How Does Dark Energy Stretch the Universe?

After a short break for summer we are back, catching up on a busy month for astronomy.

The latest DNews video explains the latest findings of the BOSS programme and discovers that Einstein’s General Relativity still holds true on a cosmological scale.


SpaceX blasts off, and lands its fifth reusable booster rocket this year — Quartz

After launching a Japanese communications satellite toward orbit at many times the speed of sound, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster rocket returned unerringly to a floating landing platform early this morning. In true Olympic spirit, it stuck the high-speed landing. It is the fifth recovery of a Falcon 9 booster rocket this year and the sixth…

via SpaceX blasts off, and lands its fifth reusable booster rocket this year — Quartz

Introducing Particle X

Via Science Alert

For months, physicists have been quietly freaking out over tantalising evidence of a brand new particle lying outside the standard model of physics. First seen as a ‘blip’ in Large Hadron Collider data, the hunt is now on to confirm its existence, which experts say would be “bigger than the [discovery of the] Higgs boson“.

And physicists have just made the case that another new particle could be waiting to be discovered, by showing that the existence of a mysterious new particle, which they’re calling ‘particle X’, could explain a significant conundrum in physics: where the heck all the missing lithium in the Universe went to.


The Universe is Expanding Faster Than Expected

June 2, 2016
Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI)
Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have discovered that the universe is expanding 5-9% percent faster than expected. They made the discovery by refining the universe’s current expansion rate to unprecedented accuracy, reducing the uncertainty to only 2.4%. The team made the refinements by developing innovative techniques that improved the precision of distance measurements to faraway galaxies. These measurements are fundamental to making more precise calculations of how fast the universe expands with time, a value called the Hubble constant.


Could Dark Energy be Another Dimension of Time?

The idea has been proposed in a science-fiction book Anomaly (The Soul Prophecies) by Caitlin Lynagh.anomaly cover sm

The book follows a business student (and keen science enthusiast) as he finds his path in life following the death of his childhood sweetheart. The book discusses the afterlife through science – but in a way that probes genuine scientific questions rather than pseudo-science – with no mention of God. Anomaly examines connectivity, chaos theory and quantum mechanics by intelligent, yet easy to understand means.

I approached Lynagh through her WordPress site. She has a science degree, though not in physics, but has thoroughly researched and understood her approach to the science in her book.

The ideas in her research notes stem from a thought experiment.  If you were to eat a chocolate bar of 200kcal you would have to run for 20 minutes to burn off the calories at 10 per minute – or work twice as hard for half the time (10 minutes burning 20kcal per minute). Eventually, you would need to do infinite work to burn off the calories instantaneously.


This energy needs to go somewhere and at this point both axis become time dependent (effectively E = 0t). As a result this energy takes on the properties of zero but obviously it can’t be zero because something is there. This is where the idea of a second dimension of time and space come into it. Effectively time absorbs this energy.

Lynagh proposes a separate time line to human time which runs with the cosmological constant in General Relativity. She calls it Nowtime in her book. Nowtime contains all events past and present plus all possibilities that can happen in a single moment Planck-time after. Time, at this infinitesimally small moment, behaves like light.

And if Nowtime has energy: E = 0t as a result in the equation above, and we already know E =MC2, this dimension must also have mass. Lynagh suggests this is another dimension of space. In Anomaly, Lynagh has an interesting way of visualising it. This information is what Lynagh calls a creative field.

Lynagh suggests Nowtime moves in pulses, like frames of a video, in Planck-time along the arrow of human time. Nowtime holds all cosmological information (and in her book, by default conscious thought – including imaginary – since everything is made up of fundamental particles).

You can visualise this as a vortex with human time running through the centre and this Nowtime spiralling like a coil in the forward direction of human time expanding as information/entropy gains. Each loop moves at a Planck length along human time. There is energy in this. If you were to slice this time at any point you would see a circle with a dot in the middle. The dot would be human time, the circle would be Nowtime and all the space in the middle would be the creative field which contains all information.


As strange as this seems, it does make sense – as Carl Sagan once said, If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. The present is made up of all of the events in the past. Any change in that, however small would change the present. Our reality happens when the past collapses, leaving the present, and the future is based on the present. All quantum events are essential to the cosmological conditions of the present. Lynagh describes these connections as a gravitational consequence of events.

Lynagh understands that these connections must have a measurable force and her protagonists in Anomaly are set to seek experiments to prove it.

Lynagh is writing more books in the series and working on the maths, which may include redefining the cosmological constant because her hypothesis can explain dark energy and may simplify string theory. The book also hints at experiments that can test her hypothesis as the scientists in the book discover a new particle with strange behaviour. Lynagh doesn’t go into detail in Anomaly but plans to with subsequent books.

The ideas in Anomaly have excited my curiosity as I could see how the idea obeys the laws of thermal dynamics and positive/negative pressure on the cosmological system. If proved this could also explain the expanding universe, dark matter and the provide answers to the inception of the universe and conditions before the Big Bang. I’ve edited this down from the research I was sent, there is much more to it, including how the ATLAS experiments at the LHC might lend to her ideas.

There is a Facebook page devoted to the science in Anomaly called Anomaly Science.

Images courtesy of Caitlin Lynagh. Featured image via Pixabay.