Now they say it is shaped like a trumpet

Category: Life & Society, Nature & Science Topics: Universe Views: 30856

At first they thought it was flat. Then that it was shaped like a football. But now, scientists believe the universe could be shaped like a flat-sided trumpet.

That would lead to strange effects in some parts of the universe, where time and light would be so curved that you could see the back of your own head. Also, a long-held theory about the universe - that it looks much the same anywhere - would have to be abandoned. And finally, the universe would be finite, rather than extending in every direction forever.

The new shape, predicted by careful mathematical modeling to fit with known astronomical data, would have the universe stretched out into a long funnel, flaring into a bell-like shape at one end. The thin end would be infinitely long - but so narrow that it would have a finite volume.

The "bell" of the trumpet would also be peculiar: it would flare out, but a spaceship that could somehow navigate towards the open end would eventually find itself flying back along the "outside surface" of the bell.

The research by a team of German physicists led by Frank Steiner at the University of Ulm is reported in New Scientist magazine.

Their theory uses a complex mathematical model called a "Picard topology", named after a mathematician rather than the Star Trek character. It would mean the universe has a finite volume, although you would not be aware of its "edges"; they would seem to be part of the rest of space.

The concept follows a close examination of the dramatic data produced by Nasa, the US space agency, in 1996, which showed that the very faint microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang 13 billion years ago was not evenly spread throughout the cosmos. This lack of evenness - called "anisotropy" - suggested that large-scale models of the shape of the universe, previously thought to be a flat expanse of space-time, were wrong.

Ever since then, cosmologists have puzzled over what the data from the Cosmic Background Explorer (Cobe) spacecraft could tell them about the space-time "shape" of the universe. One rival group proposed last year that the universe was shaped instead like a football. But that would have left a particular pattern of background radiation - which has not been found by further experiments.

In the "flat" space of conventional cosmology, small "blobs" - hot and cold spots - in background radiation should be round. But observations show that instead they are ellipses. The curve of a horn-shaped universe can explain this, says Professor Steiner.

The "space" in any small part of the "horn" is saddle-shaped, like a Pringles potato crisp. Such a "negatively curved" space would act as a warped lens, distorting the image around the blobs so they look elliptical to astronomers.

Another property of a "trumpet" universe would be that large blobs more than about 60 degrees across would be absent. So far, scientists have also found this to be the case.

But if the team at Ulm is right, scientists will have to abandon one of the fundamental tenets of cosmology - that all parts of the cosmos are about the same. Holger Then, a member of Professor Steiner's team, told New Scientist: "If one happens to find oneself a long way up the narrow end of the horn, things indeed look very strange, with two very small dimensions."

At an extreme enough point, you would be able to see the back of your own head. Over the next year or so, astronomers will test whether large blobs really are lacking in cosmic microwave background radiation and small ones really are elliptical.


Source: The Independent 

Additional References:

Big Bang glow hints at funnel-shaped Universe 

Additional IslamiCity Notes:

When we see scientific discoveries through the prism of the Quran it helps us in understanding the complexity and awe-inspiring nature of creation. Scientific discoveries are evolutionary, at the same time our belief is that God has sent down the Quran for all ages. As we acquire new knowledge our understanding of creation and how we see them in light of the Quran will transform.

It is interesting to note the following Quranic verses in light of the above discovery about the cosmos.

It is He (God) who created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): the day He said, "Be," behold! it is. His word is the truth. His will be the dominion the day the trumpet will be blown. He knows the unseen as well as that which is open. For He is the Wise, well acquainted (with all things)
Quran 6:73

The trumpet will (just) be sounded, when all that are in the heavens and on earth will swoon, except such as it will please Allah (to exempt)...
Quran: 39:68

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  32 Comments   Comment

  1. sulaiman isaac from nigeria

    As i read the article,i was left dumbfounded . because of the strange thougth that came into my mind

  2. B. Matin from canada

    As-salamu-alaikum : The "trumpet" mentioned the Quran(6:73 & 39:68)

    is the one that'll be blown by the arch angel Israafeel (aka Raphael).Raphael's trumpet is unrelated to the present trumpet-like shape of the cosmos deduced by Frank Steiner et. al.

