Global newspapers (BBC News, The New York Times, The Guardian, Forbes, et al) are raising alarm over the crisis in both physics and cosmology. An article in the New York Times (NYT), highlighted the ‘crisis in cosmology’ unraveled by the James Webb Space telescope and warned about an inevitable scientific revolution [Ref.1]. Another article, again in the NYT [Ref.2] claimed that based on American DESI findings, astronomers got ‘Dark Energy’ all wrong. Yet another NYT article highlighted the crisis in Physics [Ref.3]. An article in The Guardian announced that the two pillars of modern physics are fundamentally incompatible, and are in bitter conflict [Ref. 4a]. Physics faces crisis on multiple fronts [Ref. 4b]. Professor Fulvio Melia [Ref.5] has seriously challenged the presently accepted model of the universe, the Standard model of cosmology (**SMC**), and attacked its severe shortcomings. He declared that it is time for a complete paradigm shift. Professor Pavel Kroupa has claimed that the crisis in cosmology is now catastrophic [Ref.6]. Physics and cosmology are intimately linked. Physics and cosmology are both in crisis because of wrong model of the universe. A *Nature Astronomy* paper [Ref.7] claimed with 99% confidence level that the universe is closed. Another paper [Ref.8] claimed betting odds of 2000 ∶ 1 against an open, flat and infinite universe. Both papers have mortally wounded the **SMC**, but have paved the way for superseding the two greatest theories of physics (Einstein’s relativity and quantum mechanics) into a ‘theory of everything’. A scientific revolution is coming soon.

The most important discovery about the universe happened in the early 20th century at Mt. Wilson Observatory. Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding. But that is not the end of the story, because the presently accepted model of the universe cannot even satisfactorily answer an innocent question which a child might ask "if the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?" Even more embarrassingly, scientists have not been able to locate a center of the universe. Scientists try to avoid the question by taking refuge to 'an infinitely large universe'. But there is a big problem. In the vastness of the cosmos, each galaxy can be considered as a point mass. Even when the number of galaxies (n) tends to infinity, the powerful formula for ‘center of mass’ guarantees that there remains a single point as the center of mass. The mere invocation of infinity will not dissuade anyone from the conclusion that there is indeed a center. Only a balloon shaped universe can rescue cosmology from this situation. There is a true center of the balloon, but it does not lie anywhere on the surface. The only difference is: a balloon has a 2D surface, and exists in 3D space; while the (hyper) balloon universe has a 3D surface and exists in 4D (hyper) space. The inflating balloon analogy for an expanding universe is perfect. Readers might object to a 4D (hyper) space, which is never observed in daily life. However, one must note that a 2D being will never be aware of the presence of an embedding third dimension (3D). This situation has been highlighted in the novella ** Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions**, written by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott (published in 1884 by Seeley & Co. of London). Similarly, any human trapped in a 3D (hyper) surface will never be aware of the embedding 4D (hyper) space.

[**This long, single paragraph is only for scientists and experts in this field:** Before opposing this model because of requirement of a fourth space (spatial) dimension, one must note that hints of the 4th space (spatial) dimension have already been detected by two separate research teams, one in the US and one in Europe[Ref. 9, 10]. Both of these experiments, utilized a phenomenon known as the quantum Hall effect, and strongly hinted that the true geometry of nature is 4D. It is within this 4D vacuum that the (hyper) balloon universe is embedded, and into which the universe is expanding. Nature's true geometry is also revealed and demonstrated by the ‘Principle of Least Action (**PLA**)', from which ALL KNOWN laws of physics can be derived. **PLA** can be generalized to the ‘Principle of Maximum Proper Time', which reduces to a shockingly simple statement: "*The least distance between two points in 4D (hyper) space is a straight line*". That should be sufficient to convince any scientist, but nature goes farther still. Kaluza’s miracle of obtaining Maxwell’s equations in addition to Einstein’s field equations [Ref.11] seemed to exact a heavy price: A fifth dimension was needed as an embedding space. However, four dimensions are sufficient (and electromagnetic phenomena are obtained as bonus). The 4th dimension was mistaken for a fifth dimension because of improper understanding of imaginary numbers. Further, before claiming that evidences and observations points against any embedment in a higher dimension space, readers should kindly note that most of the objections (like absence of infinite towers of particles required for validation of Kaluza-Klein theory, which is a membrane theory in a higher dimension embedment) are based on wrong assumption of Oscar Klein. His analogy of embedment in a higher dimensional space with a hose-pipe (having a physically curled-up dimension) has pushed physics away from a miraculous unification to a blind alley. Even, the logics like “Forces fall off with the square of distance, not the cube” and “One can block cubes by surrounding them on 6 sides, without needing to block 24 sides” fail to disprove the existence of 4th space dimension, because every particle and every force (including gravity) are confined within the 3D (hyper) surface. And most importantly, very soon Euclid telescope or the DESI (Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument) team can conclusively find out whether the universe is embedded in a 4th space dimension or not.]

