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What Exists Outside The Universe?
Do You Believe The Universe Is Finite Or Infinite?
(*Please refer to the glossary at the end of the article for help with bold, italicized terms.)
It is difficult to escape the feeling that the time span for the phenomena of the Universe might be most appropriately taken as extending from minus infinity in the past to plus infinity in the future…The discovery of models, which start expansion from a singular state of zero volume, must not be confused with a proof that the actual Universe was created at a finite time in the past.—Richard Tolman, 1934[i]
“We must admit with humility that, while number is purely a product of our minds, space has a reality outside our minds, so that we cannot completely prescribe its properties a priori.”—Karl Friedrich Gauss, 1830.[ii]
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth….” Thus begins chapter one, verse one of Genesis. The first sentence of the Old Testament is a powerful statement, surviving for the ages as the alleged inception of existence and foundation of Judeo-Christianity. It is the purported birth of human being and onset of everything in and of the Universe.
The word beginning is arbitrary, open to extensive interpretations. To begin is, “To take rise; to do the first act; to commence.” Webster defines beginning as, “The first cause, act, or state; origin; commencement.”[iii]
Other words associated with beginning are creation, birth, conception, and source. Origin is a more scientific interpretation of the word and creation more religious, though a small handful of scientists tend to use the words interchangeably. For cosmologists, the term beginning refers to the start of the known Universe, or the combined appearance of matter, space, and time.
Physicists argue existence began as a quantum fluctuation in the void but fail to define the properties of this void for initial fluctuation. According to the model, a tiny bubble of energy smaller than a proton appeared out of nothing and expanded at an exponential rate until reaching a size of no return. Most quantum fluctuations appear out of the vacuum of space, only to disappear back into this void. Those rare events that inflate into an entire universe are the immediate focus.
Because it is something unverifiable or in direct contrast to their own theories, a handful of cosmologists choose to ignore potential properties of the realm allowing for primordial fluctuations in the first place, notwithstanding the primordial fluctuation of all potential universes. They assign properties for primordial fluctuations out of a vacuum of observable, three-dimensional space but not for those that might appear from outside the Universe. Do they avoid providing such compulsory explanations because such answers lie just outside the realm of known mathematical computation and more within the realm of unknown quantum physics? Should people refrain from contemplating their properties until quantum physicists are able to provide better answers? Though it may not be the responsible approach for scientists, there is nothing wrong with members of the general public devising a logical hypothesis based on the available science in order to help answer such questions now.
Armand Delsemme, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Toledo, once stated, “The phrase ‘before the big bang’ has no meaning because the flow of time did not exist.”[iv]
It is logical to assume three or four-dimensional notions of time before the big bang have no meaning. Though perhaps some form of definable existence with assignable properties—nonexistence, interdimensional existence, preexistence, or hyper-dimensional existence—and exclusive to a three-dimensional perspective does have meaning. The parameters of this type of reality are necessary to explain the initial reference frame allowing for a primordial quantum fluctuation of three-dimensional observation in the first place.
Evidence of random vacuum fluctuations borrowing existence from other regions of space is an invalid example for the origin of a universe, because the borrowed energy, or false vacuum, is from a heretofore-existing, three-dimensional realm.
Cosmologists believe the Universe appeared from nothing, but nothing is a valid initial condition worth further examination since there is no state of absolute nothing. String theory and quantum cosmology may provide the only solace in determining these parameters. If all potential forms of existence turn out to be inherently infinite, then so be it. But scientists do not like infinite answers in their equations, even if they do provide the only possible results. And it may be impossible for our three-dimensional mathematics to define any basis of reference for a hyper-dimensional realm outside the big bang.
[i] Tolman, Richard. Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology. MineolaNY: 1934, 1987, p. 486.
[ii] Bowder, Felix. “The Mathematical Heritage of Henri Poincare.” American Mathematical Society, Vol. 39 Part 1, Proceedings of Symposia in Pure Mathematics (Indiana University, 1980), 1983, p. 26.
[iii] New Webster’s Expanded Dictionary, 2005. “Begin,” “Beginning,” p. 25.
[iv] Delsemme, Armand. Our Cosmic Origins. Cambridge, UK: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1999, p. 21.
An important implication is that there wasn’t a beginning; that there were increasingly large big bangs, so that the Universe goes on forever—one doesn’t have to grapple with the question of it before the big bang. The [multiuniverse] has just been here all along.—Steven Weinberg (quoted in “Visions” by Michio Kaku)[i]
Armand Delsemme, in his book Our Cosmic Origins, writes, “Eternity does not seem to have existed in the past, because there was a ‘grand beginning’ before which there probably was no ‘before.’”[ii]
Until as of late, any reference before the big bang was an oxymoron, a non-event; it belonged exclusively in the realm of metaphysics and fringe science. Many cosmologists, including some working in the field of quantum cosmology, continue to ignore any theories of a before-the-big-bang put forth, calling it balderdash. If time equals zero at the moment of the big bang, they argue, there would be no form of prior existence. Before succumbing to any such form of anthropocentrism, one must consider a similar mistake Ptolemy made regarding his deduction of Earth as the center of the entire Universe. Three-dimensional beings are limited to three-dimensional experiences of space and time, but that does not mean the buck stops there.
Stephen Hawking argues the “concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the Universe…events before the big bang can have no consequences, so they should not form part of a scientific model of the Universe. We should therefore cut them out of the model and say that time had a beginning at the big bang.”[iii]
Before contemplating any type of before-the-beginning realm, there are three boundary conditions for the Universe which Hawking outlines in his book, A Brief History of Time. According to Hawking, chaotic boundary conditions declare the Universe is either spatially infinite, there exist other universe groups within the local three-dimensional framework, or there are an infinite number of separate universes, each with its own set of inaccessible dimensional laws.[iv]
These interpretations tend to pose questions of why humans exist as outlined by the anthropic principle, the philosophical postulate providing reasons why the Universe seems fine-tuned for conscious beings. The Universe is friendly to life because it must be for us to observe it in the first place. It argues conscious observers are a necessary component of the Universe, and one cannot exist without the other.
