What was before the big bang?

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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #150 on: 12/09/2015 21:52:27 »
Quote from: Timey
Ok, so if everything did pass from one cycle of the universe into the next, this argument is null and void?

 If everything passes from one cycle to the next, this must include time; yes?
There never was nothing.

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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #151 on: 12/09/2015 22:41:56 »
Quote from: Timey
IF a "perfect vacuum' where to exist, and I expected to find the energy to pop a particle out of this perfect vacuum - that I would be forced to look at the Casimir Effect.


 By “a perfect vacuum”, do you mean “absolutely nothing”?  If so, where would the particle come from; where would the energy come from, and where would you get the waves for the Casimir Effect?
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #152 on: 13/09/2015 00:16:26 »
Goodness Bill, you don't ask for much do you? :)

Obviously, I just dunno!  If I did I'd be shouting from the rooftops.  I really do not understand enough about this area of quantum mechanics to even begin to guess.

Yes... I do mean that this proposed 'perfect vacuum' is entirely empty.

As a logical enterprise, if we 'can' consider this perfect vacuum, ie: the nothing before creation, to be a physical reality, we have to consider that this nothing is going to be unlike anything we have ever seen.
Again, in as much as the Big Bang theory states the Big Bang as a special circumstance, is there anything special about this nothing that we can identify?
The first thing that occurs, and here I am using muti-verse or multiple verses as an offset again, is that if there were truly nothing at-all, then this situation in itself may constitute some kind of physical reaction.
If this strange thought were to hold any merit at-all, then stripping a normal vacuum down to its bare essentials and beyond, in conjunction with an analysis of the time scale factor 'might' be of significance.
Again, seriously, I'm not nearly enough well read in this area of QM regarding the configuration of states, nor the potential, or indeed non potential of virtual particles to comment as to any detail.

Maybe someone else has some suggestion...
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #153 on: 13/09/2015 16:16:23 »
Quote
As a logical enterprise, if we 'can' consider this perfect vacuum, ie: the nothing before creation, to be a physical reality…..

Considering “nothing” in this way seems to be quite common in scientific circles.  My favourite quote from Lawrence Krauss is: “By nothing, I do not mean nothing…..”


I have yet to find a way round the idea that if there was ever nothing, there would still be nothing now.  There are lots of “universe from nothing” ideas, but the nothings always seem distinctly somethingy.   
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #154 on: 13/09/2015 17:35:09 »
Well yes Bill, so it would seem!  The point I'm trying to make is:

That if everything is physically absent, then nothing is the physical result.  This defining nothing as being something.

What is wrong with viewing nothing as being 'something'?  It 'might' prove beneficial to do so on an experimental basis... In any case, and especially if one were to be interested in a moment of creation that has its beginning in the microscopic region.  Which would actually seem to me to be the most logical scenario for the first instances of creation, when considering the concept of a cyclic universe.

If there wasn't ever nothing Bill, how do you account for progression?  Are you saying that there was something before the moment of the creation of our universe?  And if so, are you saying that the something before the moment of creation of our universe had a something that was before its moment of creation, and so on?  Was there ever not a 'something' for a universe to be created in?  What is it that creates that something?

Looking at nothing as being that something is but a more simplistic approach.
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #155 on: 13/09/2015 21:40:24 »
I’ve just returned from a dog walk, about an hour which includes some thinking time.  What was I trying to think about? – Nothing!

Two things stood out:
1. We have few, if any, words with which to talk about “nothing”.  Our language is geared to talking about something.  With due respect to your question:  “What is wrong with viewing nothing as being 'something'?”  It makes less sense than saying: “What is wrong with viewing black as being white?”  It might be possible to make a case for either, but unless we are consistent in our use of language/terminology we tend to go round in non-productive circles.

2. “Nothing” cannot exist.  There is quite a lot more to be said about that, but I just wanted to run the thought past you before saying anything else.
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #156 on: 13/09/2015 22:57:37 »
Ah now see, this is what I like about you Bill, you have a knack for progressive thought structure... :)

In that you are making a case for nothing not existing, obviously you are not convinced by my argument: 'if everything is physically absent, then nothing is the physical result'... This based upon the fact that it 'is' the existence of everything that we are attempting to understand within the question.

Ok, you say that stating that nothing is something, is in as much as stating black is white.  In this case, unlike our poor 'nothing', both of the properties, black and white, are already determined as being something, so the analogy is lacking. But in that we are assuming a change from one state to another, if we are to make a parallel...
Taking black as being the state before creation and white as being the created state of everything, we can see that all we have to do is add x amount of white to the black state and it will become white.
Taking this analogy, if we can determine nothing as a state of reality, and then we add x amount of everything, x being the bits of everything necessary to account for creation, then nothing becomes everything in the same way that black will become white.
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Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #157 on: 14/09/2015 00:49:22 »
Still talking about nothing, eh?  It cannot be defined.  You may as well ask if the number 37 is a Republican.  If "nothing" existed ontologically, then it would be something.  Therefore, "something" is the ontological default.  Can you perceive nothing perfectly?  No, because you always perceive yourself. The closest you can come is a deep loss of consciousness. When you awake, it appears you have experienced nothing, not even time. But even this is not true nothing.
 
As for something coming from "nothing", please review this paper:

http://arxiv.org/abs/1306.3232 [nofollow]

In particular:

“Although we have analyzed only one version of the Emergent Universe, we would argue that our analysis is pointing to a more general problem: it is very difficult to devise a system – especially a quantum one – that does nothing “forever,” then evolves. A truly stationary or periodic quantum state, which would last forever, would never evolve, whereas one with any instability will not endure for an indefinite time.”

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #158 on: 14/09/2015 02:32:29 »
In our human perception of nothing, nothing is already defined as a description of an absence, or a mathematical concept.  As a meditative state of consciousness?  I don't even want to go there at-all, this incorporates a different branch of physics, interesting, but not relevant here.

You seem to have forgotten that earlier in the thread we already covered the concept of divorcing infinity from the time aspect, whereas for the case of an infinite state of nothing, we found that there was no need to add time back in.  Nothing has no time, therefore nothing, if it were to exist as a state in QM, would not be 'everlasting' in its description of infinity.  In fact the possibility exists that nothing, if we 'could' parallel its time line in relation to a time aspect, might only have been in existence as a fleeting phenomenon, with time and everything else emerging smoothly as a continuum of a natural progression from nothing.
A state of the lowest entropy really does need to be set at 0 doesn't it?  If not, then what are the parameters for the instance of the state of lowest entropy?

