Slower than the speed of light?
Big bang cosmology based on a varying light speed constant.
Light speed in today's vacuum of space-time fabric is observed to be 299,792.458 km/second.(*1) This is the peak velocity of light through the lightest, most basic medium that we can ever observe it in, empty space. However, experiments in the past century (The Casimir Effect for example) have proven that the vacuum of empty space isn't as empty as we had thought. At the ultra-microscopic quantum level, virtual particles/energy briefly pop in and out of existence and fill the vacuum with it's own unique "vacuum energy". This assigns a slight energetic texture to what was previously thought to be empty space. This texture can be likened to "quantum foam" (*2) that permeates all of space at an unseen level. The overall influence of this foam-like vacuum energy (and it's density) is thought to be a factor in the expansion rate of our universe. In this paper I'm putting forward the idea that the speed of light is affected by the changing energetic density of its prime medium, space itself. I propose that the universal expansion rate, the dissipation of the "quantum foam" and a changing light speed over time are mutually linked.
I ask the reader, what is it easier to run through, a tank of water or a tank of steam? The answer is obvious because the molecules of water are closer together per unit volume than in steam. Water is molecularly more dense that steam and hence, harder to travel through. Using this analogy, I liken the smaller, hotter early universe to the tank full of water. I liken the expanding, cooler present universe to the tank of steam. Which universe is easier for light to travel through?
It doesn't take a huge, expanding universe to slow light speed down. Any earthly transparent medium (Air, Water, Glass, etc.) will slow light down to varying degrees as well. Light passing through a window pane has 35% less velocity than light passing through a vacuum. These affects are more pronounced in transparent matter because they are vastly more (mass) energetically dense than "empty space". I propose that in the smaller more energetically concentrated medium of the early universe, the speed of light was slower. This reduced speed was kept in relative proportion to the smaller volume and higher uniform vacuum energy density present in the early universe. The main point of this paper is to convey that space-time fabric (Empty space/Quantum foam) "thins out" as the universe ages and in turn, expands. To maintain an energetic constant in a increasingly diluted medium, I propose that the speed of light increases proportionately to match the expanding space of the evolving universe.
Humankind has called space many things through history. The total vacuum, quintessence, luminous ether, Higgs field, or the vast, unified wave function of the quantum field; these are all different ideas referring to the same thing, space itself. Space is the stage on which all events of the universe unfold. It's the prime medium through which pure energy (Electromagnetic radiation, a.k.a. light in various wavelengths) travels at its universal speed limit, C. However, it's important to remember that the stage of space-time is not static. Its cosmic horizon expands out into the greater void with a velocity at or approaching light speed, expanding the spatial volume of the universe as time passes. To better visualize this, I will describe how I came to these speculations.
The cosmos fascinates me. Cosmic enigmas fascinate me most of all. To me there are two cosmic enigmas that seemed beyond my understanding all my life. Firstly, our genesis event, the Big Bang. Second, dark cataclysmic monsters called Black Holes. One creates space-time, matter and energy from some unknown source. The other takes the three away to an unknown destination. I'm embarrassed to say that only recently have I envisioned their obvious relation. Lets start with a Black Hole. (Figure 1.)
I think of a Black Hole as the spiraled funneling of (e)nergy/(m)atter/space-time into a singular energetic concentration, much like a cosmic drain. A Black Hole drains with titanic gravitational force. So much gravitation in fact, that even light cannot escape its grasp. I am of the opinion that it isn't so much the light itself that a Black Hole devours, but the very medium it travels in, the fabric of space-time. The expansion or contraction of space-time are the only events that can actually be super-luminous in velocity. Light speed is the ultimate speed limit for matter and energy within the universe, but it's not the universe's speed limit for expansion/contraction. Super-luminous expansion of the early universe is called Inflationary (*3) cosmology and the theory fits nicely with observed phenomena. Inflationary cosmology supposes that the universal space-time expanded super-luminously from a singular, dense energy source. I think that Black Holes contract space-time super-luminously to a singular dense energy source. This explains why light cannot escape a Black Hole's dynamic "space-time drain" to the singularity.