The weak anthropic principle, first suggested by physicist Robert Dicke in 1961, attempts to explain why the big bang occurred, when it occurred, and in what manner it occurred for life to develop. Chance, alone, is sufficient to explain this version of the principle. Life in the Universe exists because the parameters for existence happen to be just right for it to perpetuate. This version does not require an Intelligent Designer but can be used as an explanation. In other words, we are here because the parameters of the Universe happen to be just right.[v]
The strong anthropic principle, developed by mathematical physicist Frank J. Tipler and cosmologist John D. Barrow in 1986, argues the Universe exists the way it does because it was organized in a manner to harbor intelligent life. Many refer to this drive as the “Mind of God” and point to the principle in support of this position. In other words, the Universe is able to harbor life because it was created perfectly for that purpose. [vi] The strong version claims the Universe exists for the sake of humanity, because people need it to.
Differences between the various anthropic interpretations are difficult to grasp or explain, so the above explanations are outlined as straightforward as possible. Later in this chapter and within the glossary are such definitions addressed in greater depth.
Those who adhere to the multiverse interpretation of existence rule out the strong version, because it makes little sense to ask what happens in another universe with no observable consequences to this one. The possibility for the existence of multiple universes should permit the same basic laws of physics to operate there since there remain an infinite number of possibilities. Over “time,” many will appear with similar characteristics to our Universe.
The human mind finds it difficult visualizing any concept of infinity either to the past or toward the future. Should it then remain limited to such boundary conditions? Since it is not as overwhelming to believe the Universe had a beginning and will have an end, outlined by classical scientific theory, should we settle for this limited interpretation, no questions asked?
Science needs a boundary condition for a beginning model of the Universe. The theory of the big bang is sound, but the argument it implies requires an asterisk. Doubts remain the terms beginning and end have any place defining the theory, especially if one considers the existence of extra dimensions and multiple universes. Ideas of a true beginning or true end of all things are acceptable only if there is no other universe or dimension. The idea our Universe is the ultimate beginning of all potential forms of existence makes no logical sense whether science, religion, and humanity need them to. The Now[vii] always was, is, and will be. Time, as we measure it, may have begun at the onset of the big bang, but if other reference frames of time existed in other universes prior to the inception of our own, then the phrase, time began at the moment of the big bang, has no meaning from a multiverse perspective; only does it from our own.
Should some form of zero-dimensional hyperspace exist outside the realm of this Universe? Would it need to for three-dimensional reality to gain the ability to appear in the first place? (Since the concept of existence before the big bang has no direct consequence, the phrase outside of will suffice as a description for all states of existence separate from known, three-dimensional reality.)
The blueprint, or quasi-fabric of zero-dimensional hyperspace ever present outside the boundaries of any existing universe, could perpetuate outside of the big bang to eternity in either direction—to the so-called past or so-called future—of hypertime. If a measurement of time exists in any elementary form outside of the big bang, some form of ethereal existence should be eternal and infinite. Many refer to this infinite reference frame as God’s Realm. For the sake of impartiality, All-encompassing Quasi-Universal Awareness (AQUA) shall replace the outright divine interpretation. If each universe is “alive” and living beings are the biological reflection or counterparts of each, one could assume all universes are driven by the same quasi-consciousness.
An infinite duration of hypertime would allow for the existence of an infinite number of universes until at least one evolved to permit life. Perhaps hypertime is the only viable frame of reference for true infinity. A solution to the anthropic principle might now appear redundant. The trial and error of all universes requires no solution to any anthropic question. Infinite possibilities for the appearance of life require nothing more than mathematical probabilities, not questions of why. Boundless possibilities in an arena of infinite universes require no divine intervention, nor demand any special meaning. Life just is.
But perhaps we can have our cake and eat it too. Perhaps there is room for both an infinite number of universes and a Living Universe. Hyperspace might act as a “living host” that gives birth to and houses families of multiple universes, much like cells in a body.
Lee Smolin, Professor of Physics at Pennsylvania State University, predicts within 20 years, an established theory of everything will combine all scientists know about relativity, quantum theory, elementary particle physics, and cosmology. He states, “Physicists and cosmologists will be able to attack questions on which progress was not previously possible, such as what happened before the big bang and why the Universe is hospitable to life.”[viii]
[i] Kaku, Michio. Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century (quoting Steven Weinberg). New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 1998, p. 352.
[ii] Delsemme, Armand. Our Cosmic Origins. Cambridge, UK: CambridgeUniversity Press, 1999, p. 3.
[iii] Hawking, Stephen. A Briefer History of Time. New York: Bantam Books, 2005, p. 69.
[iv] Hawking, Stephen. A Brief History of Time. New York: Bantam Books, 1988, p. 127.
[v] Harrison, Edward. Cosmology: The Science of the Universe. (2nd Edition) Cambridge, UK: CambridgeUniversity Press, 2001, p. 157.
[vi] Southgate, Christopher. God, Humanity and the Cosmos. (2nd Edition) New York: T&T Clark Int., 2005, p. 145.
[vii] Barbour, Julian. The End of Time. Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press, 1999, pp. 50-54,
[viii] Smolin, Lee. “Ideas That Will Rule Research in the Next 20 Years.” Discover Magazine. (October 2000): p. 91.
