Friday, December 31, 2010
I wish to end the year with my most passionate topic of seeing Hindu Cosmology in scientists’ cosmology. The Hindu theory of Creation depicted in different ways is indeed a personified version of different aspects of creation –both in short term and long term. I attempted an explanation in Tamil in a website sometime ago but had to stop it midway. I hope to do a series on this topic soon in this blogspot. I am currently concentrating on Dravida issue (http://thamizhan-thiravidana.blogspot.com/) and would like to start the Hindu cosmology articles after finishing that series.
For this last post of the year, I want to bring to the notice of the readers an important revelation of the Year, mentioned as one among the 7 Top Space stories by Space.com. It is a finding that the Fundamental Constant is not a constant! (The space.com article is given below)
At the outset I must confess that I am a lay person, with no training in physics. But my passion for the skies, the stars and the related views in Hindu Thought and Astrology has never waned over the years. I must say that I was born with that passion. For me science and Hindu Thought on Creation are not different from each other.
When I read the Hindu story of Creation that the lotus sprang from the naval of Narayana with Brahma sitting on it, I visualize that Narayana is the substratum which is different from the created worlds. So howmuchever, we, with help of scientific tools and knowledge probe the universe around us, we can never see the realm of Narayana. Can any tree that is growing above the ground see its roots that is hidden beneath the ground?
Perhaps a Banyan tree can know the presence of roots – through branches that go back towards the ground. But even then the tree can only ‘guess’ the presence of roots but can not see the roots by itself. That is the limitation of seeking the roots (Creator God) through science.
The Universal Constant is found to be Constant in the realm where are currently posited. It is different at 2 different realms. To my happiness, Science says that the 2 realms are North and South Skies!! We in Hindu Thought give great weightage to North and South. We prefer Northern route even for death! According to Hindu Thought the growth or bulge of the Universe is towards the North. What we see in the South are the old stars or the Universe that are already formed. Our realm itself is surging towards North with fresh Creation of worlds happening in that direction.
Those who can read Tamil can read my earlier articles on the Directional significance in the cosmos in the following links.
The finding on Universal Constant supports what I have deduced in the above articles.
To explain it in brief, Creation is started by the Four faced Brahma who is seated on the Lotus. He has four faces because he looked at four sides soon after his Creation. The left out directions are upward and downward directions.
The four faced Brahma first wondered from where he came. So he went through the lotus stem to see its root. That means his first journey is towards downward direction. He goes back to the origin of the Lotus and after having seen it he comes up again. This means at the first moment of Creation, the created realms folded back and after that only it surged upwards. The downward direction is called South and the upward direction is called North in Hindu Thought.
The scientific study says that the Universal constant differs in the South and the North whereas it is as we know in our realm – where Life exists.
This is also my contention derived from the Hindu Thought that only where Brahma is seated, there Life becomes possible. The axis of the earth pointing to the Saptha rishi mandala (Ursa major) denotes the axis of the stem of Brahma’s lotus. At this axis, creation surges upwards. The whorls of the petals of the lotus are different galaxies surrounding us. The story says that once the centre of the lotus where Brahma is seated makes a complete whorl (or circle), Brahms’s age would be over.
So imagine a huge lotus that is growing in the waters (Space). The lotus flower will be always on top of the water. The location of lotus flower denotes the upper limit of space. But actually there is no defined upper limit for the water level. Because it is said the lotus keeps surging. That means the space or cosmic waters keep surging. Only where Brahma is seated, there exists life – the Universal constant that is right for life exists here – something that scientists have found out.
The lotus is not static. It moves along with the current in such a way that it makes one full circle. By the time it makes a circle, Brahma’s age of 100 years gets over. This time is equal to 8,64,00,00,000 X 360 X100 years. I call this as Long term Creation cycle.
Though Life is created in the realms of Brahma (the lotus), it is also lost as the lotus surges upwards. Brahma also has a time of rest after each kalpa. That is, for 4,32,00,00,000 years, there will be creation and generation of life. I call this as Short term Creation cycle. This is followed by a period of same duration of a lull. But by the time this period is crossed Brahma’s lotus would have moved in space for 4,32,00,00,000 years. The next activity of Creation can be seen in space which is 4,32,00,00,000 years away from our current location in the North east direction.
According to Hindu Thought there are directions in the Universe. The North east can be detected towards the area of the sky where the star Mrigaseersha is situated close to the Orion constellation. (In the present month of Margazi we are on the side of this direction). Perhaps Titan which is showing seeds of future life might become the location for creation then. The link to Titan has a surprising element in that its main planet Saturn is known as Prajapathy in Hindu system. It means, the Creation of Life is connected with it.
