What is the universe?

The Universe and Infinity

by John David Best

The Oxford dictionary defines “universe” as “all existing matter and space considered as a whole”. It is pretty clear what matter is, but some theories have obfuscated the issue of what is “space”, treating it as something that has curvature and can expand. My definition of space is in line with the intuitive and traditional definition that it is what would be left if every “thing” in the universe is removed. It is merely what we commonly think of as emptiness. We often hear phrases like “three dimensional space” bandied about, but space or emptiness has no dimensions; only things have dimensions. Dimensions have units; meters for example for length, width and height, and if we treat time as a dimension, seconds. Units are standards which are used for comparison – for there to be a unit, there must be a thing that represents the unit – in the case of distance, maybe a metal bar, or something else that provides a fixed distance between two points, in the case of time, maybe the rotation of the earth or of a clock hand. In completely empty space there are no things that could serve as references for units, therefore there can be no dimensions. Distance and time would have no meaning. For space to be regarded as “something” it must have dimensions. As a thought experiment, we can imagine that the universe is totally empty, only space or a void. It would have no dimensions because it contains nothing to serve as reference for dimensions.

According to Einsteinianism, space itself is pliable; it can be stretched, compressed, and curved. But this implies that space has dimensions since only a real thing with dimensions can be curved. A good definition of a curve is a distance whose midpoint is not in a line with its endpoints. For something to have curvature, there must be distance, and for distance to have meaning, there must be units of distance. For there to be units of distance, there must exist something to serve as a standard of reference. It must be concluded that while something within the emptiness of space can be curved, the emptiness itself cannot be.

Those who argue that the universe is finite, claim that the universe did not exist until it expanded outward from a “primordial atom” in a “Big Bang”. If we replace “primordial atom” with “God”, this is essentially the same claim that religions make. It is claimed that dimensions, including length, width, and time (treating it as actually being “something”) did not exist until the “Big Bang”. This actually makes a certain degree of sense because as noted above, dimensions cannot exist in a void that contains nothing to serve as reference for the dimensions. However, if we examine the claim that the void or emptiness of space itself did not exist until the big bang or universal expansion, there is a problem: For something to expand, as it is claimed the universe expanded from the primordial atom, it must have space to expand into. If a balloon is inside a box, we cannot inflate it beyond the confines of the box. Therefore, for there to be universal expansion, there must be space for it to expand into.

The universe is more than just empty space; it contains matter. Is the universe something like a bubble that contains a finite amount of matter such as the universe proposed by the “Big Bang” theory, or is it an infinite expanse of stars, planets, and galaxies like that of Dr. Who? For the universe as we observe it to exist, it must contain an infinite amount of astronomical masses. Why? Because of gravity. If the universe contained only a finite number of astronomical masses, the mutual gravitational attraction between the masses would cause the universe to collapse into something like a ball. In a universe with a finite number of astronomical masses and no force acting between them other than their mutual gravitational attraction, we would expect the masses to be drawn toward the center of mass of the distributed bodies, so that they would eventually collapse into each other at the location of the center of mass into some kind of a clump. Proponents of the “Big Bang” claim that this does not happen due to the existence of a hypothetical force dubbed “dark energy”. It is said to work like gravity in reverse, causing astronomical bodies to be pushed away from each other rather than drawn toward each other. It is claimed that this force operates on a cosmic scale, but curiously, it does not operate and has never been detected where we are. We do not becaome unstuck from earth and fly off into space, and the moon and the planets of our solar system remain in their orbits. In a universe with an infinite number of astronomical bodies, postulating such an undetectable force would be unecessary. The universe would not be able to collapse into its center of mass because there would be no center of mass. Put another way, the gravitational force of an infinite amount of matter surrounding our observed portion of the universe is pulling outwards on the bodies we can observe, preventing them from collapsing into each other on a large scale.

The idea that the universe is an infinite expanse of astronomical bodies perfectly explains the largely isotropic radiation dubbed “Cosmic Microwave Background” or CMB radiation that has been detected in space and attributed to radiation left over from the “Big Bang” which can be much more reasonably explained as radiation arriving from all directions from the rest of the universe that lies beyond our limits of observation. The gravitational attraction of the masses lying beyond our observable portion of the universe could also have something to do with claimed empirical observations of universal expansion, and astronomical objects that don’t move according to predictions, something that has been attributed to “dark matter”, another invention that has never been detected.

It should be noted that while all the matter in the universe as a whole could not result from a “big bang”, there could be smaller, localized, explosion-like events that cast matter outwards. The “Universal Lattice Theory” by this author postulates that supernova type explosions result from black holes when they reach a certain mass, producing the matter and kinetic energy that we observe, and these are recurring events in multiple locations throughout the universe.

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