Recently I was talking to my friend about the difference between Hindu Cosmology and Jain Cosmology. According to the Jain Cosmology the universe is supposed to be eternal where as in Hindu cosmology the Universe is said to be created by a creator. The innocuous conversation led to a wild goose search from my end where I researched everything from the conception of the universe to the collapse of the universe from a Theoretical Physicist or a Cosmologist’s point of view. I admit I myself a novice in the field was fascinated by what I stumbled across as I researched the vast literature out there in the blogosphere and how cosmology is a field where theology and physics intersect no matter what the theologians and the physicists think. The quick study I conducted was an adventure in itself and this is an attempt to put together what I have learnt and my own interpretation of what lies ahead for the universe in the unforeseeable future.
Before we get started I mention a few great names who have pioneered the understanding of the nature of the universe as we understand it today. Gallileo, Issac Newton Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble, Fred Hoyle , Stephen Hawking are those great names who have pioneered the field of cosmology and with numerous contributions form theoretical physicists all over the world we have a better understanding of the composition of the Universe than ever. Having paid my tributes to all these great scientists I take a plunge into the topic which I promise to explore to the best of my ability in this article. Lets Fasten our speed belts and here we go. First Starting on a historical note.
Galileo Galilei was an Italian astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician who played a major role in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century.He has been called the “father of observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”,the “father of scientific method”, and the “father of science”. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter (named the Galilean moons in his honour), and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments. Galileo’s championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism was controversial during his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism because of the absence of an observed stellar parallax.The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was “foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture. Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. While under house arrest, he wrote one of his best-known works, Two New Sciences, in which he summarized work he had done some forty years earlier on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials.
Issac Newton Took over from Galileo. “Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation has been described as follows: It is a force between any two bodies and is “directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The measure of the force of gravitation on a given body on earth is the weight of that body.” While certain of Newton’s theories have not stood the tests applied in the 20th century, his law of universal gravitation has stood: “In the general theory of relativity, gravitation is explained geometrically: matter in its immediate neighborhood causes the curvature of the four-dimensional space-time continuum.”
Newton showed that around the Earth gravitational force was being applied so everything wouldn’t just fly away instead it stayed on the ground. This was known as the Law of Gravity. In this work, Newton showed how his principle of universal gravitation explained both the motions of heavenly bodies and the falling of bodies on earth. “Everybody continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a right line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it. The change of motion is proportional to the motive force impressed; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impressed. To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or, the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.” This was known as the Law of Motion.
And Finally Came Einstein who thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on general relativity. Thus began the attempt to explain the origin of the universe from a physics stand point.
A static universe, also referred to as a “stationary” or “infinite” or “static infinite” universe, is a cosmological model in which the universe is both spatially infinite and temporally infinite, and space is neither expanding nor contracting. Such a universe does not have spatial curvature; that is to say that it is ‘flat’ or Euclidean. A static infinite universe was first proposed by Thomas Digges. In contrast to this model, Albert Einstein proposed a temporally infinite but spatially finite model as his preferred cosmology in 1917, in his paper Cosmological Considerations in the General Theory of Relativity.
