[ExI] Timeless Universe
citta437 at aol.com
citta437 at aol.com
Fri Dec 7 13:52:02 UTC 2007
"Starting in 1983, Stephen Hawking said the universe doesn't go back to
this abstract limit called the singularity. He said the universe goes
back to a timeless 4-dimensional space that's uncreated. So we have a
timeless 4-dimensional space that's uncreated on Hawking's theory.
There's no need to create it, it has no beginning. A timeless space,
since it's not in time, doesn't begin to exist and needs no cause. Does
time begin by being a fourth dimension of a timeless space, Hawking's
imaginary time, "becoming" real time, i.e. having a metric described by
real numbers rather than imaginary numbers on different regions of the
manifold?
"Imaginary time is a new dimension, at right angles to ordinary, real
time," Stephen explained. "Along this axis, if the universe satisfies
the 'no boundary' condition, we can do our calculations. This condition
says that the universe has no singularities or boundaries in the
imaginary direction of time. With the 'no boundary' condition, there
will be no beginning or end to imaginary time, just as there is no
beginning or end to a path on the surface of the Earth."
"If the path goes all the way around the Earth," I said. "But of
course, we don't know that in imaginary time there won't be a boundary."
"My intuition says there will be no blocking in that (SPECIAL
COORDINATE) ie timeless space , so our calculations make sense."
Hawking, however, provides this context, yet as his theories stretch
beyond matter
and into the unfathomable realm of quarks and quantum forces, the
fundamental ‘‘parts’’ he uncovers fold again into the undifferentiated
plane of the whole; all difference, he says, is composed of the same
thing---energy. In his ultimate splitting of hairs, Hawking wanders
into the sameness of Being. It is in this sameness (mass = energy and
particle = wave) that the physicist’s oblique references to Being are
most apparent. As a metaphorical disclosure of Being, Hawking
introduces imaginary time, a reified reconstruction of the early
Greek’s permanent presence. Imaginary time is timeless time---time that
does not progress in any particular direction. According to Hawking:
Imaginary time is indistinguishable from directions in space. If one
can go north, one can turn around and head south; equally, if one can
go forward in imaginary time, one ought to be able to turn around and
go backward. This means that there can be no important difference
between the forward and backward directions of imaginary time.Imaginary
time is the undeveloped time in which the laws of physics, of
gravitation, electricity and magnetism, nuclear interaction and
beta-decay operate. In this undeveloped time, the most basic particles
of the universe---the atoms, molecules and quarks that compose all
mass---behave as if there were no tomorrow or yesterday12. The
wave/particles of the universe are indifferent to time, for in their
duality, no pole is privileged. Mass mutates into energy and energy
into mass within a whole that remains constant---zero energy. Energy is
neither created nor destroyed. In post-quantum physics, the
timelessness of imaginary time both co-exists with and supersedes the
temporality recorded in human experience. Human time, the time derived
from the privileging of mass/positive energy/order over quantum
forces/negative energy/disorder, explodes from the field of
oppositions. Thus, time emerges out of oppositional thinking, out of
the privileging of being over non-being and positive energy over
negative energy. Because oppositional thinking requires the relational
center of being human, the measurement of time requires beings to break
up Being by standing out of it as judge. In one’s confrontation with
the appearance of Being in what is, one breaks apart the essential
unity of all difference, the belonging together of the poles. Using
quantum theory, physicists interpret this unity of opposites as the
equivalence of mass and energy and wave/particle duality, which recalls
the polemos, the conflict between and belonging together of difference.
This interpretation of primary opposition highlights the physicist’s
participation in the ongoing mythology of Being. Hawking writes:In
quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy from
particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where
the energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the
universe is exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of
positive energy. However, the matter is all attracting itself by
gravity. Two pieces of matter that are close to each other have less
energy than the same two pieces a long way apart, because you have to
spend energy to separate them against the gravitational force that is
pulling them together. Thus, in a sense, the gravitational field has
negative energy. In the case of a universe that is approximately
uniform in space, one can show that this negative gravitational energy
exactly cancels the positive energy represented by the matter. So the
total energy of the universe is exactly zero.13 From a ‘‘holistic’’
perspective, oppositional thinking (positive/negative,
presence/absence) cancels out in the total zero of the whole. However,
even as one says it, one cannot fathom this zero. Because
of the unfamiliar ‘‘reality’’ proposed by the ‘‘zero energy’’ metaphor,
one can come closer to understanding the perceptual limitations and the
inescapable weight of one’s relationship to the universe. As a
participant in the universe, one cannot gather it before oneself except
in empty concepts like everything and nothing. In thinking, the
universe can never be whole; it is a part composed by the sum of its
parts. From this perspective, the universe is unity and not whole. One
is limited by one’s standing relationship in the whole. In its quantum
state, the universe has no beginning or end, which means that it has no
edges or boundaries in space-time. In this state, the universe is
finite, yet without an outside. The universe is totality. From the
perspective of matter-energy, however, the universe maintains its
boundaries in that it has a beginning and end at the big bang and big
crunch. From the conceptual vantagepoint of humanity, one may conceive
of the universe as beginning and ending, as having edges and
boundaries, and a creator. But in imaginary time, the universe is
eternity and eternity is the constant always of the universe. The
universe has no beginning, no end and no creator; in imaginary time,
the universe is Being."
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