written for the Institute for Applied Consciousness Science
EXOTIC MATTER AND ENERGY
Vacuum Fluctuation in the Macro- and Microcosm
(or, Surfing the Primordial Gravity Waves)
by Iona Miller, ©2000
In the beginning was the Void. Sound waves [the Word] originated in the first instant of the universe’s life, when the cosmos underwent an extraordinary expansion. No one really knows what drove it, but by stretching the very fabric of space, it magnified a weird subatomic phenomenon that is known today as the spontaneous materialization of particles from a complete vacuum. Vacuum fluctuation underlies both cosmology and quantum processes.
Vacuum-spawned particles are constantly flickering in and out of existence around us, arising from and sinking back into the void. During inflation, this process like everything else in the universe, was magnified tremendously. The rapidly expanding early universe imparted enough energy to these particle wannabes that instead of quickly subsiding into the vacuum, they remained in the real world. The sudden influx of countless particles from the vacuum was like a stone thrown into the dense particle pond of the early universe, sending out ripples--pressure waves. And pressure waves rippling through a gas are nothing more than sound waves. The entire universe rang like a bell.
Those reverberations were abruptly silenced 13 billion years ago, when the universe became transparent. Once photons were traveling freely through space, [“Let there be Light!”], there was no longer enough pressure to support the sound waves. But before fading forever, those echoes of creation had left their mark on the cosmic microwave background. When sound waves were still spreading through the universe, they compresssed the particle soup in some regions of the cosmos and rarefied it in others. Pressure changes cause temperature changes--increase the pressure in a gas and the temperature increases. Microwave photons coming from these various regions have slightly different temperatures. The temperature patterns show the universe just as it was when the particle fog--and the sound waves--vanished.
VACUUM POTENTIAL AND THE UNIVERSE
To look at the nature of the froth of vacuum fluctuation in its fundamental relationship to this universe, we must lift the veil on the activity occuring at the subatomic threshold where Nothing becomes Something. This veil has for the history of mankind been the point past which no observation has ever been made, in fact, cannot be made, because it is metaphysical (beyond physical) as we have understood it in the past.
But now, just because it is non-observable directly does not mean that it is non-detectable. In fact, this non-zero exotic energy does exert an influence and create observable changes in conventional physical spacetime. It was defined by Einstein as the Cosmological Constant, the antigravity force he introduced into general relativity.
The cosmological constant is a term in cosmological equations, symbolized by the Greek letter lambda, employed to denote theoretical antigravitylike force. Discovered in 1998, it describes a kind of cosmic antigravity that controls the expansion of the universe, yet with no discernable effect on cosmic structures that are smaller than a billion light-years across. If the force were stronger, it would have stopped stars and galaxies--and life--from forming.
Research shows that the force that drove the early expansion of the universe looks a lot like lambda, stretched quantum waves of vacuum, leading to nonhomogeneous regions, leading to density variations, leading to galaxies. Apparently, lambda didn’t fall to zero at the end of the inflationary epoch but has continued to function, at a reduced level ever since.
A universe composed only of normal matter cannot grow in the fashion ours has been demonstrated to be since its gravity would always be attractive. Observations require that expansion is always accelerating with time. According to Einstein’s theory, the expansion can speed up if an exotic form of energy fills empty space everywhere.
This strange “vacuum energy,” or exotic energy is embodied in Einstein’s equations. Unlike ordinary forms of mass and energy, the vacuum energy adds gravity that is repulsive and can drive the universe apart at ever increasing speeds. There is now evidence for a strange form of energy imparting a repulsive gravitational force.
In the general theory of relativity, the source of gravitational forces (whether attractive or repulsive) is energy. Matter is simply one form of energy. But Einstein’s cosmological term is distinct. The energy associated with it does not depend on position or time--hence the name “cosmological constant.” The force caused by the constant operates even in the complete absence of matter or radiation. Its source is the curious energy that resides in empty space.
Fields are responsible for the transmission of forces. The “inflation” field is simply a function of space and time whose oscillations are interpreted as particles. The inflation field imparts an antigravity force that stretches space. Associated with a given value of the inflation field is a potential energy. Research shows gravity is too weak to combat the expansion.
Scientists wonder why the rate of cosmic expansion is just enough to counteract the collective gravity of all the matter in the universe--it is a great Mystery, which makes our very existence possible. Any significant deviation from pefect balance would have magnified itself over time. If the expansion rate had been too large, the universe today would seem nearly devoid of matter. If gravity had been too strong, the universe would have already collapsed in a big crunch.
Important where inflation is concerned, the quantum picture of the vacuum points out how not all vacuums are created equal. The fluctuating quantum fields in a vacuum have all possible wavelengths and move in all possible directions. If the values of the fields cancel out when averaged over time, that is a classical vacuum, or old-fashioned empty space. But when they don’t cancel out, physicists call this a “false” vacuum, which contains more energy than a classical vacuum.