  3. yasmeen from India

    As salamu Alaikum,

    Here trumpet means what - what we actually heard is that trumpet referred to the instrument which will be blown by the angel Israfil. could you please explain in detail, it i am wrong.

    Jazak Allah Khairan Kaseera

  4. Nizam from US

    Well, the theory is ever changing. None of the theory can be regarded as absolute truth. Therefore, whether it contradicts or supports what has been revealed, muslim should not loose their faith on God. All I believe that there is a God, who is the designer and creater of all things. Nothing can exist without a creater. So universe and whatever on earth and heaven is due to God. Thats all. Let people propose theory in favour or against the existence of God, and let God decide whether they are right or wrong in the Judgement Day. I do not see any point in defending God as He is quite capable of defending himself and do not need the help of human beings!

  5. Siraj Zarook from UK

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    I read the artical, was fine, Some words I did not understand. I dont want to say I am agreed bcos if it is not we cant say ok then that is not the case. Other thin I want tell u is very recently I received email about a sun rises from west on Mars. So just thought to forwatd it if u guys can find the truth about the source of the news

    The Emaail is:

    Please read, very interesting article.

    The science of astronomy states that the speed of planet Mars has been decreasing in its course toward the eastern direction in the few past weeks to the level we notice the "waver" between the east and the west..and on Wednesday the 30th of July the planet movement stopped going toward the eastern direction..

    Then in the months of August and September...Mars changed its course in the opposite direction to the West- and that until the end of September..which means the sun will rise now from the west on Mars!!

    And this weird phenomena of the opposite movement called "Retrograde Motion" Most scientist state that all the planets will go through the same once at least and our planet Earth is one of them. Planet Earth will move in the opposite direction some day and the sun will rise from the west!!

    This might occur soon and we are unaware!

    The rise of the sun from the west is mentioned in the hadith and this is the major sign of the day of judgment, most if not All, the minor signs have occured. Wake up.

    Our beloved messenger Mohamed (Peace Be Upon Him) said: "One of the signs of the hour..the sun will rise from the west, where no longer tauba (forgiveness) will be granted" !!

    And the strange thing..most of our Shariah scholars mentioned that the rise of the sun from the west occurs only once..on that day..the sun will rise from the west..then again from the east..and continues until Allah wishes..and this is similar to what is happening to stops, then it changes its course of direction for a short

  6. khadijah from USA

    Interesting theory. A little beyond my scope of knowledge but also in accordance that ALL knowledge is bestowed from Allah.

    We live in one fo the most exciting ages in human history,according to my understanding.

    All else has been purposed with intense intent of understanding except our Universe and the Bestower of the Realm. What else is there to engage in except the enormity of our ignorance and the directives, by the Grace of God, to transcend mundane interests and attempt to approach the exactness of a worthy life's pursuit.

  7. Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi from Pakistan


    On day someone might discover that at the end of the narrow side of the trumpet, there starts infinity.

  8. shabeer ahamed from India

    who knows ,ALLAAH knows everthing.

    Man must know his minds,which is ever changing.

  9. Rachel from USA

    Dear H.A.:

    I think that comment you made was uncalled for and it really only makes you seem uneducated or brutish. How might that comment make an innocent American feel (such as one who is a fellow believer)? I would have been much more interested to hear a constructive criticism of the subject at hand than to read your rantings.

    By the way, the article is interesting and I am reading all of the comments.

  10. H.A. from ....

    I completely disagree. The Universe is shaped like Palestine and Iraq and filled with cheap oil.

    What a news for the Zionists and the American thugs!!!

  11. M. Fakhreddine from USA

    I'm glad to see a scientific article here. Most people see religion as contradicting science, while the spread of Islam brought about an age of scientific discovery.

  12. bilnihal from Australia

    Hmmm, I am confused. Now doesn't that clash the idea of BigBang? Very strange indeed.

