Chapter 2: Consciousness→


" Our present picture of physical reality, particularly in relation to the nature of time, is due for a grand shake-up–even greater, perhaps, than that which has already been provided by present-day relativity and quantum mechanics. "
—Roger Penrose

The Olympic swimming facility built for the 2008 Peking Olympics appears from the outside to be formed from giant bubbles. Its design was inspired by foam, which provides the most efficient way to partition space into cells of equal volume with the least surface area. On its largest scale, the cosmos shows a cellular structure that is unexpectedly similar to the elegant design of the Peking swimming facility (Alfvén, 1981). Various vacuum bubbles form a clearly defined, compartmentalized, foamy, sponge-like structure (Weygaert, 2007; Cantalupo et al., 2014) called the cosmic web. These endless formations of visible galaxies enclose us in a sphere with a radius of 13.8 billion light years, but that could be just a tiny sliver of an unexplainably uniform cosmos.

During the twentieth century, physics grew to rely on abstract mathematical modeling to uncover the deep structure of the material world and our cosmic origins. The result has been a spectacular success. However, the mathematics has become so difficult that special considerations are required, which often leaves them a merely formal significance (Dieks & Lubberdink, 2011). In addition, a hundred years on, inconvenient singularities have left general relativity, quantum theory, and string theory irreconcilable, leaving us with a number of inexplicable phenomena, such as the matter-to-antimatter ratio, the existence of extra matter (dark matter), extra energy (dark energy), and quantum entanglement. Gravity, a mysteriously weak force, still awaits an accepted theory and the presumed initial low entropy of the universe (i.e., the cosmos) cannot sufficiently explain the low entropy found today, the thermodynamic arrow, or the arrow of time. Although the behavior and qualities of space and time show vast and important differences, general relativity considers time a minor, fourth dimension to space. But unlike space, time is irreversible even within Euclidean regions and differs in accelerated versus nonaccelerated time frames. It is impossible to move in space without also changing temporal coordinates, whereas time continues even in the absence of motion. The marriage of space and time, officiated by Hermann Minkowski a hundred years ago, is ripe for a divorce. Occasionally, science arrives at a junction where it is necessary to start from a clean slate. In what follows, I present a new hypothesis accompanied by some new vocabulary and substantiated with several examples. I consider temporal and spatial energies interlaced like horizontal and vertical threads on a cosmological loom, weaving the fabric of the universe. String theory (Veneziano, 1968), quantum mechanics, and the theory of general relativity are all manifestations of these orthogonal fields permeating all of space. Through their interactions, elementary forces emerge naturally.

According to general relativity, clocks and time can only be properly defined in the presence of matter. In other words, interaction is an essential ingredient of time. Without interaction, time stands still. Here we take this even further and propose that interaction (decoherence) generates time. That time is a function of entanglement has gained serious support by the work of Moreva and her colleagues, who showed that change is the privilege of inside participants (2013). The mechanism of „static” time views entanglement as a clock system that allows one to perceive the evolution of the rest of the universe. Deprived of such clock system, outside observers find the universe static and unchanging. Accordingly, interactions acting through entanglement would necessarily evolve toward polar singularities.

The existence of poles, called white and black holes, also appears as the consequence of some solutions of Einstein’s field equations. Black holes have been identified indirectly by observing their gravitational effects, but white holes remain hypothetical. However, the nature of white holes has been speculated as negative-curving, bulging fields, which deflect incoming energy, even light. Thus they are the source of illusionary light rays; a fact reflected in their name and which would pose a great challenge to their discovery. In the following discussion the existence of both white and black holes is assumed.

String theory models particles as vibrating strings that arise out of microdimensions, called the Calabi-Yau space (Veneziano, 1968). Dividing a universe by a causal information-blocking horizon (manifold) into micro- and macrodimensional subsystems would permit only the formation of discrete frequencies. Entanglement acting through mirror symmetries and dualities of smooth horizon surfaces would always produce energy-conserving, symmetric spatial topology (Duncan et al., 2015). As a consequence, the state of the horizon or its energy level is determined by interaction. The close link between information and thermodynamics is expressed by the Landauer’s principle, which recognizes that energy and information are convertible quantities. For the first time ever, converting information into free energy has been demonstrated (Toyabe et al., 2010) and the exact amount of heat released when one bit of information was erased has been measured by Bérut and colleagues (2012).

The possible energy states of the system, to be called the manifold energy, can be considered a dynamic variable, which can transform into information and back again through interaction. Seen this way, manifold energy is potential energy. In addition, discrete particle frequencies would free or absorb energy in quanta. Therefore, standing waves can be considered quantum energy and their increasing frequencies are recorded as quantum information (information), thus manifold energy and quantum frequencies are inversely proportional. Quantum energy increase is recorded as information accumulation of the manifold and, inversely, decreasing quantum frequencies generate manifold energy, while releasing heat. This way, quantum energy is proportional to microdimensional volume (time), whereas manifold energy is proportional to the macrodimensional volume (space). The above idea successfully and irrevocably takes apart spacetime by recognizing that time and space occupies different dimensions, which leads to their fundamentally separate qualities and behavior.

Accumulating information of the microdimensions is the source of time, whereas macrodimensions formulate space. Energy-information exchange between space and time is the exclusive quality of interaction, when wave-function collapse forms singularities and shifts the quantum frequencies in sync with the field curvature. Thus, the energy level of the microdimensions (horizon) and the field curvature change in concert. In string theory the importance of the horizon is recognized by the holographic principle, which states that the information of a volume of space is contained on the boundary (Susskind, 1994). This is particularly true for the information-saturated horizons of black holes. Taken together, the holographic principle and Landauer’s principle mean that information accumulation of particles by the incessant standing-wave tick tock of the universe eventually uses up horizon energy (and macrodimensional volume), and turns those particles into black holes. As a consequence, the information-saturated black holes should be devoid of energy! This is congruent with recent investigation of entanglement near the horizon of black holes, which found that black holes are not more than their impenetrable horizons (Almheiri et al., 2015).