The first moments of cosmic history show the ambient energy was so great that the entire universe was in a false vacuum state. The energy of the false vacuum acts as a kind of antigravity, and can cause space to balloon at an exponential rate. During inflation, the universe was nearly empty, its energy content having been swallowed up into the false vacuum. Once it decayed to a classical vacuum, its excess energy precipitated like raindrops into the myriad hot particles of the big bang.
Owing to supercooling, cosmic space could have remained in the false-vacuum state for longer than we previously suspected before disgorging itself of the energy that drove its inflation. Indeed, the universe may never have completely stopped inflating--and this prospect has lately returned to favor, since supernovae measurements have disclosed an anomolous acceleration or inflation throughout deep space.
It is possible to test for a nonzero cosmological constant: In such a universe galaxies will be further away than the redshift would indicate under the standard model. A diverse set of observations now compelingly suggest that the universe possesses a nonzero cosmological constant. It corresponds to the energy density of the vacuum and no known principle demands that it vanish.
The cosmic antigravity symbolized by lambda could push omega, the mass density parameter, toward the critical value of one. It is dark energy, the missing part of the equation in accounting for the mass energy density of the universe. Ordinary matter only makes up a small part of this total. The extent of the invisible mass is vast. More comes from hot and cold dark matter, but now scientists have observed by inference the missing dark energy with its property of accelerating space and expanding the cosmos faster than had been believed likely before 1998. This expansion rate, the non-zero value of the cosmological constant, and the allocation of mass density determine the age, size, shape, and fate of the universe.
The original vacuum was a seething foam, full of virtual particles and antiparticles. Quarks, electrons, neutrinos, and their antiparticles are born from the vacuum. But as soon as they materialize, particles and antiparticles encounter and annihilate one another, turning into radiation. The packets of radiation (or photons), in their turn, disappear, giving birth to particle-antiparticle pairs. There is a constant interaction between matter, antimatter, and radiation. The universe is bathed in a soup of quarks, electrons, neutrinos, photons, and antiparticles.
Russian physicist, Sakharov discovered that nature has a slight preference for matter. For every billion antiquarks that arise from the vacuum, one billion and one quarks appear. The preponderance of quarks over antiquarks means that some protons and neutrons remain. For every billion particles and antiparticles that annihilate one another and turn into a billion photons, just one particle of matter will remain, which is exactly the proportion observed in the universe today. All the antimatter disappears.
Everything--galaxies, trees, stars, flowers, humans--arose from the primordial vacuum. The idea of creation ex nihilo, from nothing, is a religious concept that is now confirmed by cosmology.
The inflationary model of the universe is giving way to what Stanford scientist Andrei Linde calls “the self-reproducing inflationary universe.” Linde’s model is based on advanced principles of quantum fluctuations in the inflationary universe. Because it is rooted in advanced principles of quantum physics, it defies easy visualization.
Quite simplified, it suggests quantum fluctuations in the universe’s inflationary expansion have a wavelike character. Linde theorizes that these waves can “freeze” atop one another, thus magnifying their effects. The stacked-up quantum waves in turn can create such intense disruptions in scalar fields--the underlying fields that determine the behavior of elementary particles--that they exceed a sort of cosmic critical mass and start birthing new inflationary domains.
The vacuum itself is such a scalar field, a massless charge field, electrostatic scalar potential. In ordinary vector analysis, a scalar is a quantity completely characterized by magnitude only. Multiple vectors summing or multiplying to zero are present though virtual. The energy of each infolded dynamic vector component is trapped inside the local vector zero system. Physically a zero vector can be a system having a very distinct real substructure of nonzero vector components. These infolded vector components are highly dynamic. (Bearden, 1988).
Trapped energy constitutes a scalar potential in spacetime. Enormous energy may be enfolded and trapped. This constitutes vacuum polarization. The zero-vector system is thus a vacuum engine and a virtual state engine as well. The scalar field is composed of two time fields: one in positive time and one in negative time that is a phase conjugate replica of the first. Thus, the timeless, lengthless vacuum exists both in positive and negative time, and its potentials are scalar potentials. When the vacuum is uncurved, equal amounts and components of positive and negative time exist. When it is curved at a point, the positive and negative time components are unbalanced at that point.
The multiverse, Linde contends, is like a growing fractal, sprouting inflationary domains that sprout more inflationary domains, with each domain spreading and cooling into a new universe. In this model, our universe is just one of the sprouts. Each particular part of the multiverse, including our part, began from a singularity somewhere in the past, but that singularity was just one of an endless series that was spawned before it and will continue after it.
Each universe in the multiverse is a separate closed volume of space and time. The other universes are unavailable to us, just as the interior of a black hole is unavailable. We cannot even know if the universes are finite or infinite in number. Some details of the fluctuation of ripples in background radiation may help us determine the truth. Till then, the theory hangs on assumptions we must make about the physics of very dense states of matter, (Lemly, 2000).
