive black hole will not change their speeds.

What else?  Well, this may explain why we can see the galaxy EGS8p7, located 13.2 billion light years away from earth.  This galaxy, the farthest we have seen as of today, was formed about 600 million years after the Big Bang.  So since this ancient galaxy no longer exists, how can we still see the light that traveled 13.2 billion years to reach us?  Traveling at the speed of light, which is faster than any speed our earth can obtain, the light from EGS8p7 would have zipped past us billions of years ago, never to be seen again.  However, if you analyze EGS8p7 as being forever locked into the space-time fabric, then we may someday even discover the Big Bang, also embedded in the same fabric.  And the mystery about why we can still see or hear evidence of ancient galaxies is solved by the space-time fabric, which embraces everything that ever happened or ever will happen in our universe.  However, it makes for a strong case that we currently are in a contraction phase since we can see ancient galaxies just as if we were moving back in time.

Now we can start examining our universe as if it were one entity so that if we detect contraction where we are, the entire fabric of the universe is contracting.  And our universe must be closed by virtue of the fact that a fabric has an end.  The only questions remaining are:  (1) is our universe enclosed in a huge orbit and (2) does it both expand and contract?

It seems highly likely that our universe is enclosed in some type of geometrical figure.  If a system is closed, it must have edges.  And if it has edges, these edges must form some type of design that connects.  The second question is the tougher one.  Scientists believe that the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang and many cosmologists think that it will end in a Deep Freeze.  This theory seems ridiculous to me.

Our universe is most likely designed to last forever in a perpetual motion mechanism.  The red shift discovered by Edwin Hubble supports the theory of expansion.  However, the red shift may also support the theory of contraction.  For example if dark energy were to cause expansion and dark matter were to cause contraction of our visible universe, the galaxies would appear to be pulling away from each other in either case. In other words, the dark energy would propel galaxies away from each other, while the dark matter would cause galaxies to contract, shrinking uniformly.  Both expansion in distance and shrinking in size will cause a red shift.

If there were an original expansion of the fabric, then there should also be a contraction if you believe that our universe is a perpetual time machine.  This makes sense to me because if the past and future are in the same fabric, then going backwards in time is not only possible, but is likely.  From our perspective, we may go back to the Big Bang, but we may call it the Big Crunch.

Expanding the Expansion Theory

Why do scientists get so entrenched in the theory that our universe is expanding?  Since Edwin Hubble discovered the red shift, scientists have gotten into the expansion rut and can’t seem to entertain other possibilities.

There is a major practical problem with the expansion theory.  It does not comport with the design of the universe, which typically is based on orbits in both the macro and micro worlds.  The expansion theory starts with the Big Bang and ends with the Big Freeze with all the stars eventually consuming all their hydrogen and with everything coming to an end somewhere in deep space.  There is absolutely nothing in our universe that resembles this design.

It is more likely that we have a universe which is much larger than we can even imagine, so that we cannot see the slight curvature of this circular universe.  Our current understanding of our universe may be similar to how early man perceived our earth as being flat.  Scientists have determined that the visible universe is only about 3 to 4% of the mass in our universe, so we can see only about 50 billion light years in all directions of our observable universe.  But how could our universe possibly have expanded approximately 100 billion light years within 13.8 billion years?

It is possible that the early expansion could have traveled faster than the speed of light, but this does not explain everything.  Could the diameter of 100 billion light years, much of which is in the past, be part of a space-time fabric that could expand faster than the speed of light?  And could that space-time fabric both expand and collapse like an accordion?  What if the time reversed from a Big Bang to a Big Crunch or from present-future to past-future?  Would we be able to detect the reversal?  Or would it all appear the same to us from our perspective?

If there were no reversal in the space-time fabric, how could we ever view the light from ancient galaxies, which no longer exist, since that light would have traveled faster than our expansion?  In other words, how could we see a light that streaked into the future past us billions of light years ago?

But scientists say that Hubble’s red shift proves that we are expanding.  However, if the galaxies in our universe were collapsing at the same rate, wouldn’t this also have a red shift?  In other words, these galaxies would be shrinking away from each other with the same red shift as if they were expanding away from each other.

I can only ask questions, but scientists who are stuck in the expansion theory do not want to hear these questions.  That is unfortunate because questions lead to better answers and, in this case, better theories.