Einstein’s Cosmological Constant was inserted into his General Relativity equations to make the universe static, neither expanding nor contracting, as most physicists believed it was at that time, as his equations showed that the universe is unstable and would eventually contract into a single mass. When Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding the Cosmological Constant was abandoned and Einstein called it the worst blunder of his career.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Now, however, it appears the expansion of the universe is accelerating rather than slowing down as it would be expected if the expansion was due solely to the original Big Bang model and being slowed down by the effect of gravity. Therefore Einstein’s cosmological constant is being reinserted into his equations to reflect this acceleration.

The question I have is what could be driving this accelerated expansion? What property of the universe could the cosmological constant be modeling?

It is possible that space-time has an inherent or intrinsic nature to be flat as it takes the force of gravity to warp or cause space-time to curve. The force of gravity is apparently overcoming the force making space-time non-warped, non-curved or flat in four dimensions., the force of flatness or cosmological force, if you will. We therefore have two forces working on space-time, gravity trying to pull space-time into a closed curve as into a spheroid or singularity and the cosmological constant trying to force it flat.

Assuming that the universe started as a singularity or black hole of some spherical finite dimension at the big bang, the universe would have been tightly compacted into a dimensionless point, a singularity or into a very tiny sphere. When the universe expanded and cooled enough for matter, mass and space-time to form, well after the period of inflation, the universe was still relatively small and space-time would have been tightly curved. The force generated by space-time trying to become flat would accelerate the rate of expansion beyond that of the initial impetus of the Big Bang rather than the force of gravity slowing it down as expected even if it was expanding at or beyond escape velocity . This is what we see today.

Does this mean that the universe will continue to expand forever until it becomes a flat, cold, dead, homogeneous universe? No not necessarily. It could be possible that once space-time expands to the point where its cosmological force is less than its force of gravity, the expansion would begin to slowdown and eventually begin contacting until the cosmological force again exceeded the force of gravity. There would be some overshoot as the velocity of contraction was bled off before the universe would again begin expanding. This could go on forever and the universe would be pulsing over eons of time, ringing like a bell, never stable nor static but in a constant state of flux.

But what if the velocity of expansion is greater than escape velocity with or without the cosmological force? Wouldn’t the universe simply continue to expand forever? If, as I assumed earlier, the universe started as a singularity or a black hole of some finite dimension then escape velocity would exceed the speed of light. That’s what makes it a black hole. Can the expansion of space-time itself exceed the velocity of light? I don’t think that it can. Even if it could, if the universe is expanding into the void, into nothing, eventually gravity will slow down the velocity of expansion once it exceeds the cosmological force. There is no place else for space-time or the universe to go and no matter how weak gravity becomes due to the distance involved it never becomes zero. Gravity will always have a value greater than zero and the universe will never be perfectly flat.

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# Accelerating expansion and the Cosmological Constant

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