from the world's big
Why cutting-edge braneworld theories say our universe began in a white hole
Cosmologists behind braneworld theories see our universe as being a part of a complex inter-dimensional world.
Of all the theories in cosmology about how our universe was created, the braneworld theory presents perhaps one of the most exotic, hard-to-prove and yet potentially elegant solutions to how all this came to be.
The main idea here is that our three-dimensional universe is located on a brane (short for "membrane), which is a multi-dimensional object from string-theory. This brane of ours, say the scientists, is inside a hyper-dimensional space called the “bulk” or “hyperspace”. Interaction with extra dimensions and other moving branes can have an impact on our brane, with effects other cosmological models don’t account for.
In 1999, physicists Lisa Randall and Raman Sundry introduced a braneworld theory that received considerable attention. Under their theory, there can be other universes just a microscopic distance away from ours. But this distance “is measured in some fourth spatial dimension of which we are not aware,” explains Lisa Randall in her blog post explaining the ideas. Essentially, the visible universe is embedded in a larger universe.
“Because we are imprisoned in our three dimensions we can't directly detect these other universes,” continues Randall. “It's rather like a whole lot of bugs crawling around on a big, two-dimensional sheet of paper, who would be unaware of another set of bugs that might be crawling around on another sheet of paper that could be only a short distance away in the third dimension.”
A 2013 paper by physicists Razieh Pourhasan, Niayesh Afshordi, and Robert B. Mann, called “Out of the White Hole: A Holographic Origin for the Big Bang,” proposed that our universe is like a hologram, which exists on a 3D brane that was formed as a result of the collapse of a 4D black hole in the bulk universe. The process would be similar to how stars in our universe explode in supernovas, while their inner layers collapse and form black holes. Only in this case, a universe-creating "white hole" is generated. A whole hole is a hypothetical region of spacetime that you can't enter from the outside, but matter and light can escape it.
If you notice, this model doesn't require there being being a Big Bang to start off the universe's expansion.
“Astronomers measured that expansion and extrapolated back that the Universe must have begun with a Big Bang — but that is just a mirage,” said Afshordi, who led the study.
A similarly fascinating way of looking at white holes comes from physicist Nikodem Poplawski, who in 2010, while at Indiana University, proposed that when a dying star produces a black hole upon its collapse, at that same time a universe is born from a white hole on the other side of a wormhole.
This approach regards black holes and white holes as mouths of a wormhole also known as an Einstein-Rosen bridge.
In his paper, Poplawski showed through equations of the spiraling motion of matter falling into a black hole that wormholes were viable as an alternative explanation to the formation of “space-time singularities” (infinitely small points of infinite density), also predicted by Albert Einstein.
What does this mean for our own universe? It could have ”itself formed from inside a black hole existing inside another universe," explained Poplawski.
Check out this great explanation of the braneworld theory from the Caltech physicist Kip Thorne:
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
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Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.