It’s now been established that what we considered to be universal constants aren’t constant and change as you measure them further away. (https://www.sciencealert.com/new-tests-suggest-the-fundamental-forces-of-nature-aren-t-constant-across-the-universe)
Initially it was thought that the speed at which the Universe is expanding, is fastest right here around us, and the further away you measure that speed, the slower that rate of expansion becomes.
Moi, Analysing This:
That’s interesting, because it implies several things that might be hard to countenance:
1. It means that we would appear to be at the point of origin of the Big Bang. And that seems entirely too fortuitous.
1b. As a corollary, it might also mean that perhaps the (cosmological) neighbourhood of the Big Bang is the only place in the Universe with ‘Goldilocks Zones’ which are zones around stars where there are the right sized planets around the right kind of stars at the right kind of distance for life to develop.
2. It implies that at a certain distance, the rate of expansion of the Universe would slow to the point where it was virtually indistinguishable from zero. Eventually all the energy and mass of the entire Universe we know would be concentrated in an infinitesimally thin shell at an almost infinite distance.
2a. That might explain some aspects of the Big Bang but if you spread infinite energy and mass out over an infinitely thin surface of and infinitely large sphere, doesn’t it seem more likely that it just results in a Tiny Fizzle? And then Nothing?
But then. Something That May Save The Universe, At The Expense Of More Weirdness:
Reading the article mentioned (which is a later article than the first one I read and can’t find to cite now) indicates that there’s a – direction – to this variability. It seems that if you measure in THIS direction the rate of expansion slows down, but in THAT direction it accelerates.
So now we have other possibilities:
1. The appearance of acceleration and deceleration might due to some kind of Doppler shift effect, i.e. the Universe is moving in a particular direction and what we’re measuring is the ‘red shift’ and ‘blue shift’ of the actual expansion.
1a. We now have an ‘Arrow Of Time’ kind of a thing for the Universe and – maybe – a reason why an Arrow Of Time exists in our Universe.
1b. The idea of a Doppler Effect seems to imply relativity, and that in turn would need a ‘something’ for our Universe to be relative to. (Which could still be itself, I know, but let’s keep this going.)
2. This can be explained by the existence of a ‘universal ether’ that we can’t as yet measure separate to our Universe because it FORMS our Universe and an infinite number of other universes, or else our Universe and an infinite number of other universes are embedded in it.
2a. We’ve always sought to explain things with ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’ and perhaps these are manifestations of that universal ether.
3. It could just be our Universe exhibiting a property that we’ve ascribed to ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy.’
4. If there is a universal ether then many (infinitely many) other universes could all be traversing that ether, and could show the many worlds theory to be true.
4b. Any two Universes moving along in parallel and extremely close proximity (or very slightly divergent paths and that have intersected to some degree at some point along their path) may well be an explanation for ‘ghost stories’ if our Universe intersected with another universe at some time in the past. (Also, until that ‘first’ intersection perhaps there was no Arrow Of Time nor an Arrow Of Traversal. That first crash could have started the clock so to speak…)
Interesting to me is that this almost agrees with a way I dealt with quantum weirdness in my post – teen years, where I thought of an infinite number of colocated sheets of a thin material, where something like a planet would do the ‘dimpling’ of the sheet (a la how people like to explain gravity wells as a marble on a sheet of plastic wrap) but in this case the dimple connects certain of the sheets at a particular ‘location’ and this gives rise to the manifestation of a planet’s gravity. (For example.)
It was a bit more complicated, involving multidimensional membranes rather than flat 2D sheets and various ‘effectors’ that might impress ‘gravity’ or ‘electric charge’ or pretty much any other force or effect onto selected membranes, and since I started to think about this in the early 80s I think I was close to paralleling the theories of the time like strings and ‘branes even though at the time I didn’t have access to much of the information out there I must have seen enough in the magazines of the time to come up with much of this.
In any case, it could mean a lot of physics is going to have to be rethought…