Nicholas Timmons

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Could the universe be expanding at an accelerated rate because it exists in a vacuum?

Sean Carroll talks about dark energy, a pulsing energy that cannot be seen but exists within every part of space, as the reason for the the universe accelerating the speed for which it expands. I'd like to propose another explanation.
If you teleported a marshmallow into the center of a vacuum tube, it would explode to fill the vacuum.
Could the universe be in the center of a cosmically large vacuum and expanding to fill it?
Are there other explanations for dark matter?
Do marshmallows expand at an accelerated rate when teleported into vacuums?

  • May 7 2011: Its a hard idea to get your head around, but while it is a vaccuum outside of the universe, there also isnt as there isn't anything, no time, no forces, absolutely zilch. There cannot be time until there is matter. therefore it cannot exert a force on matter such as the difference in gas pressure that causes a marshmallow to explode. Another explanation for dark matter is that we have screwed up. it could simply be that there is a slight error with general relativity, unlikely but possible as we do not fully understand gravity yet. Yet another explanation is tied into 11-d string theory, which dictates that there is another universe in the set of dimensions that appear at much less than diameter of a proton. this is seperated from us by a fifth dimension that acts as a form of spring, and allows gravity to affect each universe and create big bangs etc. that explanation is pretty poor, as its a difficult subject to sum up but read up on brane theory and it'll explain it much better than i can.

    The dark energy theory is proposed because:
    space time can be positively bent (convex), straight/flat or negatively bent (concave).
    What causes it to happen is the universes density or its mass/energy ratio. if it has a high density (more mass than energy) it will be positively bent and vice versa. Our universe is dead in the middle, to an accuracy of 1 in a million. But its still increasing its rate of expansion which just shouldn't happen. And in comes dark energy to try and explain all the problems!
    It's a highly theoretical area of physics and no-one really knows - the LHC could prove everything i've just said wrong at any time! :)
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      May 7 2011: Thanks for the insight!
      I will certainly look up brane theory.
      Why is it that the nothingness outside of the universe could not exert a force on the universe, much like that of a vacuum?
      I understand that it seems absurd, but every bit of space being infused with an energy that we can't see or measure (except by it's effects) also takes a stretch of the imagination.
      Could the energy that exerts the force exist elsewhere (on the fringes of the universe, perhaps)?

      How do we know that outside the universe that we see as expanding actually is nothingness? I understand that the term universe means everything. But perhaps the part we see as expanding is only a small part of a larger universe.

      Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to discuss!
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    May 11 2011: OK, a vacuum creates an acceleration due to a density gradient. Acceleration occurs because the higher density side pushes the object toward the low density side. This 'push' is due to electromagnetic forces. Let me propose a whole new idea for the acceleration of the universe.
    Well, the weak and the strong forces act at a subatomic level, and the electromagnetic force at the atomic and molecular level. We, human beings are constructed to sense mainly electromagnetic force. The fourth force, gravity, is extremely weak. We cannot sense gravity in small, human scale objects, but is the main organizing force at large spacial scales. So, why not a fifth force? It could be a force, very much weaker than gravity, acting upon universes accelerating their expansion by creating a vacuum. This force could act bringing universes together. For me, this explanation is better than the dark energy.
    And lets remember: dark matter and dark energy are two completely different concepts.
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    May 10 2011: isnt there a theory that suggest that a black hole will suck everything around it to the point that it just leaves a space emiting radiation, causing it to explode, making the universe collapse in that spot to fill that space,, and the universe has constanly been in a cycle of shrinking and expanding?
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    May 8 2011: I'd say think about the beating of your heart=universe
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      May 7 2011: I wouldn't consider myself stupid. Just getting my feet wet on some complex concepts.
      I hope you have a very good day.
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        May 8 2011: I'll tell you something complex how fragile or earth's economy really is, Here's complex yet so simple, it'll broaden your mind for sure go check out wikipedia "Scotland" click all sorts of links, check out (Gasglow?) check out what inventions were made or re-created and what leader ship builders they are to this day.
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    May 6 2011: The wormhole theory I believe is similar to what you are saying about the universe being in a vacuum.
    For all those unfamiliar with dark matter

    So what if the universe is sir? What ramifications and/or affects/effects does this cause? But yes it could be in a vacuum. Space-time theory is making break throughs in just how fast we are moving in the universe. Fascinating but difficult to comprehend. What is the underlining theme/issue here though?
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      May 7 2011: I suppose the underlying issue would be "Why are we explaining the accelerated expansion of the universe with dark matter when there could be a simpler explanation?" However, I by no means suggest that we do. Theoretical scientists know way more about this stuff than I do. I'm just throwing out some ideas to get a discussion going and learn more about this stuff.
      I'll check out the wormhole theory, thanks.
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        May 7 2011: If you watch that video they explain that dark matter could be a crazy amount of moving energy. Perhaps dark matter and -like matters move and create stuff expanding us
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          May 8 2011: Love it. The video does a great job of explaining the evidence for dark matter. I hope PhD comics puts out a lot more stuff.
          So why do we think that these other kinds of matters cause the acceleration of the expansion of the universe? Why do we think that these kinds of energy aren't succumbing to entropy?
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        May 10 2011: lack of awareness sir.

        I hope PhD comics does A LOT MORE. I recommend everyone watch that video.