The above discourse gives an opinion that we are special in the Universe. Yes we are. All the galaxies seem to be racing away from us in all directions. This can happen only if we are in the centre of a system or in Hindu mythological terms in the central part of the lotus flower.
A scientific study supporting this revelation can be read here:-
The Top 7 Space stories of 2010 can be read here:-
The article on Universal Constant not being constant at all parts of the Universe can be read here:-
New Physics? Fundamental Cosmic Constant Now Seems Shifty
A fundamental constant of the universe may not be so constant after all, according to a new study.
Recent observations of distant galaxies suggest that the strength of the electromagnetic force – the so-called fine-structure constant – actually varies throughout the universe. In one direction, the constant seemed to grow larger the farther astronomers looked; in another direction the constant took on smaller values with greater distance.
If confirmed, this revelation could reshape physicists' understanding of cosmology from the ground up. It may even help solve a major conundrum: Why are all the constants of nature perfectly tuned for life to exist?
"This is an exciting and potentially important result that challenges astronomers and particle physicists for an explanation," said astrophysicist John Barrow of the
, who was not involved in the new study but has worked with the researchers in the past. "It could be a further hint about new physics." University of Cambridge
A changing constant
Astrophysicists have been studying the fine-structure constant – known as the alpha constant – for years, searching for hints that it might change. Some projects have found evidence that the constant does vary, while other probes confirmed the constant's constancy. [The Greatest Mysteries in Science]
But the evidence supporting the alpha constant's variable nature was ambiguous, because it could also be due to a variation over time, or across different parts of space, researchers said.
The farther out astronomers peer into the universe, the longer it has taken the light they see to reach Earth. Since this light is older, it represents an earlier epoch in the universe's history.
So if scientists measured a change in the fine-structure constant from different observations, it may have been because the constant has different values in different places, or it might have been because it had different values at different times. But determining which case is right has been a challenge.
To settle that question, researchers led by John Webb from the
, University of New South Wales , gathered observations from the Keck telescope in Australia , and the Very Large Telescope in Hawaii – thereby covering both the northern and southern skies. Chile
"When you look in one direction, you cannot distinguish between variation in space and variation in time," co-researcher Victor Flambaum, also of the
, told SPACE.com. "Now there is nearly complete coverage of the sky. The conclusion is:It's a variation in space, not in time." University of New South Wales
To determine how strong the alpha constant was in any given spot, the scientists measured the frequency at which electrons in various atoms would hop from one energy level to the next. This frequency depends on the fine-structure constant.
The researchers found that in the northern sky, the fine-structure constant gets smaller with increasing distance, or as astronomers look farther back in time. In the southern sky, however, the alpha constant value appeared to increase the farther away they looked.
Since those two results would contradict each other if the alpha constant varied with time, the constant must take on different values in different areas of the universe, the researchers concluded.
Why do we exist?
Webb presented the findings last week at the Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting in
. The research has been submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters and is awaiting peer review. Lisbon, Portugal
If the study is confirmed, it could be a landmark find in astrophysics, researchers said.
"I find this result quite exciting," said Steve Lamoreaux, a physicist at
who was not involved in the study. "It explains the apparent discrepancy between different analyses done the last few years. Yale University
"Of course, the result needs to be independently verified," he added.
Flambaum said he was particularly interested in what the result could tell scientists about the origin of life.
"This is a puzzle which has existed for many years," he told SPACE.com. "A minor variation of the fundamental constants forbids life to appear – we just could not exist."
For Flambaum and others, it seemed like too much of a coincidence that the universe's constants – which includes the alpha constant and others like the value of the strength of gravity, or the strength of the strong interaction that binds atomic nuclei together – should be perfect for building stars and planets and life.
"Now we have an explanation," Flambaum said."If fundamental constants vary in space, we just appear in the area of the universe where constants are good for us."
In other regions of the universe where the constants are different, life may be absent, he said.
Flambaum admitted that such revolutionary results need even more evidence to be believed for sure.
And other experts may take some convincing.
Helge Kragh, a science historian at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, who has written about the history of the fine-structure constant, said it's important to "keep a healthy skepticism" about announcements like these, since past measurements of variation, such as earlier claims that the constant changes over time, have later been disproven.
"If history is a guide -- and often it is not -- the results of Webb et al. will turn out to be untenable," he said.
Flambaum said the team plans to collect more data from the distant universe, as well as conduct laboratory experiments, to test their results.
"The problem is whether there are systematic biases which the authors have not thought of which can mimic the appearance of varying alpha," Barrow said. "They are a very strong and experienced observational team who have subjected the data to many tests in the search for bias but have failed to find any so far."