General relativity (GR, also known as the general theory of relativity or GTR) is the geometric theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915 and the current description of gravitation in modern physics. General relativity generalizes special relativity and Newton’s law of universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time, or space-time. In particular, the curvature of space-time is directly related to the energy and momentum of whatever matter and radiation are present.Albert Einstein added a positive cosmological constant to his equations of general relativity to counteract the attractive effects of gravity on ordinary matter, which would otherwise cause a spatially finite universe to either collapse or expand forever. This motivation evaporated after the proposal by the astrophysicist and Roman Catholic priest Georges Lemaître that the universe appears to be not static, but expanding. Edwin Hubble had researched data from the observations made by astronomer Vesto Slipher to confirm a relationship between redshift and distance, which forms the basis for the modern expansion paradigm that was introduced by Lemaître. According to George Gamow this led Einstein to declare this cosmological model, and especially the introduction of the cosmological constant, his “biggest blunder” Now that we know Einstein’s Contribution it was Edwin Hubble who made the stellar contribution taking us in a different direction that universe was Expanding. In tune with Edwin Hubble’s discovery of an expanding universe the world was in search for a new theory for explaining the conception and the creation of the Universe and came into picture the steady state theory. In cosmology, the Steady State theory is an alternative to the Big Bang model of the evolution of the universe. In the steady-state theory, the density of matter in the expanding universe remains unchanged due to a continuous creation of matter, thus adhering to the perfect cosmological principle, a principle that asserts that the observable universe is basically the same at any time as well as at any place. While the steady state model enjoyed some popularity in the mid-20th century, it is now rejected by the vast majority of cosmologists, astrophysicists and astronomers, as the observational evidence points to a hot Big Bang cosmology with a finite age of the universe, which the Steady State model does not predict. Cosmological expansion was originally discovered through observations by Edwin Hubble. Theoretical calculations also showed that the static universe as modeled by Einstein (1917) was unstable and contradicted general relativity. The modern Big Bang theory is one in which the universe has a finite age and has evolved over time through cooling, expansion, and the formation of structures through gravitational collapse. The steady state theory asserts that although the universe is expanding, it nevertheless does not change its appearance over time (the perfect cosmological principle); the universe has no beginning and no end. This requires that matter be continually created in order to keep the universe’s density from decreasing. The Steady State theory enjoyed its time under the sun until the advent of another great theoretical Physicist “Stephen Hawking” who put the final nail on the coffin of Steady State Theory. He came up with his immortal concepts of Black Holes and Singularity which paved for the acceptance of the Big Bang theory. A black hole is a region of space-time exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform space-time to form a black hole. The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Yes that was Black hole in a nutshell. But What about Singularity? The more we understand singularity the better we are in a position to understand the Big Bang theory. The initial singularity was the gravitational singularity of infinite density thought to have contained all of the mass and space-time of the Universe before quantum fluctuations caused it to rapidly expand in the Big Bang and subsequent inflation, creating the present-day Universe.The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. According to the standard theory, our universe sprang into existence as “singularity” around 13.7 billion years ago. What is a “singularity” and where does it come from? Well, to be honest, we don’t know for sure. Singularities are zones which defy our current understanding of physics. They are thought to exist at the core of “black holes.” Black holes are areas of intense gravitational pressure. The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is actually squished into infinite density (a mathematical concept which truly boggles the mind). These zones of infinite density are called “singularities.” Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something – a singularity. Where did it come from? We don’t know. Why did it appear? We don’t know. After its initial appearance, it apparently inflated (the “Big Bang”), expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, all of which is inside of an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. This is the Big Bang theory. (www.bigbangtheory.com) Does it End here not really. We now all know what Big Bang theory is all about. The theory is universally accepted but the quest to understand the deep and the beautiful secrets of the mysterious universe continue.. So let’s take a deep breath and continue further and delve into the mysteries of quantum physics. Quantum mechanics (QM; also known as quantum physics or quantum theory), including quantum field theory, is a fundamental branch of physics concerned with processes involving, for example, atoms and photons. Systems such as these which obey quantum mechanics can be in a quantum