The universe and everything in it is a process

The universe as a process

A description of a lenticular cloud is provided as an example of a process that looks fairly permanent but the only 'permanent' aspect of it is the process itself.

To date scientists have observed the universe as it is now and drawn conclusions as to how it began from nothing. I will take the position that the universe has always existed as a quantum foam and see what happens from there.

Because a state of 'nothingness' is a definite state it would be precluded by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. A state of 'somethingness' would also be precluded for the same reason. So how do we create a universe from 'nothing' without violating Heisenberg's uncertainty principle?

According to the principle of Occam's razor, only the process that requires the minimum number of assumptions will be considered.

Well, one assumption we can make is that for the universe has always existed as a process and that the process must be so simple that it is inevitable. As indicated above, because a state of 'nothingness' violates Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, it is inevitable that 'something' must be occurring. However, again to avoid violating Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, this 'something' cannot last longer than the Planck time.

The only 'something' that satisfies this condition is a quantum fluctuation. That is, a fluctuation from nothing to something that occurs on a scale smaller than the Planck length and for less time than the Planck time. From these fluctuations I will attempt to build our universe.

We know that 'something' happened because we wouldn't be here to think about it unless it did. Therefore, let's say for the purpose of explanation that from absolutely nothing a one dimensional point like fluctuation starts to appear.

Start of toroidino

As it grows, this fluctuation spreads out in two dimensions and, since it has the same opposition to its growth in every direction—the tension between something and nothing—the minimum assumption is that it will tend to spread as a flat circle, thereby creating a two dimensional space.

Toroidini stage -2

However, because the tension opposes its growth it will take the easiest path and curl back on itself, thereby creating a third dimension. As it continues to grow this curling back effect will continue so that it becomes a vortex ring or toroid.

Toroidini stage 0  Toroidini stage 1

Toroidini stage 2  Toroidini stage 3

Toroidini stage 4  Toroidini stage 5


It is extremely important to note that the fluctuation is not expanding into space, it is space.

Another important point to note at this stage is that the whole time the fluctuation is in existence there is tension between something, the space that has been created, and nothing.

A further point is that the toroidino will be more spherical as shown below and in the description given in the description of the toroidino and its behaviour.

Spherical toroidino

The toroidino, the fundamental element of space

Because of the tension in the fluctuation vortex, just as there is in any other field that is under tension, the vortex or toroid contains potential energy. In fact we can say that the fluctuation vortex or toroid is energy.

To avoid confusion between 'matter' particles and 'bundles of energy' type particles which, because of Einstein's equation E=mc2, are all energy anyway, we'll call the fluctuation vortex or toroid a 'toroidino'. Whenever I refer to the toroidino I mean the quantum fluctuation vortex or toroid that is smaller than the Planck scale and lasts less time than the Planck time. I regard the toroidino as the the quintessential element of space.

Click Start toroidino animation to see the toroidino grow and collapse

The actual size a toroidino grows to will depend on how long it lasts and what happens to it during that time, but I believe its size will be a function of the speed of light. In fact I don't think it is unreasonable to assume that the speed of light itself is a function of the fundamental tension between space and nothing or the viscosity of space. I'll talk more about this later.

Because they last such a short time, there will be toroidinos popping into existence, growing to a wide variety of sizes, and popping out of existence at a great rate. Again I will point out that before each toroidino pops into existence there is nothing, it creates space by popping into existence. That is, they are not popping into and out of existence in space, they are space. A further important point is that each toroidino pops into and out of existence only once, it is never the same one popping in and out so many times a second. Once a toroidino has popped out of existence there is nothing, the toroidino doesn't exist in another place, it simply fails to exist and there is nothing where it was.

So far then, we have created a space which is a seething foam of toroidinos.

As far as our senses can perceive space, this seething foam will of course appear to be seamless and stable, just as a normal incandescent light that turns of and on 100 times a second appears to glow steadily.

That this seething foam does exist was strongly indicated by measurements of the Casimir effect that closely agreed with the predicted values.

Now we will proceed to try and get from this seething foam to something that is more tangible and recognisable as space, then as matter.


To a description of the toroidino and its behaviour

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About this site To the links
"All is flux," Heraclitus To space-matters
Summary of the ontology of the universe as a process of becoming Who is Gerry O Nolan?
The Universe as a process of becoming  
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