Well this is interesting… (and for once represents cutting edge ideas from the particular focus of the majority of my former research.)
“‘The Universe is about to flip from having three dimensions of space and one of time to having four dimensions of space. That’s the conclusion of a group of Spanish astrophysicists who have calculated that observers inside such a Universe would see it expanding and accelerating away from them just before the flip (abstract, full paper pdf on the physics arXiv). ‘We show that regular changes of signature on brane-worlds in AdS bulks may account for some types of the recently fashionable sudden singularities. Therefore, the fact that the Universe seems to approach a future sudden singularity at an accelerated rate of expansion might simply be an indication that our braneworld is about to change from Lorentzian to Euclidean signature. Both the brane and the bulk remain fully regular everywhere.””
The link below will take you to the discussion and includes links to the paper itself. Apparently the paper is a pre-print and hasn’t made it through peer-review yet, so you may want to take its claims with a bit of salt.
And “soon” is a relative term.
But the interesting point here is that the line of reasoning reminds us that, at least in a certain way of looking at space-time wherein we view it as whole, time as we experience it is only an illusion caused by our being embedded in the manifold itself.
Read the rest here: Slashdot | Time Dimension To Become Space-like
This could be serious. The astronomer in my congregation has noticed that the universe is expanding away from us. I hear he’s not alone. That’s why we get the ‘red shift’ in certain stars. So we must be ‘just before the flip’, non? Is it even worth purchasing the 2008 Parsons Pocket Book? Should I get more furniture instead to fill the extra space? Nick – you gotta help me!