Extra-Solar Science & Religion

star field


  HumanisticTexts   SETI-SETR   Alt-Universe


  SETI-SETR.org is one of a trio of websites in which a person with no special expertise investigates the human condition. Who we are, how we got here, and where we are headed.

   Humanistictexts.org, the oldest site (2,000 CE) surveys key ideas put forward throughout history, focusing on the practical aspects of human existence rather than on speculations on other forms of existence. Often the ideas focus on how we are to survive by learning to live together.

  SETI-SETR.org came next, speculating on civilizations beyond our own planet or beyond our material universe. It considers the imminent threats to our survival and examines how other planetary civilizations may have avoided self-destruction.

  Alt-universe.org, the third website, examines the effect of radical changes in our ideas of space and time that  may surprise us if we encounter the science of more advanced civilizations. We may find that our universe is stranger than we thought, dominated by an eternity that penetrates all of space and time, or spacetime as it is now known.

The third website reaches this conclusion by focusing on our discovery that science has been unaware of 95% of the mass and energy in the universe up to the end of the 20th century. It argues that this is because we have the wrong view of space and time. We have been thinking of it as continuous and infinitely divisible. This implies that things within it can be infinitely close together. Nature does not agree.

Max Planck discovered this in seeking to understand of how an object changes color when heated to incandescence. He found that the energy of heat increases in minute steps, each being what he called a quantum of energy. Subseqently, all types of energy were found to be quantized at the submicroscopic level.

Such an idea of indivisble quanta has arisen before, under a different name. Around 550 BC, Leucipus and Democrates concluded that the amazing variety of objects in the world came from combining a few very small building blocks. They argued you could not go on cutting up an object forever. (That is, a material object, like energy, is not infinitely divisible). Eventually you reach fundamental objects that are uncuttable.

From the word in Greek uncuttables became "atoms", initiating a pursuit over the centuries of smaller and smaller uncuttables. We now recognize just over a dozen types of indivisible elementary particles (twice the number if we include antimatter). They are the quanta of matter. In astronomical numbers these few types of particle quanta form the entire universe of matter, interacting with quanta of energy, of which there may be four or five basic types.

So, if energy and matter are quantized ,then the spacetime they exist and interact in should have the same form. Is spacetime quantized? Alt-universe.org says yes, because elementary particles in spacetime are not only quantized, they move and interact in quantum steps.

Physically, spacetime quanta may be tiny uncuttable spheres, each sharing the same minimum diameter and the same pulsing minimum time interval (except when warped within the rules of general relativity by gravity and motion).The number of quanta in the visible universe of spacetime may be as high as 1 followed by  182 zeros. Although most may be empty, each is able to hold a quantized particle of mass or energy and pass it on to the next quantum through a point where they touch. Steps in energy, steps in spacetime.

From the quantum viewpoint, unexpected high rotation speeds of galaxies are not due to the unidentified dark matter particles assumed in continuous spacetime. Instead, they arise from virtual mass passed to the galaxy from the 95% of mass-energy in the universe we overlooked. It exists in the gaps between quanta, forming a second universe

Similarly, the object a star becomes when it collapses under its own gravity is not that pictured in continuous spacetime. Instead of a black hole that swallows the star and shrinks it forever, the entire mass of the star collapses into a sphere of photons (the particles of light). Nothing of the universe is lost.The orbiting photons form a black shell the same mass and radius as a black hole. In the popular sense of the term, the minute quantum of spacetime may be the next quantum leap in our understanding of the universe.

Some of the 95% of energy previously undiscovered in the universe fills existing black shells. The rest is in gaps between spacetime quanta, surrounding them in their matrix that holds just 5% of mass-energy in the dual universe. As these gaps also exist between the photons in black shells, the spacetime universe is surrounded throughout by this energy.

This energy forms a labyrinth within spacetime, while the unified  dimensions of space and time remain in spacetime quanta. There are no spacetime dimensions in the gaps between quanta. So, having no dimensions, the bulk of energy in the dual universe (95%) does not have mass or gravity. This makes it hard to find. Lacking space and time, it is also a form of eternity. And eternity has always been hard to find.