So, I am a fan of the oscillating universe concept. Seems better than big freeze or big rip. :-) I'll say that up front.
The apparent accelerating universe expansion kind of throws a curveball at the oscillating universe theory.
For a while I had this theory that there could be something out there, remnants of prior universes, etc., which has matter/energy and is what is
pulling (and expanding) our universe at an accelerating rate. Picture it as a shell of matter/energy around our universe with some void in between.
Eventually I like to think that our universe would pass this outer shell boundary, there would then be deceleration (gravity driving all of this), and
that everything would then begin accelerating towards a big crunch. This model would show our universe and remnants from prior universes (let's call
the set of everything simply "everything" since I am using universe to describe one universe instance at this point) in a structure like matryoshka
dolls (perhaps there are some outer layers that aren't part of every big crunch for ex., more remnant material from even farther in the past).
I am curious if anyone can reject this theory outright so that I can stop considering it. This theory implies that there is something beyond this
universe (which perhaps explains "dark matter").
Now on to the main new theory I am thinking about.
From Wikipedia - Metric Expansion of Space
What space is the universe expanding into?
Over time, the space that makes up the universe is expanding. The words 'space' and 'universe', sometimes used interchangeably, have distinct
meanings in this context. Here 'space' is a mathematical concept and 'universe' refers to all the matter and energy that exist. The expansion of space
is in reference to internal dimensions only; that is, the description involves no structures such as extra dimensions or an exterior universe.
Finite space theory does not suppose space has an edge, but rather that space wraps around on itself. If it were possible to travel the entire length
of space without going faster than light, one would simply end up back in the same place, like going all the way around the surface of a balloon (or a
planet like the Earth)
So let's take the tale of the big bang. If anything and everything supposedly blasted out from a single infinitely small point, none of it going
faster than the speed of light (within the rules described above), would everything not end up in the same starting point? Instead of picturing a
person or ship's path as per the Wikipedia text, picture every particle's path from the bing bang singularity eventually converging again based on the
path leading back to the starting point + gravity.
So my theory is... perhaps what appears to be accelerated expansion because of our inability to comprehend the true shape/dimensionality/nature of
space is actually big crunch? With space "wrapping around" what appears to be things flying apart could actually be on the path to converging, no?
Silly example: Asteroids video game. You feel like you are flying away, but once you get to the edge of the screen, you wrap around and find yourself
right where you started. That is just a half-serious conceptual example showing how wraparound can mess with traditional space. A better example is to
picture space as the surface of a balloon as in other space examples. Picture the big bang location as a point near the top of the balloon. Everything
going out of the big bang would appear to be moving farther and farther apart initially. If you picture a ring emanating out of this spot on the
balloon, and picture the ring moving up or down the balloon, anything on the ring will appear to get farther apart from one another, but then
eventually pass a point on the balloon where anything on the ring will be getting closer and closer again. And it's all due to the shape of the
balloon, not a change in momentum/velocity. Even better, if the things traveling out from the big bang on this tracked ring could travel at a constant
rate despite the curve of the balloon (aka if the curvature of space has no effect on local velocity), there would actually appear to be accelerated
expansion vs. just linear expansion (which is exactly what we observe -- this could possibly reconcile accelerated expansion at this point with big
crunch as well!?)!
So... could space be like the balloon... meaning that what appears (from our perspective/models) to be accelerating expansion of space could really
just be space's path to big crunch? If space is like the balloon in theory we might later observe the space between things decreasing with no
detectable change in anything we know of (as no momentums/velocities would need to change in the balloon/ring example).
END BRAINSTORMING :-] Eagerly awaiting comments from those who are actually experts. :-)
edit on 7/13/2012 by AkumaStreak because: (no reason