The Nothingness of Hyperspace
Physics has long used the ‘black box’ to symbolize situations where one wishes to concentrate on what goes in and what goes out, disregarding what takes place in between.—John Archibald Wheeler[i]
Do gravitational vacuum fluctuations, which briefly borrow energy from distant regions of space, have any correlation to the Universe coming into existence, or are they nothing more than a three-dimensional phenomenon? What is a perfect vacuum? One could argue it is something that should not exist in a three-dimensional universe, only outside of one. Since quantum particles exist in the vacuum of space in one form or another, our Universe should not be an accurate reference frame to determine if it is the by-product of an initial quantum fluctuation. Only a fluctuation out of the nothingness of hyperspace could one make an accurate rendition of universal origin. There is little doubt among cosmologists such fluctuations occur, either inter-dimensionally or as a shortcut between two different regions of space. The primordial fluctuation of this Universe from what condition is the real question. From where did primordial, exotic material, or quantum foam, first fluctuate?
According to quantum cosmology, there are two types of “empty” space: a false and a true vacuum. A true vacuum is a state of no matter and energy but allows for energy fluctuations. A false vacuum contains peculiar gases and energy at the quantum level, just no physical matter.
Zero known matter was present during the initial state of the Universe right after the big bang, just gas and energy. Only after gases and energy phase-transitioned to normal matter and energy did everyday matter appear.
Multiple bubbles of false vacuum could inhabit an inflationary domain of true vacuum from any universe, then branch off into another distinct universe altogether. All of this could take place within the realm of a hyperspace backdrop.
A true vacuum is subject to quantum-energy fluctuations out of nothing. It lies somewhere between nothingness and the potential to become something, so its existence in three dimensions is brief. Once that happens, a false vacuum becomes present, thus allowing that energy to become matter.
A logical term for a state of nothingness before the appearance of either vacuum is raw interdimensional energy (RIE). Its existence would be infinite, lying outside of or in between all possible universes. (As a zero-dimensional phenomenon, it could exist throughout all potential universes in a lower, unseen dimension. It may be the elusive dark energy scientists are searching for but for the purposes of this publication will be differentiated as RIE.) Negative energy is another possibility for quantum fluctuations in vacuum, but most scientists feel it is an unproven, theoretical concept. Atomic physicist Steve Lamoreaux calls it zero-point energy fluctuations, but most physicists believe they are different phenomena.[ii]
Julian Barbour’s theory of the Now eliminates the need for time as a reference frame prior to or after the big bang, so there would be no arrow or direction to it in hyperspace. (In order to present a thought experiment easy to visualize and comprehend, hypertime will be used as a reference point to place events occurring outside of our Universe in some type of “chronological” order.) RIE is the exclusive, external cause, aside from the hypothetical driving force of AQUA, for the overall existence of a true vacuum. Another point to consider is each universe may harbor a distinct AQUA, unique to each specific realm instead of a single force spread throughout. Each may be a portion of some overall driving force but with a distinct signature relative to each universe.
Some quantum physicists refer to any realm before the big bang as a perfect ten or eleven-dimensional domain, while others choose to ignore the concept altogether and call it a non-issue. The inability for them to quantify such a state prevents them from further contemplating its properties.
Hyperspace is the interdimensional region between and separate from all parallel universes. It is the backdrop or preexistence of three-dimensional reality from which all universes can arise.
According to the uncertainty principle, empty, three-dimensional space is filled with virtual particles and antiparticles that appear together, move apart, and come back together to annihilate one another.
At any moment during hypertime, physical existence and the fourth-dimensional measurement of time had the potential to exist in physical, three-dimensional reality. During the initial period of preexistence outside the locality of all universes, there existed nothing except the potential to become something. Nothingness, aside from raw interdimensional energy, was a perfect state of infinite nonexistence and a precursor to any state of three-dimensional reality.
Is the human mind able to comprehend such conceivable infinity and nothingness, where science breaks down and hypotheses reign supreme? Quantum physics says maybe, classical science says by no means.
What is this nothingness physicists say protons can pop in and out of, some remaining, others disappearing back into the void? After all, empty space is not, in effect, empty. The vacuum of space is full of energy fields that manifest themselves as virtual particles, appearing and disappearing in under a trillionth of a nanosecond. Physicists say it is a superposition of states within the three-dimensional electromagnetic field.
The energy of a gravitational field is negative and that of mass-energy positive. If a tiny bubble of energy pops into existence, its mass energy and gravitational energy stabilized, this vacuum fluctuation could inflate to a point of no return and expand into an entire universe. This, according to physicists, is a free lunch, or the ability to obtain something from nothing.
A vacuum is not really nothing at all according to John Gribbin, author of Schrodinger’s Kittens and the Search for Reality. Gribbin says it is “a superposition of many different states of the electromagnetic field…. Nothing at all is actually best pictured as a seething maelstrom of activity in which all kinds of particles are flickering in and out of existence.”[iii]
To imagine a state of true nothingness outside of the big bang might remain forever unverifiable. No such reality may exist. One could call it a “non-experience,” which is at least something discernable.
Perhaps it is fair to assume any experience or form of existence outside three-dimensional reality is strictly a priori. However, there remains validity to the assumption if our local Universe is a by-product of prior oscillating universes, a baby universe attached to a larger one, or a resident of a white hole that branched out from a black hole of a parent universe. If that is the case, then some form of reality must have existed before, rather outside of, our own.
RIE could exist as an eternal presence throughout hyperspace, before the appearance of elementary particles and vacuum fluctuations in this Universe. Perhaps this form of primordial energy will provide answers to the mystery of a grand unified theory (GUT), the one destined to combine all forces of nature. Could the coalescence of this purported energy, following a three-dimensional flux or mutation of it, bring forth elementary particles by way of random fluctuations? Might it be interdimensional, residing on all planes of existence throughout all universes?
RIE may exist as a basic blueprint for matter. Random mutations of this energy, perhaps due to the interdimensional forces of gravity, gave way to the false vacuum of our Universe. Following that would have been the appearance of matter and energy as we know it. The initial flux of RIE from nothingness formed an infinitely dense singularity weighing trillions of tons per square centimeter. A sudden expansion of this new matter to the size of a grapefruit meant there was no turning back—our Universe had begun. Over time, the particles combined to form atoms. Once formed, these atoms then coalesced into large clouds of dust and gas. Over time, stars and planets formed, in turn paving the way for life and intelligence.