You say that nothing, in the context that we are using it, cannot be defined.  I beg to differ.  Anything can be defined.  Sometimes, in fact for the most part, this only requires that one change ones perspective to the problem.

Both you and Bill are saying that nothing cannot be a physical reality because there is nothing there.  I turn the matter upside down and state that because everything being absent is a physical reality, that nothing is the physical result of the physical reality of everything being absent.
Just like with algebra, because I have absolutely no doubts about the fact that everything is a physical reality, this being my determined parameter, the fact that I can physically absent everything from the equation determines the physical result of this action being that we are physically left with nothing.  That is logic, and I don't think my logic is flawed.  If you think it is can you show me where?
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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #159 on: 14/09/2015 13:24:49 »
In our human perception of nothing, nothing is already defined as a description of an absence, or a mathematical concept.  As a meditative state of consciousness?  I don't even want to go there at-all, this incorporates a different branch of physics, interesting, but not relevant here.

You seem to have forgotten that earlier in the thread we already covered the concept of divorcing infinity from the time aspect, whereas for the case of an infinite state of nothing, we found that there was no need to add time back in.  Nothing has no time, therefore nothing, if it were to exist as a state in QM, would not be 'everlasting' in its description of infinity.  In fact the possibility exists that nothing, if we 'could' parallel its time line in relation to a time aspect, might only have been in existence as a fleeting phenomenon, with time and everything else emerging smoothly as a continuum of a natural progression from nothing.
A state of the lowest entropy really does need to be set at 0 doesn't it?  If not, then what are the parameters for the instance of the state of lowest entropy?

You say that nothing, in the context that we are using it, cannot be defined.  I beg to differ.  Anything can be defined.  Sometimes, in fact for the most part, this only requires that one change ones perspective to the problem.

Both you and Bill are saying that nothing cannot be a physical reality because there is nothing there.  I turn the matter upside down and state that because everything being absent is a physical reality, that nothing is the physical result of the physical reality of everything being absent.
Just like with algebra, because I have absolutely no doubts about the fact that everything is a physical reality, this being my determined parameter, the fact that I can physically absent everything from the equation determines the physical result of this action being that we are physically left with nothing.  That is logic, and I don't think my logic is flawed.  If you think it is can you show me where?

If we have two values of energy where A is positive and B is negative then we can have a situation where A + B = 0. You then have a mathematical nothing and yet the energy has not gone away.
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Offline ProjectSailor

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #160 on: 14/09/2015 13:55:27 »
Apart from if you talk absolute (heading towards an absolute absence of energy) where you cannot have negative energy.

then A + B would never equal absolute zero. If you can have negative energy in the absolute scale it would be like having negative mass

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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #161 on: 14/09/2015 18:51:14 »
Apart from if you talk absolute (heading towards an absolute absence of energy) where you cannot have negative energy.

then A + B would never equal absolute zero. If you can have negative energy in the absolute scale it would be like having negative mass

Not if we are talking purely in terms of kinetic energy. The kinetic energy in the direction of a gravitational field (free fall) can be considered to be negative.
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #162 on: 14/09/2015 20:46:35 »
Quote from: Timey
In this case, unlike our poor 'nothing', both of the properties, black and white, are already determined as being something, so the analogy is lacking.

That’s why I said   “It makes less sense than saying: “What is wrong with viewing black as being white?”

Quote from: Timey
  Which would actually seem to me to be the most logical scenario for the first instances of creation, when considering the concept of a cyclic universe.

I’m a little confused; are we talking about a universe from nothing, or cyclic universes?
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #163 on: 14/09/2015 21:15:24 »
Discussions about nothing tend to go round in circles and get nowhere in particular.  I suspect that one reason for this is precisely because it is nothing.  “Nothing” is not really defined in physics for the simple reason that it is not a physical entity.  “Nothing” is a mental concept that rational beings have devised in order to try to talk about the absence of anything/everything.  It is reasonable to think of the physical world as being present even when there is no intelligence to perceive it; but can we say the same about nothing?

Scientists tend to say that they accept things that science can study and define.  By this token, “nothing” is not a subject for science. 

Perhaps the best we can say is that there is nothing in science that shows us a way in which something can emerge from absolutely nothing; so it is reasonable to argue that there can never have been nothing, otherwise there would be nothing now.   The only way in which there could be nothing in the future would be if everything annihilated itself completely.  The accepted conservation laws indicate that this is not possible.  We know that there is something now, so, rationally, “nothing” has no past and no future. It’s present exists only in our minds.

(Edit) Reading through that, it sounds dogmatic, it's not intended to be; it's just out there for discussion.
« Last Edit: 14/09/2015 21:18:17 by Bill S »
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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #164 on: 15/09/2015 11:14:08 »
Saying that nothing, in this context, cannot be defined as a physical reality, because the fact of nothing defines that there can be nothing there - this is a circular argument.
Algebra has its basis in the fact that one can use a parameter that is already defined as an offset to defining the parameter that you are trying to define.  I think that the logical argument that I have used in this instance holds up...

However, I am not going to try further to change your opinion Bill.  One either can see the logic of what I am saying or they can't.  I recognise your argument, I just think mine gets round it...

Scientists tend to say that they accept things that science can study and define.  By this token, “nothing” is not a subject for science. 

Here you are very wrong.  Nothing in the form of a 0 has been the source of much scientific interest.  Since it's discovery as a concept, 0 has been opening up new doors in both mathematics and physics to great importance.
It is a much more difficult proposition to determine the physics of how a universe that doesn't start from nothing began.  In as much as the conservation law negates everything turning back into nothing, the second law tells us that a state must tend to disorder.  These difficulties being the very reasons why it is that so many of the theories state the universe as having started from nothing, including the most widely accepted theory, the Big Bang.

You say you are confused.  ""Am I talking about a universe out of nothing or a cyclic universe?""
What I am doing is looking at the possibility of a cyclic universe that finds its moment of creation in the microscopic region out of nothing.  That each cycle of the universe is larger in size than the last.
This scenario upholds both the second law and the conservation law.

Apart from if you talk absolute (heading towards an absolute absence of energy) where you cannot have negative energy.

then A + B would never equal absolute zero. If you can have negative energy in the absolute scale it would be like having negative mass
o

Not if we are talking purely in terms of kinetic energy. The kinetic energy in the direction of a gravitational field (free fall) can be considered to be negative.

