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Author Topic: What was before the big bang?  (Read 45245 times)

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #75 on: 24/08/2015 04:11:20 »
Quote from: Mordeth
The philosopher in me wants to believe that our Universe emerged from something.  The logician inside me denies it.
The appropriate stance for a scientist is to take the position of I don't know if the universe emerged from something or not. It's incorrect to assert that it didn't emerge because you simply don't know.

Quote from: Mordeth
  The scientist in me does not know and refuses to guess.
Nothing wrong with guesses either. Sometimes a long way down the road they might lead to something. One guess that is popular in cosmology is the cosmological principle which states that distribution of matter in the universe is both homogeneous and isotropic. But we can never know this to be true or false. However when its employed by cosmologists they're making a guess, albeit an educated guess on what we have already observed on the large scale in the observable universe.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #76 on: 24/08/2015 14:38:01 »
Quote from: Mordeth
  An infinite state of nothing, containing only the potential to  be something, and progressing to a state of something I can measure suits me, I suppose.

This is another example of the verbal contortions commonly found in "something from nothing" circles.

How can nothing contain anything and still be nothing?

What is potential if not something?

How can nothing progress?
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #77 on: 24/08/2015 14:53:52 »
Quote from: Pete
The appropriate stance for a scientist is to take the position of I don't know if the universe emerged from something or not.

Would it not be reasonable to add to that something like: ....as no one has shown how something to emerge from nothing, then the claim that the Universe emerged from nothing involves an additional assumption.  Our old friend "Bill Ockham" might not like that.  :)
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #78 on: 24/08/2015 17:57:18 »
Mithani and Vilenkin’s claim that they've shown mathematically that the universe must have a beginning has an amusingly simple response from Leonard Susskind, who shows that if we accept a beginning:
Quote from: Susskind
in any kind of inflating cosmology the odds strongly (infinitely) favor the beginning to be so far in the past that it is effectively at minus infinity.

More precisely, given any T the probability is unity that the beginning was more than T time-units ago.
So the beginning of the universe is infinitely far in the past. Perhaps this endearing solution can be added to Mordeth's list of possibilities.
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #79 on: 24/08/2015 20:55:17 »
Ah Mordeth, interesting reply! (Post 76)

Yes, I agree, there is a point where all fields shake hands.  However, I do believe that because logic is associated with philosophy and mathematics with physics, that the significance of applied logic has become under-represented in the world of physics.
Logic is a very precise tool that can be applied to any field/situation.  Like mathematics, logic is a process of reduction.  When a matter can be reduced no more, then truth emerges.  Logic is a more precise tool than mathematics because Mathematica it is only as good as the concepts it is attached to.  Logic is comprised only of concepts, and therefore it 'can' be more productive.

Take infinity.  You say you have trouble comprehending it.  Ok, to reduce this we must question one's ability to comprehend.  Quite easily we can deduce that because one cannot comprehend is not a proof that a concept does not exist.  Let us now try divorcing the concept of infinity from the time line aspect.  We can always add it back in later...  So, we find that now we can look more closely at these examples of what the mind may comprehend as infinite. 'Nothing', or 0, and 'everything.'
Looking at everything, let's say that everything were only 1 thing.  We can comprehend that this 1 thing is everything and in that it is only 1 thing and there is nothing else, this 1 thing 'is' infinite.

Now let's us look at nothing.   Everything absence everything = nothing.  Nothing is the symmetrical opposite to everything, if everything is infinite then nothing must also be infinite and we can see that when we add the time line aspect back in, a state of nothing has no time and remains by definition infinite.

Ok, all good so far... We have an infinite state of nothing and an infinite state of everything.  But we must remember that we haven't added the timeline aspect back into an infinite state of everything yet, so hang on, back up a mo... because an infinite state of everything is not as possible for everything as it is for nothing because everything includes the passage of time.

We have to carefully consider how this all fits together.  The second law of thermodynamics must be upheld... After much consideration, blah, blah... and so, henceforth my interpretation of a state of everything progressed infinitely.

"An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely."