The idea of RIE purports there never was a period of nonexistence unless RIE, itself, is the epitome of nothingness. Otherwise, from where does the initial quantum flux of primordial particles originate? According to current methods of quantum observation, they appear out of nonexistence then disappear again into oblivion, all within a fraction of a nanosecond. What is the reference frame from which these fluctuations appear from or disappear to? What constitutes whether they are powerful enough to expand beyond the critical density into an entire universe, add a small amount of new particles to our existing three-dimensional Universe, or are so weak as to have existed at all? Science may never discover the answers to such mysteries, in particular if they continue looking in the wrong places or with the wrong initial reference frames.
Hypertime appears as a sufficient term for any hypothetical reference frame of ultra-cosmic events before the big bang, even if time does not exist in any form. Since this temporal existence could never be part of any conscious, historical measurement, it is used as nothing more than a comparative reference frame. This might provide physicists a method of calculating when new parallel universes spawn from ours.
The experience of absolute nonexistence would lack any observable qualities. If one attempted to witness such emptiness, perhaps from an encased, three-dimensional, “mini-universe” vehicle, the only observable qualities would be from within the capsule. A limited, three-dimensional sense of sight would prohibit any being from witnessing anything outside the transparent enclosure. The bubble would be its own contained universe, accommodating just vehicle and occupant. No external property of this realm could be observed from within the structure. At the same time, parallel universes would be unobservable unless witnessed from inside them, as a part of them, since the space between each would be zero-dimensional.
Accurate perception of any hypothetical state of nonexistence may be impossible. That does not mean it is not a measurable phenomenon, just that it is not observable by three-dimensional beings with current or foreseeable technology. Physicists may never provide enough answers to conclude whether there ever was such a state of existence and may never devise a method for its full comprehension. It is easier for those working outside the field of quantum mechanics to tell people nothing existed before or outside of the big bang. This book attempts to give the quandary substance, purpose, and, at the very least, meaning.
Alternate universes are another unattainable realm. Though an alternate universe would be confined to an alternate realm that is related to each parallel one, it likewise remains unobservable to three-dimensional beings of the same universe. So where might such alternate realities of Earth fit into string theory since versions of it allow for up to no more than 26 dimensions? An alternate dimension does not equal an alternate universe is the short answer. Later sections in this chapter will differentiate between a parallel, alternate, and many-worlds version of a universe since no scientific theory sufficiently does.
An Einstein-Rosen bridge might be an exclusive method of communicating with or traversing to another three-dimensional, parallel universe. The discovery of one might help scientists determine the properties of hyperspace but is not something that will happen in our lifetime. In the meantime, the intriguing part is coming up with different hypotheses for a possible multiverse instead of giving up on the concept altogether. So-called delusional properties of a potentially incorrect interpretation are inconsequential since, in the future, they can be eliminated as a possibility when more science becomes available. There is nothing wrong with the average person using logic and available science as a determinable guide until such time.
Andrei Linde of StanfordUniversity outlined a logical solution to the anthropic principle. He calls it the self-reproducing inflationary universe. Most of his ideas regarding a state of universal preexistence correspond with those found in this book. According to Linde, the multiverse is like a growing fractal sprouting one inflationary domain after another, ad infinitum. His theory supports a beginning event for the Universe, such as the big bang, but purports others have existed before it. Linde believes each universe began from a primordial singularity somewhere in the distant past. Our Universe and all parallel ones spawned from this alpha singularity.[iv]
There are three problems with Linde’s model, at the very least concepts needing further specification: no mention of an initial reference frame for primordial quantum fluctuations of virtual particles prior to the existence of each universe, no clarification of the difference between this Universe and any other, and no distinction between hypertime and normal time in the phrase, distant past. Linde should differentiate between measurable and immeasurable past since observable time did not exist before our big bang. This publication relies on the existence of an ultimate, full-scale, primordial reference frame as the container for all universes from which all states of existence sprang.
The container of all universes is called the Grand Universe. This eternal state of existence is more like a state of preexistence, at least from a local, three-dimensional viewpoint. Between each enclosed universe within the grand one is interdimensional nothingness or RIE. All unseen matter or energy affecting our reality may in fact be this nothingness that exists in between.
Physicists and cosmologists are indoctrinated to believe the big bang is it, the ultimate beginning of everything. Why stop there as Albert Einstein once did regarding the Milky Way as the whole of the Universe? Before Hubble’s key observations of other galaxies less than 100 years ago, the scientific community believed the Milky Way was the whole of existence, and other distant, cloudlike formations, such as the Andromeda Galaxy, were nothing but gaseous nebulae. Years later, astronomers realized they were entire galaxies, and their initial calculations were off by about 200 billion of them.
Should scientists continue making similar mistakes by contending our Universe is the remaining reference frame for all states of reality? Is there not always a bigger fish in the sea? Quantum theory may yet have the last laugh.
[i] Hetherington, Norriss S. Cosmology: Historical, Literary, Philosophical, Religious, and Scientific Perspectives. (quoting John Archibald Wheeler) Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1993,p. 541.
[ii] Browne, Malcolm W. “Physicists Confirm Power of Nothing, Measuring Force of Quantum ‘Foam.’” New York Times. New York, NY. (Jan 21, 1997): Science Times, pp. C2, C6.
[iii] Gribbin, John. Schrodinger’s Kittens and the Search for Reality. New York: Back Bay Books, 1996, p. 123.
[iv] Linde, Andrei. “The Self-Reproducing Inflationary Universe.” Scientific American. (Nov, 1994): Vol. 271, p. 48.
