Before and after the big bang:
Dark Energy
Cosmological Constant =
8π/Gc4 x  Vacuum Energy Density
*

   
 

ra, Eritrea.

Human brains do not feel very comfortable not knowing what it was like eons before they came to this world, less so not knowing where they are inevitably heading to. For a thinker this conundrum turns into a lifelong quest, usually building his own mental realm upon the bricks laid down by previous thinkers or at times adding his own, often fragile and deformed, bricks to the structure. That is the way knowledge progresses, by trial and error, fantasies, apparent truth and proven evidence.

Once upon a time the Earth was flat, and the sun and the stars revolved around it; there were only a few elements in the whereabouts: ether, air, earth, fire and water. Time passed and the Earth became round, a sphere revolving around the sun, but if you dared say so you would be burned at the stake. Still more time passed and the Earth became a small planet revolving around a medium size star at the edge of a galaxy; by now the elements were 92 and there were jets and rockets going to the moon yet none of them, not even a bright red Ferrari could exceed the speed of light. But throughout all this time, and beyond, man has unremittingly tried to discover the mystery of the universe; he has even dethroned divinity but to no avail.

 


No one is competent to predicate things about absolute space and absolute motion; they are pure things of thought, pure mental constructs that cannot be produced in experience... No one is warranted in extending these principles beyond the boundaries of experience. In fact, such an extension is meaningless, as no one possesses the requisite knowledge to make use of it.
1

Franco Dell'Oro - Street 173-1 #3 - P.O. Box 4543 - Asmara, Eritrea.
Nothingness, as we normally conceptualize it, is exactly what the term implies, no-thing-ness;
2 the perfect anthitesis of physical experience, a rhetorical device plunging us into metaphysics. But it is thanks to nothingness that we have been able to measure the speed of light, i.e., 300,000 meters per second in vacuo. Is that the limit of the electromagnetic radiation in a perfect vacuum or may we be justified to think that the vacuum limits the speed of light? But empty space, the vacuum-identified as the state of least energy density-is a source of energy which can have an enormous impact on the structure of the universe; it reveals itself as a gravitational field which changes the geometry of spacetime. The energy density of the vacuum, in general relativity, has an absolute meaning which can be determined by measuring the gravitational field produced by the vacuum itself hence determining the energy density of the vacuum is equivalent to determining the cosmological constant since one is proportional to the other. The cosmological constant, as defined above, can be assigned units of 1 over distance squared, namely, the square root of the reciprocal of the cosmological constant is distance and the latter has a direct physical meaning.

Let us assume that the theory of the big bang is correct, as it does indeed reasonably appear to be; an object collapsed ad exploded in space, supposedly in a vacuum but for the collapsing object and its gravitational effect warping the surrounding space into utter nothingness and digesting it till, supermassive, it had no alternative but to implode or explode, the big bang, an unspeakable fireball in the cosmic void. The emitted radiation from the explosion limited in the speed of its expansion from the apparently unsurpassable
E=mc2 ** (traveling away from the focus of the explosion gives us also an estimate of the size of the universe, as it presently appears to be and its composition:

"
... data strongly support Albert Einstein's cosmological constant--the leading model for dark energy... Scientists aren't clear about what dark energy is, but they do know that it makes up a large chunk of our universe -- about 72 percent. Another chunk, about 24 percent, is thought to be dark matter, also mysterious in nature but easier to study than dark energy because of its gravitational influence on matter that we can see. The rest of the universe, a mere four percent, is the stuff that makes up people, planets, stars and everything made up of atoms... The most widely accepted property of dark energy is that it leads to a pervasive force acting everywhere and at all times in the universe. This force could be the manifestation of Einstein's cosmological constant that assigns energy to space, even when it is free of matter and radiation... Einstein considered the cosmological constant to be one of his greatest blunders after learning that the universe is not static, but expanding." [In Einstein's words: "The greatest mistake of my life.] ... Einstein introduced the cosmological constant into his theory of general relativity to accommodate a stationary universe, the dominant idea of his day. But his constant fits nicely into the context of an accelerating universe, now supported by countless astronomical observations... Others hypothesize that gravity could operate differently on the largest scales of the universe. In either case, the astronomical measurements point to new physics that have yet to be understood..." 3

As we all know, an explosion gives rise to a shockwave expanding in the surrounding environment; from the big bang we had creation of matter, a great part of the same collapsing into dark matter and the greater part, the recently discovered mystifying dark energy: could the latter not be the shock wave, of which we are now observing its anti gravitational action which presently is accelerating the expansion of the universe? (The next question then should be in vacuo-the "new physics that have yet to be understood"-namely, is the limiting of the speed of light a vacuum's property whereby a tremendous shockwave turns into baffling dark energy?)