This however, in consideration of the second law of thermodynamics, when following this path of logic becomes quite interesting indeed. (To me anyway :) )

Bill makes a good point about potential.  Is potential something?  What is potential?  Potential is the possibility for change.  Can we logically reason that a state of nothing has the potential to change?  Again the second law is relevant.  If we consider our surroundings our experience tells us that all states have the potential to change.  Why would a state of nothing differ.  What potential change can be logically reasoned for a state of nothing?  The only potential change for a state of nothing is for it to become a state of everything.  For change to happen there must be a time aspect for it to happen within.  A state of nothing is timeless.  So... any potential that a state of nothing may possess can only be found in the possibility that the potential change in a state of nothing involve the initial moment of the phenomenon of time.

Now just to back track the reasoning, we have defined everything and we have defined the phenomenon of time, but we have not defined the rate that time is occurring at.  We know that the rate of time is affected by a gravitational field. (could time actually be caused by a gravitational field, being an entirely logical notion) ...And what was the gravitational field at the point of a state of nothing gaining the potential to a state of everything?  Again, second law becomes interesting!!!
 

Offline sciconoclast

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #80 on: 25/08/2015 00:25:24 »
I agree with some of Pmbhy's comments: "our understanding of the Universe is in its infancy....there  may be other universes.....singularity is merely an extrapolation."

Before scientist could observe other solar systems they had already deduced the process by which ours was formed from the laws of physics and the properties of the planets. I am hoping that similarly once both the understanding of physics and the universe is advanced the process generating our universe can be understood [ working on it ].

Einstein acknowledged his theory could lead to singularities occurring but he thought that an as yet unknown principle would prevent it.

Science once believed our galaxy to be the only one because we could not see beyond it. History often repeats itself. 

I thought I might introduce a relevant but slightly different concept for the pundits to jump on. Is it possible that there is a greater cosmos which does not have a composite time vector ( exist independent of time ) but localized events, such as the shock wave from a local big bang create a local time vector for everything within it. I could be more specific about how this could occur but this is not the place for that.
 

Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #81 on: 25/08/2015 00:38:17 »
Hi timey, Bill S and dlorde,

I must think and consider more. I am not well skilled in the area of transcendental thinking, so I substitute science and physics to arrive at explanations.  I am mostly interested in the events of the observable universe and the measurable relationship between those events.  I find that current scientific theory is adequate for my needs. This does not imply whatsoever that current science is adequate as a whole, nor does it suggest that we should not continually advance our somewhat limited understanding of things. 

timey, I particularly enjoyed reading what you just said.  Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Pmb, I also agree with your statements.  I believe I have stated multiple times in this thread that I do not know, and neither does science.  My recent posts were speculative responses to Bill and timey.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #82 on: 25/08/2015 07:23:48 »
Quote from: Mordeth
Pmb, I also agree with your statements.  I believe I have stated multiple times in this thread that I do not know, and neither does science.  My recent posts were speculative responses to Bill and timey.
Same here. What I was disagreeing with was the automatic assumption about a singularity merely because GR is being used for all values of "t". I was recently doing a refresh on my cosmology as a result of this thread. I have a text by Andrew Liddle on the subject that I haven't read in years which I just started to read again. On the point of the Big Bang the author writes
Quote
In fact, if the cosmological constant is powerful enough, there need not even be a Big Bang, with the Universe instead beginning in a collapsing phase, followed by a bounce at finite size under the influence of the cosmological constant (though such models are ruled out by observations).
And in such a case there will be no singularity.

You can read the text at: http://bookos-z1.org/book/930602/67a687
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #83 on: 25/08/2015 14:40:49 »
   
Quote
(though such models are ruled out by observations).


It seems they may have been ruled in as far as computer simulations go.

Quote from: Anil Ananthaswamy (New Scientist2008)


    “Abhay Ashtekar remembers his reaction the first time he saw the universe bounce. ‘I was taken aback,’ he says.  He was watching a simulation of the universe rewind towards the big bang.  Mostly the universe behaved as expected, becoming smaller and denser as the galaxies converged.  But then, instead of reaching the big bang ‘singularity’, the universe bounced and started expanding again.  What on earth was happening?   

    Ashtekar wanted to be sure of what he was seeing, so he asked his colleagues to sit on the result for six months before publishing it in 2006.  And no wonder.  The theory that the recycled universe was based on, called loop quantum cosmology (LQC), had managed to illuminate the very birth of the universe – something even Einstein’s general theory of relativity fails to do. 

    LQC has been tantalising physicists since 2003 with the idea that our universe could conceivably have emerged from the collapse of a previous universe.  Now the theory is poised to make predictions we can actually test.  If they are verified, the big bang will give way to a big bounce and we will finally know the quantum structure of space-time.  Instead of a universe that emerged from a point of infinite density, we have one that recycles, possibly through an eternal series of expansions and contractions, with no beginning and no end.”
   