Jeff, that is really interesting!
If we have a 0 state that can hold kinetic energy in the negative, could quantum fluctuations arise under those circumstances?  Do quantum fluctuations carry mass?  If the answer to these questions is yes, I can see the possibility that perhaps the time aspect that we need for these fluctuations to occur in 'could' perhaps be related to mass ""through"" kinetic energy... ??? 
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #165 on: 15/09/2015 17:29:46 »
Quote from: Timey
However, I am not going to try further to change your opinion Bill

If you can show me how something could emerge from absolutely nothing, I would change my position in an instant, and thank you for doing so.

Quote from: Timey
Nothing in the form of a 0 has been the source of much scientific interest.

That’s true, but “0” is a mathematical concept, it is not “nothing”.  We might look into an “empty” room and say: “There’s nothing in here”.  Obviously, that could be challenged, but none but the most pedantic would do that in  normal circumstances.

The same sort of thing happens in discussions about infinity.  It is often argued that Cantor showed that infinities are amenable to mathematics.  These are mathematical infinities; “absolute infinity” remains unassailed.

Quote from: Timey
In as much as the conservation law negates everything turning back into nothing, the second law tells us that a state must tend to disorder.

Disorder, yes; annihilation, no. 

Quote from: Timey
  These difficulties being the very reasons why it is that so many of the theories state the universe as having started from nothing, including the most widely accepted theory, the Big Bang.

In what way does the Big Bang Theory say that the Universe started from nothing?  To make that claim, the BBT would have to be extrapolated back beyond the BB.

Quote from: Timey
What I am doing is looking at the possibility of a cyclic universe that finds its moment of creation in the microscopic region out of nothing.  That each cycle of the universe is larger in size than the last.
This scenario upholds both the second law and the conservation law.

“…finds its moment of creation….”   Fine sounding words, Timey, but what do they actually mean?  How can nothing find anything in order to become something?

What do you mean by creation?  I believe the present Pope has just acknowledged the BB as the moment of Creation (not that he is the first Pope to do that). I doubt that is what you are talking about, but I must not jump to conclusions.

 “….each cycle of the universe is larger in size than the last.”  Are you saying that more matter/energy is being created with each successive cycle, or simply that the universe expands further each time?
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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #166 on: 15/09/2015 19:08:35 »
Quote from: Timey
Nothing in the form of a 0 has been the source of much scientific interest.

That’s true, but “0” is a mathematical concept, it is not “nothing”.  We might look into an “empty” rooim and say: “There’s nothing in here”.  Obviously, that could be challenged, but none but the most pedantic would do that in  normal circumstances.

Mathematics and concepts are interchangeable.  One is describing the other and visa versa.
If the universe is a physical reality, which we know it is and have described it as being so mathematically to some great degree, then if we absent everything physical out of it, then everything is physically absent and nothing is the physical result.  This is not some clever word play.  This can be described as a mathematical equation as well as a concept.
Yes, for sure, I agree with you that we are left with a nothing that appears a bit somethingy.  Good, that's the whole point.  Now we have a basis for everything emerging from this nothing that has remained a bit somethingy, on the basis that this nothing is not so nothingy as one might have imagined.  We can in fact actually work with this kind of nothing, whereas the nothing you describe is, I agree, completely useless.  Because we are looking for a description of where and how everything came to be created, to use the reality of everything to determine the reality of nothing is logical.

Quote from: Timey
In as much as the conservation law negates everything turning back into nothing, the second law tells us that a state must tend to disorder.

Disorder, yes; annihilation, no.

I don't understand where annihilation  comes into it.  You'll have to explain where you are coming from with that one.

In what way does the Big Bang Theory say that the Universe started from nothing?  To make that claim, the BBT would have to be extrapolated back beyond the BB.

The Big Bang theory states that everything originated from a point.  A point being a geometrical reality of 0 space and content.

What do you mean by creation?  I believe the present Pope has just acknowledged the BB as the moment of Creation (not that he is the first Pope to do that). I doubt that is what you are talking about, but I must not jump to conclusions.

Yes, I am talking about the first moment of creation.  I'm looking for the 'physics' of it.  Religion is a separate issue in my book, although religious people may say whatever they feel relevant concerning physics, no problem.

“….each cycle of the universe is larger in size than the last.”  Are you saying that more matter/energy is being created with each successive cycle, or simply that the universe expands further each time?

I'm looking at the possibility of more mass/energy being produced during a cycle that increases the size each cycle.  The initial cycles of the universe being of the microscopic, experiencing growth in size and duration, until the dimensions and duration reach the universe that we observe today.

(Edit: I'm sorry, I can't seem to make that multi quote work properly Bill, you'll just have to manage :). )

(Edit 2: think I've sorted it now :)).  )

(Edit 3: I give up !!! Arghh...

(Edit 4: Cracked it! :)
« Last Edit: 15/09/2015 22:40:08 by timey »
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #167 on: 15/09/2015 21:33:53 »
It took me some time to work out the multiple quotes.  Even now, if I don’t do it for a while I have to work it out again.

Quote from: Timey
Mathematics and concepts are interchangeable.  One is describing the other and visa versa.

Just because A describes B doesn’t mean that A is B, or that they are interchangeable.

Quote from: Timey
if we absent everything physical out of it

Point of interest: If you absent everything physical, what are you left with?

Quote from: Timey
This can be described as a mathematical equation as well as a concept.

John Barrow has an interesting comment on mathematical existence.
 
“Gradually mathematicians lighted upon a new concept of existence.  Mathematical ‘existence’ meant only logical self-consistency and this neither required nor needed physical existence to complete it.  If a mathematician could write down a set of non-contradictory axioms and rules for deducing true statements from them, then those statements would be said to ‘exist’.” 

Quote from: Timey
I agree with you that we are left with a nothing that appears a bit somethingy.  Good, that's the whole point.  Now we have a basis for everything emerging from this nothing that has remained a bit somethingy, on the basis that this nothing is not so nothingy as one might have imagined

Perhaps I am misinterpreting this, but to me it says: Something can come from nothing, as long as the nothing is really something.

Do we have a referee?  [:D]
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #168 on: 15/09/2015 22:07:32 »
Just because A describes B doesn’t mean that A is B, or that they are interchangeable.

If A minus A = B, then of course A is not B.  To initiate an interchange between a state of B and a state of A, we must then find another factor, let's say C, to equate with.

Point of interest: If you absent everything physical, what are you left with?

You are physically left with nothing.

John Barrow has an interesting comment on mathematical existence.
 
