Monday, August 20, 2007

Glimpse of Time Before Big Bang Possible

Glimpse of Time Before Big Bang Possible

By Charles Q. Choi, Special to LiveScience
posted: 01 July 2007 01:15 pm ET

It may be possible to glimpse before the supposed beginning of time into the universe prior to the Big Bang, researchers now say.

Unfortunately, any such picture will always be fuzzy at best due to a kind of "cosmic forgetfulness."

The Big Bang is often thought as the start of everything, including time, making any questions about what happened during it or beforehand nonsensical. Recently scientists have instead suggested the Big Bang might have just been the explosive beginning of the current era of the universe, hinting at a mysterious past.

To see how far into history one might gaze, theoretical physicist Martin Bojowald at Pennsylvania State University ran calculations based on loop quantum gravity, one of a number of competing theories seeking to explain how the underlying structure of the universe works.

Past research suggested the Big Bang was preceded by infinite energies and space-time warping where existing scientific theories break down, making it impossible to peer beforehand. The new findings suggest that although the levels of energy and space-time warping before the Big Bang were both incredibly high, they were finite.

Scientists could spot clues in the present day of what the cosmos looked like previously. If evidence of the past persisted after the Big Bang, its influence could be spotted in astronomical observations and computational models, Bojowald explained.

However, Bojowald also figures some knowledge of the past was irrevocably lost. For instance, the sheer size of the present universe would suppress precise knowledge of how the universe changed in size before the Big Bang, he said.

"It came as a big surprise that some properties of the universe before the Big Bang may have only such a weak influence on current observations that they are practically undetermined," Bojowald said of findings detailed online July 1 in the journal Nature Physics.

One implication of this "cosmic forgetfulness," as Bojowald calls it, is that history does not repeat itself-the fundamental properties of the current era of the universe are different from the last, Bojowald explained. "It's as if the universe forgot some of its properties and acquired new properties independent of what it had before," he told

"The eternal recurrence of absolutely identical universes would seem to be prevented by the apparent existence of an intrinsic cosmic forgetfulness," he added.

These findings differ from a cyclic model of the cosmos from cosmologist Paul Steinhardt at Princeton and theoretical physicist Neil Turok at Cambridge, which envisions an infinite series of Big Bangs preceding our universe caused by additional membranes or "branes" of reality perpetually colliding and bouncing off each other. Steinhardt said he felt Bojowald's calculations were concrete, but needed further elaboration to include the interplay of different kinds of matter and radiation.

Cosmologist Carlo Rovelli at the Center of Theoretical Physics in Marseilles, France, found it "remarkable" that the new work could delve past the Big Bang. He added the work had to lead to predictions that could be compared to cosmological observations "in order to become credible."


Oldfart said...

OK - we know from physicists that black holes are areas in space where mass has gathered in such density that not even light has the velocity to escape. At the beginning of the big bang the (non) universe was a black hole (all the mass and energy in the universe) the likes of which have never been seen. Yet physicists insist that it somehow exploded. All the rules about black holes that I know of require that anything escaping a black hole has to exceed the speed of light which would require infinite energy for even the smallest mass. So what is the source of this infinite energy that caused the big bang? This is never mentioned. The only reasonable answer is that the big bang never happened at all and that we are living within this original black hole..............

JTankers said...

Cosmological observations provide an incredibly rich set of clues to the pre-big bang universe. Do you see any flaws in: The Pre-Big Bang Universe at

… In the beginning (in the pre-big bang universe) there was only the vast vacuum of space and time. But this vacuum was not sterile, it was seething with vacuum energy. This vacuum energy field permeates and defines the universe, an astronomically large sphere of energy. And just as matter generates gravity by warping space and time, so does energy and this is the force that defines the size and shape of the universe, and also the force that bestows mass on matter…

…When a virtual matter/anti-matter pair becomes a matter matter pair, the virtual particles are no longer able to mutually annihilate and they become real, stealing energy from the vacuum energy of space. This is the mechanism of slow matter creation in the first phase of the pre-big bang universe. Over perhaps a billion billion years, clouds of matter form over the entire universe, and eventually coalesce into cosmological bodies and eventually the first pre-big bang black hole, which starts the second phase of the pre-big bang universe, fast accretion of matter from vacuum energy by black holes…

Xion.Solaris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Xion.Solaris said...

Essentially we're all wondering the same thing, what predated the big bang. Well from what i understand after reading a few articles is that the older theory of the universe expanding and contracting was partially correct. Because if this universe that we exist in was once just a mass of matter and before that it was just a cloud of gasses, then isn't that what is believed to be happening in our own universe? If i remember right, Eistine had a theory on anti-matter with a "pushing" effect on the matter, if that were to be true, then after so many billion years, the universe will have expanded, and destroyed mass matter, but then the anti-matter would have nothing to react with. Thus forming sub atomic particles, and they would create matter, and a gravitational pull would be reinstated on the matter causing it to pull back in, thus making another "black hole". If that was odd just comment back.