Need For Existence
It is better to be than not to be.—Natural philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548)[i]
A hundred years ago, British physicists Brandon Carter, B.J. Carr, and Martin Rees developed the notion of anthropic reasoning to explain why all things and events in the Universe are compatible with human existence.[ii]
The weak version declares the necessary conditions for existence are met because of when and where it is in the Universe. The strong version goes further and declares the physical laws of the Universe are set in a manner to allow for the existence of conscious entities able to reflect upon that notion. Proponents of anthropic interpretations seek to find the answer for an ultimate reason to the existence of the Universe, just as this book attempts to do the same.
The possibility of multiple universes could extinguish the anthropic question once and for all based on the sheer number of possible outcomes. Multiverse scenarios make the anthropic principle appear as an invalid argument. Since there are so many, the appearance of a universe habitable for life, like this one, will happen according to probable chance instead of for a reason or by design.
Why would matter need to come into existence in the first place? Does existence require a reason, or is it nothing more than the nature of things? Does each possible universe harbor a quasi-conscious “will” or “desire” to exist, just as biological beings on habitable planets do?
Perhaps RIE is the remaining natural product of the Grand Universe, whereby the eventual appearance of matter and living beings are a “freak” of that nature. Hypertime, random mutations and fluctuations in a true vacuum, and the will of some underlying quasi-awareness may have given rise to “unnatural” matter. According to many scientists, the Universe is an improbable place, in particular biological existence with the ability to reflect upon that idea.
[i] McIntyre, J. Lewis. Giordano Bruno. Whitefish MT: Kessinger Publishing, 1992, p. 193.
[ii] Carter, Brandon; Rees, Martin; Wheeler, John. The Anthropic Cosmological Principle. Oxford, UK: OxfordUniversity Press, 1988.
Do You Accept String, Or M-Theory As Valid?
Black Holes, Wormholes, and the Origin of a Universe
So often, major progress in science comes when the orthodox paradigm clashes with a new set of ideas or some new piece of experimental evidence that won’t fit into the prevailing theories.—Paul Davies[i]
American scientist John Wheeler coined the term black hole in 1969. Black holes appear black because no light can escape them, otherwise would appear as any other star.[ii] Light waves emanating from one are unable to escape its event horizon since the gravity it produces is far too strong. Light forms an endless corpuscle around its immediate vicinity, forever teetering on the edge.
Singularities are infinite points in mathematical equations. The singularity of a black hole is a point of infinite density that draws in then obliterates anything in its vicinity. Matter, light, and gravity are no exception to the consequence of its overwhelming power. Spaghettification is the term physicists use to describe the stretching that would occur to an object as it approaches a black hole. One could imagine what a person would resemble as it gets sucked into one: at first, a long, thick strand of spaghetti. Within a singularity, all three-dimensional physics break down.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Einstein did not accept the notion of a black hole. It was too bizarre to fit into his commonsense notions of how the Universe ought to behave. He submitted a detailed paper in defense of this position. A revision in theory maintained his humility as an imperfect being, which proves even the most prestigious of scientists can promote incorrect ideas.
The gravitational field at the singularity of a black hole is so strong it appears to stop the flow of time. The wave crests of light seem infinitely long here, disallowing time as a measurable circumstance. Is this perspective an actual effect on the arrow or flow of time as we measure it or nothing more than a holographic projection to those outside a black hole looking in?
For Earth to form a black hole, it would have to be compressed from its present size to one inch in diameter and for the Sun, from one million miles in diameter to four miles. The Sun is much denser than Earth.
Supermassive black holes lurk at the centers of galaxies with masses at millions, perhaps billions of suns. Galactic black holes grow larger as stars fall into them. It is possible there are more black holes than number of visible stars in the entire Universe. Some aspects of reality are a lot stranger than the strangest of fiction, and only a fraction of it is visible from Earth’s menial perspective.
Rotating black holes might form other strange entities, called wormholes. Wormholes are theoretical tunnels connecting different regions of space and time or one universe to another. Like black holes, time has no meaning inside a wormhole. If a traveler could traverse one and come out at a distant point within the Universe, no time would have elapsed. The trip would be instantaneous.
Stephen Hawking believes wormholes might lead out of the Universe altogether into what he calls a baby universe. Each of these new universes expands into its own space-time continuum with its own three-dimensional realm, separate and distinct from any other. Since these new universes are unattainable, their existence forever remains in the textbooks of philosophy and theoretical physics, never to be embraced by science.
Hawking is a bit critical toward philosophers and asserts some of them are “not in touch with the present frontier of physics.”[iii] Regardless of how they may have treated him in the past, this statement is unwarranted and unfair. Science has advanced not only because of experimental evidence and mathematic formulae but also because of the contemplations and ideas of philosophers over the centuries. Hawking is a bit of a philosopher himself, dabbling in the fringes of science with his ideas of other universes.
Philosophy lays the groundwork for science. Without it, science halts and progress stagnates. There can be no science without philosophy no matter the space or time between each concept.
Philosophers of physics may continue debating issues of relativity and quantum mechanics, but only because they are aware of how science will revise these ideas over and again. Experiment and observation are reliable until one fails to recheck his approach or until more information becomes available. In rare instances, a scientist will go so far as to “fudge the data.” Why would a scientist do such a thing? Perhaps there is financial motivation to receive more research grants or a personal drive to succeed and not look foolish due to conflicting data.
A possible interpretation for black holes include, but are not limited to, an Einstein-Rosen bridge as a funnel between two black holes in the same universe or a black hole and white hole connecting one universe to another. Quasars are candidates for white holes because they appear as black holes that expel matter and particles rather than one that pulls them in.
If other universes exist, there would be trillions branching out from ours, alone, for that is the number of black holes many cosmologists believe inhabit the Universe. Each of these universes, in turn, branch off into another trillion, ad infinitum. However large the number, there would never be enough branching universes to support the many-worlds interpretation for each possible quantum event. There are not enough black holes or quasars in a finite Universe to account for an infinite number of possible histories from which to diverge. (The next section provides a more detailed resolution to this apparent inconsistency.)
