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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unearthing the Earth’s History

The answer to the development of universe still lies somewhere within the universe

 We have often wondered and speculated how our own planet might have appeared billions of years ago. What if there was a possibility of watching earth’s evolution in real time? Even though those times have already passed, the image still lingers somewhere in the space. We can observe galaxies that are billions of light years away from us. The images that we see from those galaxies today show the position and conditions of those galaxies from billions of years ago. An observer placed at those galaxies will view images of Earth from billions of years ago. What if we discover some mirrors in space that are at distances in magnitude of light years from us. If our planet is aligned at an appropriate angle from those mirrors, then they would reflect light back from earth and show us images from far away times of our own planet. These images when viewed at high resolution might be able to tell us so much about the history of our own planet and even show us the formation of the Himalayas or the breaking apart of continents.

If discovered, what will be the nature of these objects? Will they have the properties of a white hole or just a reflective glass? A white hole is the opposite of a black hole. The gravity of a black hole is so strong that it doesn’t even allow light to escape and everything is concentrated at the point of singularity. But the white hole will emit everything from the singularity so that nothing can enter it. Even if such bodies are a theoretical possibility, they will be hard to recognize. This is because when we see one, we will feel as if we are looking at another galaxy or system and hence there is a possibility that we might have already missed it out despite observing it.

Depending on where the mirror is placed, we can watch images from different time periods. Closer mirrors show more recent past. If multiple mirrors were discovered we will be able to view different eras. The speed of the video will depend on the speed of the mirror relative to earth and light. If it starts moving away from earth at speed tending to the speed of light, we will constantly observe a single image. At the other theoretical extreme, if it moves towards the earth at the speed of light and assuming that it doesn’t crash with our planet, we will see the entire history in one single moment of infinite images. Stationarity with respect to the earth implies real time images from the past.

White holes are considered unstable. In contrast to black holes, they will act to decrease the entropy of universe and therefore, their existence for elongated periods of time is in violation of the laws of thermodynamics (even though it’s a mathematical possibility). So another possibility is manually placing huge mirrors at far off galaxies. But this will require travel at a speed faster than light. To solve this problem, the mirror will be placed through a shortcut- a wormhole in space, which is the only way to defeat light in a race. Now suppose the mirror is placed x billion light years away from us. It will start reflecting the images from x billion years past. Those images will take an additional x billion years to reach the earth. As a result only the generation born x billion years later will be able to view the past. This has an easy resolution – once a transceiver has been placed through the wormhole, information will be relayed back to the earth through the same wormhole. Thus the discovery of a wormhole – a bridge through space will be useful in another way to add to human knowledge.

Irrespective of the likelihood of such possibilities, a thought about them brings us closer to the understanding that in the universe, space and time might not really have different natures and one can blend into the other. If planets were humans, we might just as well look at the situation as a metaphor of an old man looking in the mirror just to discover the child he used to be.

Image Courtesy: Google