The History Channel had a great TV show simply called "The Universe
", on the human history of our current understanding of the Universe.
As the show proceeded, I found I was pausing the TV and sharing with Christine some footnotes of the history of these discoveries, and the various other ideas I've concocted along the way.
I realized that I had never shared these ideas, and (aside from college level math and Physics classes) lacking the scientific and mathematical sophistication to prove any of them out, I figured I would share them here, warts and all. I'm not aware of anyone else who has had these ideas, so as far as I'm aware, they are my own thoughts that attempt to explain certain phenomena.
These ideas (I hesitate to call them anything approaching even a hypothesis) came to me as I'd read Sagan (in high school) and Hawking (in college).
One idea relates to the Big Bang theory and whether we are in a constantly expanding, contracting or steady state universe. Simply stated, my idea is that the universe continues to expand until the energy imparted upon all of the mass is sufficiently expended such that the universe begins to contract.
As it does, a critical mass begins to coalesce, and once enough of it does, the concentration of mass/gravity/energy gets so great that the fundamental nature of mass/gravity/energy are fundamentally changed for a fraction of a second, and the totality of this primordial mass explodes in (another) big bang. In essence, the entire universe is like a human heart, contracting and expanding in many cycles of creation and destruction.
A particular corollary to this idea is that the universe is comprised of precisely enough matter (not an iota less or more) to cause this cycle to occur/reoccur. Without this corollary, it would leave the door open to the premise that many galaxies could have existed (and presumably were wiped out) at the time of the big bang from a previous big bang, but "missed the party" because the critical mass was accumulated before they were close enough to take part. Interestingly, this may also be a possible explanation for the uniform distribution of cosmic radiation described as the "horizon problem". Of course, a solution to this problem already exists (see Alan Guth's Inflationary Theory
Another idea relates to a model to help explain the idea of time dilation (Einstein's theory of relativity).
When you put your hand outside a window of a moving car, you experience the motion of molecules over your hand. The faster you move, the more molecules you experience. So the relationship of air to movement through it is: "the more you move through the more motion of molecules you experience".
If you assume that time is universal (time elapses at any observable point in the universe) and it is independent of matter (in the vacuum of space, time passes whether you are near a massive object or not), but dependent of velocity (a clock on a jet will show the passing of less time than one on the ground), you need a model that allows you to move through space, and experience the passage of less time the faster you move.
Or, the opposite of the experience when you put your hand outside the car... One way to make this analogy conform is to instead consider the cooling effect you feel when you put your hand outside the window. If we assume that matter exudes time, like perspiration comes off an athlete, the faster you move through space time, the more the evaporation effect takes place, and the more cooling effect the athlete experiences.
So, the fabric of space time is like the molecules of air that cause the "evaporation" of time. The faster you move through it, the more "cooling" (dilation of time) you experience.
In this model, time is intrinsic to mass (in nothingness, there is nothing to measure the passing of time-- so this assumes that energy, radiation, matter must exist-- time exudes through it like perspiration through skin), and the speed at which the mass moves through space (the speed at which a mass of air passes over your skin) defines the amount of time that elapses (the cooling capacity of the air to provide the cooling effect).
Just like molecules of air have the ability to absorb moisture through condensation, space time has the ability to "absorb time" relative to the speed mass moves through it. I suspect that this phenomenon, dilation of time, is related to the quantum effect of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle... Here's how I picture that might work: Einstein used the model of the fabric of space time. There exist fundamental "gaps" in this fabric such that no two points can be closer than a Planck distance apart from each other (quantum effect of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle). It's these "gaps" which form the ability of space to "absorb time". The faster you move over this fabric, the more time it is able to wick off. In a sense, you might say that in given "square yard" (or "cubic yard", if you'll admit that space is more like a three dimensional "gel" than a two dimensional "fabric") of space, there is a particular "planck density" at which time can elapse.
The nature of moving closer to the speed of light over it causes you to travel over more "(time consuming) gaps in the fabric of space time"...