The exam period is over, and I feel like I can relax a bit. I worked quite well this exam period. It is so good to finally be finished and to, upon receiving the results, be able to look at my work and feel satisfied. This time I am well pleased with what I have accomplished. Now I can leave that chapter behind me, and go on to get started with my master thesis for real — taking on the universe! Being satisfied with my work, I feel a bit like God, when he looked back at what he had created and said: “It is good!” (Genesis 1). He was well pleased with his work, and rested from it when he had finished it.
But does the universe have spin? The question is not a well defined one for somebody who knows a bit about the topic. Spin with respect to what? In how many dimensions? I have no idea (yet…?!), but still I can’t help being fascinated by the question, which spun off in my head a year or so back in time. For the time being the question finds itself lined up in an ever growing queue of unanswered questions in the back of my head– eagerly awaiting an answer to pair with. But stag a moment and think about it: How is it even possible for us humans, infinitesimally small creatures moving around in a tiny, tiny, tiny dot of the universe, to at all have any opinion on such big questions? How on earth (literately speaking!), can we have any idea whatsoever, of the age of the universe? And not only the age, but even as to speculate in coining the first 10^-43 seconds of the universe the Planck epoch, in contrast to the following Grand unification period, which ended at a late 10^-36 seconds after the bang?! But we do. So we speculate and engage ourselves with amusing and more or less illuminating thoughts — at least the thoughts engaging the modern age from 380 000 years after the Big Bang and on…(dry joke for ultra nerds in the field).
On the top of my head I have another question, which isn’t my own,really: Let’s for a moment imagine that the universe is a big, big, big, big bowl of soup. Without the bowl, perhaps. And in vacuum, by the way. Now; the soup, whatever kind, has some viscosity to it: If you stir it up, the motion slows down, and eventually stops. With unlimited imagination we picture this soup initially being in a tight casserole with an enormous pressure that finally, as the stove heats the soup and increases the pressure, causes the casserole to explode in a big, ultra-super large-scale bang (pretty much like the Big Bang…). The soup is sprouting out all over the vacuum of the infinite universe kitchen. Now, the tomato and the cucumber constituents in the soup start quarreling about what will happen to them in the future. Will the soup, the so-called cosmic fluid, eventually, as the years fly by and by, collapse back on itself in a big crunch because of the gravitational attraction between the soup particles? Or will the soup reach a stadium of big chill, eventually cooling down to zero temperature, as it continues to expand for ever and ever? And now the question I am asking in my thesis arises in all it’s glory: This viscosity in the soup, the bulk viscosity — can it aid in determining whether the cucumber or the tomato is right — if any of them? An intelligent question, indeed.
Now, the soup-parable isn’t completely fair in trying to explain my thesis topic. In reality both time and space is believed to have come into existence at and in and through the initial singularity; the big bang. In reality* there seems to be an ingredient called dark energy (*well, reality, really…?) in the cosmic fluid (a term we actually use), that we know next to nothing about yet. And if you thought dark energy is the same as dark matter (which again is to be distinguished from anti-particles, by the way), then you were wrong! Fact is, that it all boils down to a soup with rather mystical ratios of a variety of mystical, exotic ingredients.
There are so many questions that can be asked about the soup, and I find it rather fascinating that we, as human beings are in a position to ask them at all. It hasn’t elapsed too many decades, I have been told, since the term “Big Bang” was coined as a ridiculing name of a rather ridiculous theory, according to the opinion of the know-howers of the time. Besides, one can speculate, it wasn’t a desired feature that the Big Bang- theory seemed to coincide so well with Genesis either (compared to a static, eternal universe that always existed).
As it seems like my post is developing in a bit silly manner this time, I think I will end here (in a big chill state). But the thesis topic makes me amaze at how great we are created as humans. Yet so small. So immensely small. We ask questions so big and incomprehensible that the answers we think we find appear even more so.
Perhaps what God spoke in ancient times is more contains a more fundamental truth than we first would think: Seeing the tower of Babel stretching up towards the heaven, God said about the humans, whom he once had created in his own likeness, that “nothing they plan to do will be beyond them.”