“Gradually mathematicians lighted upon a new concept of existence.  Mathematical ‘existence’ meant only logical self-consistency and this neither required nor needed physical existence to complete it.  If a mathematician could write down a set of non-contradictory axioms and rules for deducing true statements from them, then those statements would be said to ‘exist’.”

Yes, which goes to show the importance of defining ones terms, in the instances of both mathematics and logic.

Quote from: Timey
I agree with you that we are left with a nothing that appears a bit somethingy.  Good, that's the whole point.  Now we have a basis for everything emerging from this nothing that has remained a bit somethingy, on the basis that this nothing is not so nothingy as one might have imagined

Perhaps I am misinterpreting this, but to me it says: Something can come from nothing, as long as the nothing is really something.

Do we have a referee?  [:D]

(chuckle)... No need for a referee!  No... you are not misinterpreting this.  The basis of requiring a nothing that 'is' a something has been the whole point of my venture. :)
« Last Edit: 15/09/2015 22:33:30 by timey »
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #169 on: 15/09/2015 22:41:04 »
Quote from: Timey
Yes, I am talking about the first moment of creation.  I'm looking for the 'physics' of it.  Religion is a separate issue in my book, although religious people may say whatever they feel relevant concerning physics, no problem.

Religion aside, doesn’t creation require a creator?  Would that be someone/something outside the nothing from which everything was being created?

Quote from: Timey
I'm looking at the possibility of more mass/energy being produced during a cycle that increases the size each cycle.  The initial cycles of the universe being of the microscopic, experiencing growth in size and duration, until the dimensions and duration reach the universe that we observe today.

Would I be right in thinking that this would involve a continuous creation of new matter/energy; similar to the steady state theory, but a bit less “steady”, in that it would come in cycles?

Quote from: Timey
No need for a referee!  No... you are not misinterpreting this.  The basis of requiring a nothing that 'is' a something has been the whole point of my venture.

As John McEnroe used to say: "You cannot be serious!!!!!"
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #170 on: 15/09/2015 22:59:11 »
Religion aside, doesn’t creation require a creator?  Would that be someone/something outside the nothing from which everything was being created?

Now you are bordering on philosophy... I am looking for a physical reaction that initiates the creation of the universe,

Would I be right in thinking that this would involve a continuous creation of new matter/energy; similar to the steady state theory, but a bit less “steady”, in that it would come in cycles?

I anticipate an interplay between clumped mass and the black hole phenomenon that produces more particles.

Quote from: Timey
No need for a referee!  No... you are not misinterpreting this.  The basis of requiring a nothing that 'is' a something has been the whole point of my venture.

As John McEnroe used to say: "You cannot be serious!!!!!"

I am in fact being deadly serious...
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Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #171 on: 16/09/2015 02:08:20 »
Quote from: timey

You say that nothing, in the context that we are using it, cannot be defined.  I beg to differ.  Anything can be defined.  Sometimes, in fact for the most part, this only requires that one change ones perspective to the problem.



Regarding nothing, there is nothing to talk about, as I have already laboriously explained.  You can't even conceive it.  You trick your brain into thinking you can, but in fact you cannot.  So you fool yourself.  A dangerous precedent.

And you say "anything can be defined".  You are flat wrong.

Please solve the following equation: 2÷(3-x) where x = 3. 

You will find this to be undefined. Also, a point in geometry is undefined.  There are also algebraic functions which are undefined, such as a singularity.

A verticle line itself has an undefined slope.

In quantum mechanics, if you know the momentum of a test particle, its position is undefined. And vice versa. This result has nothing to do with inadequacies in the measuring instruments timey.  It is a fundamental and intimate property of particles and waves in the subatomic world.

  I can go on and on if you like.  There are many things that are undefined, and not because we lack information, but rather it is intrinsic.  Like absolute nothingness.  Meaningless questions with equally meaningless answers, using undefined terms to explain unobservable events which formulate impossible predictions that lead to untestable conclusions.  Woe is us.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #172 on: 16/09/2015 02:33:36 »
Oh dear Mordeth...  Shall we all just give up the ghost and live with the inadequacies?

I'm not the only physics enthusiast who wishes to push the boundaries.

I'm not the only person who believes that 0 or nothing can be classed as something.

I'm also not the only person to believe that time and the way we perceive it may lead to answers that could reveal a theory of everything.

I am the person who has come up with an alternative time theory.  I do not wish to talk about this idea I have on 'this' thread.
What I am trying to explore here is the moment of creation, which to all intents and purposes, the evidence points to this scenario being started from nothing.

Therefore...an exploration into the potential of nothing is a logical approach, not saying that it will prove fruitful, but that 'is' what I am doing.
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #173 on: 16/09/2015 15:25:42 »
Quote from: Timey
Quote from: Bill
Religion aside, doesn’t creation require a creator?  Would that be someone/something outside the nothing from which everything was being created?
Now you are bordering on philosophy... I am looking for a physical reaction that initiates the creation of the universe,

That doesn't answer the question, Timey.  Something must initiate this creation.  What I'm trying to find out is if that something is external or internal with respect to the "nothing" from which the "creation" emerges.
There never was nothing.

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #174 on: 16/09/2015 15:41:55 »
C Bruce Rodgers asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Theologians have an explanation for the pre-bang state of the universe, but is there any scientific speculation on the source of the source?  Even a cosmic yo-yo started from something.

What do you think?

Theologians have an explanation for everything, but it is never predictive of anything testable and therefore of no interest whatever.

The test of a "pre big bang theory" will be that it predicts something like the observable universe and is consistent with whatever happens tomorrow.
helping to stem the tide of ignorance

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #175 on: 16/09/2015 15:45:02 »
Quote from: Timey
Quote from: Bill
Would I be right in thinking that this would involve a continuous creation of new matter/energy; similar to the steady state theory, but a bit less “steady”, in that it would come in cycles?
I anticipate an interplay between clumped mass and the black hole phenomenon that produces more particles.

Now you’ve lost me; what interplay is that, and how does it produce more particles?
Quote from: Timey
No need for a referee!  No... you are not misinterpreting this.  The basis of requiring a nothing that 'is' a something has been the whole point of my venture.

I really think we need a third party opinion here, ideally from someone with expertise.

You are saying that nothing is something.

I maintain that that is a contradiction in terms.

