Expanding Universe, Dark Matter & Dark Energy?

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dark_energy The concepts behind a simple big bang theory and our expanding universe isn’t anything new, albeit our ideas about the universe seem to be changing at a constant rate. Ongoing research along with our beloved curiosity and imagination, will do these things. Instead of me getting all philosophical and talking about why I believe that the mind is a universe in itself (which would parallel with an expanding universe), I will bite my tongue/brain and temporarily clamp my typing fingers down while I change my direction of thoughts… Hold on… Okay, I’m back!

Anyway, I’ve been studying more about the movement of galaxies, the expanding universe, gravity, anti-gravity, dark matter, dark energy, black holes, etc., and have really been enjoying myself. Dang! Since when has science almost been as cool as science-fiction? As an old adage states, the truth is often stranger than fiction. At any rate, I find it to be very mentally stimulating (only when I get those rare moments of free time) to ponder over the inner-workings of the cosmos, and just how mysterious it truly is.

Many people with strict, scientific fundamentals may hate that I chose the word “mysterious,” but they will just have to get over it. Speaking of such, I have finally had a chance to start reading the book entitled “A Sense of the Mysterious – Science and the Human Spirit,” by Alan Lightman. I’ve had the book for like 6 or 7 years, it seems, and just picked it up today, after thinking that I may need more resources & subject matter for these particular subjects. It seems to be a decent read so far, but it contains very little content over dark matter & dark energy. However, I have enjoyed how Lightman shows that imagination, passion, emotions, creative thoughts and much more are, in fact, involved and required for the best scientific approach (which is more reasons why it is justified to view religions and science as merely different forms of sensationalism, if you know what I mean). I like how he states: “Over the years, I have learned to recognize the different sensations of science and of art in my body. Most of the time, these feelings all swirl together as a rumbling in my stomach, a wondrous and beautiful and finally mysterious cry of the world, logic and illogic, certainty and uncertainty, questions with answers and questions without.”

Okay, since this isn’t a book review, I’ll try to refrain from such, and get on with more pertinent matters…

It is fairly obvious that our universe is expanding or, at the very least, moving into empty space (oops, not empty, thanks to quantum mechanics, but you see what I’m saying) or into the land of nothingness (however you want to describe it), but what is actually expanding and/or what is it expanding into?

This is when many misconceptions and our lack of understanding about gravity, anti-gravity, dark matter, dark energy, and whatever else, hits the floor running. Oh, but ain’t it fun?

Dark matter, in a thumbnail, is basically: a type of matter hypothesized to account for a significant part of the total mass within the cosmos. This particular type of “mystery matter,” as we can still call it that, cannot be seen directly with telescopes, as it must neither emit nor absorb light (including other electromagnetic radiation) at any noteworthy level for us poor humanoids to notice. Instead, the existence & properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation, and the large scale structure of the universe.

Okay, well, here is what creates more problems: If there is a large amount of dark matter, the expansion of the universe should be slowing down, at least one would think, but we now know that not only is the expanding universe not slowing down or remaining at the same speed of expansion, it is speeding up! It is like something is forcing things outward (or is it due to the population boom of curious minds?)! It acts in the opposite way to gravity, but one could simply ask: How could this be? This pressure is what many folks like to call “Dark Energy.”

In case you are not aware of such crazy terms, “dark energy” is a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to speed up the expansion of the universe as if it is gaining momentum. This particular bizarre, divine-like energy is the most accepted hypothesis to explain observations since the 1990s – that indicate that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate.

After giving these things more thought, I can now see what has fueled the growth of the whole “multiverse theory.” …I have no problem contemplating parallel dimensions, the possibility of multiple universes, etc., as I’ve always been a science-fiction buff and understand that such things (science fiction) often becomes our reality via imagination and intuition. I’m also not going to deny that the truth is often stranger than fiction, although, like I said before, I’m not going to get all philosophical on this lovely article and start chattering about my beliefs that the mind is a universe in itself and how that relates to the properties of our visible universe.

What I will say, is that a lot hasn’t changed over the last several years, concerning dark matter, dark energy and “our” universe that is expanding at a faster, and faster rate. I know that astronomers from the past (reading something that was published 8+ years ago from a reliable source) that it was estimated that only 5% of the mass of the universe exists in the form of light-producing material (today’s Wikipedia currently says 4%) and that 25% is dark matter (today’s Wikipedia currently says 22%) and that the rest of the cosmos consists of 70% dark energy (today’s Wikipedia currently says 74%).

Dang, after typing all of this, I realized that maybe I should have just wrote a┬ápost from my sheer mental instinct and unique perception of the universe that surrounds me, instead of all this scientific baloney. For example, before I changed my mind, my original┬ápost about this subject was entitled “Consciousness vs. The Universe – Do they parallel?”

From there, my rough draft started with: “A long while back, I came to the conclusion that we lived inside a conscious universe. Although many people waste valuable time trying to understand why the universe appears to be expanding into a vast amount of nothingness while thinking they can eventually unravel the properties of the cosmos, things start making more sense when you begin using your own personal, splendid model. What I mean is, to me, the mind is a universe in itself. While the human body may be our current vessel for the soul, etc., think of the visible matter within the universe as the brains/bodies, and the boundless expansion, reactions, and ongoing changes, as the mind and imagination, …and perhaps (just made this last part up) the dark energy acts like the spirit world of perpetual harmony and universal balance.”

At any chaotic or insane rate, feel free to share your thoughts about this rather broad subject of cosmic mystery; cheers!


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