Edwin Hubble had observed that galaxies are moving away from Earth at speeds proportional to their distance. In other words, the farther they are, the faster they are moving away from Earth. Scientists realized that this particular form of Hubble's law made sense if an inflating balloon is used as an analogy of the universe. Indeed they were right, and their idea **should not** have been discarded. The wall of the inflating balloon universe is made up of invisible and unnoticeable scalar fields (somewhat similar to invisible electric and magnetic fields, but the field strength does not fall off with distance). Particles like electrons, protons and neutrons are mere excitations/resonances in this field, just as the stunningly accurate 'Quantum Field Theory' insists. Since stars and planets and even humans are made up of particles, therefore every matter is eternally trapped within the 3D hypersurface of field which makes up the wall of the (hyper) balloon universe.

It is unfortunate that scientists had not realized that the FLRW metric, which is the heart of SMC, actually paints this picture of the universe. An analogy to a party balloon can illustrate his point. As the balloon inflates, two things happen simultaneously. 1) A dot on the wall of the balloon moves away from the true center of the balloon along the radius of the balloon. This is what the temporal part of FLRW metric says. However, humans cannot sense this movement, just as humans cannot sense the movement of the earth around the sun. Movement along the radius of the universe appears as passage of time for trapped humans. 2) Nearby dots on the balloon appear to move farther away from each other due to the stretching of the wall of the balloon. This gives rise to Hubble's law. [NOTE: - A simple calculation of the Hubble constant value for this balloon model gives 71.002 km/s/Mpc, and it lands right between the two measured values (69.8 km/s/Mpc and 74 km/s/Mpc) that are now being fought over by the two powerful groups within the cosmology community.]

This model of the universe compels a revision of SpaceTime concept, which is essential for rescuing both physics and cosmology from present crisis. The biggest mistake in Science is the concept of four-dimensional 'SpaceTime continuum' (Ref.12). Einstein and Minkowski merged the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time into a single, 4D manifold called SpaceTime. This leads to a ‘block universe’ view in which there is no distinction between the past, the present and the future, and all three of them simultaneously coexist. This view is in stark contrast to everyday human experience, as well as contrasts with an astonishing number of observations in the whole of science. In fact, an entire book has been written to highlight this glaring mistake [The arrow of time: the quest to solve science’s greatest mystery (Peter Coveney, Roger Highfield)].

The inflation of the balloon universe is the cause for both the ever increasing entropy (the crucial second law of thermodynamics), as well as the unidirectional flow of time. Time itself is not the fourth dimension, but emerges due to motion along fourth space dimension [Ref.13]. This is self-evident since time does not possess the unit of distance (meter or yard or mile) which would have given it the status of a true (space or spatial) dimension. Time = Distance/Velocity.

The above-mentioned mistake arose from improper/incomplete understanding of imaginary numbers [Ref.14]. In fact, science is standing on shaky mathematical pillars, which guarantees a scientific revolution [Ref.15]. An imaginary sign hides in the crucial Minkowski-Einstein SpaceTime equation. Although, immensely successful, it is **NOT **an equation of 4D SpaceTime continuum. It all boils down to one missing dimension, which has created a mess in physics and cosmology. Every SpaceTime metric (e.g. FLRW metric, Minkowski metric, and even the Schwarzchild metric which is the foundation for our present understanding of gravity) are mathematically accurate, but have a completely different physical interpretation from what is currently accepted. The temporal part of both FLRW metric and Minkowski metric are similar (and implies that the 3D hypersurface is moving with a velocity **c** along the 4th dimension). That has been completely ignored by scientists while creating a model for the universe, and emphasis is put only on the scale factor a(t), which plays the role of Hubble's law. In fact, Relativity is all about being trapped in the surface wall of the expanding (hyper) balloon universe, but being free to move along any three mutually perpendicular x, y and z axes.