This is the cosmological aspect of the vacuum density energy, but it also has quantum mechanical implications. The non-zero value of the vacuum potential, a virtual or unzipped phase space, underlies quantum processes and influences the random perturbation of subatomic entities. It is possible to engineer this vacuum, to tap its vast potential.
The geometrical underpinnings of this vector equilibrium were first discovered and explained by Buckminster Fuller in his tour de force Synergetics I and II. Vector Equilibrium describes an all pervasive source of energy potential and is anomolous in that its properties are of neither waves nor particles, nor spacetime bound: the vacuum fluctuation is the energy gradient of No-thing taking place No-where or Now-here. It is an eternal source of infinite energy, an inexhaustible fount, or Plenum.
The vacuum is a pure virtual particle, massless charge flux; a virtual state, timeless spacetime itself. It is a highly dynamic state where everything is disintegrated. It is filled with massless charge, or rather is identical to massless charge (disintegrated dynamicism). It is a plenum, not an emptiness. It is also pure action, undifferentiated.
Sidney Coleman, a theoretical physicist from Harvard, has been investigating the nature of the vacuum and its relationship to the cosmological constant. He, and other physicists can’t decide whether the total energy in the vacuum should be positive or negative, but they agree that it is huge. Coleman asserts, “the cosmological constant is zeroed out by wormholes; invisible, submicroscopic rips in the fabric of spacetime that tunnel out of our universe, linking it to an infinite web of other universes.”
The modern vacuum is a seething inferno of fiercly bubbling, fleeting particles. The vacuum has no fixed lengths or rate of time flow per se. The stress of the vacuum is a sort of conglomerate potential “pressure,” where the individual stresses of various types of particles, if integratd by external means, would sum into the overall stress (pressure). Variation of the stress of vacuum between two points in a frame represents a “curved spacetime” or “accelerated frame.”
The stress energy of the vacuum means “fragments” of energy, more subtle than electromagnetic energy, turn against themselves and lock into a “vector zero summation.” This zero-point energy of the vacuum is increasingly being regarded as composed of an incredibly dense structure of virtual electromagnetic energy, even at zero degrees absolute.
This quantum foam was dubbed “superspace” by J.A. Wheeler. Superspace consists of pure massless charge flux, pure scalar waves. The actual electrical charge of the vacuum appears to be enormous, if we could only measure it discharging to an uncharged region. Thus it is space (actually spacetime) that is incredibly dense, and matter that is ethereally thin. Spacetime goes through matter, rather than matter through spacetime, (Bearden, 1988).
Direct engineering of artificial potentials by patterned zero-vector force field summations is the secret of the long-sought “unified field theory.” It is also the secret of the unification of mind and matter into a single scientific discipline.
The vacuum is spacetime. Only changes in (derivatives of) spacetime can be perceived, detected or observed, but not spacetime itself. In negative time, gravity is a repulsion not an attraction. Gravitational potential is revealed as simply infolded electromagnetics, and electromagnetics is simply the outfolding of the internal contents of gravitational potential.
The key to engineering the vacuum is to let the EM force fields fight themselves to a cancellation, forming a vector zero. If we do this in a nonlinear medium (modulator), the summing/multiplying EM vector forces are locked together and remain as an infolded EM system inside the EM vector zero. This now is a gravitational system. By merely varying (in phase) the summing EM components, one varies the local energy density of vacuum. Rigorously that is a gravitational wave.
Quantum cosmology attempts to merge two tremendously successful views of the universe. One of these is cosmology, the study of the universe on the largest scales, which rests on and embodies Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The other is quantum mechanics, which deals with the realm of submicroscopic particles and how they interact. Quantum mechanics has been overwhelmingly useful in describing atoms and atomic nuclei, and cosmology has done so in describing the universe at large.
The rational of the cosmological constant derives from the uncertainty principle, which applies to variables like energy and time. According to Coleman:
What it says in this case is that the precision with which you can measure the energy of any system, such as a piece of empty space, is limited by the duration of the measurement; the shorter the time, the greater the imprecision. And this indeterminacy can never be resolved simply by more accurate measuring instruments; it is inherent in the system itself. Over a short enough time the system can assume just about any energy--and it does. In a world ruled by quantum mechanics, the energy of the system in any fleeting instant can be seen only as a wavelike function.
As a consequence, the vacuum of empty space is not empty; it is pervaded by fluctuating fields of energy that, when large enough, manifest themselve as particles--individual photons, for example, or particle pairs consisting of an ordinary electron or quark and its anti-matter twin, which burst into existence and then annihilate. The vacuum is thick with these short-lived "virtual" particles. It looks empty only because each particle's visit to existence, according to the uncertainty principle, is so infinitesimally brief as to be undetectable.
But the effects of these virtual particles en masse may be detectable. Virtual particles ought to have one effect in particular: their energy ought to warp space. The deformation would be entirely independent of that wrought by ordinary matter, and so, Einstein notwithstanding, it would constitute a nonzero cosmological constant.
