How Do We Study the Evolution of the Universe Since the Big Bang?
Nothing in the entire universe is isolated. Everything affects everything else in one way or another. Forces control the universe that we have only begun to understand.
Scientists are anxiously studying quantum mechanics, relativity theory, and particle physics. We had yet to fully understand how space and time function together as a single entity.1
While all that study is going on, the attempt to measure scientific data affects our conclusion. This article is a discussion of how our comprehension of the universe is affected by our observation.
Our Limited Comprehension of Space and Time
As human beings, with human functioning brains, we are limited to comprehending only what our five senses allow us to conceive and experience. We may be limited in our understanding of the universe, but the space-time continuum goes beyond human imagination.
Considering that, we might assume there is more to it—more to the universe, more to life, more to the laws of physics.
Do the Laws of Physics Have Infinite Possibilities?
It's hard for the human mind to comprehend the concept of infinity. That's why we prefer to think that the universe started at a specific point in time: The Big Bang!
As I see it, the Big Bang could not have been the beginning. It was merely the starting point of the next stage of the continuation of time.
Before the Big Bang, the laws of physics may have been vastly different from what we know today.
Once everything gets sucked into a black hole, time itself becomes meaningless. Eventually, it all explodes into another Big Bang, another universe, and another timeline all over again. Maybe it will be very different in endless possible ways.
There may very well be an infinite number of laws of physics, even though there is only one that we are aware of that we can study. Everything we do is controlled by that one set of laws that rule the physical universe as we know it—presently.
The Butterfly Effect
Everything we experience in our little corner of space, and in our small segment of time, is just a tiny part of the entire picture. We are part of the puzzle. Our very own existence has a strong effect on the rest of the universe.
Things on Earth are different because we are here. Every move we make causes change elsewhere, even in the outer limits of the universe to a small degree.
Did you ever think back to things you've done in the past, and suddenly you realized how those actions affected the way your life is today? One little step can have a significant effect on the future, as well as on other parts of the world.
This phenomenon is known as the butterfly effect. A butterfly flapping its wings will, over time, cause considerable changes to the future.2
The only problem that stems from this fact is that when we try to analyze something or measure something, we cause it to change. So our observation of the way the universe is changing makes us see things not as they are.
How the Act of Observation Changes Things
We cannot measure or analyze anything without changing the outcome. So there is no way we can ultimately envision the actual reality of our world.
I learned the following example in my college engineering days:
- When we connect a measuring device to an electronic circuit to test its functionality, we change the function of the circuit.
- The fact that a voltmeter, for example, is connected to a circuit will change the way the circuit behaves. The circuit's new function is now related to the inclusion of the voltmeter.
That is true for everything in life, not just with electronics. Everything and everyone is different due to everything and everyone else that exists. Every single element in the universe is interrelated to one another.
I think this is true with our minds as well as physical objects. We relate to one another in such a way that only a complex algorithm can define, and we continue to struggle with our misconceptions and misunderstandings.
The Observable Universe
We are limited to how far we can see into the universe. That limit is 46 billion light-years.
The reason for that limitation is due to how far a photon could have traveled since being emitted from the Big Bang some 13.8 billion years ago.3
We call that the observable universe. There might very well be much more beyond that. Since the light from beyond that distance has not reached us yet, it’s as if there is a dark curtain surrounding our observable universe.
It helps us analyze the movement of everything we observe in the universe as best we can. But determining the end-result of its evolution remains a mystery.
- Space/time Continuum - Wikipedia
- The Butterfly Effect - Wikipedia
- Ethan Siegel. (March 5,2019). "How Much Of The Unobservable Universe Will We Someday Be Able To See?" Forbes
© 2011 Glenn Stok