  13. Bilnihal

    Assalamu Aleykum,

    It is good to see that you try to show that everything is in the Quran,existing(eventhough you do not need it).However as Ahmed said do not apply

    that every single detail.You know that this is just a theory it can be proven or disproven.Therefore if you compare it with Quranic verses you might actually can show something does not exist as it is existing and misguide the people.Ofcourse Allah(C.C) knows the best and He just revealed the truth yet the Quran is not an easy book that we can fully understand and even scientists can.As you know in science every discovery corrupts the old one so we can not jump to the conculusion.Today science tries to answer some paradoxes that it has put forward such as the root of humanity.First human sample has changed many times and expected to change so it is not good to rely on science while Quran lies there for us. Jazakumullah Khair, we all know you have good intentions.First of all it is the intention that counts however just we need to be bit more patient before we try to do something for Islam.Especially the media groups should be very careful and picky about their articles.


  14. ailia from iran

    Alhamdulillah,its great to see how insignificant we are in the kingdom of Allah(swt) and an answer worth questioning the disbelievers.

  15. ISNANTO C.N. from Indonesia


    Its a interesting article,but we should becarefull with the new scientific theory. Scientific theory will always growth, a new theory would be a old theory and nobody use it again. but thats a gr8 service, thanks


  16. Ahmad Shalizi from U.S.

    As salamu alay'kum,

    We should be careful and not compare the Holy Scriptures to scientific discoveries. Science can contradict itself and/or reposition it's theories as new information becomes apparent, "today's cosmology is tomorrow joke".

    Allah SWT knows best,


  17. Mohamed Soeb from India

    This is gr8, Islam is the only thruth, I love this site & specially this article is wonderful, to show how Islam is connected to science. This site provides a gr8 insight into the Islam & humanity. Best of luck & keep it up, gr8 service

  18. Usman Ali Hannan from Bangladesh

    Dear Israfil, I think the term 'infinitely narrow'tail of the universe is a theoritical concept, like those bell-curves of statistics that have two infinite narrow tails. In reality, the tail of the trumpet should be so infinitely narrow that it doesn't exist any more but for pure mathematical notion. As Charles Arthur said, "The thin end would be infinitely long - but so narrow that it would have a finite volume." Whenever theoritical physicists reach their limitation of understanding, they use such confusing and contradictory terms based on pure mathematical analysis.

    My understanding is, if we want to be very precise, then Calculus has its limitations! And mathematicians are well aware of it!! One of my math prof once said, " We all do cheating and mathematicians are no exceptions" !!

  19. Israfil from United States

    Interesting artile. I'm not sure what to make of this particular theory because it redefines the shape of an "infinite" universe. Now the problem with this theory aside its mathematical implications is that if not end extends to another infinite end how does something infinite "curves" with respect to time?

    Well this was explained but its still interesting how the universe who form a trumphant and the end would be infinitely narrow. Hmm how interesting....

  20. Adam from malaysia

    I'm totally agree slightly after i remember Israfil's trumpet in Quranic verse 6:73. SubhanAllah, how come we as Muslim are not make use of Quran for research but instead, other people other than Muslim always discovers the mysteries ot he universe. I think if we as Muslim use the Quran as guidance in their research, for sure we can find out much faster than Non-muslim! The guide is there, just use it! Contact me for further discussion.

  21. Adil Imtiaz from USA

    Asalaam-Alaikum brother Aslam,

    The Big Bang is now a scientific fact and not mere theory anymore. This is a fact that will not change, just like the Earth being round.

    Allah SWT mentioned it to us more than 1400 years

    ago in the Glorious Quran. For more details check out Dr. Zakir Naik's lectures.

  22. Usman Ali Hannan from Bangladesh

    Very well-thought points, brother Yaseen.

  23. Musrur Rahman from Canada

    Assalamu alaikum.

    SubhanAllah!! Can we extend this theory with the What Allah Subhana Ta'ala says in Qur'an that the trumpet will be blown in Dooms day!! All glory belongs only to Allah, The Almighty.

  24. yaseen from United Kingdom

    It is so tempting to try to find an agreement between the Scientific ideas and the Quranic verses.

    We must be wary about reading too much into what people of science promote.

    Having spent a life long passion of understanding Physics and Allah's Law, I have realised that 'no scientist was ever wrong!'

    How can this be?

    Well the answer lies in the Quran, in which Allah, plainly tells us, that He is the Master of All Perceptions.

    This means that no matter how we want to explain our existence, the universe etc.