How big would the constant be? That depends on how often virtual particles appear in a given volume of space, and it also depends on the type of particles. Virtual quarks and electrons have much the same effect as their "real" counterparts: they cause space to contract. But virtual photons, or any other force-transmitting particles, have the opposite effect: they cause space to expand. There are a whole bunch of things that contribute to the cosmological constant. Some are plus, some are minus, so we expect some of them to cancel. But not the whole lot...
The cosmological constant is very nearly zero. The mechanism, according to Coleman, is similar to virtual particles in that it arises from quantum fluctuations. But this time the fluctuations aren't those of energy fields [zero point energy]; they are fluctuations of empty space itself [vector equilibrium fluctuations].
Stephen Hawking invented the quantum wormhole in 1988. Just as quantum mechanics says there is a certain probability that particles can appear from nowhere in a vacuum, quantum cosmology says there may be a certain probability that a small chunk of space and time will suddenly pop into existence. That is what a wormhole is--a fluctuation in the space-time field, just as a virtual particle is a fluctuation in an energy field.
The wormhole could connect to any one of an endless number of preexisting parallel universes that are otherwise inaccessible to us. There is no reason to assume our universe is the only one; webs of parallel universes are equally possible. They can be imagined like balloons connected to one another by thin, rubbery necks of space-time--those are the wormholes. The regions inside and outside the balloons and wormholes are outside space-time. It doesn't exist.
One meaningful consequence of wormholes is that they might contribute information to our universe in the form of values for the constants of nature. They might also fix the energy density of the vacuum--the cosmological constant. Somehow wormholes arrange things so that the value of the cosmological constant is zero--so that the huge virtual particle components cancel exactly. According to quantum cosmology, this is by far the most likely outcome.
Dark matter, the invisible gravitating substance that seems to make up part of the missing mass of the universe may reside in parallel universes. Such matter would affect our universe's gravity and is mecessarily "dark" because our species of photon is stuck to our membrane (flat universe), so photons cannot travel across the void from the parallel matter to our eyes.
Such parallel universes might be utterly unlike our own, having different particles and forces and perhaps even confined to membranes with fewer or more dimensions. They may have identical properties to our own universse, yet be folded to appear very distant. Dark matter could be composed of ordinary matter, even ordinary stars and galaxies, shining brightly on their own folds, yet emitting no apparent light in our universe. Gravity-wave detectors may find evidence for these folds by "observing large sources of gravitational radiation that cannot be accounted for by matter visible in our own universe." (Arkani-Hamed et al, 2000).
Zero point energy is the kinetic energy that remains in a substance when its temperature is absolute zero. The vacuum has zero point energy, also. Any potential is just a bunch of trapped dynamic vectors, hence trapped vector (translational) energy. It is translational energy that is locally trapped and not translating. The potential is thus like an accumulator or capacitor. It can be "charged up" and "discharged."
The vacuum is increasingly being regarded as composed of an incredibly dense structure of virtual electromagnetic energy, even at zero degrees absolute. Superspace consists of pure massless charge flux, pure scalar waves. If compacted this energy density of the vacuum is enormous.
Here, in the vacuum, spacetime is incredibly dense, and matter is etherically thin. Spacetime goes through matter, rather than matter through spacetime. And this energy density of the vacuum does interact with electromagnetic fields and matter to give observable effects, such as the Lamb shift.
In his inflationary model of the hot Big Bang, Alan H. Guth considers matter to consist of scalar-field particles, (SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, Dec. 1991). "Such field particles are not the stuff of everyday life, but they do arise naturally in many theories."
Indeed, they are believed to be the dominant form of matter under the extremely high energy conditions similar to those in the early universe. According to the inflationary model, they lead to a kind of negative pressure. Gravity effectively becomes a repulsive force, and inflation occurs. At the end of the inflationary era, the decay of the scalar-field matter producing the expansion heated the (initially cold) universe to a very high temperature.
Although the scalar field is largely homogeneous, it still may have small, inhomogeneous parts. According to quantum theory, these inhomogeneous parts cannot be exactly zero but must be subject to small quantum fluctuations. (In fact, all types of matter are subject to such quantum effects, but for most purposes the fluctuations are so small as to be totally insignificant.)
The rapid expansion of the universe during inflation magnified these initially insignificant microscopic fluctuations, transforming them into macroscopic changes in density [ref. chaos theory and the pumping up of micro- to macroscopic changes as one of the characteristics of chaos].
Inflation itself depends on a number of assumptions. For example, it would have occurred only if the scalar field began with a large, approximately constant energy density. This approximately constant energy density is equivalent, at least for a brief time, to Einstein's famous (or infamous) cosmological constant. Therefore, like it or not, the success of inflation rests on certain assumptions about initial conditions [another aspect of chaos theory].