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #84 on: 25/08/2015 19:32:08 »
Hey Mordeth, thanks for the positive comment, really appreciated!

...and Bill, I am familiar with the LQC concept.  It's a fascinating thought that such was the result of a computer simulation!
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #85 on: 25/08/2015 22:24:15 »
For anyone who might not be familiar with Matt Strassler, this could be an interesting link.

http://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/relativity-space-astronomy-and-cosmology/history-of-the-universe/
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #86 on: 26/08/2015 10:23:28 »
Having read the link above, it disappoints me that Matt has not given more precise details as to why the discovery of March 18th 2014 did not stand up to scrutiny.  To know the reason why something does not work is just as useful as knowing why something does work!

Does anyone have any further info?
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #88 on: 26/08/2015 19:41:11 »
Great stuff!  Thanks for that link Jeff... I have read snippets of news concerning, but that was a very concise and up to date rendition and also I hadn't made the connection to relating this to Matt Strassler's comment.  Silly me :) .

But... and this is what interests me... presumably the computer simulation in 2008 that led to the concept of LQC was programmed independently of any CMB expectations?  And that this 'dust everywhere' disappointment is only relevant to the inflationary part of LQC concept, as it is a disappointment to all theories inclusive of an inflationary period?
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #89 on: 28/08/2015 17:32:18 »
Great stuff!  Thanks for that link Jeff... I have read snippets of news concerning, but that was a very concise and up to date rendition and also I hadn't made the connection to relating this to Matt Strassler's comment.  Silly me :) .

But... and this is what interests me... presumably the computer simulation in 2008 that led to the concept of LQC was programmed independently of any CMB expectations?  And that this 'dust everywhere' disappointment is only relevant to the inflationary part of LQC concept, as it is a disappointment to all theories inclusive of an inflationary period?

Not really. The wavelengths involved are very long and it is very hard to detect the effects. Dust would be enough to hide the effects.
 

Offline Thebox

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #90 on: 28/08/2015 18:25:17 »
What was before the big bang? We could alter the question to say, what was before arbitrary time?


Clearly there can be only one definite answer to the question without any theory or hypotheses related to fallacy. Before the big bang there was space.  Logic and experiment on earth suggests that for anything to ''exist'' or happen, that something needs space to happen in. An expansion of metal by adding energy, the metal expands into space, an inflating balloon expands into space.  Observation shows us this and experiment shows us this.   
The expansion of ''space'' is by definition and logic not accurate in my opinion and based on science observation.  Science does not observe actual space, space is ''transparent'' to sight, we see through space like seeing through a sheet of glass. We observe matter in space and the motion of matter in space, velocities that we can calculate.
Using the big bang as a way to record the ''beginning of time'' is no more than measuring the distance of matter and the distance it has travelled through space from a specific event in space at a specific ''time''.  A specific time that is arbitrary and made by us, there is nothing to suggest that ''space-time'' did not pre-exist the big bang and everything we believe is based on a distance and speed rather than a time itself.
When people suggest there was nothing before the big bang, I see ''nothing'' as darkness, a dark space without content.
The human mind can only go this far back, that is what observation allows us to do, to imagine a beginning always leads to zero, a zero point space.
We are fools if we think that nothing means no space, because without space there can not be something. 
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #91 on: 28/08/2015 19:15:08 »
Great stuff!  Thanks for that link Jeff... I have read snippets of news concerning, but that was a very concise and up to date rendition and also I hadn't made the connection to relating this to Matt Strassler's comment.  Silly me :) .

But... and this is what interests me... presumably the computer simulation in 2008 that led to the concept of LQC was programmed independently of any CMB expectations?  And that this 'dust everywhere' disappointment is only relevant to the inflationary part of LQC concept, as it is a disappointment to all theories inclusive of an inflationary period?

Not really. The wavelengths involved are very long and it is very hard to detect the effects. Dust would be enough to hide the effects.

I'm sorry Jeff.  Not really what???  Clearly the link explains in much greater detail the reasons why the dust would be enough to hide the effects of long wavelengths, surely?

I fail to ascertain the 'point' of your post to be honest.  What does this have to do with the computer simulation from 2008 that Loop Quantum Cosmology is based on?

