The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall. -Thomas Paine

I’ve been telling you the history of the Universe over the past few months in serial. Parts 1 through 8 are currently up, and have taken us from Inflation up through the formation of neutral atoms, covering the first 380,000 years of the Universe. During this whole time, like a giant balloon, space has been expanding.

One thing I haven’t paid much mind to is just how the Universe has been expanding during this time. The concept is relatively straightforward: the Universe expands faster based on the amount of energy density in it. More matter and energy packed inside a smaller volume means faster expansion.

What does this means for our Universe, which spends most of its time expanding and cooling?

If we want to know how the Universe expands, we need to know its energy density at any given time. Well, there are three general types of things that make up the Universe, and they’re important at different times. What are they?

1.) Matter. Normal matter is stuff like you and me… stuff with mass. As the Universe expands, the matter density dilutes. You may remember that density is just mass over volume, and so as the volume increases, the energy decreases.

2.) Radiation. Radiation is stuff with either no mass or very little mass, like photons or (sometimes) neutrinos, which move either at or extremely close to the speed of light. But unlike matter, radiation loses extra energy as the Universe expands!

How? The energy intrinsic to radiation is determined by its wavelength. Long wavelength photons (like radio waves) have less energy than short wavelength ones (like X-rays). But as the Universe expands, in addition to volume increasing (as it does for matter), the wavelengths also get stretched. This means that a Universe full of radiation loses energy faster than a comparable Universe filled with matter.

3.) A constant energy source. It’s also possible for space to be filled with a constant source of energy that doesn’t dilute as the Universe expand. This not only happens in our Universe, it looks like it has all happened before (during inflation), and like it’s all happening again (with dark energy)! In this case, the expansion rate remains constant, and the energy density also remains constant as long as the Universe is full of this type of energy.

So, what does this mean for our Universe’s beginning? We know it’s expanding and cooling, we know it has matter and radiation in it now, and we know that before that, towards the beginning (see parts 1 and 2 of my series), it had a constant source of energy in it. What I’d like to do is to work backwards from now, and ask whether the Universe started from a singularity or not?

Well, diagrams on the internet aren’t going to hold the answer. For billions of years, until the recent takeover of dark energy, the Universe was dominated by matter. Prior to that, though, when the Universe was only a few thousand years old (and earlier), the radiation was more energetic! It lost its energy more quickly due to that extra “stretching” of its wavelength, but for the first few thousand years, the Universe was dominated by radiation. And then if we go back even farther — towards the instant the big bang was created at the end of inflation — we come to the epoch of inflation, where the Universe is dominated by a constant energy source, and expands exponentially. Let’s compare, graphically, what these three cases look like. (The next three graphs — unlike most of the ones on this blog — were generated by me.)

Well, quite clearly, a Universe with exponential expansion expands the fastest over time, and one with matter expands faster than one with radiation. No big deal. But I want to go backwards, and take a look at what happens when we extrapolate back to a time where the size of the Universe should shrink to zero! After all, that’s what a singularity is defined to be, where all of the matter and energy in the Universe is concentrated in a single point. Let’s calculate it and see what we get.

What’s this?! A Universe with matter or radiation totally has a singularity at time t=0, but — and this is very, very important — an inflating Universe does not! In fact, we can take the inflating, exponentially expanding Universe back arbitrarily far, and what do we find?

It never reaches a size of zero! If you want an inflating Universe to have a singularity, you need to go back an infinite amount of time! Physically, of course, we can’t do that. The only information we have about inflation is from whatever comes at the very end of it. Everything else is wiped away from our field of view by the exponential expansion!

So what does this all mean? It means the idea that our Universe started from a singularity was a very good one back when we thought that the only important things in our Universe were matter and radiation, but now that we know about inflation, there is no reason to believe that our Universe ever had a singularity in the past.

And this is different from what you’ll read almost everywhere — on the internet, in textbooks, even at many colleges and Universities — but it’s right. Now that we know about inflation, it’s time to admit that we can’t with any sort of certainty speak about what came before it. That means there is no reason to believe that our Universe came from a singularity, and this outdated idea should have died as soon as inflation was accepted.

And isn’t that a surprise for most of us! So my answer — to the best of our current knowledge about the Universe — is no, it didn’t. What do you think about that?

Comments

  1. #1 Lex
    April 5, 2010

    Is there any physical significance to the t=0 point, or can that be chosen arbitrarily?

  2. #2 Sweetwater Tom
    April 5, 2010

    I think that what I think doesn’t matter. The universe isn’t going to ask me! :-D

    I can’t say that I have a handle on this, but there are two things that would upset me: Time not being continuous and Action at a distance. Other than those I just watch the new developments with fascination.

    Thanks for the blog!

  3. #3 Brando
    April 5, 2010

    I think part of the problem is that people often think of a massive object the size of a proton as more or less a singularity.

