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Expansion of Universe
Dateline, Vancouver, June 2015
Gravity Wells Create a Gravity Bulge Between Galaxies
Note: This same theory was described in New Scientist magazine, but did not use the balloon analogy.   Issue 3078, June 18, 2016   " Dark energy must die – these rebel physicists can take it down "   By Anil Ananthaswamy   www.newscientist.com/issue/3078/
There seems to be two big problems with the gravity on the scale of the universe. First, galaxies seem to be rotating faster than they should given their size and mass, and galaxy clusters are also rotating around each other too fast. Second, the expansion of the universe seems to be speeding up, rather than slowing down. Both of these problems require something beyond the basic theory of gravity to explain this behavior.
Astronomers try to explain the first problem by creating unseen "dark matter", which increases the mass of the galaxies beyond the visible mass. And astronomers try to explain the second problem with "dark energy", which has had a repulsive effect for the last 5 billion years, but not before that.
Dark matter and dark energy both seem far fetched to me - why conjure up exotic new laws of physics if a slight adjustment to the current laws can explain these observations? That's what I'll attempt to do with the theory described below. It is a fairly simple idea that explains both problems, and a few others, with a simple adjustment to the current laws of gravity.
I'm not going to provide any more detail to the two problems above, I'll assume anyone reading this story has already heard those problems before, but I'll describe this new idea starting at the beginning.
Gravity is the force that causes massive objects to attract toward each other. A common explanation of gravity that you'll see in most text books describes a trampoline with a bowling ball laying in the middle. The ball will bend the surface downward, and then when you roll a golf ball across the sheet it will deflect toward the low spot that the bowling ball has created as it rolls past.
This deflection of two masses toward each other is mathmatically how gravity works. The trampoline analogy describes a two dimensional surface bending into three dimensional space, but in the real world a massive object will bend a three dimensional volume into four dimensional space.
If we move out to a broader picture of the universe, the standard visualization of the expanding universe is of a balloon being inflated. Objects on the surface of the balloon expand away from each other as the balloon expands. The 2-dimensional surface of the balloon is expanding into 3 dimensions. Our universe is a 3-D space expanding into 4-D and the same thing will happen.
Note that the bowling ball analogy will work the same way on the surface of the giant balloon. It will deform the surface of the balloon and the golf ball will deflect toward it when it rolls by, just like it did to the trampoline. The only difference is that the balls will deform the balloon toward the center of the balloon rather than downward. Thousands of balls will deform the balloon with thousands of divits, just like thousands of galaxies deform space, each sitting in its own gravity well.
But here's the trick. If I squeeze a balloon with my fingers, the balloon will deform inward under my fingers and bulge outward between my fingers. The question is, does that happen to the universe when large masses deform space into a 4th dimension? A large mass will deform 3-D space into a gravity well, but will it also cause a gravity bulge between gravity wells? My argument below assumes it does.
The idea behind squeezing the balloon is that the objects that indent the balloon are creating gravity wells, which are any divit that is below the nominal surface of the balloon. But also, when the balloon bulges outward beyond the nominal surface of the balloon it creates a gravity bulge, which will be a gravity repulsion area.
Now apply this to the scale of the universe. The gigantic mass of a galaxy will create a huge gravity well that will attract other objects toward the galaxy. But it will also cause a gravity bulge to form between galaxies that will increase the apparent gravity of the galaxy. This won't happen at the scale of a solar system because the bulges are far too broad, so it will cause the galaxies to appear to have too much gravity and the stars will rotate too fast.
The second effect that this will cause is the gravity bulge will be bigger if the space between galaxies is bigger. This means, in the distant past (5 billion years ago) the space between galaxies was smaller and the gravity bulge had little effect. But now the space between galaxies is bigger, causing a larger gravity bulge, which is enough to push apart the galaxies. Which is exactly what we see as the accelerating expansion of the universe.
Therefore, the gravity bulge between galaxies created by this bulging balloon theory predicts several anomolous observations:
1. Galaxies will appear to spin too fast.
2. Galaxy clusters will appear to rotate too fast.
3. The expansion of the universe will appear to be speeding up.
4. As galaxies expand away from each other, the stars in a galaxy do not.
5. Galaxies will cluster in ribbons rather than big ball-clusters.
This theory rides on one big question: does the squeezing balloon effect actually cause a gravity bulge between squeeze points? Here's the idea. If gravity is conserving energy then squeezing at one point should cause a bulge at another point. Or if the universe is a fixed size in 4 dimensions then deforming it in 3 dimensions should cause a rebound elsewhere. If those things happen then this theory should work.