Was the big bang nothing more than a mega-quasar whose black-hole counterpart was part of a parallel universe? Some physicists refer to these initial branches as parent universes. A baby universe attached to this one would result from a black hole in this space-time continuum branching off into a white hole there. Perhaps particles are added to our Universe in this manner from a parallel one on a continuous basis. In this model, the big bang would be a new beginning, not the ultimate one.
Supermassive black holes and quasars at the centers of galaxies may be the only type of bridges that exist between universes. They could be the source of a new galaxy spawning in a parallel universe, each related to a galaxy in this one.
If one considers the general interpretation of a multiverse, one must consider the possibility of a primordial universe from which all others spawned. If so, the realm of empty hyperspace must be infinite. A true vacuum of hyperspace would be the originator of all universes and existence in its most basic form. It would contain an infinite supply of raw interdimensional energy fluxing in and out of multi-dimensional existence at a constant rate.
Physicists theorize elementary particles flux in and out of existence all the time, which is how the Universe began. This manifestation is implied as occurring in an already-existing, three-dimensional container. But what are the properties of the preexisting continuum that would harbor the ability for fluxes to occur in the first place? Many cosmologists ignore preconditions of the Universe, including some of those who adhere to multiverse interpretations. The inability to quantify a potential value should not dismiss the concept altogether, nor provide reason for ignoring it.
Perhaps because of some freak mutation, perfect nothingness, over time, became imperfect, three-dimensional “somethingness.” A portion of true vacuum became transformed, and a false vacuum appeared as something physical and chaotic. Multiple dimensions of reality, where once were none, began to coalesce and take shape.
Multiple universes may exist beyond any realm of observation yet are observable in the sense they too are three-dimensional. Such universes are parallel to our own. They harbor a distinct three-dimensional continuum unobservable from our local perspective. To bridge the observational gap, intelligent beings might seek a gateway, such as a wormhole, and learn to traverse it.
The nothingness, or hyperspace between each universe, must exist for there to be a separation or distinction between one another. Just because physicists are unable to observe or measure its properties does not mean this medium is nonexistent. Logic demands a preexisting state to all universes, before the big bang of any, and within an infinite realm of hypertime.
Energy transforms itself in all possible manners. Observable energy converts to mass and mass converts to observable energy since they are different forms of the same thing. No type of mass or energy disintegrates into thin air. If this is true on a multi-dimensional scale, then so is the concept of infinite preexistence.
[i] Davies, Paul; Gribbin, John. The Matter Myth. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992, p. 23.
[ii] Jeffries, David. Science Frontiers: Black Holes. New York: Crabtree Publishing Co., 2006, p. 28.
[iii] Hawking, Stephen. Black Holes and Baby Universes. New York: Bantam Books, 1993, p. 42.
The COBE results have given physicists confidence that we understand the origin of the universe to within a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. However, we are still left with the embarrassing questions of what preceded the Big Bang and why it occurred. General relativity, if taken to its limits, ultimately yields nonsensical answers—Michio Kaku[i]
To make sufficient sense of their rigid and finite mathematical equations, physicists are convinced the true beginning of everything was at the big bang. Physics and “shorthand” mathematics are perplexing for most people. The average person relies on science to make sense of the various complex equations. We need it as a rational guide in this diversely opinionated world. At the same time, people should remain open to alternative ideas and other infinite interpretations, including philosophical ones based on logic and pure thought. These methods help push science whether scientists admit to it or not, in particular for those topics it cannot yet explain.
The formation of matter developing after the big bang could have been nothing more than the first appearance of physical matter in this Universe. The idea of a true beginning may be flawed no matter how difficult the notion of infinity is to fathom. The relative existence of hypertime should be an infinite state since there is no three-dimensional matter or time in hyperspace with which to measure. The eventual occurrence of a big crunch or big bounce might not spell the end of all things; rather pave the way for other new beginnings throughout the realm of the infinite hyperspace container of universes.
Quantum physics, the laws of relativity, and evidence of the big bang should all allow for a hyperspace continuum plus raw interdimensional energy fluxing in and out of three-dimensional existence. The human mind is trained to view all things as having a beginning and an end. Stars form and, over time, die, planets form, then they die, people are born, and they die…the list goes on. Human consciousness is unable to comprehend the concept of infinity in either direction of time. Does that suggest time might not exist considering our perspective and interpretation of it is limited? The next chapter takes an extensive look at the concept of time as we measure it.
Something unobservable to human consciousness and beyond human comprehension exists outside the Universe as a precursor to existence. This something must harbor an infinite component of hypertime throughout the Now of hyperspace. It always did exist and always will. Something like RIE, or an absolute true vacuum existing in the infinite realm of hyperspace, is this “somethingness” of nonexistence. Religious adherents refer to the driving force of this reality as the Alpha and Omega and call it God. The intention of this book is to rationalize that view both philosophically and scientifically by utilizing principles of logic and other natural interpretations, whatever one wishes to call It. AQUA is at least a more natural interpretation of this potential cosmic providence.
Physicist Michio Kaku is convinced string theory is the one interpretation with the ability to solve the mystery of what was occurring before the big bang. He might be right, and such definitive answers may surface in our lifetime. String theory is gaining a lot of momentum in physics. But perhaps the average person can determine such answers now rather than waiting for ones that might never surface in our lifetime, especially if some of the answers scientists derive turn out to be flawed in another hundred, thousand, or even million years.
An interesting theme of hypocrisy exists among most theoretical physicists. Those working in the field get a pass to entertain certain “paranormal” aspects of reality, such as time travel, alien life, wormholes, warp-drive technology, and alternate dimensions and universes, substantiate those claims with mathematic formulae, and get away with it. When a non-scientist does it based on other unknown aspects of reality, they are ridiculed by those same theoretical physicists. They accuse them of dabbling in metaphysics and unscientific concepts. Is that fair? Is that not a form of blatant hypocrisy?