  4. #4 Jason Failes
    April 5, 2010

    “What do you think about that?”

    Thank you; Have thought the same for a number of years.

    Currently wonder if the universe’s creation can be explained by the slow and steady accumulation of subatomic particles due to complex asymmetric interactions between virtual particles.

    Is there a name for the study of empty space?

  5. #5 onethird-man
    April 5, 2010

    I’m – speechless. Honestly.

    At what “time” in the “past” does it reach the Planck Length? And is the expansion always considered to be asymptotic (if I spelled that right), and does this mean a universe with no matter and no energy would expand with another “end-date” as its vertical asymptote? (I guess I mean – is it hyperbolic?)

  6. #6 Sphere Coupler
    April 5, 2010

    Interesting…Indeed.

    I think that the picture is still incomplete and though the idea of one singularity may be obsolete, an infinate number of singularities acting as one may still yet hold water.

    I read this as a incompleteness of the inflation theory rather than a discredit to the singularity theory.

    What,what, OK, so I’m a die hard on this one…need more data.

  7. #7 NewEnglandBob
    April 5, 2010

    The last 2 graphs lost me.
    What are the units?
    What is negative time?
    What is the universe’s size at (close to?) t=0?

  8. #8 Sean Carroll
    April 5, 2010

    Even with inflation, you still generically need a singularity in the past, at least as far as classical GR is concerned:

    http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0110012

    Of course, classical GR isn’t right, and ultimately we’re going to need quantum gravity. Presumably that helps make sense of singularities, but the precise way in which that happens is still far from clear.

  9. #9 sylas
    April 5, 2010

    I think it doesn’t work. If you have ANY other source of energy which is matter like or radiation like, and which therefore dilutes as expansion occurs, this energy will inevitably dominate a constant energy term as you go back in time, and drive things to a solution. Pure inflation is a cute mathematical solution, but not one based on trying to look at the actual case of this universe we live in.

    That is why you don’t see this solution being mentioned much. It’s not actually a solution at all. Its a mind game with the mathematics of FRW solutions. The infinite nature of this solution into the past is well known. It was, after all, the famous Friedmann solution developed well over eighty years ago.

    Specifically, given that we do have matter and radiation in the universe, it is simply untrue that “now that we know about inflation, there is no reason to believe that our Universe ever had a singularity in the past.”

    A more accurate statement would be as follows. “Now that we know about inflation, we can speculate on the possibility of a universe where inflation extends indefinitely into the past, with no singularity. There are good reasons to think this is not a viable solution, but if we can find a way to avoid any influence from other forms of energy, it might be possible. So far no such solution has been found.”

    Cheers — sylas

  10. #10 sylas
    April 5, 2010

    Argh. I need an edit facility. My previous post should have started as: If you have ANY other source of energy which is matter like or radiation like, and which therefore dilutes as expansion occurs, this energy will inevitably dominate a constant energy term as you go back in time, and drive things to a singularity. (Not drive things to a solution)

    But I see Sean Carroll posted a similar point while I was writing. He’s right. GR doesn’t let you have an infinite inflation if there is any other energy involved. Getting past GR is essential; and that will also toss out the nice simple continuous inflation model as well.

  11. #11 yogi-one
    April 6, 2010

    I find it intriguing that your graph shows the infinity of approaching zero size in negative time.

    I’m not able to visualize that.

    Given that the universe does have all three factors (mass, radiation, inflation), what does that say about the beginning?

    If time dilates out as we approach the singularity, would that not be exactly what you would expect to be the case? Just as when you fall past the event horizon in a black hole, you are going at the speed of light, but to a nearby observer you never actually fall in because the observer’s time keeps expanding as you approach the speed of light.

    I wonder if that’s how we get all the clumped up stars around the black hole at the center of galaxies. Those stars have, from their viewpoint, fallen past the event horizon, but from out viewpoint, never quite make it, so it appears they just keep clumping up close to the event horizon?

    Ok, my mind’s boggled…I’m going to sleep on it. maybe I’ll get some cool dream that’ makes it all clear…

  12. #12 Bjoern
    April 6, 2010

    Ethan wrote:

    After all, that’s what a singularity is defined to be, where all of the matter and energy in the Universe is concentrated in a single point.

    I beg to differ – a “singularity” does not necessarily imply a point; it merely means (mathematically) that certain quantities diverge (become infinitely large). You can have a singularity even in an infinitely large universe, which never was a “point”; but even for that case, if you go back to t = 0, density and temperature diverge.

  13. #13 Arancaytar
    April 6, 2010

    “What are the units? What is negative time?”

    The units don’t affect the exponential shape of the curve – the point is that you could go back by seconds or by billions of years and never reach a point where the size of the universe was exactly 0 (which is also unit-less; 0 planck lengths are the same as 0 lightyears).

