Author Topic: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?  (Read 662 times)

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Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« on: March 19, 2013, 03:12:36 AM »
Is anyone aware of any evidence to suggest a cyclical universe: expanding then shrinking back to a singularity and expanding out again?

It seems, based on what I've learned, that the currently expanding universe will either end in a heat death, having burned out, or possibly a big rip, where the dark energy driving the expansion at ever greater rates finally kicks in on an atomic scale and rips all matter apart.

The cyclical view seems to be one of wishful thinking, like Aristotle's perfect spheres > Copernicus' circular orbits, or Einstein's Steady State universe.  If dark energy (whatever that turns out to be) is the force driving the expansion, and is already greater than gravity now, while the mass of matter is more closely arranged, it can hardly be expected to then suddenly rein in and reverse expansion (in some sort of rubber band effect).

The idea of a cycle of birth death and rebirth seems to be an attractive one.  Such ideas seem to have kind of a poor track record vs reality.

Online One Above All

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2013, 03:22:04 AM »
BM.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2013, 06:41:42 AM »
 http://preposterousuniverse.com/writings/dtung/ this dude discusses the theory of a "big crunch" (scroll down to theories of creation if you don't want to read the rest)

Offline screwtape

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2013, 07:36:08 AM »
This is not a cyclical in the way you have defined it, but it is cyclical.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21499765

In this scenario, a quantum fluctuation crates a bubble of "non-being".  It destroys time-space and expands at the speed of light, evenutally unraveling all being.  Then, in the absence of time-space, a new big bang occurs.  I kind of like that idea.
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Online wright

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2013, 02:53:39 PM »
This is not a cyclical in the way you have defined it, but it is cyclical.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21499765

In this scenario, a quantum fluctuation crates a bubble of "non-being".  It destroys time-space and expands at the speed of light, evenutally unraveling all being.  Then, in the absence of time-space, a new big bang occurs.  I kind of like that idea.

So do I. Not an expansion / contraction / expansion but expansion / destabilization / new expansion. An ongoing, perhaps infinite series of bubble-universes being generated by the quantum foam (please forgive the poetic license).
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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2013, 03:05:06 PM »
However, if the universe is a big hologram, as a few scientists suspect, the question becomes "Is there any evidence for an on/off switch?"

A link for those who hope I'm joking:
http://www.technewsworld.com/story/72804.html

I have no reason to believe it is true but it is fun to think about.
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Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2013, 11:23:52 PM »
Thanks folks.  I'll be checking out the links presently

Offline screwtape

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 08:05:10 AM »
So do I. Not an expansion / contraction / expansion but expansion / destabilization / new expansion. An ongoing, perhaps infinite series of bubble-universes being generated by the quantum foam (please forgive the poetic license).

It's like a stone thrown into a pond, concentric rings of existence and non-existence, rippling outward at unimaginable speed, but because of the scale, taking billions of years to play out.

Imagine that.  At the "egdge" of our universe there might be a ring of nothing, but beyond that, an older universe.  And at the center of our universe, non-being could already be moving toward us.
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Online wright

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2013, 11:14:09 AM »
It's like a stone thrown into a pond, concentric rings of existence and non-existence, rippling outward at unimaginable speed, but because of the scale, taking billions of years to play out.

Imagine that.  At the "egdge" of our universe there might be a ring of nothing, but beyond that, an older universe.  And at the center of our universe, non-being could already be moving toward us.

Oh, I do like that image: universes like the crests of waves between troughs of nonexistence, all expanding outward through time. Eventually everything on the wave drops back into the following trough and is erased.

Cyclic, or perhaps rhythmic. There's probably at least a poem there; I'll have to see if I can come up with one. Thanks, screwtape!
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2013, 06:41:17 AM »
not strictly on topic but related - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21866464

Offline Petey

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 02:11:25 PM »
I don't necessarily believe the following hypothesis, but it's fun to think about.

What if our universe is simply a "cell" in a much larger being or environment?  Which are themselves a small part of something even bigger, etc.

The same could work in the opposite direction.  A molecule, atom, or even sub-atomic particle could be viewed as a galaxy or an entire universe by something much much smaller.  This may also be consistent with quantum theory, in that entire universes of our size could randomly "pop" in and out of existence when viewed by something large enough to consider our universe as something that infinitesimal.

Everything would be a matter of scale.  Oddly enough, this also jives with some people's view of god, in that the existence of our universe would literally be a "blink of an eye".

Of course, this leads to infinite regresses in both directions.  But hey, when we're talking about beginnings and endings of universes or "existence" in general, what doesn't?
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 03:39:19 PM »
I don't think that is a crazy idea.  The universe has fractal properties.  It looks the same at all scales.  Who is to say what we think of as The Universe isn't is quark in a larger scale Universe?
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Offline Mrjason

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Re: Any Evidence for a Cyclical Universe?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2013, 05:01:10 AM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19373118 - looks into what could be outside of our universe.

There is an article somewhere where unusual radiation has been observed and it is hypothesised that this is where other ,self contained, universes are in coming into contact with our own.
Kind of like a mass of soap bubbles expanding and contracting in a froth of universes.
Can't find the article though :(