What is beyond the singularity? To answer this I had to ask myself, "What is the equal and opposite reaction to a Black Hole?" My idea is that the opposite of a spiral drain-like concentration of attractive gravity is a spiral eruption of repulsive anti-gravity. These have been named "White Holes" by theoretical science some time ago, but to my knowledge they have never been directly observed by science. I believe that these events are exceedingly rare, so rare that I can only surmise one indirectly; Our Big Bang genesis. The premier event of our universes existence was a massively energetic, spiraled eruption of energy (equivalent matter) and space-time. I now propose to call this event a mega-massive White Hole and it's a direct consequence of a mega-massive Black Hole event. Black Holes and White Holes are equal and opposite events that mutually co-exist. They are two sides of the same coin. (Figure 2)
Figure 2 shows a 3D system that resembles 2D Minkowski Space-time. Points in the top cone are the past, the singularity is our present "now", and points in the bottom cone are in the future.
3d Minkowski Space-time and light cones
Universal expansion, Cosmic horizons and the Hubble constant.
The Universe is not static. It has been growing in size since the dawn of its existence. The expanding outer edges of our universe marks the places where existence and the real void meet. These outer boundaries are called cosmic horizons and nothing can be observed beyond them. Since their creation at the Big Bang they are thought to race outwards in all directions at the speed of light. In 1929, Edwin Hubble was credited as the first astronomer to realize that the universe was expanding. This expansion was discovered by observing the light from distant galaxies. If a galaxy is moving toward an observer, its light waves get compressed and shifted to the high energy blue end of the light spectrum. If a galaxy is moving away from an observer, its light waves are stretched out towards the low energy red end of the spectrum. This is a physical consequence of the Doppler Effect and it is called red-shift. Hubble came to his conclusions after observing red-shift in the majority of galaxies he was looking at . If the universe is observed to be expanding as time progresses, than it must have been smaller in earlier times. This is a very strong argument that Big Bang cosmology has merit through observational science. Until this discovery the universe was thought to be static and to have existed for all time. Hubble's discovery showed that the universe did have a beginning and that it wasn't static.
And now we come to the Hubble constant.
Simply put, I'm going out on a limb and going with my gut here. I find it pretty damn weird that the cube root of c velocity is something around 66.9285 km/sec. This is pretty close to the observed accelerated universal expansion rate (A.K.A. Hubble constant value.) of roughly around 65-72 km/sec./mpc.
When I invoke the cube root of c, I have in mind a volumetric 3d energetic expansion equivalent to a linear 1d expansion (linear velocity of c). The cube root of c (299792.458 km/sec) = 66.9825km/sec. If we drew a straight line to represent the distance traveled by a light beam in one second, it would be 299792.458 kilometers long. This is the simplest expression of light speed velocity in one dimension. Intuitively, I believe that a 3d equal expression to that line is to create a light cube that contains 299792.458 km/sec. cubic meters of space in it. The length of each side of the light cube then becomes 66.9825 km/sec.
However, a better interpretation of lights propagation in the universe is shown by way of a light cone. Light cones better convey the spherical expansion of the universe over time. In this cone the x and z axis are spatial while the y axis denotes elapsed time since the big bang. This light cone is really the future half of 3d Minkowski Space-time (See below).
What I'm saying is that the 3d spatial volume of today's accelerated expansion universe directly affects the one dimensional speed of a light beam within that 3d space. The expanding size of the universe as a whole is the medium that dictates how energetically (fast) light can propagate through it.
Since I believe the universal cosmic horizon flashes outward at c speed, this velocity increases over time in accordance with the expanding universe. I'm proposing that 66.9825 km/sec./mpc is the universal acceleration rate of c. Kilometers per second per mega-parsec are the format in which the Hubble constant is expressed. The mpc abbreviation stands for mega-parsec and is equal to 3,260,000 light years of measured distance. All told, it's an increase of about 67 kilometers/sec. in light speed every 3,260,000 years.