"What happened before inflation? How did the universe actually begin?" In the pre-inflation era, the size of the universe tends to zero, and the strength of the gravitational field and the energy density of matter tend to infinity. That is, the universe appears to have emerged from a singularity, a region of infinite curvature and energy density at which the known laws of physics break down.
Near a singularity, space-time becomes highly curved; its volume shrinks to very small dimensions. Under such circumstances, one must appeal to the theory of the very small--that is, to quantum theory. In quantum mechanics, motion is not deterministic, but probabilistic. A quantity called the wave function encodes the probabilistic information about such variables as position, momentum and energy.
For a single-point particle, one can regard the wave function as an oscillating field spread throughout physical space. Because of the uncertainty principle, the kinetic and potential energy of a system cannot both be exactly zero. Instead the system has a ground state in which the energy is as low as it can be. (Recall that in the inflationary universe, galaxies form from "ground-state fluctuations.") Such fluctuations also prevent the orbiting electron from crashing into the nucleus. The electrons have an orbit of minimum energy from which they cannot fall into the nucleus without violating the uncertainty principle.
Though it is still considered an extravagant claim, the fundamental assertion of quantum cosmology is that quantum mechanics applies to the entire universe at all times and to everything in it. In a theory of the universe, of which the observer is a part, there should be no fundamental division between observer and observed. The wave function of the entire universe can't collapse each time an observation is made. In cosmology, there is only one system, which is measured only once.
We hope to describe the universe accurately, particularly in its earliest moments, when all of space had barely been born--when in fact neither space nor time can be clearly defined as anything like the space or time of today. We have to search, in the spirit of Einstein’s search for a unified field theory, for a view of the universe that combines quantum mechanics and general relativity.
So far, the best minds, even Stephen Hawking, can’t come up with a coherent theory that incorporates both gravity, as described by general relativity, and quantum mechanics. Such a melding--a workable quantum cosmology--has frustrated generations. They seem as incompatible as water and sand, and together create a quicksand mire of seemingly insoluble problems that suck us down as neither alone can.
The inescapable task of the quantum cosmologist is to propose laws of initial or boundary conditions for the universe. Stephen Hawking's idea is called the no-boundary proposal, which admits many possible histories. Perhaps, the universe has tunneled from "nothing." The evolution described by inflation and the big bang would have subsequently occurred after tunneling. This is consistent with the Qabalistic explanation of the emanation of Kether from Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur--the veils of negative existence.
The picture that emerges is of a universe with nonzero size and finite (rather than infinite) energy density appearing from a quantum fuzz. After quantum creation, the wave function assigns probabilities to different evolutionary paths, one of which includes the inflation postulated by Guth.
Although some theorists disagree, both the no-boundary and tunneling proposals seem to predict the conditions necessary for inflation, thereby, eliminating the need for assumptions about the scalar-field matter that drove the rapid expansion. The no-boundary and tunneling proposals eliminate assumptions about the density perturbations. Although inflation explains their origin, the exact form and magnitude depend on certain assumptions about the initial state of the scalar-field matter.
The inflation model assumes the inhomogenous parts started out in their quantum mechanical ground state--the lowest possible energy state consistent with the uncertainty principle. But Hawking's no-boundary proposal states that everything must be smooth and regular on the bottom cap of the space-time tube. The condition implies that inhomogeneous fluctuations must be zero there. The fluctuations enter real-time as small as they can be--as the quantum mechanical ground-state fluctuations demanded by the inflation model. The tunneling proposal makes the same prediction, for similar reasons.
So, quantum cosmology alleges the universe appeared from a quantum fuzz, tunneling into existence and thereafter evolving classically. Quantum creation scenarios produce gravitational waves of a calculable form and magnitude. Gravitational waves interact very weakly with matter as they propagate through space-time. Therefore, when we observe them in the present universe, their spectrum may still contain the signature of quantum creation. But gravity waves are hard to detect, so quantum cosmology can't be verified conclusively yet to determine whether the no-boundary or tunneling proposals are the correct ones for the wave function of the universe.
Quantum cosmology is thought to resemble neither general relativity by itself, nor quantum mechanics by itself, but “something” different from both. Or, perhaps, better said “no-thing” different from both. There is still no clear theory of quantum cosmology to tell us how the early universe produced its gravity waves, even though Hawking makes some predictions about the primordial gravity waves from the big bang.
SURFING THE PRIMORDIAL GRAVITY WAVES
Gravity waves are ripples of spacetime. The idea of spacetime iself as a dynamic entity--one that can bend, stretch and take on different shapes--still seems radical. Even more startling is Einsteein’s prediction that spacetime can ripple like a flag in a strong breeze. Perturbations of matter produce radiating ripples or waves, in the very fabric of spacetime. Gravity waves penetrate all matter. Gravitational waves can traverse the universe, carrying the imprint of the distant events that gave them birth, (Frank, 2000).
