If all the matter within the Universe is nothing more than the debris field of the Big Bang, then what caused the galaxies to form in the first place? I discussed what I believe to be part of the answer to this question in the previous post, finally concluding that Galaxies form at points where Universal Expansion causes spacetime to break down, cavitating into regions of non-flat spacetime. I call this process, Spacetime Cavitation.
I submit that most galaxies form as regions of Spacetime Cavitation like this, and quite possibly, all of them. To fully grasp this concept requires that we no longer think of galaxies as collections of matter, but as regions of curved spacetime that happen to contain matter. Galaxies do not begin as regions of coalescing matter, but as regions of Spacetime Cavitation, which are otherwise largely empty when cavitation begins. In fact, this cavitation probably occurs most commonly in regions that are pristinely empty of matter, but I will touch more upon this in the future.
As a level-set, the following assertions spell this concept out more succinctly:
- Galaxies are large regions of curved spacetime.
- Galaxies usually begin at points where Spacetime Cavitation occurs, which is generally caused by the stresses of Universal Expansion.
If the matter within galaxies did not originate from the Big Bang, then where did it come from? This leads to the next important part of my hypotheses: I submit that matter forms as a byproduct of Spacetime Cavitation.
We are used to thinking of E = mc2 in terms of mass/energy equivalence. The concept of conservation of mass/energy also comes into play here, which tells us that within a closed system, mass is neither created nor destroyed, but only changes state between matter and energy. I believe that this assertion is only partially correct.
I submit that matter, whether in the state of mass or energy, has a counterpart within the realms of non-physical Spacetime, which surfaces during Spacetime Cavitation. When subjected to extreme cavitation, an applicable unit of Spacetime is converted into its physical counterpart (mass and/or energy). Said another way: Matter is a byproduct of Spacetime Cavitation. And, the physical product of this event is almost always hydrogen and/or radiation.
This assertion meshes very well with the BBC News article about the Star-less Galaxy mentioned in the previous post (and I am compelled to mention again, that this expectation predated my discovery of the article). This star-less galaxy has form and structure - and even rotation - but contains no stars. It contains virtually nothing but hydrogen, the lightest element.
If this hydrogen were floating in a region of typically flat, intergalactic space, it would almost certainly continue to do so forever, or until it came into contact with some other influencing factor such as another galaxy (highly unlikely), or simply dissipate. But, at some point in the incomprehensible future, this galaxy will begin to fill with stars, and those stars will pass through their life cycles to produce heavier elements, and within a billion years or so, it will have the appearance of a typical, visible young galaxy, full of incubating stars. These stars would have no chance of forming were it not that this body of hydrogen - by no coincidence - is located within a pre-existing galactic structure.
To summarize; with respect to galaxy formation, hydrogen produced as a byproduct of Spacetime Cavitation, which lacks sufficient mass to coalesce into stars by reason of its own gravity when sparsely distributed, reacts to the Gravity Well within which it was produced, spiraling and coalescing to produce stars and other visible objects within galaxies - again, like bits of Styrofoam floating upon a whirlpool of water draining from a kitchen sink.
Rather than thinking of the entire Universe as having a fixed amount of mass and energy, it is likely more accurate to think at galactic scales. Once a galaxy forms and matures to the point where Spacetime Cavitation abates, the galaxy will receive no more hydrogen to fuel its physical processes.
This means that our current understanding of what galaxies are, should change slightly. Wikipedia defines a galaxy like this:
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter.
This definition is good, of course, but not entirely accurate. I submit the following definition:
A galaxy is a large region of curved spacetime, which typically takes the shape of a spiral, and often contains matter such as stars, stellar remnants, and an interstellar medium of gas and dust.
The typical lifecycle of a galaxy is as follows (actually, how galaxies may end their lives is not included here):
- Galaxies first appear at points where Universal Expansion stresses the spacetime fabric to the point of cavitation; Spacetime Cavitation.
- The region of spacetime where cavitation occurs generally, but not necessarily, responds by taking the shape of a rotating spiral. The non-flat shape of these spirals manifest as gravitation in much the same way that spacetime curvature resulting from the presence of mass also produces gravity.
- Matter (usually hydrogen) produced as a byproduct of cavitation, responds to the gravitational influences of locally curved spacetime, naturally collecting within the trenches of the underlying spirals (the spiral arms), where it begins to coalesce into stars. As the stars continue to grow, they produce areas of increased spacetime curvature - localized Gravity Wells - that continue to accelerate their own formation and the birth of Solar Systems.
- The birth of new galaxies, encompassing the initial Spacetime Cavitation event, production of matter, and continuing to the point where stars begin to form in earnest, typically spans a period of 200 million years.
- Matter continues to follow the gravitational trail from the outer regions of galaxies to eventually form one or more black holes at their centers.