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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bathtub physics.

General consensus among scientists is that the universe is expanding, and that the expansion is accelerating. Many scientists believe the universe began in a Big Bang, and that the expansion is being accelerated by the mysterious dark matter, while Creationist scientists (probably just lost some of you there--eh, tough) meanwhile generally don't believe in a Big Bang, while acknowledging the expansion of the universe.

Is the universe in a massive gravitational vortex?

Anyway, have a tendency to relate physics to a bathtub, when applicable. Moving a hand relatively fast through the water creates a vortex which draws soap bubbles together into something resembling a 'galaxy.' (The drain vortex is similar to a black hole, of course ;-)). The vortices represent gravity, drawing things together. The 'physics' occurs on the two-dimensional surface of the water, so is not completely accurate for a three-dimensional (spatially) universe. As a vortex loses its strength, its galaxy goes from small to bigger, and expands.... and the expansion is an accelerating expansion. Plus, the edges appear to expand faster than the part deeper in the vortex.

If you see where getting at, what if the universe is in some type of gravitational vortex (dimensionally modified), and the vortex is weakening? The result would be that the universe expands (as the vortex 'flattens out,' with something [dark matter?] taking the place of water pressure; the universe could be repellent--fast moving massive bodies are supposed to repel--so the vortex is compressing the universe?) and the expansion would be accelerating even if the weakening was at a constant rate (though the rate wouldn't necessarily have to be constant).

That scenario would also entail that as the gravitational vortex the universe is in weakens, time would progress faster. The higher the mass (hence higher gravitation), the slower the passage of time. (As with those hypothetical scenarios of an astronaut traveling almost at the speed of light an barely aging while people on Earth grow old--because the closer to c, the closer to infinite mass, the closer to infinite gravitation, the closer to no passage of time). The lower the gravitation (and a lower mass, incidentally), the opposite, a faster passage of time.

So reports that light could have been faster long ago could be the other way around. c could be constant, but time could be changing, and therefore light seems to be slowing? While long ago it took light nine years to get from one point to another, now it takes ten, not because light is slowing, but because the passage of time is getting faster?

Now, not qualified to make such an argument convincingly, but this is just some little thing that have been pondering about after the idea popped up while trying to sleep this morning. In other words, this is just an extremely amateurish hypothesis--but still airing it because can. Feel free to dismiss this as a stupid idea.

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Robert I. Marsh II said...

Prepare for a revolution in Astrophysics! The answers to many theories are at hand, such as: The Big Bang, Bubble-Universe, Accelerating Universe, Dark Energy, Dark Matter, Parallel Dimensions, Multiverse, Gravity, Time, Superstring, Anti-Matter, Wormhole Formation, Blackhole Formation, and anything else you can think up!!! CERN LHC/ALICE/ATLAS, if all goes well, will most probably provide a completed Cosmological Model, by replacing parts of the past 'Standard Model'! Somewhere between October 2008, and early-mid 2009, (once financed) there should be reported discoveries, that will shake the very foundations beneath ALL BRANCHES of science, technology, communications, chemistry, ...etc. A Brave New World shall emerge from out of the ashes of our latest Dark Ages, and clarity shall prevail, without the past theoretical mathematic representations, which arguement against a clear view! In some areas, it has just been plain guessing, with maybe this, or maybe that, or a combination of both, only madness could prevail this way! The LHC has already pre-planned a decade in advance, for precision energy upgrades, which will render even more specific information! This could lead to a Nuclear, or Plasma Fusion Process, to meet our future-world desperate energy needs!!! There are risks, and they should be evaluated with extreme caution! A fusion process could lead to plasma-driven, pulse-detonated reactors for Interstellar Spaceflight. The understanding of Time, could lead to Time-Travel, or at least sending emergency messages backward in Time, and all to protect the human race! We cannot stay on Earth as a 'race' forever, that is impossible! Debate the risk potentials v/s the unimaginable outgrowth potentials, within the public forum. This is our right, and our obligation to our future generations! In this comment, I am neither for, nor against; however, these are some of the general facts involved, and nothing more! P.S.: I sincerely hope you share this with a friend soon! Thank You!

Al said...

I definitely would not call the idea 'stupid'. This is a fairly subtle point that you are grasping. 'Time' is not well understood, or defined. We know, that we live in a 4 dimensional universe. 3 spatial dimensions, and one time dimension (note: there may be more spatial dimensions -- which in fact the Bible provides some strong hints -- but I'll table that because my brain can only handle 3 spatial dimensions). But time is often treated as a 'fixed entity', independent of position, and movement. Special Relativity showed that this is not true. Time is dependent on the position of the moving object relative to another. As you also mentioned, Time is dependent on gravity, and 'weird' things happen with time as the speed of the object approaches the speed of light (c). All of these factors: 'the stretching of the heavens' (perhaps at the speed of light); the possible positioning of the Earth near the center of the Universe - prior to the 'stretch' - causing it to be in a higher gravity well than the 'outskirts' - can make 'time' a very complicated concept...

Robert I. Marsh II said...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am hosting a personal CERN LHC - Public Opinion Poll, at the direct web-link below. The poll results shall be forwarded to CERN top officials: Robert Aymar, Catherine Decosse, Michelangelo Mangano, and even Stephen Hawking (if his staff forwards to him). Everyone is welcome to observe, but must register to Vote; this is to prevent spam-bot malware from access. Don't let that stop you from voting. We need these votes to speak to the now, as well as to the future generations. If you do register, then you can join the debate, by leaving 'reply' comments. These, and the poll, with the main debate statement, make up the debate. I have placed myself as a 'neutral observer'. The poll closes October 17, 2008, and the statistics will be sent before any major, full-power collisions. Thank you for your support!

Note: Go Ask Alice, I think she'll know!