Is there anybody out there who can find us some common ground, or even tell us both we are nuts, and why?
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #176 on: 16/09/2015 17:23:16 »
Ok, Bill... I will try to answer your questions, but first I want to explain to you about my use of the terminology 'progressive thought structures'.  We are discussing an area of physics that is not as yet defined.  To initiate progressive thought it is necessary to look at any situation from an alternative perspective.  This is all I am doing here.  I am using logic to define a situation in order that it may be viewed from an alternative perspective.  Given that we can view this path of logic as a progressive thought structure, we are now free to follow the path of logic further.
This does not necessarily mean that we are going to get anywhere truly significant with it, although we may find that to view the situation from an alternative perspective could afford us some smaller realisation along the way.  I often find this to be the case!
So please know Bill, and Mordeth, that I am not here saying, "this is the way it is", I am here saying, "hey, this is another way of looking at nothing, this being that nothing 'is' something"...

Now if we take what Alan has said:

The test of a "pre big bang theory" will be that it predicts something like the observable universe and is consistent with whatever happens tomorrow.

In relation to what Jeff's post is relating:

If we have two values of energy where A is positive and B is negative then we can have a situation where A + B = 0. You then have a mathematical nothing and yet the energy has not gone away.

Apart from if you talk absolute (heading towards an absolute absence of energy) where you cannot have negative energy.

then A + B would never equal absolute zero. If you can have negative energy in the absolute scale it would be like having negative mass

Not if we are talking purely in terms of kinetic energy. The kinetic energy in the direction of a gravitational field (free fall) can be considered to be negative.

Jeff, that is really interesting!
If we have a 0 state that can hold kinetic energy in the negative, could quantum fluctuations arise under those circumstances?  Do quantum fluctuations carry mass?  If the answer to these questions is yes, I can see the possibility that perhaps the time aspect that we need for these fluctuations to occur in 'could' perhaps be related to mass ""through"" kinetic energy... ???

Here we can see that by defining nothing as a physical reality, be this correct or not, we have opened up a discussion about the concept of a moment of creation.  In this discussion, we see that it is necessary in nothing for time to not exist, and to then start existing in order for anything to occur.  If there can be merit in the idea's above, then the phenomenon of time being perhaps related to mass, and therefore to gravity, via kinetic energy is an idea that we can relate back to our state of everything today and experiment with.

Quote from: Timey
Quote from: Bill
Would I be right in thinking that this would involve a continuous creation of new matter/energy; similar to the steady state theory, but a bit less “steady”, in that it would come in cycles?
I anticipate an interplay between clumped mass and the black hole phenomenon that produces more particles.

Now you’ve lost me; what interplay is that, and how does it produce more particles?

As I said, this is an 'anticipated' interplay.  Basically this means I don't know :D... I observe matter in my garden multiplying.  Sacks of the stuff must be removed every year in order to maintain clear space.  Perhaps particles can multiply???

I really think we need a third party opinion here, ideally from someone with expertise.

You are saying that nothing is something.

I maintain that that is a contradiction in terms.

Is there anybody out there who can find us some common ground, or even tell us both we are nuts, and why?

I'm good with that :) ...

I am saying that if everything is physically absent then nothing is the physical result.  This rendering nothing as a physical reality.

Bill says that nothing cannot be a physical reality, that this is a contradiction in terms.

If we could have an expert opinion at-all please?
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #177 on: 16/09/2015 19:29:57 »
Quote from: Timey
Bill says that nothing cannot be a physical reality, that this is a contradiction in terms.

Just to clarify: in your scheme of things does "physical reality" = "something"?
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #178 on: 16/09/2015 20:06:47 »
Yes, to be clear, I am proposing that the "physical reality" of nothing, determined by the physical absence of everything = something.
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #179 on: 16/09/2015 22:54:40 »
Quote from: Timey
I observe matter in my garden multiplying.  Sacks of the stuff must be removed every year in order to maintain clear space.  Perhaps particles can multiply???

Particles can multiply in the same way matter accumulates in your garden; ie by the natural process of the motion of material from one place to another; or if your garden is like mine; by passers-by throwing stuff in.  I doubt that any of this stuff comes from directly nothing.  [:)]
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #180 on: 17/09/2015 09:39:07 »
Well Bill, I have heard some pretty way out stuff, whereas the world of quantum paralleled to the macro world that we live in might well have an empty beer can or other such rubbish appear in your garden as if from nothing... :D

But seriously, if you can remember that I did also state this:

As I said, this is an 'anticipated' interplay.  Basically this means I don't know :D...

Of course matter build up in the garden is particles being displaced from one place to another.  We do not observe that particles multiply/breed.  If this multiplication of particles happens at-all, then it would probably be inside a black hole.  This however is just a 'nutty' idea of my own.  The only relevance it bears upon this conversation is due to my 'looking' at a creation moment in the microscopic region.  And this only because I want to look at the first cycles of the universe consisting of a minimal amount of particles, with each cycle becoming bigger in size/amount of particles, and longer in duration than the last.

This doesn't mean that looking at the possibility of a creation moment in the microscopic region wouldn't have any potential relevance to any other theory though...
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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #181 on: 17/09/2015 15:41:44 »
As a footnote to the post above, I think it worth mentioning Bill, that as to my multiplication of particles notion that increases a universes size each cycle...

IF there was any chance that we 'could' bring forth a particle from quantum fluctuations that 'can' occur out of this 0 state, then it could be said that a state that is close to 0, where quantum fluctuations are occurring, can produce more particles.  Therefore we have a cause for a universe's cycle getting bigger in size/amount of particles.  Any part of the universe that is close to a 0 state will be producing more particles...

Just another perspective :)
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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #182 on: 17/09/2015 17:29:11 »
...and to take this path of logic further,  IF we were to consider that a 0 state 'could' arise quantum fluctuations that 'can' produce a particle/particles...  Then we can now 'perhaps' dispense with the cyclic universe notion in favour of an eternal cosmos scenario that holds it's moment of creation in the microscopic, and has been expanding ever since.  A Big Bang scenario turned Little Bang if you like.
This scenario would uphold both the second law and the conservation of energy law.  It would explain expansion, and accelerated expansion and would be suggestive of this expansion continuing to infinity.

Again, how the time aspect might emerge in the scenario of this moment of creation in the microscopic, and what rate it is occurring at, would, I believe, be incredibly relevant...
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #183 on: 17/09/2015 22:22:11 »
Let’s see if I am beginning to understand your idea. 

