A “Matter” of Illusions

News & Developments in Physics, Cosmology and Related Sciences.   The following are current or recent developments, news, articles, reports, and blogs in physics and cosmology, including related fields of scientific study and research on the universe, that affirm, validate or support the teachings of mysticism and its foundational principle of oneness.  We encourage you to visit our site regularly for updates to this page.

Will we ever… detect other universes?
Is there anything outside our Universe? Many physicists think it’s possible, says Marcus Woo, but could we one day know for sure?

We think of our Universe as everything there ever was, is, and will be.

But according to some researchers, there might not just be many universes, but an infinite number of them. This notion of multiple universes — sometimes dubbed the multiverse for short — isn’t some crazy idea concocted by bored physicists. While the science is undeniably speculative, they emerge from fairly well-grounded theories. And recent discoveries have made headlines for supporting the idea. There’s a lot that physicists don’t yet know, but the existence of the multiverse is possible, and some might say probable.

Image of bubbles.

Multiverses Like Bubbles in a Bubble Bath Froth

Yet if there really were other realms outside our own, how would we even know? Will we ever be able to detect another universe?

“I do think you can find smoking-gun evidence for things outside of [our Universe],” says Anthony Aguirre, a physicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz. After all, not being able to directly see or hold an atom didn’t preclude physicists from confirming their existence.

Perhaps the most plausible type of multiverse is a natural consequence of a theory called inflation. The Universe expanded rapidly after the big bang, and it continues to do so today. But according to inflation, the Universe grew exponentially fast in the first moments of its existence, an instant of faster-than-light expansion.

Physicist Alan Guth proposed this radical idea in 1980 to explain several features of the Universe: why it looks the same in every direction, for instance. Since then, physicists such as Andrei Linde have further developed the theory, which has been supported by observations of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — the leftover glow of the Big Bang that fills the sky.

A few weeks ago, physicists behind the Bicep2 experiment made headlines for detecting a strong signature of inflation – ripples in the spacetime fabric of the cosmos called gravitational waves. The pattern in the sky they saw was precisely what the inflation theorists predicted.

What’s this got to do with the multiverse? No one knows exactly how inflation occurred, but some of the simplest, most reasonable ideas suggest that random quantum fluctuations in the early Universe caused inflation to stop in some regions but not in others. Inflation would thus be eternal.

In places where inflation ceased, pocket universes would form, where atoms, stars, and even planets could assemble. Our Universe would be just be one of these myriad pocket universes.

Although inflation is widely accepted, eternal inflation remains more speculative. “I’m personally skeptical of this story,” says physicist Sean Carroll of the California Institute of Technology. Still, he says, it is plausible.

According to some theories, each pocket universe could take on the form of a bubble, producing a multiverse that’s like infinite foam, in which each bubble is a universe with its own versions of the laws of physics. And because the possibilities are literally endless, some universes would be alternate realities in which you’re a movie star or where dolphins rule the Earth.

These bubble universes are all connected, but in between them, eternal inflation is still stretching spacetime faster than the speed of light. So unless you can move faster than light, which Einstein said was impossible, you can’t hop from one bubble to another.

But even if you could, such a journey would be rough. “You also have to survive the inflation in between that would want to inflate every atom in your body,” Aguirre says. “It’s not very practical.”

Maybe the safest and best way to see another bubble universe is if one happens to bump into our own, which Aguirre says could leave an imprint in the cosmic microwave background. How likely is such a scenario and what would this cosmic bruise look like? It depends on the true nature of inflation, he says, which is just something no one fully understands yet.

For Carroll, bumping into a bubble universe doesn’t seem likely. “This is unlikely to be true, because it either never happened or it would’ve been bloody obvious and we would’ve noticed it a long time ago.”

Another possibility is that a nudge from a neighbouring universe would cause galaxies near the bump to move in a distinct direction compared to the rest of our Universe. Some astronomers claimed they’ve observed this so-called dark flow, but most scientists remain sceptical.

“My sense is that it’s fairly unlikely,” Aguirre says. If another universe could induce a dark flow, it would’ve left a noticeable and telltale mark on the CMB, which astronomers simply haven’t seen. Other than cosmic bubble bumps and dark flows, he says, there aren’t many well-developed ideas as to how to detect other universes in the inflationary multiverse.