    Allah will make our perception become valid and show the limitless nature.

    A bit like living in a kaleidoscope.

    So every theory to explain the universe is true, for us, because Allah makes it so.

    The real reality is not our universe, at all.

    "And the trumpet is blown", could well be the universe being flushed out.

    But why is it blown?

    That is what we, as muslims, can answer.

    The reality is the 'deeds' we committed when we were alive, on Earth, not the Earth which nurtured us.

    It was a mere Perception of the Almighty, the Tremendous.

  25. Jon Max Reger from USA

    I wish to some additional information regarding this article. To wit, I would like to know what type of musical instruments existed when this was revealed. Is it truly a trumpet, or a horn? What are the shapes of these instruments, and how are these represented mathematically? I would also like to see the math demonstrating why the universe is not spherical in nature. I think it is important that this new information not only demonstrates what shape the universe is, but also that it demonstrates what shapes the universe is not. Are there any other shapes that could also be represented by this data? Any additional detail information along these lines would be most welcome. I would pose the question to everyone, "Are there any other ways that this verse may be interpreted?"

  26. Aslam from Pakistan

    Bismillah, AoA

    Dear brothers and sisters

    When the Big bang theory was dominant, many clerics found proves in AL-Quran for it. Is it that AL-QURAN is wrong. Lets remember that sciense is ever changing, and we should be carefull with combining theories with the holy measage. Sciense is oppening doors to wonders of ALLAH swt. and we should all appriciate that.


  27. g.l. from u.s.a.

    it's just a hypothesis that fits the available data at the moment. i think they are going to conduct further background radiation studies soon. that should give us more answers.

    p.s. this does nothing to prove the existence or non-existence of god!

  28. Nuraini from Malaysia

    Now, now my friends. Don't let's jump to conclusions in interpreting the Quran. Science is definitely interesting, and many scientific facts help us understand it better and concur with the revelations, but bear in mind many exciting theories are just that, theories, for now.

  29. Sabry Jiffry from Sri lanka



  30. Hashim Munawar from hongkong


    Assalamu alaikum

    Ya! thats true, as told by a famous us scientist



  31. Usman Ali Hannan from Bangladesh

    Physics and mathematics also decisively proves the existence of Allah.In mathematics, we often use a very strong and rigorous logical argument popularly known as 'proof by contradiction'. We can follow the same procedure to prove the existence of God!!

    Lets assume there is no God.

    This implies that nothing in the universe has been created.

    If this is so, then the universe and everything within it has existed since eternity.

    However, in the twentieth century, this notion of the eternal existence of our universe has been proven completely wrong by the 'Big Bang Theory'. It is now a well-established fact of Physics based on rigorous mathematical arguments and astronomical observations that the universe that we see has a definite beginning. So, the universe had a beginning. A solid contradiction!

    We can also have a direct contradiction if we assume that the universe existed for eternity. Let's assume it!! Then, if 't' is the age of the universe (with all its contents we consider them a single set), then it must be that the limit of 't' approaches infinity. If the age of the universe approaches infinity, than all its contents must also exist since infinity. But you will immediately say that no plants or animals exist for infinity. They have a definite beginning and an ending within their domain of the universe. Lo and behold!!! We have a contradiction! Hence the universe cannot exist for infinity.

    Therefore, the universe has a beginning (as decisively proven by both Big Bang Theory or simple logical arguments). If the universe has a beginning, then we have two options:

    1) It spontaneously generated.

    2) It has been created.

    The first option implies self-creation out of nothing. If it has been the case, then the universe known to us would immediately collapse. If a 'Big Bang' can spontaneously occur once, why isn't it happening again!! Thus the primary elements around us show any sign of self-generation, let alone coming out of nothing? The answer is

  32. Hudd D'Alhamd from Canada

    This is fantastic! How many universes could be there aside of our trumpet! Like other, tubas and bugles?! And then we argue over insignificant issues for such a tremendous universe! Where are we humans in this trumpet? How insignificant can we be and what a great puffed up attitude we can have! This is what I was talking about, why can't USA spend the half trillion dollars on colonizing the space instead of killing their human brethren in Iraq and other places. God, I'm mad!