PureInsight | April 18, 2002
Classical physics holds that the universe is three-dimensional. The position of any object can be described by length, width and height, just as we can use (x, y, z) in a rectangular coordinate system to describe the position of any point in it. There are countless constellations like our galaxy in this universe. Innumerable star systems lie in them, including their stars and planets. Since the mass of stars far exceeds that of planets, it is primarily stars that constitute the mass of the universe.
However, recent research conducted by today's scientists in the areas of basic particles and basic interactive forces has revealed that the structure of our universe is probably not simply three-dimensional. The Super String Theory postulates that there are seven other dimensions of time and space existing in the universe, while the Membrane World Theory proposes that the space we are living in is only a layer (membrane) of the multidimensional universe. The rest of this article discusses the findings of scientists who study "dark energy" in the universe. Their investigation of multidimensional space is from another angle.
The Big Bang Theory of the origin of the universe describes how in the early stage of the birth of the universe 15 billion years ago, huge amounts of energy made the universe expand dramatically. Later, when the universe began its cooling phase, the speed of expansion generally decreased due to the force of attraction. What is more astonishing is that UK and Australian astronomers have discovered new, independent evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Their findings have just appeared in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (1).
The findings from these two groups of scientists are disturbing the scientific community. Scientists have always believed that the force of attraction generated by matter in the universe slows down the universe's expansion rather than accelerating it. But these scientists have deduced that the universe is filled with a mysterious, dark energy by observing the luminous intensity of supernovae (huge exploding stars) in distant star systems. It is the existence of this dark energy that makes the universe's expansion accelerate.
The concept of dark energy was first postulated by Einstein, who called it "the cosmological constant." But Einstein later referred to this idea as his greatest scientific blunder, since it didn't conform to the simplicity and elegance of his General Theory of Relativity. Since then, the concept of the cosmological constant has been controversial. The great Cambridge astronomer, Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, was convinced of its existence, arguing that the cosmological constant distinguished between the vast size of the observable universe and the tiny realm of subatomic particles. But to most theoretical physicists, the cosmological constant has seemed utterly mysterious and unnecessary. Many have been reluctant to accept the results of the teams studying supernovae.
Currently, a team of 27 astronomers led by Professor George Efstathiou of the University of Cambridge has published strong evidence for the existence of dark energy, using an entirely different technique (2). Efstathiou and his team used the clustering pattern of 250,000 galaxies in a large area of the universe surveyed with the Anglo-Australian Telescope at Siding Spring in New South Wales, Australia. By comparing the structure of the universe now, some 15 billion years after the Big Bang, with the structure observed in the cosmic microwave background radiation, which has preserved information about what the universe was like when it was only 300,000 years old, the Anglo-Australian team applied a simple geometrical test to elucidate the composition of the universe.
Their results show that the universe is full of dark energy, completely consistent with the earlier results from the supernovae studies. "It seems that Einstein did not made a blunder after all—dark energy appears to exist and to dominate over more conventional types of matter," says Professor Efstathiou. "An explanation of the dark energy may involve the String Theory, extra dimensions or even what happened before the Big Bang. At present nobody knows. The ball is now firmly in the theorists' court."
New findings in modern science are gradually opening our human mind. Many of the "truths" we used to believe are losing ground due to new findings from scientific research. The dark energy discussed in this article can neither be seen nor observed, and we cannot detect its presence with the latest scientific instruments. Scientists have postulated that dark energy might exist in other dimensions. Thus, we can't limit our minds to existing knowledge and established notions. As far as the existence of other dimensions is concerned; they were already detected thousands of years ago by individuals who practiced different methods of "cultivation," which are ways of reaching enlightenment. However, ordinary people cannot realize this or experience it. As Master Li Hongzhi said in Zhuan Falun, "If you can enter the space between cells and molecules or the spaces among molecules, you will experience being in another dimension. What does that body's form of existence resemble? Of course, you cannot use the concepts of this dimension to understand it, and your body must meet the requirement of that dimension's form of existence. The body in another dimension can become big or small to begin with. At that time, you will find it also a boundless dimension. This refers to a simple form of other dimensions that exist simultaneously in the same place."
(1) The Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 330, No. 2, 21 February 2002.
(2) The 2dF (2-degree field) Galaxy Redshift Survey (2dFGRS). More information about the 2dFGRS is available at http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/2dFGRS
Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/3/27/14458.html