superposition of different states, unlike in classical physics. But why all of a sudden I am talking about Quantum Physics. Now we are talking I guess. The Bing Bang theory though it came up with the most satisfying explanation for the origin of the universe left some questions unanswered. Nobody knew where it came from and why? But it points out to the fact that it sprang into existence from a singularity. With the Big Bang the quest began to understand the composition of the Universe. The question which intrigues the scientist all around what really constitutes the Universe. What are really the building blocks of the Universe? Is universe really expanding or contracting? Does the Universe really have an End? The Big Bang theory, the prevailing cosmological model describing the development of the Universe, states that space and time were created in the Big Bang and were given a fixed amount of energy and matter that becomes less dense as space expands. After the initial expansion, the Universe cooled, allowing the first subatomic particles to form and then simple atoms. Giant clouds later merged through gravity to form stars. There are many competing hypotheses about the ultimate fate of the Universe and about what, if anything, preceded the Big Bang, while other physicists and philosophers refuse to speculate, doubting that information about prior states will ever be accessible. Some physicists have suggested various multiverse hypotheses, in which the Universe might be one among many universes that likewise exist. The prevailing model for the evolution of the Universe is the Big Bang theory. The Big Bang model states that the earliest state of the Universe was extremely hot and dense and that it subsequently expanded. The model is based on general relativity and on simplifying assumptions such as homogeneity and isotropy of space. A version of the model with a cosmological constant (Lambda) and cold dark matter, known as the Lambda-CDM model, is the simplest model that provides a reasonably good account of various observations about the Universe. The Big Bang model accounts for observations such as the correlation of distance and redshift of galaxies, the ratio of the number of hydrogen to helium atoms, and the microwave radiation background. The initial hot, dense state is called the Planck epoch, a brief period extending from time zero to one Planck time unit of approximately 10−43 seconds. During the Planck epoch, all types of matter and all types of energy were concentrated into a dense state, where gravitation is believed to have been as strong as the other fundamental forces, and all the forces may have been unified. Since the Planck epoch, the Universe has been expanding to its present form, possibly with a very brief period of cosmic inflation which caused the Universe to reach a much larger size in less than 10−32 seconds. After the Planck epoch and inflation came the quark, hadron, and lepton epochs. Together, these epochs encompassed less than 10 seconds of time following the Big Bang. The observed abundance of the elements can be explained by combining the overall expansion of space with nuclear and atomic physics. As the Universe expands, the energy density of electromagnetic radiation decreases more quickly than does that of matter because the energy of a photon decreases with its wavelength. As the Universe expanded and cooled, elementary particles associated stably into ever larger combinations. Thus, in the early part of the matter-dominated era, stable protons and neutrons formed, which then formed atomic nuclei through nuclear reactions. This process, known as Big Bang nucleosynthesis, led to the present abundances of lighter nuclei, particularly hydrogen, deuterium, and helium. Big Bang nucleosynthesis ended about 20 minutes after the Big Bang, when the Universe had cooled enough so that nuclear fusion could no longer occur. At this stage, matter in the Universe was mainly a hot, dense plasma of negatively charged electrons, neutral neutrinos and positive nuclei. This era, called the photon epoch, lasted about 380 thousand years. Eventually, at a time known as recombination, electrons and nuclei formed stable atoms, which are transparent to most wavelengths of radiation. With photons decoupled from matter, the Universe entered the matter-dominated era. Light from this era could now travel freely, and it can still be seen in the Universe as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). After around 100 million years, the first stars formed; these were likely very massive, luminous, and responsible for the reionization of the Universe. Having no elements heavier than lithium, these stars also produced the first heavy elements through stellar nucleosynthesis. The Universe also contains a mysterious energy called dark energy; the energy density of dark energy does not change over time. After about 9.8 billion years, the Universe had expanded sufficiently so that the density of matter was less than the density of dark energy, marking the beginning of the present dark-energy-dominated era. In this era, the expansion of the Universe is accelerating due to dark energy. The Universe is composed almost completely of dark energy, dark matter, and ordinary matter. Other contents are electromagnetic radiation (estimated to be from 0.005% to close to 0.01%) and antimatter. The total amount of electromagnetic radiation generated within the universe has decreased by 1/2 in the past 2 billion years. The percent of all types matter and energy has changed over the history of the Universe. Today, ordinary matter, which includes atoms, stars, galaxies, and life, accounts for only 4.9% of the contents of the Universe The present overall density of this type of matter is very low, roughly 