Scientific Sense Podcast

Monday, November 4, 2019

A closed universe?

Recently released Plank data (1) appears to point to a closed universe. This may be the impetus needed in cosmology to move away from accepted ideas and models. Nearly all the proposed hypotheses to explain away observational discrepancies in the last forty years, albeit beautiful in construction, have been untestable and thus useless. The only real information out there for next-generation cosmology is the cosmic microwave background. Rather than building the next heavy steel particle smasher, physicists may want to spend more time analyzing the data emanating from Plank and other sources. It has been speculated that even ideas such as the multiverse could be proved if certain patterns are found in the CMB.

If the universe is indeed closed, it may open up realistic ways to think about its origin and ultimate demise. As the human mind is limited, it simply cannot internalize an infinite universe. It would be ironic if we find that the contemporary physicists were akin to humans venturing out of Africa assuming flat earth. The presumption of a flat universe in combination with observations has led to a lot of hypothesized dark entities - matter, energy, and even flow. Perhaps it is time to step back and recraft many of these questions within a geometry with positive curvature.

The next step in knowledge is in data and the ability to formulate, simulate and test mathematical models. It is not going to come from plunking down billions of $ for the next smasher in the middle of a growing particle zoo. If a particle is hypothesized, it will be found and the one who said it first will get a Nobel prize.


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