A new and daring cosmological model of the universe from a university in Taiwan describes the universe without a big bang – an eternal universe with NO beginning and NO end. This new and insane model for the universe is actually crazier than it sounds, so bear with me here while we delve into details.

Professor Wun-Yi Shu (from the National Tsing Hua University), has completely veered off of traditional cosmological thinking by proposing a universe that hypothetically explains our observations better than the current models. Shu means to do away with dark energy altogether, while at the same time explaining the acceleration of the universe more precisely. Shu proposes this model to answer some of the most puzzling questions in cosmology, such as the flatness problem (a problem pertaining to cosmological fine-tuning), and the horizon problem (which deals with the uneven temperatures in the universe) – all in one encompassing new model.

A depiction of a 3-sphere. Image from: Wikipedia

Shu’s cosmology includes a sweeping change of our understanding of the universe. Space, time, mass, and length can all be converted between themselves. The speed of light and the gravitational constant are both variable. Time has no beginning or end (neither a big bang nor a big crunch singularity). The universe is a sphere instead of being flat (a higher-dimensional analogue of a sphere called a 3-sphere) and other seemingly bizarre concepts. At some point in the universe’s history, time converts into space, while mass converts into length. Conversely, the opposite also at some point holds true. Length converts to mass and the universe contracts – eventually causing the conversion to take place again procuring another inflation/expansion event.

Shu argues that the big bang cosmological model does not adequately explain the expansion of the universe; thus forcing scientists to propose the existence of things such as dark energy to help fill the voids in our knowledge. According to the tests he has run using observations of Type Ia supernovae, his model of cosmology is a much better match for the available data. The nature of Shu’s cosmological model eliminates problems facing the big bang event because this model simply does not have one. Furthermore, the 3-sphere nature of Shu’s universe automatically eliminates the flatness and horizon problems – although I would be neglectful if I failed to mention that inflation has (for the most part), solved both of these problems.

Shu’s 'steady state' model of the universe has been published on ArXiv for review from his peers (although ArXiv itself is not a peer reviewed journal). Pending review, Shu’s model might gain some credence– or it will simply remain as an interesting (albeit insane) artifact of mathematics.

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