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### Author Topic: net energy of the universe is zero?  (Read 11218 times)

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« on: 04/02/2009 22:55:41 »
Stephen Hawking and others have proposed that the net energy of the universe is zero by considering gravitational energy as negative, and all other energy forms as presumably positive (or possibly neutral?). On the surface, this sounds wacky to me. Even QM doesn't truly get something from nothing. Particles can condense out of energy fields and particles can be transformed into their energy equivalent through particle-antiparticle annihilation, but energy is always conserved. I understand that in cosmology, the stress-energy tensor of GR is what's conserved, not necessarily matter-energy. Does that mean that the total energy of the universe is conserved or do we really get something from nothing?

#### yor_on

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #1 on: 04/02/2009 23:49:49 »
And the Big Bang will be?

1. A 'whole'
2.. Just a beginning of 'interactions' with ???
3. No way

You have the choices, now you just need to create something that fits the 'phenomena'.

If we accept it as a 'whole' then what we define as energy should have a counterpart.
And the resulting equation will be zero.

If you expect 'spacetime' to 'communicate' with ???
Then we won't have a 'zero'

If you don't think that a Big Bang existed you need to define your own 'space time'.

For myself I believe in the theorem of most peoples beliefs :)
It's actually a theorem, and it works.

What it states to my eyes, is that we are 'in touch' with spacetime.
No matter your profession.

And when we give it our best shot, guessing, we do hit it right.
That doesn't mean we understands it.

But step by step, we get a better definition.
Using experiments as our guides.

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #2 on: 05/02/2009 00:44:48 »
This seems to me to be another of those things that can never be proven one way or the other.

#### syhprum

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #3 on: 05/02/2009 07:11:01 »
I like the idea that the net sum of the universe is zero, QM tells us that particle/antiparticle pairs can appear from nowhere as long as they don't hang around to long so why not the same with the universe on a larger scale.

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #4 on: 05/02/2009 09:29:05 »
I like the idea that the net sum of the universe is zero, QM tells us that particle/antiparticle pairs can appear from nowhere as long as they don't hang around to long so why not the same with the universe on a larger scale.

Particles can condense out of energy fields but total energy is should be conserved. I think the Uncertainty Principle allows for the existence of spontaneous particle-antiparticle pairs, but they immediately annihilate. Again total energy should be conserved except for the the briefest moment. Are you suggesting that the entire universe exists on the barrowed energy allowed by the Uncertainty Principle?

Traditional cosmology models (I believe) consider that all the matter-energy that exists today existed at the earliest epoch in an incredibly dense state. Where it all came from remains beyond any science (ie the Planck limits). But what's the basis for saying that it all came from nothing at all?
« Last Edit: 05/02/2009 09:36:54 by stevewillie »

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #5 on: 05/02/2009 12:32:50 »
Quote from: stevewillie
Traditional cosmology models (I believe) consider that all the matter-energy that exists today existed at the earliest epoch in an incredibly dense state. Where it all came from remains beyond any science (ie the Planck limits). But what's the basis for saying that it all came from nothing at all?
When folks saw that everything in the universe is speeding away, they extrapolated it back to a beginning and concluded that everything came from the same place. It seems that we have a great willingness to dispose of natures laws if it fits a pet scheme. In this case it began with Georges Lamitre's Primeval Atom. Lamitre envisioned the creation of the universe out of empty nothingness.

« Last Edit: 05/02/2009 12:37:10 by Vern »

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #6 on: 05/02/2009 20:58:28 »
Quote from: stevewillie
Traditional cosmology models (I believe) consider that all the matter-energy that exists today existed at the earliest epoch in an incredibly dense state. Where it all came from remains beyond any science (ie the Planck limits). But what's the basis for saying that it all came from nothing at all?
When folks saw that everything in the universe is speeding away, they extrapolated it back to a beginning and concluded that everything came from the same place. It seems that we have a great willingness to dispose of natures laws if it fits a pet scheme. In this case it began with Georges Lamitre's Primeval Atom. Lamitre envisioned the creation of the universe out of empty nothingness.