    “Negative” time is just the time relative to an arbitrarily defined moment of t=0, which in this diagram was the time when the universe would have had a size of 0 in the traditional matter/radiation-only scenario – ie the Big Bang.

  14. #14 Nathan Myers
    April 6, 2010

    You appear to have begun learning to say “I don’t know”. Practice and you’ll get better at it. You might catch up with the scrupulous folks, eventually.

  15. #15 Deen
    April 6, 2010

    What do you think about that?

    I’m still trying to decide whether that blew my mind or whether it makes sense in a “Meh, I’ve always suspected that a singularity couldn’t be right” kinda way.

  16. #16 free
    April 6, 2010

    I had a thought today and Im not sure whether it’s right or
    not. This is how it goes:

    We know that the universe is expanding. This means that the distance
    between any two points in the spacetime fabric is increasing. Does this mean
    that the radius of atoms is also increasing? To answer this question, we
    must first understand what the term “expanding universe” refers to. Does it
    mean that some yet-undiscovered force is causing the spacetime fabric to
    expand like a rubber sheet pulled from all directions? Or, is “additional”
    spacetime fabric being created to accommodate the required expansion?
    If it is similar to the first case, let us consider the following
    example:
    Consider two deflated balloons and let us stick a small strip of
    cellophane tape on one balloon and a rubber band on the other. If we inflate
    both the balloons, we’ll find that the rubber band expands along with the
    balloon while the cellophane tape prevents the very small portion, it has
    occupied, from expanding. If we assume the balloon to be the spacetime
    fabric and the strip (both the cellophane tape and the rubber band) as an
    atom, then which of the above balloons is analogous to our universe.

    May be the electromagnetic force of attraction between the proton and the
    electrons is very much greater than the force (due to the expansion of the
    universe) that is driving them away.Since the expansion is accelerating,
    some time in the future, the force due to expansion could overpower the
    electromagnetic force of attraction. So, can we say that the radius of an
    atom is not a constant throughout the lifetime of our universe?

  17. #17 MadScientist
    April 6, 2010

    That’s one hell of a feedhorn; I wonder how they compensated for the emissions of the horn.

  18. #18 ScentOfViolets
    April 6, 2010

    Is this one of those singularities you can remove with a suitable choice of coordinates? I know Hawking did some work a while back that used this trick to push the singularity of the classical big bang into the infinite past.

    The more general question is what type of singularity is associated with this model of the universe? Removable? Pole? Essential?

  19. #19 Mu
    April 6, 2010

    Free, since we’re using the redshift of spectral lines as the marker for the expansion, and the spectral lines are directly related to the proton-electron distances, changing intra-atomic distances, especially by factors as involved in the expanding universe, would really screw the model. So my guess is it falls in the “too small to be effected by GR” regime.

  20. #20 dexadog
    April 6, 2010

    Mr. Siegal, I’m just a poor slobbering geologist who had to sit through physics courses full of abstract (math) thinkers. My concrete / visual brain got pretty fed up with cocksure assertions about the history of the universe and the magical conclusions that followed. Reason is often pooh-poohed these days as an archaic route to understanding reality.
    (I apologize – I momentarily forgot that reality no longer exists.) Mathematical exploration by itself may be internally satisfying to mystics, but where’s the proof? I don’t know if your views are “correct” but I understand the argument. Thanks for the clear presentation.

  21. #21 Celia B.
    April 6, 2010

    All I want to know is how that photo of Adndy Samberg (or someone who looks a lot like him) and the bobcat high-fiving was made — is that a live or stuffed (or synthetic) bobcat?

  22. #22 S.C. Kavassalis
    April 6, 2010

    While I am not convinced that once we have a consistent theory of quantum gravity, the concept of having a [certain kind of] singularity in the past will make sense, I would say that this just shows the flaw in a universe dominated by [this type of] inflation.

    There are many treatments of inflationary cosmology which are just wrong, and so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if one of them leads to something inconsistent. Many treatments, however, still impose a singularity in the past, when dealing with inflation, so it’s hard to say from any of this.

  23. #23 bo moore
    April 6, 2010

    Why should there even be a universe? Backing everything up along “time-space” to a singularity begs the question, How did a singularity come to exist? If the universe began with a singularity, did the singularity exist outside space-time or initiate space-time? Was “something” created out of “nothing”? Will a unified theory cross that boundary?

    Is “our universe” the only one, or one of many? How many ways COULD a universe come to be, and which path describes ours? The search for a grand unified theory is not new; for most people a powerful being from outside the universe, who lives in the supernatural dimension (which exists only in the human mind) is the unifier. What if unification is an idea that reflects a human need for emotional security, and the universe is not unified? What if there are steps or boundaries of scale that require other explanations?

