Ultimate Explanations of the Universe

Free Ultimate Explanations of the Universe by Michael Heller

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Authors: Michael Heller
Tags: science, Philosophy, Cosmology, Epistemology
turn is a strong argument for the stability of the properties of the universe, in other words for the existence of global time. Global time operates at the macrocosmic level; while at the Planck level, until we obtain a complete theory of time, we shall have to be ready to admit a variety of possibilities. For instance, according to a fairly popular hypothesis, the closer we come to the Planck level, the more contorted space-time becomes, until at the Planck level itself it turns into a jumble of all the possible geometrical options. Various configurations of curves, including closed time-like curves, may occur in such a “space-time foam.” Thus time also participates in the jumble of geometrical forms. Only as it proceeds to the higher levels does space-time gradually smooth out and a time measuring out cosmic history emerges.
    However we should remember that the concept of a “space-time foam” is highly hypothetical, and the possibility of time-loops occurring in such a chaos of diverse configurations does not smack of an ultimate explanation.

Michael Heller, Ultimate Explanations of the Universe , DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-02103-9_5, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009
    5. Continuous Creation Versus a Beginning
    Michael Heller 1 
(1) 
ul. Powstańców Warszawy 13/94, 33-110 Tarnów, Poland

Michael  Heller
Email: [email protected]

    Abstract
    One of man’s ancient dreams is to build a perpetuum mobile – a machine which would work without the need to take in energy from without. The discovery of the second law of thermodynamics brought an end to such dreams: in an isolated system, although the total amount of energy is conserved (by the first law of thermodynamics), nevertheless it is dissipated and the machine’s potential to perform useful work decreases all the time. But does the universe as a whole not fulfil the dream of the perpetuum mobile ? Does it not ultimately provide some kind of explanation for its own existence? That it has always existed and will continue to exist forever. The early attempts in cosmology to accomplish this ideal failed. Contrary to his intentions, Einstein did not succeed in constructing a static model of an eternal universe.
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    5.1   From the Static to the Steady State
    One of man’s ancient dreams is to build a perpetuum mobile – a machine which would work without the need to take in energy from without. The discovery of the second law of thermodynamics brought an end to such dreams: in an isolated system, although the total amount of energy is conserved (by the first law of thermodynamics), nevertheless it is dissipated and the machine’s potential to perform useful work decreases all the time. But does the universe as a whole not fulfil the dream of the perpetuum mobile ? Does it not ultimately provide some kind of explanation for its own existence? That it has always existed and will continue to exist forever. The early attempts in cosmology to accomplish this ideal failed. Contrary to his intentions, Einstein did not succeed in constructing a static model of an eternal universe. The universe is dynamic; it does not seem likely for changeability to last interminably; thus there looms a “ghost of the beginning.” A solution was to come in the form of a perpetually oscillating cosmos, but this, too, turned out to be problematic in view of thermodynamics. The idea of a closed time is an alternative to a cosmology with a beginning, but one that replaces the latter with problems with causality, and even logic. All the indications are that if we wish to have a model of an eternal cosmos, we shall have to fit it out with some additional regenerative mechanisms. The first brave attempt of this sort was the cosmology of the steady state put forward in 1948 by Hermann Bondi, Thomas Gold, and Fred Hoyle. It expressed their reaction to the undeniable theoretical and experimental problems (the age of the universe) challenging the young relativistic cosmology; but

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