Nothing was eternal into the past.  At some point, something, possibly a particle, appeared in this nothing.  The particle had energy which caused it to “explode” into a number of particles.  These particles constituted the universe.  They expanded until something, possibly gravity, pulled them back together into a small crunch, which initiated a new expansion.  The second expansion followed the same pattern as the first, but with additional matter/energy.  Cycles have continued, on increasing scale, until our Universe emerged.  This cyclic process may continue for ever.

How’s that for a first attempt?
There never was nothing.

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Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #184 on: 18/09/2015 01:12:48 »
Quote from: Bill S
Is there anybody out there who can find us some common ground, or even tell us both we are nuts, and why?

He is trying to create a logical bridge between "nothing" and "something". Unfortunately, no logical bridge exists.  So, what is being asked is an impossible explanatory demand. Namely,  to determine the reason for the existence of something (everything) without using an existential premise. It is an explanatory trap. So one tries to define the indefinable and then rationalize the belief with the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent.  ie.,

If there is nothing then there is something.
There is something, therefore there is nothing.

You are both arguing over the very nonexistence of reality itself.  This "nothing" cannot be explained, imagined, calculated or defined.

Infinite regress is also a very real problem in attempting to understand the origin of everything, and I have painstakingly explained this.  Furthermore, there is no event prior to the Big Bang that is observable and this will probably always be the case.  So how do you plan to test these grand conclusions?  Do you think you can logically deduce the most important question that ever was asked?


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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #185 on: 18/09/2015 14:56:07 »
Quote from: Mordeth
If there is nothing then there is something.
There is something, therefore there is nothing.

That is precisely what I am not saying.  My position would be better expressed as something like this.

If there is nothing, there cannot be something.
Manifestly, there is something, therefore there can never have been nothing.

That is an oversimplification, but gives the general idea.

In continuing the discussion, what I am trying to do is understand Timey’s line of reasoning.
There never was nothing.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #186 on: 18/09/2015 18:43:09 »
Let’s see if I am beginning to understand your idea. 

Nothing was eternal into the past.  At some point, something, possibly a particle, appeared in this nothing.  The particle had energy which caused it to “explode” into a number of particles.  These particles constituted the universe.  They expanded until something, possibly gravity, pulled them back together into a small crunch, which initiated a new expansion.  The second expansion followed the same pattern as the first, but with additional matter/energy.  Cycles have continued, on increasing scale, until our Universe emerged.  This cyclic process may continue for ever.

How’s that for a first attempt?

Hi Bill... Almost :)

A particle is produced by quantum fluctuations that emerge from nothing.  More particles arise from further fluctuations that are rendered more possible by the existence of this particle.  These particles clump together, form a black hole, the black hole jets these particles into the next cycle.  More particles gives rise to more likely conditions for more fluctuations to emerge more particles, particles clump, form black hole, etc.

Or ... The fluctuations that emerged the first particles were 'special' and the black hole produces more particles, by particles that have been primed for reproduction by extreme compression.

Post 183 and 184, this path of logic runs past the same scenario of creation moment, but without the cyclic universe, black hole beginning and ending cycle notion.  This bearing more resemblance to the universes 'observed' expansion and accelerated expansion notion, this observation being based on the supposition of the causation of redshift.  Both dark matter and dark energy would have explaination.

Thanks Bill for wanting to understand my line of reasoning.  Appreciated!

Mordeth, I am in fact a 'she' and am now concentrating on preparing an answer to your post...an answer that will propose exactly why it is that I feel that logic 'can' prevail and that there lies the possibility that quantum fluctuations can arise from nothing and how particles may emerge from these conditions.

But... In the meantime.   If you are both proposing that there cannot be a reality of nothing, then what exactly are you proposing did come before the moment of creation/Big Bang?
« Last Edit: 18/09/2015 18:46:20 by timey »
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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #187 on: 18/09/2015 21:39:14 »
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_regress

Infinite regress:
If proposition 1 = that nothing is a reality.  Proposition 1 relies on proposition 2 = everything is a reality.  Proposition 3 relies on proposition 2 = in that proposition 2 minus proposition 2 = proposition 1... Proposition 4 = a progression from proposition 1 into proposition 2 (this relies on propositions 1, 2 and 3 and is yet to be defined). Proposition n - 1 = a progression of everything minus the reality of nothing (infinite nothing perhaps, but not nothing infinitely due to no time scale) and proposition n = everything progressing infinitely.

Is this an infinite regress?  (Not sure if I am applying the symbols correctly).  A virtuous circle perhaps?  ... I personally do not view this as an illogical concept.  It reads more like  an algebraic equation in my eyes, but perhaps it's just me.

In any case I am certainly not the first person in the world to consider nothing as a potential reality that everything else can emerge from.  It really does surprise me that we are having such trouble getting past first base here!  I would have thought that the attempts that quantum physicists have made in their explorations into a vacuum state speak clearly of this type of investigation being oriented to a creation moment as well as searching for a quantum unification with gravity.

Truly, I think its time I stopped beating around the bush and give it to you straight.

Purely from the information given in the following 3 links, by adding one additional concept I am going to tell you a possibility that I think 'may' have the potential to lead to 'the' theory of everything mentioned in these links.

If you both read these inks in full, please note direct evidence of physicist considering nothing to be something.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_state

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle

Quote:
"According to Astrid Lambrecht (2002): "When one empties out a space of all matter and lowers the temperature to absolute zero, one produces in a Gedankenexperiment the quantum vacuum state."[1]"
Unquote

Quote:
"According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.[3][4][5]"
Unquote

Quote:
"In many situations, the vacuum state can be defined to have zero energy, although the actual situation is considerably more subtle. The vacuum state is associated with a zero-point energy, and this zero-point energy has measurable effects. In the laboratory, it may be detected as the Casimir effect. In physical cosmology, the energy of the cosmological vacuum appears as the cosmological constant. In fact, the energy of a cubic centimeter of empty space has been calculated figuratively to be one trillionth of an erg (or 0.6 eV).[8] An outstanding requirement imposed on a potential Theory of Everything is that the energy of the quantum vacuum state must explain the physically observed cosmological constant."
Unquote:

Quote:
"The presence of virtual particles can be rigorously based upon the non-commutation of the quantized electromagnetic fields. Non-commutation means that although the average values of the fields vanish in a quantum vacuum, their variances do not.[15] The term "vacuum fluctuations" refers to the variance of the field strength in the minimal energy state,[16] and is described picturesquely as evidence of "virtual particles".[17]

It is sometimes attempted to provide an intuitive picture of virtual particles based upon the Heisenberg energy-time uncertainty principle:

