Is the universe symmetrical?

Symmetry is what we see at a glance; based on the fact that there is no reason for any difference. Pascal

We love patterns. We build our houses following a pattern. We make our dresses following a contour or model. The nature around us also follows formats and likeness. The bees make their honeycombs in hexagonal shapes. The stars, the moon, and the sun also form a specific shape. Could it be that we live in a symmetrical world?

Being symmetrical means having similarities in size, appearance, and relative position of corresponding parts. Symmetry is everywhere around us and whenever it is missing, we can tell immediately that something is not there. Symmetry represents order and we crave order in the universe we find ourselves in.

Many things around us are symmetrical and the closest example that we have is ourselves. Looking at ourselves in the mirror is a definition of symmetry. If we think of an imaginary line running through the mid of our body, it would divide our body into two similar and equal parts. We would have one eye, ear, hand, and leg carefully located on each part. Most animals and insects also follow the same pattern. Even the earth is divided into two hemispheres with an imaginary line called the equator. So, is there a pattern in all these?ย 

Don’t confuse symmetry with balance. Tom Robbins

What is the universe?

When we talk about the universe we talk about everything that exists everywhere. We talk about our planet and the big blue sky; the twinkling stars at night as far as your eyes could see, and everything beyond them. If it is true that there are aliens living in space, their home would also be part of the universe. The universe is so huge that wrapping your head around it might be impossible… ๐Ÿค”

This is what we are trying to examine –ย if there is a pattern in the universe just as we have around us.

Can we make a pattern out of a chaotic world?

Maybe symmetry is only limited to a few things and not the entire world? If you look at the oceans, the valleys, the mountains, and the trees, you may not see any reasonable pattern from them. If you look further into space you would see clusters of stars, asteroids, comets, and other celestial bodies. It doesnโ€™t make much sense to think that there would be a pattern in such a world.

The bigger picture and the Big Bang

We may not be able to judge if the universe is symmetrical or not if we are not looking at the bigger picture. Letโ€™s assume we can step out of the universe and observe it from a far distance. Well, that would be impossible because the universe is everything that exists everywhere… ๐Ÿ˜ถ But we could get a bigger picture from the observable universe! The observable universe is as far as we have seen of the universe either from the earth or from celestial observations. On a larger scale, the disorder lessens and patterns begin to form again.ย 

The galaxies have a pattern connected through some sort of strange force known as dark matter. Although this force cannot be seen, it can be measured through its interaction with gravity. I think the Bang Bang theory could help us understand this better. ๐Ÿ“šโ˜•๏ธ

The Big Bang Theory helps us understand how the universe started. First was an initial state of high density and temperature, then was a sudden expansion that happened within a fraction of a second (or less). After that, the universe cooled down and allowed the formation of sub-particles that formed the stars and galaxies.

The Big Bang depends on two assumptions:

  • physical laws are the same everywhere
  • the universe is homogenous and isotropic.

In the 1960s, two scientists discovered a blanket of microwaves that seem to originate from everywhere in the sky. They are like relics from the beginning of the early stage of the universe about 300,000 years ago. That may look like a lot of time but considering that the universe itself is 13.8 billion years, it is very early.
These waves are evenly distributed and they confirm the homogeneity and isotopy of the universe. Based on this evidence, the universe appears to be symmetrical on a larger scale, but is it symmetrical everywhere? ย We don’t know… The work is still ongoing and there are a lot of secrets to be revealed.ย 

Why are we attracted to symmetry?ย Why do we human beings delight in seeing perfectly round planets through the lens of a telescope and six-sided snowflakes on a cold winter day?ย The answer must be partly psychological.ย I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in.ย Alan Lightman


Next post – Author Interview, JESSICA BAKKERS: Guns of Perditionย 


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34 Responses

  1. This is a really interesting post Victoria. I wonder what triggered it.

  2. All things transient, in a state of everchanging flux – yet by eye, magnification to an nth degree we believe we see, a fixation, the still of a transition, the sub-atomic, molecules, assemblies, fluidic yet form perceived, we and everything a gas really… beginnings, worlds end, blowing in the wind.

  3. Scar to the Poe says:

    I love it when you post dirty! I need a cold shower.

  4. Jerry Laiche says:

    Well chosen words, Vickan. And the perfect day for it as well. Blessed Yule to you and yours on this Solstice Day. Did you see the “Grand Conjunction” this evening? A perfect Christmas star for this festive season ! As to the essay, not only are humans attracted to symmetry, it is crucial to our survival. I remember from my anthropology classes a thousand years ago, that we humans evolved our “pattern recognition” in order to find edibles, plant and animal, in nature (as well as signs of danger). It also made a difference in why most of us are — terrible with names, but never forget a face — faces tell us if we are looking at a friend or enemy.
    So ’nuff said, Happy Holidays, of whatever stripe you celebrate and Good Riddance to 2020 !!!!

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Have a happy holidays- you & your family! :)) yes, what a day yesterday – wow ๐Ÿคฉ ! Agreed, would be difficult to survive & evolve without symmetry ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿง interesting, we r symmetrical bcz the world is symmetrical or the world is symmetrical bcz of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Captivating post, VR. I think humans crave symmetry and fight like hell to get it. A very happy Yuletide to you and Happy New year as well.

  6. kinkyacres says:

    Holiday wishes to ALL!

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Happy holidays for you & your fam, Kinky! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ“šโ„๏ธ I sent you Pearl paperback 3 days ago/

  7. Simon says:

    I love this kind of thing, the thoughts and philosophies it provokes… The universe is beyond our imagination and we’ve only just started working out what it’s made of and so far to go on why and how it is that way. The universe we see (or don’t as in the darkness) is just a small fraction of what it is. What this could mean is beyond imagination.
    Hope you’re good ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ and yes, our universe is fantastic & fascinating ๐Ÿง… just as we are ๐Ÿ˜ƒ:) I wonder if weโ€™ll ever be able to know or understand the truth… in any case, we can continue to read & write about it = study ๐Ÿ™‚
      Have a happy holidays! Stay healthy!

      • Simon says:

        I think there is a real possibility that we might be able to discover the truth but not understand it.
        Thank you, I’ll do my best. You too!

  8. Very interesting! We are naturally attracted to symmetry.

  9. Nisha says:

    That was an interesting read Victoria ! Had never thought about symmetry and balance in this way before . The last quote by Alan Lightman sums it all ” ..we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in.”

  10. masercot says:

    Does symmetry also require physical laws be the same at every time? Because THAT would be tough, especially when the universe was a few microseconds old.

  11. To be honest, i have a soft spot for asymmetrical…in art, people, nature. I find symmetry boring and predictable.

  12. alexraphael says:

    I like how your mind is symetrical but very often asymetrical

  13. Part psychological but also hard-wired in our perfectly symmetrical DNA double helix ๐Ÿ˜‡ BTW, very much enjoying your 2nd volume of absurd stories ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ™ƒ๐Ÿ˜„

    • Victoria Ray NB says:

      true, our dna is also symmetrical ๐Ÿ™‚ good idea/note… and thank you โ˜•๏ธ๐Ÿ“šโœŒ๏ธ