Vol. 1, Issue #26 Jan. 19th - Feb. 1st, 2007

The Universe, Stephen Hawking, and My Muse
Observations By: Kristi Brooks

The other night while watching television I had an amazing idea concerning both the beginning and the end of the universe. Normally, I would laugh off the very thought that I might be allowed such flashes of insight. After all, I am not a genius, nor do I think that any human mind can know the beginning and end of all things.

This time was different, it was as if an eclipse that had been settled over my brain for the length of my life had been lifted and for one brief moment I was allowed a glimpse of everything. Okay, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but I swear for that second I got it. Then, it was gone as briefly as it had settled over me, and I was left at a great loss.

I don’t like feeling like that, it’s the penultimate effect of having the rug pulled out from under me. Only in this scenario, the rug never gets put back; I never completely regain my balance.

I know, I sound a little crazy, but I swear, it isn’t my fault…it’s genetic.

To try and rectify my problem I went to the library and checked out the revised version of Stephen Hawking’s The Illustrated Theory of Everything. I felt that it was only fair to myself that I get the book with pictures. That way, if I found myself lost along the way, at least I would have pretty star clusters to gaze at.

Now, the theory that had came and literally smacked me on the head that night was the idea that the singularities that pose such a problem at the beginning and end of all things weren’t in fact two separate events, but rather one event in a continuous loop of the space-time paradox.

That would mean that the universe would be reborn at the end of all things, starting over at the beginning and traveling through to its inevitable demise in a constant cycle. Consequently, that would mean that when we died, we would be born again in the cycle, just a few million billion years from now.

I probably came to this theory because I am, by trade, a science-fiction writer. My imagination often stretches to include interesting new scientific tidbits and process them into a good story idea. However, it was while reading Hawking’s book that I realized that science-fiction stories don’t stray that far from theoretical physics. At least, to me it didn’t seem so.

What was most interesting was the concept of Euclidean space-time. This is where space and time merge into a single being. If they are put into a construct of the quantum theory of gravity, then it is theoretical that space and time become like the surface of the earth. This means, that while the earth has a limited, or finite, extent, it is without boundaries. If I could walk around the globe without having to worry about the trivial obstacles of mountains and ocean mass, then I could do so continuously.

Even more simply put, this would mean that space-time had no beginning and no end, instead being just some kind of cycle that incorporates the singularities of the big bang theory and the black holes.

I think it sounds a lot like my theory, I think it could merge to form a sort of infinity, but not the one we all imagined.

Now, having spewed out all that technical jargon kind of fried my brain, and I know that I must have oversimplified it, must have misconstrued something, but I think that this concept works well for me. At least, it works well for the story line I’m gonna write, and really, that’s all I care about. The true fate of the universe and the history of time are not something I truly expect to comprehend.

I know now that it was not the divine inspiration striking me with a theory of physics or the origin of the universe. Rather, it was my muse gently knocking the hell out of my head with a lead pipe. Now just have to listen to her.

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