[i] Kaku, Michio. Hyperspace. New York: OxfordUniversity Press, 1994, p. 201.
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(* Terms devised and/or uniquely defined by the author)
A Posteriori Latin for from what comes after. Knowledge derived based on observation, experience, or scientific evidence.
A Priori Latin for from what comes before. Knowledge derived independent of observation, or information not based on empirical evidence.
*All-encompassing Quasi Universal Awareness (AQUA) A unique take on James Carter’s Living Universe theory, or the theory that the Universe is actually a living organism. AQUA would be the “mind” of the Universe, even if it is not a separate entity and resides in the minds of all living beings throughout it. It is the “conscious” self-reflection of the Universe, as a part of it, which “wishes” to know itself. See also cosmic consciousness.
*Alpha Singularity The very first beginning of the earliest potential universe. All alternate and parallel universes spawned from this first singularity. It suggests there was a primordial “big bang” in empty hyperspace from which all universes spawned. If there is a multiverse, the first universe to appear out of the eternal true vacuum of nothingness would be this alpha singularity.
*Alternate Universe A coexisting state of reality, perhaps on another plane of existence or in an infinite number of atoms throughout a particular universe, contained within and related to each distinct parallel universe. An alternate, three-dimensional reality that lies outside the realm of our detection or experience. The many-worlds interpretation in quantum mechanics defines alternate universes since they are one in the same. See also atom universe hypothesis and many-worlds interpretation.
Anthropic Principle, Strong The Universe exists the way it does and is organized in a manner that accommodates the ability to harbor intelligent life. Many refer to this drive as the Mind of God or an Intelligent Designer and point to the principle in support of this position. In other words, the Universe is able to harbor life because it was created that way.
Anthropic Principle, Weak Life in the Universe exists because the parameters for existence happen to be just right for it to perpetuate. This version does not require an Intelligent Designer but may be used as an interpretation. In other words, we are here because the parameters of the Universe happen to be just right for life.
Anthropocentrism The view that human perspective is best, or central, to explain the properties of reality and existence. Scientists sometimes are accused of adopting this stance, yet the basis of their research methods are from an early twenty-first-century, human perspective. It is a limited, self-centered view on reality, one that changes and evolves with the advent of better information and technology.
Black Hole A point in space of infinite gravity where nothing can escape, not even light. A black hole is observable by way of its event horizon, or outer perimeter. Some physicists and cosmologists theorize black holes are gateways to other parts of the same Universe or are portals to another universe altogether. The laws of particle physics start to break down at the singularity of a black hole. Nothingness could be at the heart of it, or it may sprout into a distinct parallel universe separate from our own. A black hole may be the only conceivable wormhole, or gateway from one part of the Universe to another.
Einstein-Rosen Bridge Postulated by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen in 1936. A theoretical gateway through a wormhole from one part of the Galaxy to another. After discovering one in the future, it would need modified to allow transit for macroscopic objects. It is thought to operate in curved space for instantaneous mobility. See also Wormhole.
Event Horizon The inescapable, gravitational perimeter of a black hole. It is the point of no return for an object approaching one. Once the event horizon is breached, there is no turning back.
False Vacuum A portion of empty space absent of any particles or atoms though at the quantum level has the potential to develop them. Under certain circumstances, it can sprout into an independent parallel universe.
Free Lunch Physicist Alan Guth’s description of the Universe coming into existence from basically nothing. In inflation theory, it is the origin of the rapid, exponential expansion of the Universe from a true vacuum of nothingness.
Grand Unified Theory (GUT) Study to discover the interactions between the four forces of nature and how they relate to each other in a single field theory. It is not yet verified as a theory of everything (TOE) since, when it comes to the standard model, gravity remains a mystery. Once the graviton is verified, physicists believe they will have a TOE. A GUT is another step toward verifying a TOE.
*Grand Universe The collection of all possible parallel universes throughout hyperspace. It is the overall pantheon of all potential universes.
Gravitational Vacuum Fluctuations How our Universe may have appeared out of the void of hyperspace from a true vacuum. Since gravity is spread throughout multiple dimensions, it may be the driving force behind quantum fluctuations of virtual particles in the false vacuum of space. In hyperspace, these fluctuations can produce an entire universe.
Hyperspace Also called zero-dimensional hyperspace. It is the true vacuum of raw interdimensional energy, which is the container of all parallel universes. It has no textures or dimensional properties, so it cannot be observed by three-dimensional beings. It has no causal influence, so one could argue is a non-realm with no discernable properties. Hyperspace is the nothingness that exists “between” each parallel universe yet has the ability to house all lower and higher dimensions outlined in string theory.
*Hypertime A hypothetical perspective of “time” outside any given universe and throughout the realm of hyperspace. It is more of a reference point for when new universes spawn. For example, it can be argued universe A spawned “before” universe B, then universe C originated from universe B, but only after universe B came into existence, thereby allowing universe C to sprout forth, hence a comparison of reference frames. Since time does not exist, specifically outside of a universe, it is a hypothetical reference for nonexistence. In this manner, universes could be quantized and placed in some type of chronological order. A highly speculative hypothesis, but in the distant future, it might provide us with a “family-tree” model of the multiverse.
*Interdimensional Nothingness See raw interdimensional energy and hyperspace.
