New Theory Says The End of the Universe is Nigh: Howard Bloom's Big Bagel Universe Theory (Explained Simply)

Copyright © by Howard Bloom, 10/6/12


  It took me fifty three years to realize it, but a new theory of the beginning, middle, and end of the universe I hatched in 1959 predicts that the end of the universe may come sooner than you and I may think.  Standard cosmologies predict that the end of the cosmos will not arrive for hundreds of trillions of years.  But the Big Bagel—The Bloom Toroidal Model of the Universe—predicts that the end may be as little as 1.68 billion years away.  Yikes!

   Big Bagel theory appears in my new book The God Problem: How A Godless Cosmos Creates. Dan Schneider asks this question: “Is The God Problem a great book?...like Darwin’s The Origin Of Species, Lyell’s Principles Of Geology, or Newton’s Principia Mathematica?”  That’s an extremely encouraging question for an author to hear.  But as the writer of the book, I’m too close to answer it.  However The God Problem has been endorsed by one Nobel Prize winner, two MacArthur Genius Award winners, one astronaut who walked on the moon, and over twenty three others.  Dudley Herschbach at Harvard University, the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, says The God Problem is "truly awesome. Terrific." Francis Pryor, President of the Council for British Archaeology says, “Bloody hell...What a truly extraordinary book. I'm gob-smacked."  And Penn State loop quantum gravity cosmologist Martin Bojowald gives the greatest compliment a mathematician/theoretical physicist can dole out.  He says The God Problem is not only “entertaining” and “suspenseful”,  but is “rigorous, and thoroughly mathematical.”  So The God Problem’s Big Bagel theory may be worth taking seriously. 

   What is Big Bagel theory?  The easiest explanation is in a new video animation on YouTube.

   And what’s the Big Bagel theory’s importance, if any? The Big Bagel may be the only theory to explain two of science’s biggest mysteries:

1) dark energy; and

2) why there is so much normal matter in this universe and so little anti-matter (the parity problem).

  One more word before we dive into the Bagel itself. Scientists don’t believe in a new theory until it makes predictions that can be proven true or false.  Big Bagel Theory has already proved its predictive powers.  Again, I conceived  the theory way back in 1959 when I was sixteen years old, the age at which Carl Friedrich Gauss made his first mathematical discoveries.  I had been involved in theoretical physics and cosmology since I was ten years old.  In 1959 I was working for the summer at the world’s largest cancer research facility, The Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY.  I came up with the toroidal model of the universe in a two and a half month period of brainstorming with other Roswell Parkers on the implications of CPT (charge, parity, and time) symmetry.  Then, at the end of the summer, I threw Big Bagel Theory away, convinced that it was comic book science. 

   But the Big Bagel Theory made two predictions—that the cosmos would expand at unbelievable speed in the first flash after the big bang; and that the cosmos’ expansion would slow down, then accelerate again.

  In 1980, Alan Guth confirmed prediction number one--the extraordinary speed of expansion in the newborn universe--with his theory of inflation, a theory that is now standard in cosmology.  And  in 1998, Adam Reiss and nineteen collaborators measured type 1a supernovas, standard candles, and discovered that the cosmos’ expansion had begun to pick up speed 6.02 billion years ago.  Which left a question: where did the energy for that acceleration come from?  Big Bagel Theory answers that question brilliantly.

  So I resurrected Big Bagel Theory and used it to close my new book, The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates.  I was scared witless to do it.  New theories can be trounced, bounced and ridiculed.  But the Big Bagel may be one of the reasons that science junkie and National Magazine Award winner Barbara Ehrenreich says, "If Howard Bloom is only 10 percent right, we'll have to drastically revise our notions of the universe. …Bloom’s argument will rock your world.”  And it may be one of the reasons that Brian Smith McCallum in Library Journal said, "the God Problem is paradigm-shifting.”


  Okay, once again, what the hell is Big Bagel theory?  Here’s a quick Big Bagel primer.

  Among the many brain-teasers in current science are the two you’ve read about above: 

1)  If matter and anti-matter are created simultaneously in equal amounts, why is there so much matter in this universe and so little anti-matter? (The parity problem.)

2)  What the heck is dark energy?

   The Big Bagel, answers both of these questions.

   Imagine a bagel with one of those anally retentive, infinitesimally tiny holes. 

  Your bagel is an Einsteinian manifold, a sheet of time, space, and gravity.  It’s 13.72 billion years ago. An explosion spurts abruptly from the bagel’s hole.  Rocketing up the bagel’s topside is a big bang of matter.  But gushing from the hole on the bottom is an equal and opposite, a big bang of anti-matter.   That’s where all the anti-matter goes.

  In Einsteinian manifolds, the shape of space tells matter how to move.  A steep slope says move fast. Rush.  Race.  Speed. The slopes that funnel upward and downward from the bagel’s hole are steep. That steep curve tells the matter and anti-matter universes to race upward (or downward) and outward at unbelievable speed, the speed known in cosmology as inflation.

