For hundreds of years, scientists have attempted to comprehend the nature of the cosmos. Recently, technologies have advanced, scholars have learned more about the world around them, and new hypotheses about how everything works have emerged.
Some of them sound plausible, while others appear crazy. Today, we’ll discuss two of the oddest, but interesting, hypotheses regarding the construction of the cosmos.
Why is the cosmos structured the way it is? Over the years, scientists have studied this topic and proposed several theories to explain how the universe works and what lies ahead for it in the future.
The Universe is known to be made up of clusters of galaxies. Each galaxy has tens of billions of stars with planets orbiting them, as well as massive gas and dust clouds.
There is also hypothesized dark matter and dark energy, which are thought to be responsible for the universe’s expansion. Some scientists, however, feel that everything is far more convoluted.
According to a 1993 notion, the cosmos is essentially massive holography. The idea is similar to Plato’s cave allegory. The holographic principle states that all matter contained in a certain region of space may be represented as a “hologram” — information situated on the boundary of this area.
The concept was initially postulated by the Dutch theoretical physicist Gerard Hooft, and the American professor of physics at Stanford Leonard Susskind coupled his ideas with those of Hooft and University of Florida professor of physics Charles Thorne, establishing string theory.
The holographic concept of the Universe itself arose from a discussion of black hole thermodynamics, which Leonard Susskind detailed in his book “The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics.”
The concept is that all information that ever went into a black hole (and there should be a lot of it there because energy cannot just evaporate according to the equation of conservation of energy) gets reproduced on the event horizon.
When anything goes into a black hole, it becomes deformed beyond recognition and remains there indefinitely. As a result, all data is saved in an unreadable format.
This assertion is founded on a fundamental physical principle. Susskind is responsible for the holographic principle’s resolution of the black hole information conundrum (at least within the framework of string theory).
This is how the concept of a holographic black hole, which retains information on three-dimensional things that fall into it on a two-dimensional event horizon, came about. The scientists then went one step further, claiming that in general, all information in any volume may be recorded on the surface that confines this volume.
If we’re talking about information from a black box, it’s written on the walls of a black box; if we’re talking about information about the solar system, it’s written on an imagined sphere surrounding it, and data on everything that happens in the universe is recorded on its perimeter.
Because this is a theoretical idea, no particular bounds are required. To summarize, it states that all information and activities that occur on a certain piece of space are equivalent to some type of record on the volume’s border.
The holographic universe idea holds that everything a person sees and hears is real. It can be both reality and a “holographic” 3D projection of 2D recordings on the “wall that surrounds the Universe,” as one feels and observes. Quotes are really significant in this case – holography is not the same as we are used to seeing, but it is based on a similar idea. And, of course, the earth is not enclosed by a physical wall; rather, it is surrounded by an imagined wall, similar to the equator on a globe.
While this may appear to be a wacky thought, it is a scientifically testable theory. The investigation was carried out in 2017 by scientists. Evidence supporting the notion of the holographic universe has been obtained by an international team of cosmologists from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Italy.
Cosmologists employed a two-dimensional model of the Universe that, based on previously reported characteristics, was able to precisely duplicate the image of the microwave background — heat radiation filling space equally. The discovered results support the application of the holographic principle but do not disprove the mainstream cosmological theories.
The universe is a liquid that is superfluid.
Even though space only has three dimensions, there is a fourth dimension in the shape of time. That is why it is theoretically feasible to picture the Universe in four dimensions of space-time.
Einstein was the first to propose that space and time can be connected in his theory of relativity in 1905. At the same time, barely three years later, mathematician Herman Minkowski coined the concept “space-time.” “From now on, time and space in themselves become empty fictions, and only their oneness sustains the possibility of reality,” he declared at a colloquium in 1908.
Some ideas, such as those offered by Italian physicists Stefano Liberati and Luca Macchione, contend that spacetime is more than merely an abstract frame of reference containing actual things like stars and galaxies. Italian scientists believe it is a physical substance in and of itself, comparable to an ocean full of water.
According to theory, spacetime is made up of microscopic particles at a deeper level of reality, much like water is made up of innumerable molecules.
In general, the most recent – the theory of “superfluid vacuum” – postulated that space-time behaved like a liquid more than a half-century ago. However, Italian experts were the first to raise concerns about the viscosity of such a liquid.
One of physics’ puzzles is how everything moves in the cosmos. A wave, for example, moves across the water by using it as a “medium.” Energy transfer necessitates the use of a medium, but how could electromagnetic waves and photons, for example, move in space, where there appears to be nothing?
Liberati and Macchione provided a solution by developing a theory of superfluid space. The cosmos, she claims, is a superfluid liquid with zero viscosity that behaves as a whole. A superfluid is a liquid that has the ability to flow eternally without losing energy. This is not a made-up idea; such liquids exist in the real world.
When liquids or gases drop to temperatures approaching absolute zero, they enter the phase of a material known as superfluidity. The atoms lose their unique characteristics and behave as a single super-atom in this state. Helium is the most well-known superfluid liquid, however, it can only be chilled to 2 K (Kelvin) or –271.15 °C.
Superfluids have a number of distinct features. They may climb the walls of an open vessel, for example, and “escape” from it. They just cannot be heated at the same time – they transmit heat flawlessly. When heated, superfluid liquid simply evaporates.
Space-time is portrayed in the idea as a superfluid with zero viscosity. One peculiar aspect of such liquids is that they cannot be forced to spin “in bulk,” as a regular liquid “works” when agitated. They disintegrate into smaller vortices. Scientists discovered in 2014 that these quantum “tornadoes” in the early cosmos explain the formation of galaxies.
The Universe’s Future
Many scientists — physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers – are working on developing such vast and unusual ideas. Cosmology connects all of these sciences.
Cosmology as a study is just a hundred years old, yet it already understands a lot about how our Universe works – how everything around us, from atoms to galaxies, was generated, how it all began, and how it will end.
Different theories each have their own method of explaining the world. Perhaps one day scientists will reach a consensus.