Some of you may recall an article I wrote the other day (linked in the “Further Reading” section below) about a theory that was purposed that says time isn’t an absolute part of the spacetime continuum and that the natural world can be described better by removing that part of the equation and thinking of time as a numerical order of change. We received a lot of interesting responses to the article. Some of which, were very thought provoking and I wanted to follow up with another radical idea I recently read about. This one postulates that time really is the fourth dimension. Not only is its existence real, but it may be disappearing from the universe entirely!
If you’ve been a follower of any number of physics related pages or websites, you’ve probably heard about dark energy — the mysterious “anti-gravitational” force that’s accelerating the expansion of the universe and driving the galaxies apart from each other. Well, what if we’re looking at it backwards? What if the universe itself isn’t actually expanding an at ever increasing speed, but time is actually slowing down?
Of course, the changes in our everyday life would be minuscule and unnoticeable from the human perspective, but much more visible (and easily measured) in the vastness of the cosmic arena. That’s exactly what the scientists involved (including ;Professor José Senovilla, Marc Mars and Raül Vera of the University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, and University of Salamanca in Spain) are proposing. Not only is dark energy dismissed as preposterous, but the very observation of the ‘accelerated’ expansion of the universe is nothing more than an illusion. The expansion itself isn’t the illusion, but the accelerating expansion part is. The appearance of the acceleration is due to time gradually slowing much the same way as a clock behaves when equipped with a dying battery.
“If time gradually slows, but we naively kept using our equations to derive the changes of the expansion with respect of ‘a standard flow of time’, then the simple models that we have constructed in our paper shows that an “effective accelerated rate of the expansion” takes place,” says those involved in publishing the paper.
Physicists have been tracking the movement of supernovae explosions in the observable universe to confirm the accelerated expansion of the universe is happening. Using the Doppler effect to see the red-shift of objects that are traveling away from us, astronomers are able to pinpoint and discern how quickly the universe is expanding. All objects shifted towards the red, longer-wavelength are steadily moving away, while objects shifted towards the bluer part of the spectrum are. moving towards us. There’s one problem though — the accuracy of these measurements work under the assumption that time is invariable through all portions of the universe.
So, what does this mean?