Author Topic: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang  (Read 217 times)

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Offline Philosopher_at_large

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Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« on: June 17, 2014, 04:00:00 PM »
Was the big bang an effect?

I don't think I understand enough about cosmology to answer this question in a satisfactory way, so I'll leave it to people who know a lot more about this stuff than I do.

There seems to be, as far as I've been able to understand it, some reason to think that it wasn't, but again, I don't think I understand enough about it to answer the question.

Help?

Thank you!

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Re: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 04:08:05 PM »
We don't know. Space and time supposedly began with the Big Bang, which would mean it was not an effect, but the problem is that our math and understanding of physics literally "break down" when we try to look at the Big Bang beyond a certain point. We know it happened; we just don't have the complete picture.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 05:16:28 PM »
I always reference this Dawkins / Weinberg video.  The whole thing is fun, but about 17-19 minutes they discuss the idea of repeated big bangs, with the idea that 14 billion years of this present universe is nothing in a multiverse existence.  We still don't understand much, while we're learning so much.  Interesting that everything may have always existed, big banging over and over.

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Offline Cyberia

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Re: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2014, 04:23:59 PM »
I know this bothers a lot of people, even atheists, but the BigBang can be BOTH the cause and the effect.  This isn't a case of Special Pleading, it's a case of Special Circumstances.

Imagine the universe now, and rewind that to the BB.  Everything is coming together.  All the stars, galaxies, gas clouds, dark matter, energy.... EVERYTHING.   Even (and this is where people go cross-eyed) even the SPACE between galaxies.  Space itself (what appears to be empty) was pulled into the "singularity" at the BB.

Now, Einstein showed, and it has since been EMPIRICALLY proven (Lorenz contraction, Time dilation, Frame dragging, etc), that space and time are part of the same fabric.  You CANNOT have one without the other.

So TIME was pulled into the "singularity" also.  OK?

Now... at that exact instant of the BB, at T=0,  Space is NOT 3 dimensional.....and time... IS NOT LINEAR.

Spacetime. is. a. POINT.  A zero-dimensional point.  So anything that "happens" right then, happens EVERYWHERE, INSTANTLY.  At that instant, not only is there no Past, there is no Future either.

Now, how we normally distinguish "cause" from "effect" is by checking which happened first.  The cause always precedes the effect.  Right?  But at T=0, EVERYTHING is BOTH a cause, and an effect because there is ONLY ONE point of time.  You can equally think of the universe, as "self-caused" or "uncaused".

This ties in with a hypothesis that the entire universe has ZERO energy.  The positive energy (which includes matter) is matched by the negative energy of gravitation.  Empirical evidence exists for (but does not conclusively confirm) this scenario, the CMB does indicate that the universe is "Flat", meaning gravity and matter are in balance.

So at T=0, positive and negative energy "separated".  This does not need an external cause.  They caused each other.  The manifestation of positive energy "caused" negative energy to manifest.  AND VICE-VERSA.  And...no "external" energy (or agency) is required.

Furthermore, they MUST occur EXACTLY simultaneously or else there is a violation of Conservation of Energy, and the ONLY place/time that they can "separate" truly simultaneously is at T=0.

This goofy case of causality can ONLY occur at T=0, because there is only one point of space and time.  This is also why the Kalam and Cosmologocal arguments fail, because they ASSUME time works like it does now, even at T=0, but we are pretty sure it doesn't with only one spacetime point.

Admittedly this is a hypothesis.  I do not assert that this is what happened.  Our current THEORIES of the BB break down at 10-43 seconds after the BB.  (EDIT: That is to say our theories BEGIN at 10-43 and hold true afterward.)  We currently cannot say with certainty what happened before that, but this hypothesis makes a lot of sense to the physicists.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 04:53:30 PM by Cyberia »
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Offline Astreja

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Re: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 01:58:58 AM »
Nonlinear time?  Simultaneity of cause and effect?  I think I like this hypothesis.

Would quantum superposition fit into this scenario anywhere, with a singularity having multiple states until it does something observable, or is it just silly to postulate states for something with zero dimensions?
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Offline Cyberia

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Re: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 03:28:53 PM »
Would quantum superposition fit into this scenario anywhere, with a singularity having multiple states until it does something observable,

I think quantum superposition is exactly the right way to think about it.  The multitude of points in the universe (possibly an infinite number of points) are superimposed to one point.  The Zero-Energy Universe hypothesis would permit (possibly require) an infinite universe.


or is it just silly to postulate states for something with zero dimensions?
Silly things happen with only one point.  Shrug.
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Offline larkasaur

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Re: Help me to understand an aspect of the big bang
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2014, 07:47:51 AM »
There isn't yet a complete theory of quantum gravity, so it's not known what happens to spacetime at the extreme densities of the Big Bang.  But quantum gravity hopefully will eliminate the singularity of the Big Bang, so the density never actually becomes infinite. 
The physicist Martin Bojowald wrote a popular book about loop quantum gravity, Once before time: a whole story of the universe.  In the theory of loop quantum gravity, spacetime is quantized, and this prevents a singularity at the Big Bang.  I think the max density of the Big Bang in the loop quantum gravity theory, is similar to the Planck density, which is about 5 x 1096 kg/m3
Time does step through the Big Bang in the loop quantum gravity theory.  So there is a "before" the Big Bang.
However, spacetime very close to the Big Bang may have been like 4-dimensional space, with no "time", i.e. no dimension which has a negative sign in the metric.  So our ordinary notions of causality wouldn't apply. 
What does one mean by a "cause"?  Does "A causes B" mean that you can deduce state B from state A? 
If so, then in a deterministic universe, any 3D constant-time slice could be taken to imply the rest of it.  I guess that any 3D hypersurface that split the universe into two pieces, would determine the rest of it. 
And if you include quantum mechanics, the quantum wavefunction of the universe perhaps evolves in a deterministic way, and similarly a 3D hypersurface might determine the whole universe.
Alternatively, does one mean by the "cause of the universe", the reason for it to exist at all?  There are some possible ideas about that.