Next is a graph from Harvard.edu with the different values for the Hubble constant as observed since the year 1970. Note that in recent years, our techniques and technology has improved, allowing us to really narrow the value down to a small neighborhood of possibilities around my 67 km guess.
This plot shows modern (post HST) determinations, including results from gravitational lensing and applications of the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect. Note the very recent convergence to values near 65 +/- 10 km/sec/Mpc (about 13 miles per second per million light-years). The data for this plot is at hubble.plot.dat and will be updated periodically as part of the HST Key Project on the Extragalactic Distance Scale. Currently, the old factor of two discrepancies in the determination of the cosmic distance scale has been reduced to a dispersion of the order of 10 km/s out of 65-70, or 15-20%. Quite an improvement!
Found online @ http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~huchra/hubble/ - Thanks Guys!
I say that at the first instant of the big bang, light speed started out at zero km/sec and sped up to 66.9825 km/sec. over the first 3,260,000 years after the bang. This amounts to a yearly total acceleration of .00000205467791 km/sec for each year after the bang (Right up to the present day!). Then, light speed increased to 133.965 km/sec in the next period of 3,260,000 yrs. (6,520,000 yrs after the bang) and so on.
Taking today's measure of c and dividing it by it's cube root we get total elapsed mega-parsec units for our universe.
299792.458 / 66.9825= 4475.68332 mpc units
4475.68332 x 3,260,000 light years = 14,590,727,624.08091 years elapsed since the Big Bang.
Walter Russell, Spirals, Relativity Graphs and Bouncing Universes
"All space is curved, all curves are spiral"
Walter Russell, 1926
5d Kaluza-Klein space and Kurt Gdel's rotating universe
Universal Thermal to Kinetic Energy transfer over time
In my theoretical model universe, the spatial volume accelerates as the rotation of the universe slows down over time. It would be somewhat like what would happen to the planets of the solar system if the sun were magically removed in an instant. There would be no massive star to anchor the planets gravitationally in orbit and they would fly off into deep space because of their unchecked linear inertia. This is a loose analogy that I use for its relative familiarity to the average reader. It still doesn't give the stray planets a means to accelerate outwards from the systems center like our universe does in observations.
It is my humble notion that the microscopic 4th dimension in the Kaluza-Klein models could be a means for the universe to contain a vast amount of thermal energy in an infinitesimally small volume of 3d space. As the thermal energy flows from the smaller, curled up space of the 4th dimension to the 3 dimensions of space we know, it expands that 3d space at an accelerated rate over time. It's kind of like blowing up a balloon. I believe there is a hidden mechanism of universal evolution that allows concentrated thermal energy in the 4th dimension to blast into the macroscopic realm of our 3d observable, expanding universe.
This could be another way of knowing what really caused the big bang. It puts forward a scenario where a staggering amount of energy is released into a newborn universe, causing it to rapidly expand in the 3d spatial dimensions.
Fixing the Fine Structure Constant and having a time-dependant c velocity.
It is my sincere belief that the scientific community has made a mistake in assuming a fixed light speed with a time-dependant Fine Structure Constant. Mainstream science holds that the speed of light has been unchanged during the course of the universes growth and evolution. That would make the fine structure constant time-dependant and subject to change over time. The energetic contrast between the early universe and today's observations suggests to me that one of these values must be time-dependant and varies as time passes. Some thing has got to give.
John D. Barrow, Joao Magueijo and Havad Sanvik mused as to what would happen if the fine structure constant was subject to an expanding universe. They showed that once the vacuum energy begins to accelerate the universe, any slight increases in the fine structure constant would halt to a stop. ("The Constants of Nature", John D. Barrow 2002 pg. 271)