  24. #24 Jim Jones
    April 6, 2010

    I enjoyed this line of reasoning. I never felt confortable with the mathematical “singularity”; I always felt it was only half of an explanation (and a purley mathematical one) to a more practical answer. If it is true that we are one of many universes that cannot transverse between the two because of some force that keeps us “inside” (or a brane as you will) then it would make perfect sense that mathematical equations based on our “inside” physics would lead to redlicious and infinite answers when we reach the “wall” of our universe. I find that an unlimited source of energy/space ecompassing everything more plausible than unlimited amount of energy/space located on a point. I believe that matter is definitley either held on to by a black hole (in a larger (albeit very squishy) environment than previously thought) or pushed out elsewhere (if not vaporized as a whole a spit out of the jets). The once we can prove that a singularity cannot exist in this universe(s);then we can think of alternate theories on how our universe works on a macro scale.

  25. #25 juanbobsdad
    April 6, 2010

    So, there are two regimes: 1. inflation defined by times when exponential size leads to the largest universe and 2. expansion by matter/radiation leads to the largest size – right? If we suppose these processes continue in perpetuity (as your graphs imply), the inflationary process will ultimately dominate again and cause the rate of expansion to accelerate. But, we’ve recently learned that the expansion is accelerating. It seems logical to conclude that dark energy and dark matter are the stuff of inflation – stuff that only interacts via gravity – and that the universe is locked into an ever lasting(non-economic) inflationary spiral.

  26. #26 Duncan Ivry
    April 6, 2010

    Ethan, rather good explanation! Over the years I have read something about a cosmic history without singularity here and there in a book, in newspapers, and on the web, so it comes as no surprise for me. But the linkage to inflation has never been made so clear.

    Now, please, put everything together; make a diagram showing how the universe grows when everything is there: inflation (dark energy?), mass, and energy!

    By the way, will the cat be fed into some Schroedinger experiment one day?

  27. #27 NewEnglandBob
    April 6, 2010

    Our currently expanding universe and inflation must be on all four dimensions of space-time. I am trying to visualize what that means in the time dimension, particularly as we roll back time towards the big bang, but I am incapable of visualizing much faster time near t=0. Help?

  28. #28 eNeMeE
    April 7, 2010

    The idea of a singularity (at t=anything) has always bothered me – it seems to me to be a giant flag standing out there saying “THIS IS WRONG! FIND A BETTER ANSWER!”.

  29. #29 MadScientist
    April 7, 2010

    @bo moore#23: I don’t know if anyone is trying to explain why there is a universe, only to explain their models of what we currently observe (which ironically are events that happened many generations ago). It is a history of the universe rather than an attempt to explain why there is a universe. As weird as some cosmological ideas like the Big bang are, no one has come up with a better idea yet. Models have also led to predictions which were later verified (such as the case of the Cosmic Microwave Background). Models have been modified extensively over the years as people attempt new observations to test ideas – for example the measurement of the expansion of the universe. It was only a couple of decades ago that it was considered reasonable to guess that the universe could be static, collapsing, or expanding but careful measurements have settled that. There are still many phenomena which people are trying to explain (or whose explanations people are trying to test), so the history lessons continue.

  30. #30 onethird-man
    April 7, 2010

    Okay, the idea that expansion doesn’t affect the atomic level is making my head hurt.

  31. #31 Sphere Coupler
    April 7, 2010

    I do not think that the issue is totally settled, If inflation is eternal then so can be the initial state. Yes, Eternal inflation is what we observe, though utilizing only this observation leads to illusion.

  32. #32 Duncan Ivry
    April 7, 2010

    “expansion doesn’t affect the atomic level”
    I’m not so sure about this.

    There have been, as far as I can see, serious scientific papers in the most recent past (don’t ask me about specifics) which said, in the very far future even atomic particles, afterwards subatomic ones (quarks), and then … er … the fundamental fabric of space ;-) … will be torn apart. I even saw a tv show about this.

    So: the same may have happened in past, i.e. atomic particles have been expanded. These particles have this certain dual behavior: they are also waves; and waves have been expanded, as Ethan explained. At least I want an explanation, if this is not the case.

  33. #33 Sphere Coupler
    April 7, 2010

    Dr. Allen Guth states that there is no proof that inflation is eternal to the past, while I agree that the new inflation is a good fit to the CMB, it does not preclude the possibilities of a cyclic Universe, nor does a cyclic Universe interfere with an eternal Inflation to the future.
    As Dr. Guth states:
    quote
    “Omega does not have to start at 1, it can start anywhere below 1″.
    end quote
    Most likely the Universe could be looked upon as a wave where any point along the infinite waveform is a possibility.
    For example: Mark a point on a infinite sin wave, move the wave through the point(not the point along the wave)It is the wave that moves forward, not the point on the wave.
    Any negative apex of the wave would be the singularity and any positive apex would be omega 1.
    I will use a surfing analogy here,(since we have discovered that surfers can think too) to develop a mind set.