Another type of multiverse arises from what’s called the Many Worlds interpretation of quantum physics. According to this theory, every possible outcome in the Universe exists simultaneously in other universes. For example, you can look and find that your desk lamp is on. But at the same time, there’s a separate, parallel reality where you find that the lamp is off.

Multiple images of sleeping woman.

According to the Many Worlds theory, there are multiple versions of you spawned every moment,
living in myriad universes side-by-side. (Thinkstock)

Like the inflationary multiverse, the Many Worlds multiverse implies alternate realities. One big difference, however, is that the parallel universes of the Many Worlds theory aren’t in any physical place, but instead coexist with ours in a separate, abstract part of reality.

Scientists may simply never find direct signs of any kind of multiverse, Carroll says. For some naysayers, that means these theories are not scientific. But that misses the point, he says. “Our job as physicists is to believe what our equations tell us.” In other words, by pursuing the maths, theorists may help us discover indirect signs of the multiverse. And eventually, enough of this indirect evidence could have been assembled to suggest that the multiverse is overwhelmingly likely.

Given the staggering implications that this would entail — an infinite number of close-copies of you and the Earth – it could well be a difficult thing for many people to accept. At least in our Universe.

[Read the originalBBC Future, 9 April 2014; emphasis is mine.]

Marc says:  This is where we exist — in an infinite multiverse with alternate realities for every conceivable possibility. In this infinity, awareness constantly weaves endlessly from one alternate reality to another, like a sewing needle pulling thread after it as it weaves through cloth, defining our individual experiences moment by moment on the fabric of consciousness.  Wow! Mind-boggling to even think of it. But… Think about it.

True nature
The Upanishads and Quantum Physics both talk about reality, writes Mani Bhaumik.

Scriptures tell us that the abstract Brahmn is creator and the physical universe is creation, existing in an intertwined, inseparable manner.  Brahmn is omnipresent.  It is uncanny that the same Quantum Physics that runs our cell phone, computer and internet is currently revealing to us a similar nature of reality.

Modern cosmology and quantum field theory have brought us the discovery that the abstract, primary source of everything in the universe is ingrained in each minutest stitch of the fabric of space of the vast cosmos, thereby upholding and administering its fundamental aspects.

Our ever-changing physical reality is a direct manifestation of the timeless source.  What was once thought to be sterile, empty space is now known to be an active participant in moulding the activities of our daily world as well as harbouring the source of everything tangible throughout the universe.  Hence, we can recognise how the truer nature of reality described in the Vedas and Upanishads is anchored in modern science.

What’s missing here is awareness associated with Brahmn.  The phenomenon of awareness is common to all animate species; it is also at the core of cognition in any sentient being we consider capable of possessing consciousness.

Consciousness is the window through which we perceive reality and reflect upon emotions and feelings.  Because it is both an instrument of perception and a perceived entity itself, consciousness is qualitatively different from anything else we know.  So it could be a fundamental feature of the
  [Continue readingThe Times of India, December 19, 2011; emphasis is mine.]

Marc says:  The ancient Vedic rishis or mystics of Hinduism were right all along.  And now, what used to be the whispered secret of mystics and mystery schools for ages is being expressed publicly in its full glory against the backdrop of 21st century science, which is affirming the tenets of mysticism.  I said it in my earlier postings below and I’m saying it again: “Hopefully it can provide us a better understanding and grasp of the mind-matter continuum, the metaphysical manifestation of forms within the mind’s energy field, and ultimately lead to an understanding of consciousness, itself, as the source and foundation of all experience. … Could God (Consciousness) be constantly enlarging our “playground of the mind”…?  Isn’t science merely confirming what mysticism has been telling us for ages?  Consider the possibilities of wide-scale… upliftment and transformation of human consciousness.”  Indeed our species is awakening spiritually. Seriously, think about it.

Why You Should Care About God Particle Discovery…

Image of God's Face painted by Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel Ceiling Fresco of CreationPhysicists managing the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN will make a big announcement next week in which they are expected to confirm or deny the existence of the Higgs boson or “God particle”. That sounds great and all, but what the heck is the “God particle” and why does it matter if scientists confirm its existence?

