The Universe and the Metaphysics of Light


The start of time for our universe has been estimated at 13.8 billion years ago. How it started has been speculated about in a variety of theories and conjectures but the question is still not settled. The leading contender has been the Big Bang theory but I’m quite happy to accept this new proposition from Sir Roger Penrose. I’m happy because he uses ideas that I don’t see discussed often enough as he blends together aspects of light, mass and time. He uses the concept that light does not have a component of time and therefore, when there is no mass present, a universe that is either big or small is the same to a photon of light. The complementary idea for timeless light is the nature of mass that provides the ‘clock” that is time.  He explains how the two natures work together to provide the beginning and end of our universe. That’s a lot to comprehend but Penrose is a master at taking very subtle and sometimes difficult concepts and weaving the story for the life cycle of a universe.

The term “metaphysics of light” was linked to Penrose’s ideas in the following introduction when he was presenting his theory back in 2010. I have only taken the introduction segment because I find the other link to be a more complete discussion.

https://youtube.be/4YYWUIxGdl4%26start=123%26end=328%26autoplay=1

The second link is a more recent interview that I find easier to follow and has the additional benefit of presenting evidence from independent measurement that supports his theory. That’s an aspect of Roger Penrose’s theories that I appreciate; as radical as any of his theories are he always provides an idea on how to obtain experimental supporting data.

https://youtu.be/sM47acQ7pEQ

In addition to providing a method to test his proposal he also provides a list of deficiencies that need attention if the theory is to continue to be supportable. A true scientific mind that’s not reticent to provide the ammunition that could potentially disprove his own theory, not a common enough approach these days. In keeping with this practice I will go to a link in my next article that presents the “bullies” that changed Stephen Hawking’s mind on black hole information loss. They have an approach on the nature of the universe that supports a Holographic model and I would like to think the differences of opinion could be resolved to allow their model and Penrose’s to become complementary.

Don M.

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