    We are riding on a forward moving wave, we are moving ever so slightly backwards on this wave toward the singularity (towards deflation)as the wave continues ahead of us(eternal inflation).So not only is inflation moving away from us, we are moving away from inflation.

    Where on the large scale the universe is expanding yet on the Galaxy cluster scale it is contracting to a singularity possibly dense enough to deflate space between singularities creating an infinitely dense enough zero volume to produce an absence of space/gravity/False vacuum. The apices of the singularities is where deflation ends and inflation begins. Due primarily to the absolute absence of Space/time gravity.

    So while on the large scale we see the eternal inflation, locally we see the movement towards the deflationary epoch of baryonic matter, hence an oscillating, inflation-deflation cycle.
    So you see an answer here is the combining of Eternal Inflation with Eternal Deflation, a forever expanding and a forever contracting Universe.
    I believe a better quantum mechanical description can be developed of eternal inflation if it’s counter part of Deflation is used to describe beyond the final coalescence of matter to the singularity.
    We can not see into our absolute past as we moving toward the past(I know that is hard to conceptualize)
    I conclude that our form of life is always to the left of the wave and always moving away from the inflating Universe. Another really confusing way to say it is our future past is hidden from us.
    Just as our past future we can see (CMB).
    We will never see deflation, normal matter…us, will not exist when deflation occurs and can not be seen by us.
    So? What say you?
    I would like to include a Lecture by Dr. Allen Guth that only covers the Inflationary aspect of the above.
    http://pauli.physics.lsa.umich.edu/w/arch/som/sto2001/Guth/real/n001.htm

  34. #34 Sphere Coupler
    April 7, 2010

    Whoops, I not only misspelled Alan once but twice…should be Dr. Alan Guth.

  35. #35 Mu
    April 8, 2010

    Unless it’s all a visualization gone wrong, all expansion pictures I’ve seen seem to show galaxies drifting apart in the long run, I remember one description mentioning how all the other galaxies will fade from our view until only the milky way stars are left. So the expansion of space should not only not affect atomic dimensions, it doesn’t seem to have an effect on tightly bound masses on a galactic scale.

  36. #36 Thomas Neil Neubert
    April 8, 2010

    My favorite singularity is the Bohr atom, in which the electron goes spiraling down into the nucleus in no time flat. If not for the absurdity of our bodies spontaneously disintigrating; this part of electromagnetic theory could still be alive and debated today.

    Howard Hunt Pattee explains, “But I want to say that whatever single form of description one has, it is incomplete… There will arise in the description some singularity or instability. And this must necessarily give rise to an alternative description.” In my opinion, physics has been clinging to the singularities of general relativity for too long. They are no more worthy of being enshrined than the singularity of the Bohr atom. Physics and astronomy has to be looking for an alternative to the big bang singularity.

    In my mind, Ethan simply replaces a general relativistic singularity with a quantum mechanical singularity or instability. This enshrining of the inflationary hypothesis is not an improvement; rather it is continued resistance to looking for an alternative description.

  37. #37 bo moore
    April 8, 2010

    Dear Madscientist: I appreciate that examining the “universe” as an historical object has only recently become possible, and I commiserate with the physicists and other scientists who are engaging in such torturous information gathering. They are truly neglected by society (except the Discovery Channel) I know that the question of what the universe is may be a pointless exercise, but thinking about it might stimulate a shift in view; perspective can boost the understanding of relationships within a system. Besides, doesn’t anyone involved in this get a wee bit curious about “the big picture”? Sorry, bad joke!

  38. #38 Bjoern
    April 8, 2010

    @Thomas:

    In my opinion, physics has been clinging to the singularities of general relativity for too long. They are no more worthy of being enshrined than the singularity of the Bohr atom. Physics and astronomy has to be looking for an alternative to the big bang singularity.

    Err, and what do you think all those people working on quantum gravity, string theory etc. have been doing all those last decades?!?

    This enshrining of the inflationary hypothesis is not an improvement; rather it is continued resistance to looking for an alternative description.

    Could you care to give an actual argument why this is not an improvement and not even an alternative description, instead of simply asserting that?

  39. #39 controline
    April 8, 2010

    Question:Could it be possible to have an infinite number of “near” singularities?

  40. #40 Craig Overend
    April 8, 2010

    Our notion of time experiences the singularity, the inflationary universe however does not.