You are reading this news article on a computer, which takes up physical space. You have a body, hands, feet, head, mouth, all which have volume and are able to bounce off, move, and interact with one another.  The fact that things have mass may seem like common sense to you, but, fact is, scientists have no idea why things have mass.  They are perplexed as to why some particles (tiny portions of the visible world around) give way to mass and some particles, such as photons which make up light, have no mass whatsoever. In fact, the very existence of physical things, which have mass, is perplexing because the Big Bang, according to scientists, should have resulted in empty space, devoid of planets, stars, and anything else which has physical volume.

To answer this “mass question,” 40 years ago, Peter Higgs proposed the existence of an invisible field which gives all particles its mass.  This Higgs field, according to him, is passing through your body and all around you to give you the mass you have now. The field also passes through light particles, but because of photon properties, the field does not give any mass to light. Think of particles and the Higgs field as objects passing through a mud waterfall. Some objects, such as a very smooth ball will not get covered in the mud. Others, such as a rug, will be coated in the mud and thus have mass. Although it’s a simple concept, nobody has ever proved the existence of the Higgs Field, which is why an announcement about its existence is such a big deal.  The latest rumours are that CERN scientists will make an announcement next week, telling us that there are strong indications of the Higgs field’s existence.

No, the “God Particle” or Higgs Boson has nothing to do with God and its potential discovery will not prove the existence of some otherworldly universe.  It is a catchy name given by journalists, and one which Peter Higgs does not approve of.  Its existence, however, would allow physicists to better understand our world, an understanding which would allow scientists to make remarkable applications for bettering the human race. [Read the articleInvention & Technology News, December 09, 2011; emphasis is mine. Also read related articles: “Does the ‘God particle’ exist?” → Jamaica Observer, December 11, 2011; “Physicists Anxiously Await New Data on ‘God Particle’” → The New York Times, December 11, 2011; “Higgs boson: Excitement builds over ‘glimpses’ at LHC” → BBC News, December 12, 2011; “Q&A: The Higgs boson” → BBC News, December 12, 2011; “Have scientists at the LHC found the Higgs or not?” → BBC News, December 12, 2011.]

Marc says:  I sense that if the Higgs Boson is confirmed, this development will revolutionize more than just science but our worldview as well.  It could bring the teachings of mysticism into greater focus and wider popular acceptance.  Hopefully it can provide us a better understanding and grasp of the mind-matter continuum, the metaphysical manifestation of forms within the mind’s energy field, and ultimately lead to an understanding of consciousness, itself, as the source and foundation of all experience.  Consider the possibilities of wide-scale healings done mentally and the upliftment and transformation of human consciousness.  We shall see; we shall soon see.  Think about it.

Cosmology is the new mythology
The mysteries science is coming across are getting bigger and bigger.  On both the smallest and greatest scale, science is completely stumped.

String theory, the most promising theory of physics of the past thirty years, since it was meant to explain everything, cannot be tested or proven. Basically, the theory is that underlying all particles discovered in cyclotrons like the Large Hadron Collider, there are infinitely tiny particles called “strings” whose vibrations at different rates produces all other particles. However to test string theory, according to David Goldberg, a leading astrophysicist, you would need a cyclotron the size of our solar system. It can’t be done.

Goldberg was speaking at Starfest, the annual gathering of about 800 professional and amateur astronomers north of Mount Forest, which I’ve attended for the past four years.

Another famous astronomer said telescopes are time machines. When we observe the Andromeda galaxy, we are seeing it as it was two million years ago, because it is two million light years away and it took that long for the light we are presently seeing to reach us.

If you looked back far enough, beyond the furthest galaxies, you would eventually see nothing in every direction except the cosmic fireball produced by the Big Bang, the explosion that began everything. There is no seeing beyond this. Scientists cannot say what caused the Big Bang.

Physicists tell us that at the quantum, subatomic level the universe operates in unexplainable, irrational ways.  No one knows how the same particle can be in two locations at once, how light can be both a wave and a particle at the same time, or how particles come out of a complete void.

