Is Time slowing down?

18 Jun 2012

At www.dailygalaxy.com June 16th there is a post on 'Dark Energy - does the mysterious anti-gravitational force really exist?' which is a weekend feature up for discussion (with comments). The article focus is on 'space time continuum' and the mathematical equation that time will literally run out - a sort of disappearing universe. The idea it may all one day vanish is described as radical - others might describe by other adjectives, but such speculative ideas arise from the assumption the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. This is what brought about the idea of dark energy - the process required an explanation. The nub of the problem is the expanding universe - but in the paper in Physics Review D, Jose Senovilla et al of the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao and the University of Salamanca claim dark energy is a fiction. Instead, they propose the appearance of acceleration is caused by time itself, gradually slowing down, like a clock with a fading battery. In other words, the expansion of the universe is itself not an illusion but what may be an illusion is the acceleration of the expansion - that it is increasing all the time. Gary Gibbon, a cosmologist from Cambridge University, commenting of the paper, said, 'we believe that time emerged during the Big Bang, and if time can emerge it can also disappear ...' (see also New Scientist and the Daily Telegraph but note the use of the word, believe).