  41. #41 Sphere Coupler
    April 8, 2010

    Most if not all cyclic models of the universe happen along a timeline (first the BB, (stop) then inflation,(stop) then nucleosynthesis,(stop)then etc…)

    The description I have made above(comment 33) does not happen one after the other. The model above describes a simultaneous action where the Universe is always inflating, leaving the debris in it’s path to slowly coalesce and start inflating again. So it’s a pattern of inflation…deflation, following inflation…deflation, following inflation…deflation at the same time, to infinity.

    So their is an infinite amount of inflationary and deflationary events happening at any given snapshot of time.
    The view we see as we look to the CMB would suggest that the Universe will fade to black, and it will, but just hang around (if you could) and another wave of inflation will be along. Sounds kind of crazy, if I say so myself.

    One question is does Hawking radiation operate within parameters?
    Does it have it’s limits?
    Given the proper balance of baryonic material VS BH dissipation (which we have not yet seen)Will a black hole singularity inflate due to a pressure reduction of incoming matter?
    If so then where is the cutoff point where HR ends and total collapse of the local(visible) Universe deflation/inflation begins?
    Is their a tipping point of the number of BHS and BHS mass that starts deflation?
    I would venture to say that if a black hole singularity is not of sufficient size to inflate, then it must either merge with another BH or dissipate through Hawking Radiation.

    The one outstanding feature that singularities possess is the lack of distance between particles, hence no gravity, and when you have no gravity, you get inflation.

  42. #42 dexadog
    April 9, 2010

    I hope you guys realize that these are all mental constructs and that the universe is under no obligation to conform to them. A thousand abstract universes can be constructed from a few measurements. It reminds me of anthropologists who try to resurrect an entire species from a skull fragment and two toe bones. Cheers!

  43. #43 Thomas Neil Neubert
    April 9, 2010

    Sphere Coupler, a question or two.

    Your comments 33 and 41 do sound crazy; but to the extent that I understand; they make sense and are hopeful. I tried but I couldn’t get the Guth lecture to play, probably my problem. I’ll try to hear it again.

    Just allow me just one or two questions which may or may not make sense.

    You say (41) “So their is an infinite amount of inflationary and deflationary events happening at any given snapshot of time.
    The view we see as we look to the CMB would suggest that the Universe will fade to black, and it will, but just hang around (if you could) and another wave of inflation will be along.”

    Now by “hang around” do you me to hang around as in to wait as time passes (i.e. possibly you mean wait 20 billion years or more) or do you mean to accelerate to a different inertial reference frame and from that different inertial frame you will see a new wave of inflation or deflation (e.g. if you sit just outside the event horizon of a black hole or otherwise accelerate enough you will move to a sufficently future place on the sine wave)?

    And secondly, by hang around do you also suggest that in another 20 billion years (if I hang around that long) that I would see another inflation wave and that I couldn’t tell the difference between being in our current 13.6 billion year old universe inflation wave and the new 13.6 + 20.0 billion year old universe inflation wave?

    Thanks.

  44. #44 Sphere Coupler
    April 9, 2010

    No,no you’re wrong, I have a contract!
    The Universe must conform to my views or face the consequences.

  45. #45 Sphere Coupler
    April 9, 2010

    Thomas Neil Neubert:
    I can’t even imagine moving through the apex of a singularity, nor can I envision accelerating faster than the apex of inflation.
    What I mean is to step outside the system and wait 20 billion years.
    If one could (hang around) long enough I think that you would see a developing universe similar to ours (same basic laws)yet different, since not quite all space would have deflated and some small portion of baryonic material could possibly be left behind to configure the following wave.

    There could be a diminishing oscillation aspect.

    One aspect that I want to make clear is that the beginning(inflation from singularities)is eternal and inflation is eternal and since they are always present then the Universe is in a steady state of eternal inflation/deflation.
    I think deflation is the most exiting aspect of this*mental construct*

    Though what you suggest “(e.g. if you sit just outside the event horizon of a black hole or otherwise accelerate enough you will move to a sufficiently future place on the sine wave)? ” is intriguing. I’ll have to ponder the repercussions for awhile.

  46. #46 Sphere Coupler
    April 9, 2010

    Let me go just a little further…picture a sine wave, now draw a line left to right through the center of the wave, you now have the positive (inflation)above the line and negative(deflation)below the line.
    Now picture us on this line (that converges with the wave) if you could move to the right, you would move up towards inflation.
    Now picture someone else on the same line,further to the right and if they could move to the right, they would move down the sine wave.
    The really strange part is our inflation is their deflation and vice/versa…but don’t ask me to prove it.
    I don’t really care about the other guy, I’m more concerned with how deflation can be proven.