4.5 × 10−31 grams per cubic centimeter, corresponding to a density of the order of only one proton for every four cubic meters of volume. The nature of both dark energy and dark matter is unknown. Dark matter, a mysterious form of matter that has not yet been identified, accounts for 26.8% of the contents. Dark energy, which is the energy of empty space and that is causing the expansion of the Universe to accelerate, accounts for the remaining 68.3% of the contents. Dark matter is an unidentified type of matter comprising approximately 27% of the mass and energy in the observable universe that is not accounted for by dark energy, baryonic matter (ordinary matter), and neutrinos. The name refers to the fact that it does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, such as light, and is thus invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Although dark matter has not been directly observed, its existence and properties are inferred from its gravitational effects such as the motions of visible matter, gravitational lensing, its influence on the universe’s large-scale structure, and its effects in the cosmic microwave background. Dark matter is transparent to electromagnetic radiation and/or is so dense and small that it fails to absorb or emit enough radiation to be detectable with current imaging technology.In physical cosmology and astronomy, dark energy is an unknown form of energy which is hypothesized to permeate all of space, tending to accelerate the expansion of the universe. Dark energy is the most accepted hypothesis to explain the observations since the 1990s indicating that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Pardon me here I take a slight detour and introduce another model called the Standard Model. The Standard Model of particle physics is a theory concerning the electromagnetic, weak, and strong nuclear interactions, as well as classifying all the subatomic particles known. It was developed throughout the latter half of the 20th century, as a collaborative effort of scientists around the world. The current formulation was finalized in the mid-1970s upon experimental confirmation of the existence of quarks. Since then, discoveries of the top quark (1995), the tau neutrino (2000), and the Higgs boson (2012) have given further credence to the Standard Model. Because of its success in explaining a wide variety of experimental results, the Standard Model is sometimes regarded as the “theory of almost everything”. Although the Standard Model is believed to be theoretically self-consistent and has demonstrated huge and continued successes in providing experimental predictions, it does leave some phenomena unexplained and it falls short of being a complete theory of fundamental interactions. It does not incorporate the full theory of gravitation as described by general relativity, or account for the accelerating expansion of the universe (as possibly described by dark energy). The model does not contain any viable dark matter particle that possesses all of the required properties deduced from observational cosmology. It also does not incorporate neutrino oscillations (and their non-zero masses). This leads to the theory of weakly interacting massive particles, or WIMPs, are among the last hypothetical particle physics candidates for dark matter. The term “WIMP” is given to a dark matter particle that was produced by falling out of thermal equilibrium with the hot dense plasma of the early universe, although it is often used to refer to any dark matter candidate that interacts with standard particles via a force similar in strength to the weak nuclear force. I guess I have introduced the key concepts related to Dark Matter and Dark Energy. These are the concepts which continue to intrigue the scientists. Here I would add my interpretation to this long topic. Dark Matter and Dark Energy are two which have different purposes. Dark Matter acts an anti-gravitational force which pulls the intergalactic stars with in whereas Dark Energy seems to contribute to the Expansion of the Universe. This raises an question where did Dark Matter and Dark Energy come from. My thinking goes along these lines. As the Big bang points to an ever expanding universe an alternate theory called the big crunch has been proposed. The Big Crunch is one possible scenario for the ultimate fate of the universe, in which the metric expansion of space eventually reverses and the universe collapses, ultimately ending as a black hole singularity or causing a reformation of the universe starting with another big bang. Sudden singularities and crunch or rip singularities at late times occur only for hypothetical matter with implausible physical properties. So in the End is the Universe just Expanding from a single point of origin called singularity and reverses itself by contracting itself through a big crunch. But where do dark Matter and Dark Energy fit in. Say in the Big Bang theory the Universe never existed before the Big bang. But I look at it this way the universe always existed and in the infinite sequence of Expansion of the universe a second universe evolved from a singularity within the first universe when it continued to expand. There was a leaking effect where in the Dark Energy and the Dark Matter Permeated into the second universe from the second universe. The process continues unabated until perpetuity and at a point of equilibrium where dark matter equal dark energy the entire universes contract to a point of singularity to again start the cosmic cycle in tune with Brahmas(The creator in Hindu Cosmology) cosmic cycle. But if that’s the case where did the Dark Matter and Dark Energy come about in the first place. Well may be that explains the quest FOR Higgs Boson the God Particle.