Sunday, February 28, 2016
THE FUTURE OF COSMOLOGY
THE UNIVERSE WE PERCEIVE IS A REFLECTION OF AN IMAGE OF A SMALL PART OF REALITY
In the last post, we concluded that the big bang expanding universe is an illusion. But it is a measurable illusion. The universe as we perceive it through the physical senses is a reflection of a small part of reality, but certainly not reality itself. But, if something can be weighed and measured, how can it be an illusion? In this post, I will attempt to shed some more light on the ever-receding illusion of smoke and mirrors we call the universe. If I succeed, the light shed on the illusion will be reflected back three-fold and then six-fold, and nine-fold, etc. like the images in two mirrors facing each other in a restroom, with smaller and smaller images stretching to the edge of perception, -except instead of reflections in two-dimensional mirrors, we have three-dimensional quantum images endlessly reflected like fractals in two five-dimensional reciprocating mirrors, stretching on, into infinity.
Since the invention of the telescope by a Dutch eyeglass maker in 1608, astronomers have been trying to understand what the universe is and how it works by reducing what they see in the telescope to mathematical formulas and using those formulas to predict things, and then going back to the telescopes to look for the predicted phenomena. This process has been repeated over and over again by astronomers, astrophysicists and cosmologists. The process is the same even with radio telescopes like the one in Arecibo, Puerto Rico that I visited in 1973. I was impressed with the wild orchids growing out of the limestone walls of the giant sink hole it is located in, as we walked around the huge parabolic disc, to rappel down into the Rio Tanama’, below.
When the math used was Kepler’s ellipses and Newton’s laws, the universe appeared to run like clockwork, with a few minor aberrations. When Einstein added Minkowski’s math the aberrations disappeared, and with the math of Schrӧdinger and Heisenberg, quantum physics added a touch of uncertainty. But the universe was understandable and predictable within practical limits. But quantum mechanics threw a bit of a monkey wrench into the works. We began to see hints of something else, something profound and unexpected: the consciousness of the observer was indicated as a critical part of the picture. And when Vera Rubin’s discovery of ‘something’ which was not the matter and energy we were familiar with, making up much of the universe was finally recognized as real and the universe that seemed simple and clock-like, even with Einstein’s general relativity, became dark and mysterious again.
Physical scientists in general, and cosmologists in particular, realized that for some unknown reason, much of reality is hidden. Not only do our senses detect just a narrow speck of the spectrum of energies available in the universe, there is also a huge part of the universe that is not made of the matter and energy we have been studying for centuries. In 2010, the seven-year Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) data allowed us to determine the cosmological constants and distances with great precision, telling us that: the universe is 13.77 billion years old, the Hubble constant is 70.4, the universe has a pretty ‘flat’ geometry (within four tenths of one percent of having no curvature, i.e., being Euclidean), and is 24% ‘dark matter’, & 71.4% ‘dark energy’ leaving only 4.6% ordinary matter and energy as we know it. One could say that we have very precisely determined how little we know about the universe.
THE FUTURE OF COSMOLOGY
With Gӧdel’s Incompleteness Theorems, and the Calculus of Distinctions, the universe becomes conscious and infinite. The exploration of the hidden part of reality is the future of science. The future of cosmology is much greater than its past. We have not fully explored even the 4.6% of it we know as the physically observable universe. 95.4% of it is still unknown, beckoning us to come out of the dark ages of simple materialistic corner of science, into the far reaches of the nine dimensions of space, time and consciousness.