Roger Eugene Hill
The life, career, scientific and spiritual insights of a physicist plus a few excursions into Complexity Science and Art.

The Horizon Model: A Framework for New Physics Beyond ΛCDM
Popular Summary of the Horizon Model Paper

The discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) in 1964 provided experimental evidence that the spacetime in which our universe exists began with the event known as the big bang. Einstein’s theory of General Relativity (GR), that has very successfully explained what we observe about the expansion of classical spacetime, assumes that spacetime, and therefore time, emerged from a single point known as the singularity. This assumption leads to two problems that remain to be resolved.

The first is known as the “cosmological constant problem” and stems from the fact that the expansion of the universe from zero to classical sizes had to have passed through the quantum world existing at the smallest length scale (the Planck scale) of about 10-35 m. According to quantum theory, quantum fields have their minimum energy value within the vacuum. Quanta at the Planck scale would have the highest possible energy density value of about 10123 GeV/m3 (1 GeV is approximately the energy equivalent of the mass of a single Hydrogen atom.). According to GR, the universe has no center so that the singularity, the big bang and the vacuum exist everywhere throughout the universe. But the measured energy density of the universe is about 5 GeV/m3. So, the problem (also known as the “vacuum catastrophe” problem) is: “How can the omnipresent vacuum have an energy density more than 120 orders of magnitude larger than the universe without affecting gravity and disrupting the expansion of the universe?”

The second problem relates to the observed homogeneity of the CMB. The observations indicate that the radiating material producing the CMB had to be in communication long enough to achieve significant bulk uniformity before the radiation began. This would not be possible if the material was emanating from a point source at a more or less constant rate. This problem has been addressed by the theory of cosmic inflation that postulates an initial very rapid expansion before normal (GR) expansion began. But a problem remains in that the mechanisms that could have driven inflation have not yet been identified.

A third problem has recently arisen because of the statistically significant difference between two measurements of the Hubble constant that measures the rate of expansion of spacetime. One measurement (by the Planck collaboration) is based on features of the CMB indicative of conditions in the early universe and the other measurement (by the SH0ES team) is derived from astronomical observations made by the Hubble Telescope that are representative of conditions in the late time universe. According to the standard (ΛCDM) model of cosmology, the Hubble constant should be the same now as it was at the beginning of the expansion of the universe. The discrepancy between the two measurements was headlined in the March, 2020, edition of Scientific American as "A Cosmic Crisis"

This paper proposes a model of cosmology, the Horizon Model, that: eliminates the “cosmological constant problem”; provides a mechanism explaining the existence and magnitude of cosmic inflation; and, allows for the possibility of the Hubble constant varying with cosmological time. The model also provides room for the physical existence of a non-local reality (a region without time/causality) that would explain the paradox of “spooky action at a distance” demonstrated to exist in recent experiments on quantum entanglement.

The essence of the model is that the big bang is not a naked singularity but is at the center of a white hole and that time and all of local reality emerges from the event horizon surrounding the singularity. The key assumption is that the interior of the white hole is non-local space and the local quantum fields all have their zero-points on the horizon and all quantum Hamiltonians obtain their time-dependence on the horizon. The model has a number of similarities to the AdS/CFT toy universe model that is the subject of much current interest. The paper identifies several experiments that could potentially falsify the Model.

Publication History of the Paper

After officially retiring from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in 2001 I worked for a number of years as a contractor/consultant to one of the physics groups at LANL. When funding for the contracts eventually ran out I lost LANL institutional support and all the work I've done since then has been done as an "independent researcher". As such I have relied on the research literature that is available in "open access" publications. The other forms of research literature are "subscription" publications that either institutions or independent researchers must pay to read. (Though I have published scores of papers through the American Physical Society (APS) and other publishers, I would have to pay up to $40 just to read one of my own papers!)

I am determined to provide open access to this paper. The usual way that is done is for the institution or author to pay to have the paper published at fees ranging from $2,200 to $3,600. APS began publishing in 2019 an open-access journal called Physical Review Research that is waving the author's fee for papers submitted in 2019. I submitted this paper to them in September, 2019, and received the following reply: "We have examined your manuscript and conclude that it is not suited for Physical Review Research. We make no judgment on the correctness of the work, only on its suitability according to our other criteria." They went on to suggest that I submit the paper to another more specialized journal.

There is another option for "open access" through the preprint server arXiv supported by the Simons Foundation and Cornell University. My attempts to have my paper published on arXiv have not been successful because of their policy regarding first time authors on arXiv. Since I am not a member of the community of theoretical physicists arXiv has asked me to obtain endorsements from authors who have recently published papers on arXiv in the same subject category as my paper. None of my professional acquaintances qualify as endorsers acceptable to arXiv. I have emailed the paper to several well-known theorists and arXiv endorsers who I thought might find the paper of interest but have received no responses. It seems the community can't believe I'm right but is unable or unwilling to prove me wrong. I have no other recourse than to publish the paper here on my own website in hopes that someday some open-minded colleague(s) will endorse the paper for publication on arXiv.

A pdf of the paper is available in the following window. The symbol on the cover page is one of the oldest written words ever discovered, dating back to around 3,000 BC. This hieroglyph, called Akhet, depicts the sun rising over a mountain and is the ancient Egyptian word for horizon.

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