Sunday, November 09, 2008

Unknown "Structures" Tugging at Universe, Study Says

The presence of the extra-universal matter suggests that our universe is part of something bigger -- a multiverse -- and that whatever is out there is very different from the universe we know, according to study leader Alexander Kashlinsky, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.


Anonymous said...

I love this story. It just sets your mind on fire with possibilities. What I like about it most is that it exceeds our current understanding and forces you to look "beyond the beyond".


excited, intense said...

From the article:

"Everything in the known universe is said to be racing toward the massive clumps of matter at more than 2 million miles (3.2 million kilometers) an hour—a movement the researchers have dubbed dark flow."

Ah, yes--now we have dark flow. Add to that equation dark energy and dark matter. All three of which we both don't yet understand the nature of or their origins. Add a dash of the best estimates of the age of the visible universe being 13.7 billion years old. This would suggest to most that, from the point of the big bang, the radius to the edge would be 13.7B light years, and so the diameter of the visible universe should be double that, or 27.4 billion light years across. But, it isn't. The best measurements so far say the observable universe is actually estimated to be a spherical space approximately 78 to 92 billion light years in diameter (estimated lower and upper limits).**

[And that's only the "observable universe"--the ancient question of what may be beyond that, and whether "our universe" may be embedded within a far greater, possibly infinite structure, like just another grain of sand or bubble of foam on an ocean's beach, is unknown. Not to mention those 7 (or is it 8, today?) other dimensions that our 4D reality seems to be part of. OK, now toss in the double-slit experiments with photons, and the question as to whether such particles are wave phenomena, particles, both, or neither (in the very strange sense that perhaps some form of "observation" or detection is required to convert the potentiality into one or the other). It all just utterly boggles the mind!]

**Which proves, at least at the very beginning of the universe, probably, according to most theories of quantum physics, that within the first few nanoseconds to first few hours after the big bang (and there are doubts about a "singularity" giving sudden rise to our universe also, btw), 13.7 billion years ago, even before standard forms of energy, or matter, even existed, some originating force was moving at unknown, incredible multiples of the speed of light. Fermilab's Tevatron, the largest working particle accelerator (until the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC, is repaired and comes back on line in the spring of next year) may have just discovered some new particle which generated an inexplicable residual excess of muons, which no current physics theory can clearly explain as yet, and if the detection can be confirmed.

The LHC, (once it's working again) is even more powerful than the Tevatron, and will be searching for the so far theoretical Higgs boson (aka "the 'God' particle") and sparticles, among other elementary forces and particles soon. If detected, and its specific mass and nature is determined, it could go a very long way to giving rise to an actual, workable Unified Field Theory (aka, the Theory of "Everything" or TOE). Even then, a TOE would likely be a kind of elusive chimera itself, and a relativistic determination, as my bet is the foundations of reality will prove even more complex than we can know.

Dr. David Deutsch in England within the last two years has mathematically proven that, due to some aspects and findings in quantum physics related to quantum computing, the multiverse must exist. He should get the Nobel price in physics for that research relatively soon. And, within the last decade, it has been proven the universe is not only still rapidly expanding, but that the expansion is accelerating. [Pause for breath...]

So, even with the uncertainty of the (five?) main string and supersymmetry theories still competing, what really should be seen by all this cosmological and quantum turmoil of new discoveries is that, at heart, we don't really know either how the universe began, what's going on with it and within it, or why, or how it may end, if ever. Oh, and now, in the latest issue of SciAm, there's an article on the "bouncing universe," which I have yet to read, so I have no idea what that concept refers to.

But, what I relish is how much this not only says about how incomplete the state of our knowledge is about the "reality matrix," but also how exciting a time it must be for cosmology and quantum physicists to be doing such "big science." Now, we are beginning to understand how much we don't know about what we don't know. The possibilites are quite extraordinary. So when mainstream scientists say nothing can go faster than the speed of light, that wormholes are probably not traversable, that time travel is not likely, or that there is no evidence for advanced non-human intelligence, I can now only just sit back, and laugh, and say, "_how_ do you know?" And all these incredible findings have occurred in the last few to ten years. What will the next twenty bring? Beyond the beyond is most accurate. Leaping leptons! 8^}

"Strange days, indeed.
Most peculiar, mama."
"There's ufo's over New York and I ain't too surprised.
Nobody told me there'd be days like these..."

---John Lennon

"It's a weird, weird, weird multiverse, baby!"
---Austin Powers' alterverse doppelganger

a grammatically chastened intense said...

Uh, "Nobel prize," and "possibilities," above.

The spelling Nazi in me requires these corrections. Macht schnell! -(8^}

Anonymous said...

Seriously intense; you must have better things to do with your day.

Justin said...

Ladies and gentlemen, the seriously comedic stylings of Anonymous...

Anon: The man's name is Intense. This is the most intense article I've read in a long time. Could you have chosen a more inappropriate time to pick on him? I don't think so.

Mac said...

Interesting. A reader (anonymous, natch) commenting on the futility of commenting.

intense said...

"Seriously intense; you must have better things to do with your day."

Well, yes, most of the time I do.

But just because I make the occassional "long-form" comment, when I have the time to do so and also feel like expanding on the topic, usually in the late evening or early morning hours, doesn't mean I'm wasting my time.

I mean, it's my time, is it not?

I also don't see it as futile--rather, I'm just contributing my 2.3 cents worth of opinion or info to what I see here as a kind of ongoing conversation that interests me. Quantum physics and cosmology are two topics I'm quite fascinated by.

Thank you for your "concern"--it did give me pause. I guess I could try to be a better and more succinct self-editor...8^}

unbelievable c: "critici"