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Monday, 27 October 2008

Alexander F Mayer

This is not a topic I ever thought I'd be posting about on this blog. To be frank, it's a bit of a stretch to call it relevant, though I'll do my best. Mostly I'm choosing to post this because it's freaking awesome and also because if it turns out to be correct I'd like to go on the public record as having been among the first to acknowledge it.

Alexander F Mayer is what most people would call a serious geek. Way geekier even than myself. I'm not entirely sure of his background and qualifications but he's not a recognised authority amongst his peers in his field of study. Most of them would probably call him a crackpot, or worse.

What makes him postworthy is his rather persuasive and potentially revolutionary theory about the nature of the universe - and I mean the whole universe, from the smallest particle through to the largest supergalactic cluster and the complete extent of time. The theory is published as a digitally signed PDF at, but most people I know wouldn't enjoy reading something that, um, geeky. (If you do - I would really love to hear from you!)

The fundamental idea in Mayer's cosmology is that the conventional understanding of time is as misguided as the ancient belief that the Earth was flat. We are accustomed to thinking that the universe as a whole experiences time just as we do, and that we can represent a history of the entire universe using a single timeline. This naturally leads people to ponder how the universe started and how it might eventually come to an end. If it started in a "Big Bang", then what came before that? And if it started small and is growing larger, what lies beyond the edge of it?

Without going into too much detail, I will say merely that Mayer's universe has no beginning, no end, and no edges. Just as you can travel forever in one direction around the surface of the Earth (a full circle brings you back to your original position) you can imagine a straight path through space in any direction leading you eventually back to the exact point you started from. And just as for every point on the Earth there is a place at the precisely opposite side of the globe, for every point in space there is a precisely opposite place in the universe through which you would pass if you could follow that straight line in any direction for a very, very long time.

Now to make this relevant to my blog.

Black holes, says Mayer, are actually the "in" end of a tunnel through spacetime (ie a wormhole) which leads to the opposite side of the universe. And at that end one finds a "white hole" spewing forth raw energy and fundamental particles. Dead star goes in, elemental ingredients come out. That means 100% recycling of material and energy, occurring everywhere in the universe, for all eternity. Can't get much more sustainable than that.

Beyond the physics, Mayer's publication concludes with some fascinating comments on the interaction between science, philosophy, society and even religion. If the universe really is as he describes, then human psychology might have some adjusting to do. Instead of a one-way trip from bang to bust, the universe continually recreates itself. Theoretically, our descendants could inhabit Mayer's universe forever. If only we can avoid destroying this one little part of it in the meantime.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are not exactly all alone appreciating Mayer yet no other comments speaks volumes