(with ΔE and Δt being the energy and time variations respectively; ΔE is the accuracy in the measurement of energy and Δt is the time taken in the measurement, and ħ is the Planck constant divided by 2π) arguing along the lines that the short lifetime of virtual particles allows the "borrowing" of large energies from the vacuum and thus permits particle generation for short times.[18]

Although the phenomenon of virtual particles is accepted, this interpretation of the energy-time uncertainty relation is not universal.[19][20] One issue is the use of an uncertainty relation limiting measurement accuracy as though a time uncertainty Δt determines a "budget" for borrowing energy ΔE. Another issue is the meaning of "time" in this relation, because energy and time (unlike position q and momentum p, for example) do not satisfy a canonical commutation relation (such as [q, p] = i ħ).[21] Various schemes have been advanced to construct an observable that has some kind of time interpretation, and yet does satisfy a canonical commutation relation with energy.[22][23] The very many approaches to the energy-time uncertainty principle are a long and continuing subject.[23]"
Unquote

Quote:
"A virtual particle does not necessarily appear to carry the same mass as the corresponding real particle. This is because it appears as "short-lived" and "transient", so that the uncertainty principle allows it to appear not to conserve energy and momentum. The longer a virtual particle appears to "live", the closer its characteristics come to those of an actual particle.
Virtual particles appear in many processes, including particle scattering and Casimir forces. "
Unquote:

Quote:
"Many physicists believe that, because of its intrinsically perturbative character, the concept of virtual particles is often confusing and misleading, and is thus best avoided.[4][5]"
Unquote:

Physicists have been juggling these concepts around for years.  The suggestion I make has never been made before by anyone else.  It has not been considered.

GR describes time dilation perfectly. We can run GPS, mobile phones, set your clock by it.  There is no disputing this... But what sort of time dilation is GR describing?
I propose that GR is describing a mass near mass time dilation effect, and that proper locational gravitational time dilation has been completely overlooked as a result of GR's assertions.

I propose that locational gravitational time dilation is as widely variant in its scale as the strength of a gravity field is. (I can explain this further but for now if you will accept this experimentally as the premiss)

Any mathematical structure that is based on a time measurement in relation to a momentum or a length needs to take into account the rate time is occurring at for the subject matter being measured.

In the case of a "perfect" vacuum state, (this being a one time occurrence) time would be set at zero.  For 'whatever reason' it may have cause to occur, a quantum fluctuation (Casimir effect) would have to initiate time as it emerges.  Time is now set at notch 1.  It is occurring really very slowly indeed. Therefore giving rise to more potential for other quantum fluctuations to occur, producing virtual particles that will, in this rate of slow time, not be "fleeting"!

Quote:
"Quantum field theory   Edit
See also: Vacuum catastrophe
List of unsolved problems in physics
Why can't the zero-point energy of the vacuum be interpreted as a cosmological constant? What causes the discrepancies?
A major outstanding problem is that most quantum field theories predict a huge value for the quantum vacuum. A common assumption is that the quantum vacuum is equivalent to the cosmological constant. Although no theory exists that supports this assumption, arguments can be made in its favor.[14]

Such arguments are usually based on dimensional analysis and effective field theory. If the universe is described by an effective local quantum field theory down to the Planck scale, then we would expect a cosmological constant of the order of (it didn't print the maths here). As noted above, the measured cosmological constant is smaller than this by a factor of 10−120. This discrepancy has been called "the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics!".[15]"
Unquote

Wouldn't this problem be helped by the fact of an early universe that occurred in much 'slower time'?

Wouldn't this problem be exaggerated by a mathematically flawed Planck scale?

Wouldn't the concept of quantum physics be adversely affected by a mathematically flawed Planck's h constant?

Taking this to the other extreme, we can now have a cause for the Hawking's temperature quandary.

Now, I 'may well' not be right (chuckle), but what I am suggesting presents a very simple idea as a solution to some long standing physics problems, and this idea 'is' based in logic.
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Offline dlorde

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #188 on: 18/09/2015 23:59:29 »
As I understand it, the vacuum state with no particles or forces (other than virtual particles) is what is often referred to as 'nothing' by physicists. Krauss has said that when he talks of a universe from 'nothing', this is what he means - empty or 'raw' spacetime. He doesn't mean nothing as in the complete absence of spacetime or anything else. Empty spacetime isn't the complete absence of anything; the quantum fields are all present, randomly oscillating around zero due to quantum uncertainty, but the Higgs field is non-zero (from Sean Carroll's 'The Particle at the End of the Universe').

It seems to me that suggesting that the complete absence of anything physical is itself physical, is analogous to claiming that not collecting stamps is a hobby and not pulling a rabbit out of a hat is a magic trick. Semantic legedermain.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #189 on: 19/09/2015 00:10:53 »
Clearly you have not taken on board the concept of reducing a vacuum state to absolute-ness.  ie: : A 'perfect' vacuum state...
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #190 on: 19/09/2015 00:13:32 »
Timey, it's going to take me a few hits to work through your last couple of posts, but one thing strikes me straight away.

Quote
A particle is produced by quantum fluctuations that emerge from nothing.

A quantum fluctuation is a transient variation in the level of energy at a given point.  It emerges from the vacuum energy, not from "nothing".
There never was nothing.

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Offline dlorde

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #191 on: 19/09/2015 00:28:33 »
Clearly you have not taken on board the concept of reducing a vacuum state to absolute-ness.  ie: : A 'perfect' vacuum state...
You mean 'free space'? That's what I was talking about.

Quote from: Wikipedia
Physicists often discuss ideal test results that would occur in a perfect vacuum, which they sometimes simply call "vacuum" or free space...
[Vacuum]

At university we used to discuss crackpot inventions, like the 'Hackenthorpe Knife', which was so sharp it would slice through its own blade if left facing up, or the 'Hackenthorpe Vacuum', made by taking an ordinary vacuum and sucking all the vacuum out. They were absurdist student jokes. A box with literally 'nothing inside' would be completely flat, with nothing between its sides - i.e., the surfaces would be touching.

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #192 on: 19/09/2015 00:36:43 »
So...dlorde.  You are disputing the Big Bang theory, everything did not emerge from a point, please elaborate!
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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #193 on: 19/09/2015 00:38:29 »
Timey, it's going to take me a few hits to work through your last couple of posts, but one thing strikes me straight away.

Quote
A particle is produced by quantum fluctuations that emerge from nothing.

A quantum fluctuation is a transient variation in the level of energy at a given point.  It emerges from the vacuum energy, not from "nothing".