Similarly, at the largest level, Goldberg told us astrophysicists have “no clue what the universe is expanding into, why there is more matter than antimatter, or why there is anything at all.”  They also have no idea what “dark matter” and “dark energy” are, even though scientists know they make up 95% of the universe.  Only 5% of the universe is visible.

x                         x                         x

Astronomy has completely blown apart many peoples’ former belief in God. They had to find a much bigger, more mysterious, more glorious God if they wanted to keep believing. So, believers are indebted to science for helping us to know God more fully.

However, since some scientists think all religion is mythology, and since their smallest and greatest theories can’t be proven, it would help if they realized cosmologists are really doing mythology under the guise of scientific explanation, and if some scientists say science proves there is no God, they are really doing theology disguised as scientific authority. [Read the entire articleLondon Free Press, November 26, 2011; emphasis is mine.]

Marc says:  Isn’t science really just coming closer to the realization that the physical universe is really an illusion of the mind, a holographic projection of consciousness?  As I asked in the previous article, might not “dark energy” simply be the manifesting phenomenon of an expanding cosmic mind? Could God (Consciousness) be constantly enlarging our “playground of the mind” with every expansion of our awareness and the perceived expanding universe?  Isn’t science merely confirming what mysticism has been telling us for ages? (Read our relevant blog on the multiverse.)  Think about it, really think about it.

“Accelerating universe” could be just an illusion
In 1929, cosmologists discovered that the universe is expanding — that space-time, the fabric of the cosmos, is stretching. Then in 1998, light coming from exploding stars called supernovas suggested that the universe is not only expanding, but that it has recently begun expanding faster and faster; its expansion has entered an “accelerating phase.” This was bad news for the fate of the cosmos: An accelerating universe is ultimately racing toward a “Big Rip,” the moment at which its size will become infinite and, in a flash, everything in it will be torn apart.

The discovery was bad news for the state of cosmology, too. Because gravity pulls stuff inward rather than pushing it out, cosmologists believed that the expansion of the universe ought to be slowing down, as everything in it felt the gravitational tug of everything else. They didn’t understand the mechanism that seemed to be opposing the force of gravity, so to explain their observations, they invoked the existence of “dark energy,” a mysterious, invisible substance that permeates space and drives its outward expansion.

Now, a new theory suggests that the accelerating expansion of the universe is merely an illusion, akin to a mirage in the desert. The false impression results from the way our particular region of the cosmos is drifting through the rest of space, said Christos Tsagas, a cosmologist at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Our relative motion makes it look like the universe as a whole is expanding faster and faster, while in actuality, its expansion is slowing down — just as would be expected from what we know about gravity.   [Continue readingScience on msnbc.com, September 27, 2011; emphasis is mine.]

Marc says:  Is science moving closer to the realization that the physical universe is really an illusion of the mind, a holographic projection of consciousness?  Might not “dark energy” simply be the manifesting phenomenon of an expanding cosmic mind?  Could God (Consciousness) be constantly enlarging our “playground of the mind” with every expansion of our awareness? Think about it.

CERN Physicists Observe First Faster-Than-Light
Long-Distance Travel

Neutrinos are first ever observed example of faster-than-light travel in a non-medium, defy laws of physics

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was unequivocal — the fastest objects in the universe could move was the speed of light in a vacuum, which works out to around 299,792,458 meters per second (approximately 7e8 miles an hour). To travel faster than the speed of light would allow fast travel to other worlds and even the possibility of travelling back in time. But Einstein’s 1905 theory was firm — objects cannot travel faster than the speed of light.

I. The Erosion of Relativity?

Over the last several decades, exceptions to the Theory of Relativity have cropped up in experiments. For example physicists have discovered that photons can pass through certain mediums at a faster than light pace via quantum tunneling, and another study revealed pulses of sound can also outpace photons in a medium.

Now, for the first time, subatomic particles have been witnessed as travelling faster than the speed of light…   [Continue readingDailyTech, September 26, 2011.]

Marc says:  Are we breaking through the limits set by the speed of light because we are finally breaking limitations in the mind as consciousness expands?  Think about it.


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