My question pertains to a possible inconsistency between the first law of thermodynamics and the general expansion of space itself.
First, the knowns:
- Space itself has, and continues to expand - the acceleration aspect is not relevant to the discussion
- Empty space in a vacuum has intrinsic energy - some refer to this as dark energy
- Energy cannot be created or destroyed as per the first law of thermodynamics
Concisely, what is the source of energy that is imbued into this "new" space?
A few speculations:
- The energy for this process is taken from something other source that already exists inside or outside the known universe.
- The energy for this process is created from nothing, thus violating the first law.
- If space itself is quantized, perhaps the planck length itself is expanding across the universe, giving the appearance that new space is created, but actually it is just the space "particles" themselves that are expanding. At some critical point this expanding space would have observable consequences for our own scale of existence.
These ponderings can also be applied to the big bang theory - either energy was created at some point (from nothing) or existence of anything has been an infinite cycle into the past. Either way we are dealing with infinites. Create something from nothing and you will find infinites cropping into your calculations.