When during 2017 scientists recorded a rippling in space-time, followed within two seconds by an associated burst of light observed by dozens of telescopes around the globe, they had witnessed, for the first time, the explosive collision and merger of two neutron stars. The neutron star merger created gravitational waves – a squiggly distortion in the fabric of space and time, that traveled about 130 million light-years through space, and arrived at Earth at almost the same instant as the high-energy light that jetted out from this merger.
The intense cosmological event observed on Aug. 17, 2017 also had other reverberations here on Earth: It ruled out a class of dark energy theories that modify gravity and challenged a large class of theories.
According to the researchers, “The simplest theories have survived”. “It’s really about the timing”, as mentioned in this study, which was published Dec. 18, 2017 in the journal Physical Review Letters.
A 100-year-old “cosmological constant” theory introduced by Albert Einstein in relation to his work on general relativity and some other theories derived from this model remain as viable contenders because they propose that dark energy is a constant in both space and time: Gravitational waves and light waves are affected in the same way by dark energy, and thus travel at the same rate through space.
“The favorite explanation is this cosmological constant […] That’s as simple as it’s going to get”, researchers explain. There are some complicated and exotic theories that also hold up to the test presented by the star-merger measurements. Massive gravity, for example (a theory of gravity that assigns a mass to a hypothetical elementary particle called a graviton) still holds a sliver of possibility if the graviton has a very slight mass.
Some other theories, though, which held that the arrival of gravitational waves would be separated in time from the arriving light signature of the star merger by far longer periods – stretching up to millions of years – don’t explain what was seen and must be modified or scrapped. (1)
The simpler the better.
It looks logical.
But it is also scary.
All this science and theories, discarded from an axiomatic definition of a “constant”; which was thought up by a genius in a flash of intuition without giving any valid logical or scientific explanation for its existence…
The universe is not here for us to understand it.
Monkeys try to understand.
Giraffes try to understand.
Worms try to understand.
We are here to shape the cosmos. To bend it under our own will.
Think of something. Define it as constant. It is now true.
Your whole universe can be and will be built around it!
You are not just a genius.
You are God…