  47. #47 Sphere Coupler
    April 9, 2010

    I’m sorry, I screwed up the following, should be;

    One aspect that I want to make clear is that the beginning(inflation from singularities)is eternal and DEFLATION (of baryonic debris)is eternal and since they are always present then the Universe is in a steady state of eternal inflation/deflation.
    I think deflation is the most exciting aspect of this*mental construct*

  48. #48 Fredrik Wallinder
    April 9, 2010

    There is no such thing as negative time. And the origin of the universe means the origin of everything, including spacetime and various fields. Until we have a testable TOE, any claim as to what happened should be regarded as speculation. I’ll not go so far as Penrose does and say that inflation is just a magnitude argument that doesn’t explain anything, but the fact that there are so many inflationary ideas tells me that something is wrong.

  49. #49 Sphere Coupler
    April 9, 2010

    Just a few more thoughts to whomever may be interested *out in the ole blogosphere*,(and as a side note, a few more comments and I’ll fill the recent comment section and feel like a real gluton.

    The (current)black hole/singularity inside out metric is equal to the Inflationary Model.The inflationary metric is the exact opposite of the black hole “no hair theorem.

    The accelerated expansion of the CMBR is the result of inflationary AND deflationary processes.

    Dark matter is not an accelerating force, the increasing lack of density of Dark matter is an accelerating force.

    The required distance between deflationary capable Black hole singularities is only obtainable thru inflation.

    Depending on the evolutionary point of our existence (today)the weighted calculations of what we see can be derived as a combination of both actions.

    And yes Dark matter does become normal matter on a diminishing galactic time scale with input from outside sources.

    Dark matter does contain baryonic material,tho it is “locked up” in some almost equal aspect and otherwise unable to interact with it’s captor, it does contribute to the gravitational metric (except on a diminishing galactic time scale).

    The Higgs particle will not be found, yet the mathematical construct developed will be useful in the manipulation of the Muon for the catalyzed muon fusion process.

    One aspect ( in my opinion)with that most magnificent machine (LHC) is stumbling upon the correct parameters for muon fusion without foreseeing the correct parameters first, tho it is a very complex issue and very non intuitive.(It is possible that THIS machine does not have the capability to construct this unique environment to exist(frequency rate to overcome the Alphe-sticking process and availability of Deuterium-tritium ,but my gut feeling (if that means anything)I think not.I am a bit uncomfortable with my ignorance of the possible secondary particle interactions of increasing frequency and intensity.

    The multiverse aspect of string theory could be useful to describe the infinite probabilities along the Infinite Universal Wave/ proposal(IUW/p).

    The M theory could be useful to describe the instantaneous Deflationary/Inflationary action of the IUW/p at the instant of Deflation completion/Inflation creation.

    The IUW/p is eternally evolving, has a steady state,can contain many (verses) or maybe just one.

    OK I’m done…oh and if the Higgs is found, I’ll eat my leather boots…and I may have to if nobody buys my book “Wave goodbye to matter” just kidding-no such book.

  50. #50 stella
    April 10, 2010

    I’ve never believed in singularity as the origin of our universe. In simple terms, what was before it or around it (if it was a point singularity)? A primordial infinite black hole makes more sense to me. I’m inclined to think that as string theory says the Big Bang was caused by the collision of two p-branes that existed before, resulting in creation of our universe. All these are, of course, just speculations.

  51. #51 Duncan Ivry
    April 10, 2010

    Sphere Coupler: “Dark matter is not an accelerating force, the increasing lack of density of Dark matter is an accelerating force.”

    No scientist stated, that dark matter is an accelerating force, or even a force at all.

    You confounded this with dark energy, which drives the expansion of the universe. It’s questionable whether it is justified calling this a force.

    But the rest of your comment looks highly competent ;-)

  52. #52 Frank
    April 10, 2010

    Nice job, Ethan. You’re not only right, you’re a terrific presenter and educator. Thanks for all you do.

    I predict that, once the true nature of dark matter is revealed, the mechanism of inflation will be apparent to all (I’m working on it), and that the universe will be found to be a closed system that is cyclic and in which there are no gravitational point singularities, either within black holes, or at the beginning of each universal cycle (time=0).

    Maximum and minimum density limits, for both mass and energy, will be established for the Universe. The precise minimum and maximum sizes for the universe will, of course, never be known because its current extent is unknown.

    Did the universe start from a singularity? If my evolving theory is valid, the answer is, unequivocally, no. The structure of dark matter is more fundamental than quarks, gluons, and photons and it is the density limits on dark matter and dark energy, together with the total amount of matter and energy in the universe, that will determine its minimum and maximum size.

    Because the universe is a closed system, its maximum and minimum extent will be the same for every universal cycle. The amount of baryonic matter will vary from cycle to cycle, as will the amount of time required for each complete cycle.

    The big bang is mostly bang on (heh heh). It just needs a little tweaking at it’s beginning and ending, to incorporate the influence of dark matter and energy.