That's metaphysics. "Whereof we cannot speak, we must pass over in silence" (Wittgenstein). Hawking does not do metaphysics. He must have good reasons for considering that the net total energy of the universe is zero. He talks about it in his books (either "About Time" or "A Brief History of Time" but I can't locate it right now.) He considers gravity to be "negative energy" as opposed to the "positive" energy of non-gravitational forces over a distance. I simply don't understand how this works or why this concept is needed. My understanding of current cosmology is that there was a single unified force at just after Planck time (about 10^-43 sec ATB) and gravity split off soon after. Clearly this unified force was "something". Neutrons resulted when positive protons joined with negative electrons, and their charges canceled, but total energy was conserved. Total energy is the basic currency of "stuff" in the universe. How can it be zero?

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #7 on: 05/02/2009 21:30:25 »
I'm sure Hawking has good reasons for thinking of gravity as negative energy; I have never understood them. I can see that you could form a rule from that where any time there is energy there is a net balance of gravity. I don't know how useful that rule could be.

#### yor_on

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #8 on: 06/02/2009 08:28:35 »
But I like metaphysics:)
It discusses the definitions for our equations.
That's where it all start.
Make a wrong turn there, and you will be a long way from ever getting your ideas to fit.

How can we have virtual particles?
In a vacuum.

And spontaneous particle creation.
In a vacuum.

Maybe it isn't?
A vacuum.

Could the definition be wrong?
Vacuum: The absence of matter.
Nothing...

That's definitely wrong, wouldn't you agree:)
There is a lot of 'potential energy' in a vacuum.
Even if it's not very useful to us.

Maybe we should stop calling it a vacuum:)
It seems more of a 'receptacle' of something we don't describe right.
Energy isn't correctly described either, it expresses itself through something we call charge.
But we don't know what that is.

So to me vacuum is more of a 'tense field' in our three dimensions than a 'nothing'.
And Spacetime is not 'empty'.
It's a 'Jello'.

And that 'Jello' will always have a net charge of zero.
Otherwise 'spacetime' will have to rewrite its laws.
And 'vacuum' is what regulates it.

-----
Nope, no Aether:)
Vacuum is good enough for me.
It's strange enough.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2009 18:24:16 by yor_on »

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #9 on: 07/02/2009 22:51:15 »
But I like metaphysics:)
It discusses the definitions for our equations.
That's where it all start.
Make a wrong turn there, and you will be a long way from ever getting your ideas to fit.

Nothing wrong with metaphysics. You just need to remember it's not science. It's philosophy. Some philosophies are better than other philosophies. The philosophy of science is how we think about science. Therefore it's important. In fact, it's the Wittgenstein-Popper philosophy that guides modern science and it tells us not to confuse metaphysics with science.

Regarding the vacuum, it's not nothing. It's spacetime and is 'filled' with  electromagnetic and gravitational fields and possibly the Higgs field. Moreover QM tells that particles like the electron are smeared throughout the vacuum (until someone looks at them)and the vacuum holds vast amounts of potential energy.

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #10 on: 08/02/2009 00:50:41 »
Quote from: stevewillie
Regarding the vacuum, it's not nothing. It's spacetime and is 'filled' with  electromagnetic and gravitational fields and possibly the Higgs field. Moreover QM tells that particles like the electron are smeared throughout the vacuum (until someone looks at them)and the vacuum holds vast amounts of potential energy.

I'm still trying to figure out what it was about the post you tagged as metaphysics, that was metaphysics. Was it the notion that Lamitre proposed, the Primevial Atom. That paper by Lamitre was the origination of the Big Bang theory? It still is the mainstream scientific account of creation. If not that then what?

Modern physics as indicated in your post is pretty far out. As one of my physicist friends says: It just keeps getting weirder and weirder
« Last Edit: 08/02/2009 00:55:15 by Vern »

#### yor_on

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #11 on: 08/02/2009 01:59:15 »
Stevewillie, the Higgs particle is still an idea, not a truth.