As it happens this discourse about a shockwave brings to mind another picture, although we are somewhat affectionate to the idea of a big bang and a subsequent universal collapse as a story which might repeat itself indefinitely-universe after universe. Suppose that our sun would suddenly explode! All the planets orbiting it would violently be pushed away from their respective orbits by a tremendous shockwave into sidereal space and we would find ourselves traveling at full speed in a sort of linear direction in a near absolute zero temperature, perhaps only to be entrapped by another star's gravity and feel warm and happy again after such a dire experience. From our actual position in space close to a benevolent star, what we have discovered is the great preponderance of dark matter in the universe and that is baffling. It needs not be really so, another picture can be visualized in the incomparable universe of our imagination, the only greater universe which will never be fully deciphered.

Imagine a different, perhaps smaller and more compact universe existing before the actual universe and a super-massive body exploding therein. Hence our universe would be partly the debris of that explosion and partly remnants of the previous universe pushed away form the shockwave of that hypothetical explosion. Might this not somehow explain the preponderance of dark matter in space? Part of the latter might be stars from a previous universe, aged stars which go far beyond the 15 billion years which is the supposed age of the present universe. This, as well, brings us back to the previous interrogative: could the mysterious dark energy not be the shock wave itself, of which we are now observing its anti gravitational action which presently is accelerating the expansion of the universe? Is a previous universe part of our hungry black holes' universe? Hence we could stop tickling our brains about a solitary object in space and who put it there so that we could enjoy this universe. Clearly, then, and ad infinitum, what was the origin of the previous universe?

Nevertheless, in the long-standing effort to gap the bridge between the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics in order to reach a unified field theory of physics the universe has become, once more, flat; a new quantum theory of gravity seems to pave the way to a 2-D universe. Charles H. Hinton's " A Plane World" (1984) ought to be revisited, for he did not really miss the mark writing "... these disks are glowing hot--yet no light comes from them into our universe"! And once again we are back to the edge and should be careful not to fall off from the universe.

However, a two-dimensional space seemingly is only a mental concept; a sub-nuclear particle, or a photon, or a mass-less particle, or a traveling wave whether we like it or not cannot be expressed strictly in 2-D space. The only 2-D space-and as such the most pliable and real 2-D space that we can experience is the cast of a shadow! Perhaps, however hard we try to understand it, the universe is nothing but what we perceive at the moment we perceive it since the least doubtful thing is that it comes to us through our manifest and hidden senses; as such it is both the mythical play of the Hindus, Brahma Lila, and the fact that the macrocosm and the microcosm are inextricably linked.


"We have found a strange footprint on the shores of the unknown. We have designed profound theories, one after another, to account for its origin. At last we have succeeded in reconstructing the creation that made the footprint. And Lo! it is our own." 4
Franco Dell'Oro - Street 173-1 #3 - P.O. Box 4543 - Asmara, Eritrea.

*- Here G is Newton's gravitational constant and c is the speed of light.
** Olinto De Pretto, an Italian scientist, had already published E = mc2 two years before Einstein did. See The Origin of the Equation E = mc2

1 - Albert Einstein - Quoted in Arnold Koslow, The Changeless Order, 143. - Jeremy Bernstein Einstein Fontana Modern Masters edited by Frank Kermode - p. 110 - Wm Collins & Sons Ltd. Bungay, Suffolk.
2 - Nothingness is a framed mental concept wherewith we can put anything inside, just like we can put electrodes inside a thermionic tube's vacuum. By itself it cannot be infinite or we would not be here. It has no physical properties that we can imagine of but it must be framed, namely framed empty space and this definition does define it as some sort of delineated physical entity with no known properties but delimiting space. As such its intrinsic property may not be passive as we are wont to believe.
3 - Excerpts from articles downloaded from NASA's website - But for the bracketed passage.
4 - Sir Arthur Eddington, Space, Time and Gravitation, 201.
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Giant Ring of Black Holes - This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute, or STScI.


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