Einstein perceived that the best way to conceive of gravity would be to think of it not as affecting objects in space, but rather as affecting space itself. This realization that gravity bends space marked a key moment in Einstein’s path toward the general theory of relativity. The theory also predicted accurately that gravity bends light, because gravity bends space and light travels through space as directly as possible. It only travels straight in the absence of gravity.
Einstein saw that if an object with mass--the sun, for instance--bends space into a sort of dimple, then the motion of any object with mass would move that dimple in space from place to place. This produces a changing distortion of space, which creates a ripple, a moving wave in the fabric of spacetime. Einstein realized that the ripple created by the motion of mass spreads outward in space in all directions. So any other mass it encounters is set in motion as the ripple passes by. These ripples make objects move with respect to one another as the wave passes by, but only in incredibly small amounts.
Gravity waves come in various types, which differ in their waveforms, that is, in the shapes of the waves that emerge from a violent event of a given kind. They also differ in their wavelengths, the average distance between wave crests, and in the total amount of energy that the gravity waves carry off from the scene of cosmic violence.
The big bang that began the universe was by far the greatest explosion of all time. This bodes well for detectable gravity waves, since the more rapid motion of more massive objects leads to stronger waves. But they have traveled 15 billion light years, and the expansion of the universe has weakening these primordial waves. However, the early moments of expansion have actually strengthened these waves enough to detect with today’s technology.
Detection still involves two unknowns: How strong are the primordial gravity waves, and how strong are competing sources of gravity waves which can create interference or false signals? Astronomers are on the threshold of a solution to the problem of primordial gravity wave observation. They are trying to discern the subtle stretching and shrinking that passing gravitational waves would cause. The task is so challenging that detectors must measure changes in length that are less than a thousandth of the diameter of a proton!
General relativity merges space and time into a seamless four-dimensional entity. The presence of mass or energy curves spacetime. That curvature meanifests itself as an attractive force between objects--gravity. The motion of massive objects can generate waves of curvature--gravitational waves--that ripple through the fabric of spacetime. It is a shedding of energy in the form of gravitational waves.
Nearly all models of the early universe produce a background of wave radiation, (Weiss, 2000). They distort spacetime, like tugging on a piece of woven fabric; it creates a strain on spacetime. It is a pressure wave, like sound; but unlike sound which is a wave of compression and expansion of a substance in space, gravitational waves are a warping of space itself.
THE VIRTUAL VACUUM
According to the latest research, the universe is self-generating. It was preceded by and evolved from a quantum fluctuation of spacetime. This energetic vacuum provides the energy needed to power the Big Bang. The vacuum contains virtually infinite energy, even though the exact nature of this all-pervasive force is not known. Even solid matter is mostly empty space with most of the matter condensed in the nuclei of atoms.
But, the vacuum is not empty; it is a plenum or fullness. It is the basic, fundamental underlying reality and everything in the universe is its expression. If this mass-energy is to be located at all, it must be in the flat empty space, the regions which are completely free of matter and fields of any kind. It is either there in the emptiest of empty regions, or it is nowhere at all.
According to David Bohm and F. David Peat (1987):
Current quantum field theory implies that what appears to be empty space contains an immense “zero point energy,” [i.e., it remains even at temperatures of absolute zero, when thermal energy oscillations are absent] coming from all the quantum fields that are contained in this space. Matter is then a relatively small wave or disturbance on top of this “ocean” of energy [which used to be called the Dirac sea]. Using reasonable assumptions, the energy of one cubic centimeter of space is far greater than would be available from the nuclear disintegration of all the matter in the known universe! Matter is therefore a “small ripple” on this ocean of energy. But since we, too, are constituted of this matter, we no more see the “ocean” than probably does a fish swimming in the ocean sees the water.
It consists of particles and antiparticles being spontaneously created an annihilated in an on-going Armageddon. Everything that ever existed or can exist is already potentially there in the nothingness of space which contains all of being. And in mystical terms, the vacuum is a manifestation of conscious Spirit.
Since we usually think of a vacuum as being completely empty, the concept of a vacuum energy density seems like a contradiction. We do not observe the vacuum energy because it is “locked into” the structure of physical reality. Only minute surface quiverings are visible as short-lived “virtual” particles. When attempts are made to calculate its potential--the actual energy of the vacuum (or cosmological constant, a term used in relativity theory), that energy is seemingly essentially infinite. This superforce is the unimaginably vast zero-point energy of the vacuum, but we cannot measure nor experience it directly.
The vacuum which is utterly dark is nonetheless suffused with an electromagnetic field that fluctuates in gentle random waves of all wavelengths, and each wavelength has its own zero point energy. Further, since there is an infinity of vacuum fluctuations, their sum total must be infinite--an infinite energy density. The “nothingness” of the physical vacuum contains much more energy than all of the matter in the universe. Nothing can therefore be viewed as the source of the whole Creation.