And yes, electromagnetic fields exist, but they are not the same as gravity.
I don't know how far they stretch, we have them in our solar system as an interaction with our sun.
But I wouldn't expect them to be limitless.

They consist of particles obeying time.
The only observed particle in space I know of, observed as being timeless, is photons, or light.
As from where you get that electrons are 'smeared out' in spacetime I don't know?
Do you mean photons?

A 'perfect vacuum' should be empty of all matter, that includes all particles we have except photons possibly.
Archetypes and 'metaphysics' is where we build our ideas from, we have to change our concepts at times but...

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #12 on: 08/02/2009 02:30:12 »
Stevewillie, the Higgs particle is still an idea, not a truth.

And yes, electromagnetic fields exist, but they are not the same as gravity.
I don't know how far they stretch, we have them in our solar system as an interaction with our sun.
But I wouldn't expect them to be limitless.

They consist of particles obeying time.
The only observed particle in space I know of, observed as being timeless, is photons, or light.
As from where you get that electrons are 'smeared out' in spacetime I don't know?
Do you mean photons?

A 'perfect vacuum' should be empty of all matter, that includes all particles we have except photons possibly.
Archetypes and 'metaphysics' is where we build our ideas from, we have to change our concepts at times but...

yor_on, I think we're losing something in the translation here. After spending five minutes or so going over your post, I still don't get the drift of it. I'm sure there is some great wisdom there just waiting for me to comprehend; I'm working on it.

But, I'm on my second brandy shot; maybe I'll see it tomorrow.

#### yor_on

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #13 on: 08/02/2009 02:47:30 »
well, that's cool with me:)

-------
Ah, I think I see what you mean?

when I wrote that the only 'particle' (photons) I knew to exist in space, sort of?
Well, I meant ..all.. of spacetime, between galaxies, etc etc.

Or do you see electrons as existing between the galaxies?
Do you mean that a electromagnetic field is in fact limitless?

« Last Edit: 08/02/2009 02:53:26 by yor_on »

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #14 on: 08/02/2009 03:24:01 »
Okay; I see the electric and magnetic fields as extending outward from points of origin forever in space. So we have the fields; we can make gravity from them. Now this is not mainstream physics; I always will say that when I describe a process that is not yet accepted by my peers; the way we can make gravity from that is to consider the saturated points. The saturated points must reach saturation with the aid of all the fields in the local area. The points must reach saturation at an offset toward increasing field strength of the local fields in the area.

But if we dwell two much on this we will be accused of metaphysics and be dismissed summarily by our peers. However, in discussing this with many physicists in the mainstream scientific community, I have found a few who support the concept.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2009 03:29:18 by Vern »

#### Hei-Tai

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #15 on: 08/02/2009 08:01:05 »
I'm sure Hawking has good reasons for thinking of gravity as negative energy; I have never understood them. I can see that you could form a rule from that where any time there is energy there is a net balance of gravity. I don't know how useful that rule could be.

My thought is that this so called negative-energy comes because mathematically can use -sign and also one that our mind is 2-dividet many way,,,so it is too easy to say positive-negative.

Also mathematical 0, zero take thoughts to wrong path.

My opinions.

Pure 0, emptyness, dont exist.

All matter thing is 1.

Therefore any kind on scientific calculated and mathematically sayed anti-energy out of this world dont exist.

0=0, and cannot make anything,,,alla formulaes are then 0.

1=1.

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #16 on: 08/02/2009 16:00:36 »
Quote from: Hei_Tai

My thought is that this so called negative-energy comes because mathematically can use -sign and also one that our mind is 2-dividet many way,,,so it is too easy to say positive-negative.

Also mathematical 0, zero take thoughts to wrong path.

My opinions.

Pure 0, emptyness, dont exist.

All matter thing is 1.

Therefore any kind on scientific calculated and mathematically sayed anti-energy out of this world dont exist.

0=0, and cannot make anything,,,alla formulaes are then 0.

1=1.

I think I get the drift of your meaning; I can see that it is easy just to add a minus sign to a number and sum the two for an outcome of zero. People who feel comfort with the thought of particle-anti-particle pairs springing from the vacuum of space, like the idea of everything adding up to zero. They feel better when things are in balance.