   But the traveling orders that space gives to matter change as the two universes approach the flatness of the bagel’s upper and under hump.   The leveling, horizontal curve of space dictates a more leisurely pace.  Like a cannonball reaching the high point of its curve, the universe and anti-matter universe begin to run out of the energy that has shot them apart from each other.

  Which leads to the second physics question of the day. What is dark energy?

  The two universes reach the bagel’s high and low point at the 7.7 billion year mark.  Then the downward slope of the bagel tells them to speed up again.  Why do they accelerate?  Where does the extra energy that rushes galaxies apart from each other come from?  The answer?  Gravity.

  As it slips down the bagel’s outer slope, the normal universe falls under the seductive sway of the anti-matter universe’s gravity and speeds up.   And the anti-matter universe is caught by the come-hither power of the matter universe’s gravity.  It, too, speeds up. 

  How will the universe end?  At the bagel’s outer edge, the two equal but opposite universes will meet and do what matter and anti-matter always do.  They’ll annihilate.  But here’s the trick. They’ll annihilate in a burst of energy.  And thanks to a topological trick, the bagel’s outer rim is also its center.  So the explosion of annihilation will be, guess what?  The next big bang. 



  Where are we on the bagel in 2012?  We passed the bagel’s hump 6.02 billion years ago.  Which puts us perilously close to the big smash at the bagel’s outer edge.  Roughly  1.68 billion years  from that smash.  So pack up your stuff and get ready to be crunched.

  That’s it: the Big Bagel.  A Bagel that explains dark energy.  A Bagel whose shape hints that the end of the cosmos may be nigh.


   But don’t take my word for it.  I’m biased.  Here are a few expert opinions on whether the Big Bagel is worthy of serious scientific consideration:


“It is very thought provoking.  it takes on the asymmetry of matter/antimatter and is therefore worthy of future development by specialists.”

Dr. Gregory L. Matloff, emeritus associate

professor of physics at New York City College of Technology (NYCCT), consultant  for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Fellow of the British interplanetary Society, Hayden Associate at the American Museum of Natural History, and Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics.


“I like the model . I’ll never look at bagels the same way again”

Mark Lupisella, systems engineer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center



Martin Hoffert, emeritus professor of physics, New York University


  And here are more bona fides—




Ralf Aurich et al, “Do we Live in a ‘Small Universe’?” Classical Quantum Gravity, June 21, 2008.


L. Bergstrom and A. Goobar, “Particle Astrophysics and the Dark Sector of the Universe,” in Astrophysics Update, ed. John W. Mason (Berlin: Springer, 2004), 1: 113.


Bojowald, Maartens, Singh, “Loop Quantum Gravity and the Cyclic Universe.”  arXiv.org, September 23, 2004, arXiv:hep-th/0407115 


Martin Bojowald, Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe, (New York: Knopf 2010, Kindle Edition). 


Cédric Deffayet, Gia Dvali, Gregory Gabadadze, “Accelerated Universe from Gravity Leaking to Extra Dimensions,” Physical Review D, 65:044023, 2002.   


Amanda Gefter, “Dark flow: Proof of another universe?” New Scientist, January 23, 2009, pp. 50-53.


Theo Koupelis, In Quest of the Universe (Sudbury MA: Jones & Bartlett, 2011), p. 532. 


Paul L. McFadden, Neil Turok, Paul J. Steinhardt, “Solution of a braneworld big crunch/big bang cosmology,”  Physical Review D, 76, 1040 38 (2007).   


Zeeya Merali, “Doughnut-shaped Universe bites back: Astronomers say Universe is small and finite,” Nature, May 23, 2008.  


A de Oliveira-Costa, M Tegmark, M Zaldarriaga, Andrew Hamilton, “Significance of the largest scale CMB fluctuations in WMAP,” Physical Review D, Volume 69, Issue 6, March 25, 2004.   


Dennis Overbye, “Universe as Doughnut: New Data, New Debate,” New York Times, March 11, 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/ 03/11/science/universe-as- doughnut-new-data-new-debate. html


  (accessed April 16, 2011).


Roger Penrose, Cycles Of Time: An Extraordinary New View Of The Universe (New York: Random House, 2011).  


Adam G. Reiss et al., “Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant,” Astrophysical Journal, September 1998 .  


Brian P. Schmidt et al., “The High-Z Supernova Search: Measuring Cosmic Deceleration and Global Curvature of the Universe Using Type IA Supernovae,” Astronomical Journal, November 1998, pp. 46–63 


M. Tegmark,   “Measuring spacetime: from the big bang to black holes,” Science, May 24, 2002, pp. 1427-1433.  


Yun Wang, Dark Energy (Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2010), p. 219.



Here’s the bottom line.  As far as I’m concerned, the most important judge of the Big Bagel’s validity is you.


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