Yes Bill.  If you remove all matter from a situation, you will be left with a vacuum state in which quantum fluctuations occur.  Remove the quantum fluctuations and you might be left with a 'perfect' vacuum state.

We can even describe this state as a zero geometry, zero content point.  But this state IS still something.  This  perfect vacuum state has the potential for quantum fluctuations to arise.  Why?  Because it is the perfect vacuum state and being as we are saying this is the beginning of our universe, it is subject to the second law.  A state of order must alway tend to disorder.  We know that if we remove all matter from a space that we will be left with a vacuum state that has quantum fluctuations.  Therefore to add matter back into a vacuum state we can see that it must require the vacuum state to have quantum fluctuations... Surely?  That would be logical, right?

Also, you are saying that a quantum fluctuation is 'transient'.  Agreed, but if the rate of time is occurring much more slowly than the time we are measuring it with, perhaps a quantum fluctuation is not quite so fleetingly transient as 'we' observe.  Not forgetting that any experiment in a lab would not reflect the rate time would be occurring at for a quantum fluctuation that was not occurring in the presence of any other related mass...
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Offline Mordeth

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #194 on: 19/09/2015 05:44:48 »
Quote from: timey
Mordeth, I am in fact a she...

My apologies.

Quote from: timey
But... In the meantime.   If you are both proposing that there cannot be a reality of nothing, then what exactly are you proposing did come before the moment of creation/Big Bang?

I am not proposing anything.  I have said no less than 20 times that I do not know, nor does science. All we can do is guess. 

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #195 on: 19/09/2015 10:08:19 »
Quote from: timey
Mordeth, I am in fact a she...
My apologies.

No problem, the user name is not indicative of gender.  I perhaps should have called myself Mrs.timey.

Quote from: timey
But... In the meantime.   If you are both proposing that there cannot be a reality of nothing, then what exactly are you proposing did come before the moment of creation/Big Bang?

I am not proposing anything.  I have said no less than 20 times that I do not know, nor does science. All we can do is guess.

I am not in disagreement with you Mordeth.  Any inroads that I am 'attempting' to make here into 'unknown' territories, are based on guesswork.  However this guesswork is 'informed' guesswork that is based in logic and my line of inquiry introduces a 'new concept' to the equation.

As Alan Calvard said earlier this thread:
"The test of a "pre big bang theory" will be that it predicts something like the observable universe and is consistent with whatever happens tomorrow."

IF what I am suggesting concerning time and its emergence in the initial moment of creation, from not occurring at-all - to occurring at an extremely slow rate that increases its speed as more mass is introduced into the universe... IF this scenario is viable, then this pre-creation theory IS testable in our universe today!  And would also be predictive of what our universe can expect of its tomorrow's!
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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #196 on: 19/09/2015 23:10:41 »
Quote from: Timey
Therefore to add matter back into a vacuum state we can see that it must require the vacuum state to have quantum fluctuations... Surely?  That would be logical, right?


I would agree with that, as long as you are not saying that this vacuum, which has energy and fluctuations, is nothing.  Unless you are using "nothing" in the way that (e.g.) Krauss uses it, in which case, by his own admission it is not nothing.   
There never was nothing.

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Offline Bill S

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #197 on: 20/09/2015 00:09:54 »
Since we are dealing with distinctly non-mainstream ideas; the problem of infinite regression in relation to the Universe is not so difficult to overcome, without getting into theology.  The trouble is that the concept requires fully accepting that infinity is not a number, and eternity is not time.  It is not difficult to get scientific people to accept this, but if you try to go a step further and ask them to agree that there can be no change in infinity, and that there cannot be an infinite succession, and you hit a brick wall.   

It is important to stress that I am not attempting to be dogmatic here, I am not even saying that this is what I believe, I am merely putting forward some of the ideas that have come into my head in the course of thinking about the possible origin of the Universe, and in particular about infinity.  I gladly accept that the ideas are there to be knocked down, and in fact welcome that as part of my own learning process. 

    I invite you to consider the possibility that the cosmos is infinite. (Whenever I use the word “infinite” I include “eternal” within the term).  I am, here, picking up the idea, that appears in some scientific circles, that the four dimensions of spacetime that we experience are only a shadow of a higher-dimensional reality that is beyond our reach.  I am suggesting that the cosmos has infinite dimensions, or perhaps just one infinite dimension, which we cannot experience.  Like zero, whatever you divide, or multiply infinity by, it remains unchanged.  However, unlike zero, infinity should remain unchanged if you try to add something to it, or subtract something from it, because, if it is truly infinite, whatever you “add” will already be part of it, and whatever you try to subtract will still remain part of it, otherwise, it would no longer be infinite.  Even when trying to explain this idea, we run into problems with terminology.  Strictly, I should not talk about “parts” of infinity; surely, it has no parts; that is of the essence of infinity.  Leaving aside the mathematical “infinities” that almost inevitably find their way into this kind of discussion; it feels as though no part of a true infinity should be thought of as being finite, because a true infinity cannot be sub-divided.  In eternity, time should receive the same treatment, it too is eternal; of course this is also a contradiction in terms; what I should really say is that time, as we understand it does not exist.  There is no passage of time, in the cosmos, nor do we, in our Universe, pass through time.  We live in an eternal, unchanging now, of which we can experience only a shadow. 
There never was nothing.

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Offline jeffreyH

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #198 on: 20/09/2015 00:14:56 »
What happens if the expression is infinity minus infinity or infinity divided by infinity?
Fixation on the Einstein papers is a good definition of OCD.

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Offline timey

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Re: What was before the big bang?
« Reply #199 on: 20/09/2015 00:43:07 »
Quote from: Timey
Therefore to add matter back into a vacuum state we can see that it must require the vacuum state to have quantum fluctuations... Surely?  That would be logical, right?


I would agree with that, as long as you are not saying that this vacuum, which has energy and fluctuations, is nothing.  Unless you are using "nothing" in the way that (e.g.) Krauss uses it, in which case, by his own admission it is not nothing.

Ok Bill

Now take the vacuum state with its quantum fluctuations and remove them.  What are we left with?  Empty space.  Then take away the geometry of space.  We have a point.  Now take away time.  What we are now left with is something that has nothing of our universe in it.

This is the 'nothing' that I refer to.  It exists as 'something' only because we have subtracted everything from it.

Now all that we need to do is work out which order these parameters that we have removed are to be added back, in order for our universe to evolve.
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