But at the fundamental level, the vacuum must obey a quantum mechanical description, which means that the vacuum is not really empty after all. The vacuum is governed by the uncertainty principle, which arises because of the wavy nature of physical reality at small size scales and leads to the possibility of vacuum energy.
The uncertainty principle has important consequences for the concept of a vacuum. In QM the vacuum cannot really be empty, because apparently empty sapce is filled with particles flickering briefly in and out of existence. The energy required is borrowed from the vacuum and then quickly repaid when the particles annihilate each other and subsequently disappear back into nothingness.
These particles are called virtual particles because they have no real lives. They live on borrowed time and always annihilate just after their spontaneous appearance out of the vacuum. Empty space is seething with these ghostly entities. These virtual particles can endow the vacuum with an effective energy density that it would not otherwise possess. Quantum behavior thus leads naturally to the concept of empty space being allowed to have an energy density.
The universe can become dominated by vacuum energy in many different ways. Many particle theories suggest that nature contains entities known as scalar fields. These quantum mechanical fields can have intrinsically large energy scales, far larger than those explored by present-day particle accelerators. The potential energies of scalar fields can make dramatically large contributions to the vacuum energy. They could have dominated the energy density of the universe at very early times, and driven the inflationary stage of the expansion of the universe.
The vacuum energy has the curious property of exhibiting a negative pressure that pushes outward at an accelerating rate. This process has recently been observed and accounts for the infinite expansion at an accelerating rate, which has become the foundation of the revolution in cosmology that took place in 1998. This research sealed the long-term fate of the flat universe as one of an open model where expansion continues on unabated forever.
WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN TO US?
There are several implications of the fundamental nature of reality for us as human beings. There are cetain deductions we can draw about the nature of our existence and future from these discoveries, and the technologies which might be applied to engineering the vacuum potential and its effect on quantum processes.
What can possibly explain the exitence of a nonzero cosmological constant, with its inherent acceleration of spacetime throughout the known universe? Why does gravitational attraction work in the opposite to oppose that runaway expansion at just this moment in deep time? The effectiveness of this opposition depends on the average density of matter, which steadily declines as the universe expands. The cosmological constant generates an unvarying tendency to increase the rate of expansion, but we live in the charmed era of universal evolution where they are roughly balanced, and this is no coincidence.
If the gravitational force of conventional matter and the lambda force of acceleration were not roughly balanced, this universe could not support life at all, as we know it. Thus, the weak Anthropic Principle has been invoked to account for this anomoly, though other universes may be quite different. We happen to live in the era when the cosmological constant and the density of matter make roughly equal contributions to the curvature of space.
The Anthropic Principle singles out the time span between one billion and one trillion years A.B.B. as the interval in which any intelligent forms of life can exist. The early or later universe will not support our existence as we know it. So we can't find ourselves in any universe that doesn't allow us to flourish, though they may technically exist outside our ken. It is not that the cosmos is as it is in order for us to be here, but rather that it is as it is because we are here. Once a universe is born it never dies, but its ability to support life, stars and galaxies may. The possibility of multiple universes leads to the conception and title of a "multiverse," the set of all possible universes.
The farther we look into space and its quantum processes, the more we can tell about the competing influences of the density of matter and the cosmological constant. The nature of those strange particles is unknown and for the moment less important than their overall density in the universe. But research in both cosmology and quantum mechanics points to the ubiquitous importance of the vacuum potential in all aspects of existence, both of the universe and ourselves. The vacuum is just a conglomerate of potentials, nothing more, nor less.
All is motion; even apparent nothingness is in violent continuous upheaval. The vacuum is composed of stress and its internal vector patterns; the energy is tapped in the local medium. Stress is merely a set of equal and opposite forces. Potentials alone can interfere with conventional matter, even in the absence of EM force fields, and produce real force effects in charged particle systems. The sole agent of the interference of scalar potentials can induce EM changes, according to the experimentally proven Aharonov-Bohm effect, even in the total absence of EM force fields (which are not the primary agents at all).
These virtual fields accelerate virtual masses, but are not observable as a force field or physical medium of one or more observable particles in space. It is a system of oppositely paired forces, a stress field, which is a scalar potential. It is highly charged, and the ambient vacuum scalar potential has very high magnitude, which can be decomposed into sets of bidirectional forces. The observable universe is just the externalized translation part of the energetics of the interaction. Hidden or infolded internal wave structures exist in all scalar potentials.
Bearden (1999) points out the importance of these realities:
"In QM, there's a special kind of potential you can make, that can connect spatially separated things and translate energy between them, in hidden fashion and essentially instantaneously. This 'connection at a distance' directly results in action-at-a-distance. [He suggests] in that artificial quantum potential you [can] make, you can put in a hidden EM wave Whittaker structure, hidden 'pipes inside spacetime' itself. Then you have established hidden EM-wave-energy channels through spacetime, connecting widely sparated entities together. You can then put energy and specific energy patterns, vacuum engines...directly through those hidden channels. You can have the hidden energy emerge at a distant point and interact in and on a distant physical system there. This distantly-emerging interaction energy can be positive (disordering, or scattering) or negative (reordering)."