Many-Worlds Interpretation (MWI) An interpretation of quantum mechanics where an infinite number of possible realities stem from each and every collapsed wave function. For example, a decision one makes as a boy can lead to him becoming president in one universe, a criminal in another, and everything else in between in yet others, ad infinitum. Each and every action or decision made by a conscious being, never mind level of intelligence, produces an infinite number of alternate decisions that each branch out into their own reality. This would need to occur either on a different three-dimensional plane, though its properties have yet to be defined by theoretical physicists, or in a near-infinite number of atoms within each respective universe. Since the Universe may not be a living entity, and each universe first perpetuates without conscious beings in it, the wave-function collapse by the interaction of atoms taking various pathways may be essential to the interpretation, thereby producing some alternate-reality universes with peculiar properties. Many would prohibit the ability to support life. Our ideal reality exists because there are an infinite number of possibilities allowing for trial and error. There could be versions of a universe where everyone on Earth lives in a perfect utopian society with no pain or suffering. Others may resemble what some Christians would interpret as Hell. See also alternate universe.
M-theory (Magic, Matrix, or Mystery Theory) An extension of string theory that allows for the existence of up to 11 hidden dimensions, or 10 spatial and one of time. Some versions allow for up to 26, but the math tends to break down above 10. Each dimension exists on its own membrane, or brane, and is an atom’s length apart. The reason we are unable to see these dimensions is because one would have to travel the length of the Universe and back along the dimensional fold to witness anything above three dimensions. Physicists argue these higher dimensions could be similar to ours but may be more dynamic with peculiar properties. Our three-dimensional bodies could not exist in or witness any higher dimension.
Multiverse Encompasses all known and unknown reality and existence. Includes all parallel and alternate universes throughout all of hyperspace. Bigger than the Universe.
Now, The British physicist Julian Barbour’s view that time is an illusion, and reality is nothing more than a collection of moments in the Now. Change and motion create the illusion of time as we measure it. Time does not exist, only things that move and change within the familiar framework.
Oscillating Universe A version of big bounce theory that explains the origin, end, and rebirth of existence as we know it. The Universe comes into being after a big bang, expands to a critical juncture, then the overwhelming gravity from dark matter and energy causes everything to converge back to its point of origin in a momentary big crunch. Following that is another big bang and the process starts all over again, ad infinitum.
*Parallel Universe A proportional universe that exists “beside” ours and harbors its own, distinct space-time continuum with its own set of many-world, alternate universes. (Each may harbor its own set of higher dimensions, but string theory suggests these exist throughout hyperspace as a standard backdrop or framework for all parallel universes.) A universe containing its own big bang, inaccessible and unobservable from our space-time continuum. This is different from an alternate universe since a parallel one would harbor a different, unique set of alternate histories.
Perfect Vacuum Similar to a true vacuum, or a portion of space with no particles whatsoever. Three-dimensional space is a false vacuum since particles in one form or another are present or pop in and out of existence perpetually. No portion of three-dimensional space should exist as a true vacuum. The hyperspace container of all universes, or “space” between them, should be the lone, true perfect vacuum.
Primordial Fluctuation Fluctuations of particles or virtual particles in the void. In theory, these fluctuations can expand into an entire universe. The big bang was a primordial fluctuation that included the seeds for the entire structure of the Universe.
Quantum Foam Devised by John Weeler in 1955 as the foundation for the fabric of the Universe. Virtual particles that appear and then immediately disappear out of existence, all within a fraction of a second throughout the vacuum of space, are believed to create quantum foam.
*Raw Interdimensional Energy (RIE) Hypothetical origin of basic, fundamental energy occupying the true vacuum of space for eternity, located outside the big bang and existing throughout hyperspace. Scientists might generalize it as dark energy, but the concepts are a bit different. Physicists believe dark energy lies in higher dimensions, but RIE would be zero-dimensional. For example, dark energy may exist in the sixth dimension since it has some type of texture that influences ours, but RIE has no causal influence until it pops into existence from a true vacuum. Dark energy is transcendent and a force that expands objects apart throughout the third dimension. RIE may enter the Universe, possibly as the Universe, by a random fluctuation in the false vacuum of space. It is the transcendence from not-being to being by way of random mutations or fluctuations in a false vacuum, out of the true vacuum of nothingness. RIE more describes the origin of energy and a universe, dark energy more the interdimensional driving force of universal expansion.
String Theory Its goal is to reconcile incompatible aspects of quantum mechanics and general relativity into a theory of everything. See also M-theory.
Superposition State A particle exists in all possible states until an observation of it is made. The concept relies on independent, living observers, which determines the state a particle is in. Sometimes it is in state A and sometimes state B. Until an observation is made, it is in neither state, but a superposition of them alternating between one another. The idea assumes a tree falling in the forest does not make a sound unless someone is around to hear it. See also Schrodinger’s Cat Experiment.
True Vacuum Theoretical portion of space absent of any particles or atoms but accommodates the potential to generate virtual particles and develop into a false vacuum. A true vacuum may not exist in three-dimensional space, so one could argue it is strictly a property of hyperspace and/or zero dimensions. The transition from true to false vacuum may result in the birth of an entire universe out of hyperspace.
Uncertainty Principle States a particle’s position and momentum cannot precisely be known at the same time. Wave mechanics and matrix mechanics are two interpretations of the uncertainty principle. It highlights the differences between classical and quantum physics. See also Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.
White Hole The opposite of a black hole. Where a black hole might be an exit to a parallel universe, a white hole would be its mirror entrance. Enter a black hole in this Universe and you might come out of a white hole in another. Other interpretations insist a black hole would open up as a white hole or quasar in a distant region of the same Universe. A black hole pulls in matter while a white hole expels it. Scientists have yet to discover one, so at this point they are highly theoretical. A quasar might be one such candidate.
Wormhole A theoretical tunnel that connects two distant regions of space or one parallel universe to another. Considering the overwhelming distances between each star in the Galaxy, a wormhole might be the exclusive, viable method of interstellar mobility. Scientists of the future would need to learn how to stabilize one, or the overwhelming gravity would destroy the traveler. See also Einstein-Rosen Bridge.
*Zero-Dimensional Hyperspace (See hyperspace)