But I agree with you. I like 1 = 1 better than 0 = 0.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2009 22:20:14 by Vern »

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #17 on: 08/02/2009 21:30:18 »
Stevewillie, the Higgs particle is still an idea, not a truth.

As from where you get that electrons are 'smeared out' in spacetime I don't know?
Do you mean photons?
Quote

I said 'possibly' the Higgs field. Regarding the unobserved electron being "smeared out", I'm sure you know that 1)the electron exists as both a wave and particle(as for any other quon, 2)has no specific location until its observed and 3)there are no prescribed limits to the extent of fields in QM. Moreover large quantum fluctuations can, in theory, occur anywhere in spacetime. Spacetime is not nothing.

Quote
author=Vern link=topic=20047.msg225699#msg225699 date=1234054241]
Quote from: stevewillie
Regarding the vacuum, it's not nothing. It's spacetime and is 'filled' with  electromagnetic and gravitational fields and possibly the Higgs field. Moreover QM tells that particles like the electron are smeared throughout the vacuum (until someone looks at them)and the vacuum holds vast amounts of potential energy.

I'm still trying to figure out what it was about the post you tagged as metaphysics, that was metaphysics. Was it the notion that Lamitre proposed, the Primevial Atom. That paper by Lamitre was the origination of the Big Bang theory? It still is the mainstream scientific account of creation. If not that then what?

Any proposition that cannot, in principle, be verified or falsified by some observation or experiment is metaphysical. There's nothing necessarily wrong with metaphysical statements as I've already said. But they are not scientific. To say the universe emerged "from nothingness" is metaphysical. It may be correct, but it can't be verified or falsified in principle. If the Planck limits could be penetrated by observation or experiment, that would change the situation. I'm not questioning the status of Big Bang cosmology down to the Planck limits.

I'm still waiting from someone to directly address the idea that the net total energy of the universe is zero and why gravity represents "negative" energy.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2009 21:43:04 by stevewillie »

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #18 on: 08/02/2009 22:12:20 »
Quote from: stevewillie
Any proposition that cannot, in principle, be verified or falsified by some observation or experiment is metaphysical. There's nothing necessarily wrong with metaphysical statements as I've already said. But they are not scientific. To say the universe emerged "from nothingness" is metaphysical. It may be correct, but it can't be verified or falsified in principle. If the Planck limits could be penetrated by observation or experiment, that would change the situation. I'm not questioning the status of Big Bang cosmology down to the Planck limits.
Okay; I understand your point. It just surprised me that someone would assign the metaphysical term to a theory that is so widespread in the mainstream physics community. I myself suspect that the Big Bang theory is more of a creationist scheme than a scientific theory.

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #19 on: 08/02/2009 22:53:19 »
Quote
Okay; I understand your point. It just surprised me that someone would assign the metaphysical term to a theory that is so widespread in the mainstream physics community. I myself suspect that the Big Bang theory is more of a creationist scheme than a scientific theory.

As I said,I consider the Big Bang model (including inflation) to be  scientific down to the Planck limits. It explains a number of observations and is subject to ongoing testing. It's a working theory. You seem more skeptical than I am. I don't think it's creationist. It's based on the evidence. Creationism imposes a concept that cannot be tested or falsified and it adds nothing to a scientific debate.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2009 23:03:55 by stevewillie »

#### Vern

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #20 on: 08/02/2009 23:06:30 »
I'm mostly in agreement with you. The reason I don't like the Big Bang theory is that it can't be falsified. It disposes of the rules we impose on everything else. When you can change the rules to fit the theory; I begin to suspect the theory

#### stevewillie

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
« Reply #21 on: 10/02/2009 10:13:37 »
Here's a short popular science article on zero net energy which I believe contains a fallacy. Does anyone see it?

www.astrosociety.org/pubs/mercury/31_02/nothing.html
« Last Edit: 10/02/2009 10:16:42 by stevewillie »

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##### net energy of the universe is zero?
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