He suggests this as a mechanism for Sheldrake's morphogenetic fields which direct species' evolutionary adaptation. It is simply a pure-and-simple species quantum potential, created amongst members of a species. The hidden structure acts like jillions of little "vacuum engines" to change and correct internal structure.
"Then one day the internal corrective charge is sufficient to breach the quantum threshold. One could also say that the spacetime potential occupied by the species members is now sufficiently curved and structured to serve as a specific-signal-pattern energetic source for genetic change. Breaching this threshold causes specific new genetic changes to occur in the entire species ina single jump. At that point, the actual genetics of egg fertilization (conception) is altered, and shortly thereafter members of the species start being born with new changes, specifically designed to counter or partially counter the former detrimental aspects in the species overstress."
According to Bearden, "Sheldrake's morphogenetic field is a species quantum potential and the charged-up Whittaker structure is the inducing agent." Living systems use this inner, hidden energy channel in addition to the external energy channel of ordinary electromagnetics.
The distinction between a living and nonliving system is simply the fact that the living system deterministically uses the inner EM energy channgels inside Whittaker-structured scalar potentials. And those EM potentials are centered on the atomic nuclei of atoms comprising the living system's molecules, cells, tissues, and mass.
The mind/brain/body problem can only be solved by looking at these interior energetics, or we will neer understand life, memory, personality or thought. The vacuum potential, a hidden internal EM energy channel, is the primary channel of biological control as well as human intent.
Bearden gives his definition of mind:
"The mind consists of stabilized Whittaker structures inside the living system's bio-potential. Thoughts are a special class of changes/waves in that overall Whittaker-structure ensemble. The personal unconscious is a single small, localized sample of yet a greater collection that represents even deeper unconsciousness."
"The conscious mind is a serial process, one thing at a time. The unconscious mind is totally conscious, but it is p[arallel processor, jillions of things at one and the same time. The serial conscious mind can only make sense of a single slide in the slide projector at a time. When it looks at the unconscious mind, it sees a multitude of slides in the projector simultaneously, hence it just sees blackness, or nothing recognizable at all."
"Jung's collective unconscious, for example, consists of archetypal infolded EM structures acting in common in an overall bio-quantum-potential for the entire species. Gaia, the living earth/biosphere, really does scientifically exist as a common bio-quantum-potential with infolded living EM structures for the entire earth biosphere. The biopotential in a single body is an overall quantum potential that links and joins all the atoms and cells of the body."
"The 'spirit' of the biosystem is its 'living biopotential., its living quantum potential. We already know that a potential is everywhere nonzero all the way out to infinity. So the spirit of the living system is, in the virtual state, everywhere in the universe, and everywhen as well. It's all a giant hologram, not only in space, but in spacetime."
The entire universe is everywhere alive, with everything. The conclusion is inescapable: all life is eternal; nothing is ever lost.
"A thought or thoughtform is just a specific, dynamic Whittaker structure in the hidden EM channels of the biopotential. Thoughts and thoughtforms are real. They are virtual spatially, but they occupy one 'real' spacetime dimension, time. Physics and metaphysics share one common, nonobservable dimension: time. So long as physics continues to have to have time, which is nonobservable a priori, then it also must contain everything that is a structure or action in time...The choice of fundamental physical units in physics is arbitrary. You can build all of physics from time as the single fundamental unit. That means that you can build the whole observable, detectable physics model out of the totally unobservable and nondetectable."
"With Whittaker EM engineering, you can conceivably "make" thoughtforms to order, and input them directly into the mind and longterm memory. If we view the conscious mind ass a special serial computer, we have enow found where the software is, for mind, longterm memory, and personality. As scalar EM technology develops, we will have direct access to the software, so to speak, for the very first time. And we will be able to engineer it at will."
This mixed-blessing will be one of the most powerful tools ever for either education, mind control, or mind/body heaing.
"One can actually engineer physical reality, change the laws of nature, and determine if a thing shall even emerge into physical quantum change at all, or if it shall change its physical form. Mind-wise, eventually one will be able to directly input material into the mind, whatever is desired."
We could remove the causes of mental diseases and cure them as well, increase lifespan, and conquer genetic diseases. But it also opens us to the possibility of pulling our a personality-structure from a person, and inserting another. Or to alter a given personality structure in pre-programmed ways. It will be possible to to provide direct input inside the mind, surrepititiously, from a distance and without the knowledge and consent of the individual affected."
This implies "instant telepathy," also. But also the hazards of forced internal change, or enslavement, or the destruction or overwhelming or jamming of the mind or immune system, to induce virulence, or perhaps homogeneity. Identity is just the absence of all distinction, after all. The absence of functional distinction in time consitutes the creation of identity in time. The whole arises when and only when the distinction between the parts is lost.
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