Or, if indeed this is what you intended to mean...why was it 'not really' a disappointment to all inflationary theories that the results of the CMB were dust tainted?

Can you be a little clearer please?
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #92 on: 28/08/2015 21:31:38 »
Jeff, I am not an expert but there is a reason why these discussions are called threads.  When partaking of one of these discussions it is expected that one can upkeep the thread of the conversation.  This involves reading what other posters have said and responding to the content of their posts in a relevant fashion... and it involves a poster to keep up with the posts that have transpired in-between the last post they made and the post they wish to make in the present.  Please know also that it is considered rude to reply to a post in a language not understood by the other poster/posters... And, to say so, it goes without saying that it is rather frowned upon to drastically alter one's statement, especially 'after' the fact... also... I have never heard before of someone deleting the evidence of 'ever' having made a post, because 'that' is just wrong...and lastly, this being just a suggestion, but talking to other posters as if they are of a lesser intelligence than you could actually prove counter productive!

On the basis of my observations of you Jeff, particularly regarding the 'how does light speed up when exiting a denser material" thread, I have come to the conclusion that you must not be aware of these factors concerning internet discussions, henceforth... please consider the above as some good sound advice!
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #93 on: 29/08/2015 11:48:52 »
Which post did I delete? I have rarely deleted a reply. I can't remember when I last did that.
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #94 on: 29/08/2015 12:12:16 »
Oh dear me Jeff, I can see that its much worse than I thought (chuckle)... Ok, to explain, there arises within these forums this wonderful feature that is in as much as being in possession of a time travelling machine.  By applying the scroll button one can just navigate back up the pages and revisit the past.
I have also experimented with time travelling into what future posts may relate, this manipulation isn't quite so obvious as a functionality of the forum, but is quite easily employed none-the-less!
« Last Edit: 29/08/2015 12:14:24 by timey »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #95 on: 29/08/2015 14:31:47 »
You are trying to bring personality and personal motivation into the discussion. I am only interested in the physics. If you can tell me which post I deleted I will check the thread.
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #96 on: 29/08/2015 15:20:23 »
Well Jeff, I too am 'just' about the physics, which is why I have been somewhat non-plussed by some of your earlier responses to my posts.
I would rather get back to 'just' the physics whereas we can converse in relevance to the subject matter, as in recent posts on the "how does light speed up when it exits a denser material".

The post in question is within this thread I've mentioned, a post whereas you replied to me in response to post 49 saying "Now you are clearer in meaning and are saying something interesting"... This reply you made disappeared.  Your post at the top of page 4, post no 75 was particularly irrelevant and in relation to your disappearing post, well... if you continue reading page 4 in its entirety you will be up to speed.
Personally I feel, and if you read top of page 5, that this 'could' be a past tense situation, but if you are going to comment on my posts could you respond relevantly?

...and please know that my personality and personal motivation are always going to be an inseparable part of the package.
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #97 on: 06/09/2015 21:56:00 »
Well, on the basis that no comments are forthcoming concerning loop quantum cosmology and the relevant computer simulation in relation to the the dust factor of the CMB... how's about a bit more attempted application of logic?

Going back to the statement 'An infinite state of nothing progressed into a state of everything infinitely', we have already addressed the fact that a zero, although classed as nothing, is also classed as something.  Now let us look at the term 'existence'.  Can a state of nothing be defined as existing?  A state of nothing has no time to exist in...  Can something have an existence outside of time?  A state of everything cannot exist outside of time.  By definition, as soon as a state of nothing becomes a state of everything, even if that everything is only one thing, the fact of a change in state signifies a time factor.  By this reasoning we can then deduce that the only thing that can exist outside of time is nothing, and that a state of nothing can exist.
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #98 on: 07/09/2015 10:16:02 »
...Can a state of nothing be defined as existing?
There's no such thing as a 'state' of nothing. Nothing is the negation of existence and state. As such, it is purely conceptual; it exists as a negating concept only.
 

Online timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #99 on: 07/09/2015 10:39:22 »
Nope, very sorry dlorde but that's not how it works.  Where is your picking apart of my logic in order to prove it wrong?  Or...where is the logical argument of your alternative statement?  There is none.  What you are doing is just making statements and presenting them as 'fact' without showing your reasoning.  To ague against statements presented in logic, one must counter present in logic, otherwise any alternative statement one makes in response is meaningless.
 

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #99 on: 07/09/2015 10:39:22 »

 

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