Balloon model of the universe implies the existence of two different frames of reference (viewpoints): the center of the universe viewpoint, and the viewpoint of humans from an awkward peripheral position in the universe. As already mentioned, relativity is human viewpoint, while quantum mechanics is Nature’s viewpoint (or God’s viewpoint) from the center of the universe. The universe is perceived differently from each viewpoint, but it is precisely this which allows the reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Both theories arise naturally like two sides of the same coin in this model, and hence can supersede both theories. These concepts have profound implications for several concepts like field-particle duality, Lagrangian–Hamiltonian duality, and quantum entanglement. The crucial conservation laws of physics arise from the simple balloon shape of the universe (via Noether's theorem on symmetry). Even the internal symmetries like U(1), SU(2) and SU(3), which gives rise to all the forces and particles of the Standard Model of particle physics arises naturally from this model as the transition from one viewpoint (3+1) to another viewpoint (1+3) takes place with decreasing size scale, passing through intermediate (2+2) fractal SpaceTime of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics [Ref.16].

From the centre of universe viewpoint, simultaneity is absolute (as demanded by Sagnac effect), and there is indeed absolute universal time (as demanded by quantum mechanics) because the time passed since the Big Bang is simply a function of the radius of the universe. From human viewpoint, locality is absolute, and velocity **c **is the upper limit, and remains constant for every observer. Those were Einstein’s firm belief, which were later shattered by Quantum Entanglement experiments (which led to the award of year 2022’s Nobel Prize in Physics). The constancy of the speed of light turn human’s conception of space and time into inseparable twins, and relative concept. This solves the *problem of time* ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_time ) which so stubbornly resisted the reconciliation of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity. Relativity changes into the realm of Quantum Mechanics with decreasing size scale due to exchanging roles of time and space. Three space dimensions and one time dimension (3+1) is sub-luminal (i.e. ‘inside the light cone’ realm of Relativity), while 1+3 is super-luminal (i.e. ‘outside the light cone’) and is the realm of Quantum Mechanics [Ref. 17, 18]. Every spooky Quantum phenomena arises naturally from super-luminal possibility.

All three key steps to overthrow ruling scientific theories are met, and a major scientific revolution is inevitable. Soon, Euclid telescope's data will show that the universe is positively curved, and hence is necessarily closed and finite [Ref.19]. It will also prove that both Dark Energy and Dark Matter are tightly correlated to Normal Baryonic Matter, and hence unnecessary, and arise from wrong interpretation of General relativity. Euclid telescope has completed its commissioning and is taking data in full scientific mode since 14th February, 2024.

Both pillars of modern physics (i.e. Relativity and Quantum Mechanics) arise naturally like two sides of the same coin in the 'inflating (hyper) balloon' model of the universe. Hence it can supersede both theories, as well as replace the Standard Model of Cosmology.

**REFERENCES **(Available online): https://zenodo.org/doi/10.5281/zenodo.12785430

**About:**

Mr. Joseph T. Kurien (a former Cochin University graduate who completed his M.S. in the US) is an independent researcher and a part-time science writer. He presently works in Manappuram software and consultancy.

Manappuram Software Company was established in 2002. It ventured into consultancy and digital solutions in 2007. Mr. Joseph Kurien joined Manappuram software and consultancy in 2009 and played a key role as projects manager. He was also involved in the expansion of the company in the Middle East and Gulf region, where the Keralite community has a significant presence. He has ambitious plans to open two branch offices in the United States in the near future.

Media Contact**Company Name:** Manappuram software and consultancy**Contact Person:** Joseph T. Kurien**Email:** Send Email**City:** Trivandrum**Country:** India**Website:** https://zenodo.org/doi/10.5281/zenodo.12785430