  53. #53 Sphere Coupler
    April 10, 2010

    Duncan Ivry:
    I stand corrected and had earlier realized my error and done nothing.
    I think what I had wanted to say was;

    Dark matter is not an accelerating force, the increasing lack of density of Dark matter is an accelerating fictitious force.

  54. #54 Feynmaniac
    April 11, 2010

    It means the idea that our Universe started from a singularity was a very good one back when we thought that the only important things in our Universe were matter and radiation, but now that we know about inflation, there is no reason to believe that our Universe ever had a singularity in the past.

    Cosmology isn’t my field of expertise, but looking at my GR text book it talks about universes dominated by matter, radiation and vacuum energy:

    In all three cases, the universe expands without limit as t increases. In the ratiation- and matter-dominated cases the universe begins with a singularity where a[the scale factor]=0 at t=0. This is a physical singularity because a physical quantity – the density- becomes infinite then. The moment t=0 is the big bang. In the vacuumed-dominated case, a goes to zero at t=-∞. Whether that is a singularity or not is less than clear because the density ρv is constant, but in any case our universe has some matter and radiation in it and had a big bang singularity.[pg. 379 Hartle, James B. Gravity, emphasis added]

    I basically agree with sylas @#9. The pure inflation model seems like a mathematical solution that doesn’t really have much bearing on how the universe actually is.

  55. #55 Thomas Neil Neubert
    April 11, 2010

    Sphere Coupler
    First please continue being a real glutton. I will have to reread your entries in this post and go back and reread your other entries.

    Previously, I mispoke when I said, “Now by “hang around” do you me to hang around as in to wait as time passes (i.e. possibly you mean wait 20 billion years or more)”, What I meant to say was something like this, “Now by “hang around” do you mean that perhaps some star could hang around for 20 or more billion years even though the big bang is 13.6 billion years.” I’m not looking for an argument on the age of the universe; rather you seem to be hinting at a different kind of paradox rather than a simple mathematical inconsistency. But you seem to offer perhaps a paradoxical way to interpret a 20 billion old star (if found) that doesn’t reduce to an absurdity in a 13.6 billion year old universe.

    Now regarding 49, you say a lot of strange things all of which almost make sense to me in my metaphorical way of thinking (meaning I don’t understand the deeper mathematics). In some way the feel of your ideas (to me) is that they are in the correct direction. But I assume they are somewhat embryonic ideas and fragile so I only want to encourage and not be skeptical.

    Now let me ask another question or so about 49). It seems to me that a more correct theory of time is essential to more fully develop your ideas.

    You say, “The required distance between deflationary capable Black hole singularities is only obtainable thru inflation.”
    May I suggest that it is not the “required spatial distance” but the “required temporal distance” which may be important. Does this make any sense?

    You say, “And yes Dark matter does become normal matter on a diminishing galactic time scale with input from outside sources.” It seems that you are suggesting or implying the need for a quantum property of time (which is very different than the continous classical time), a time charge if you will. Some of my ideas summarized pg 261 figure 11 (fully viewable online follow my link) may be a hint to a correct direction for an answer even if my ideas are complete nonsense. Assume I am wrong, my purpose is to encourage your thinking. Am I making any sense?

    You say, “The Higgs particle will not be found.” and may I agree but also suggest something in the Higgs idea is necessary and again maybe the concept that is tripping up the mathematics is the concept of time. So what do I suggest. Take Feynman and Wheeler’s idea of “an positron being an electron going backwards in time” literally. Yes, don’t just assume that it is a mathematical trick that can be useful in efficiently solving certain physics problems. Assume that it is a reality paradox like time dilation. And systematically incoporate that idea. Sorry I’ve gone off on my idea, which we’ll assume are bogus, but I want to stimulate yours.

    Also regarding string theory, when they talk about super tiny dimensions. It may be usefull to think of them as super tiny from our point of view but also ours as super tiny from their point of view.

    If I haven’t spoken complete nonsense and have triggered even a tiny idea, then I good. Good luck on your work; it is paradoxical but consistent and hopeful ideas.

  56. #56 Sphere Coupler
    April 11, 2010

    Thomas Neil Neubert:
    Your book/mind is very in depth and I do want to read it to understand your viewpoint but it is such a nice day, I must get outside and get away from this time sink called a PC.
    So I’m just going to briefly touch on my thoughts of time, without going into to much depth.

    Time is a product of the separation of matter…period.

    The views given to us with GR,SR,QG are all based on this.
    I don’t think you could find a 20 billion year old mass star in an inflationary epoch of 13.7, that’s not to say that somewhere along some line or bubble (in the past) that a star would not be 20 B.yrs old.I don’t think that we could see matter past our light cone, however their is no reason to believe that the most densest object known (BH)operate in the same time frame as normal matter.

    Lets forget about time dilation as that is velocity relative to density (the higher velocity particle is denser than a slower particle)time slows for relativistic particles because of the gain in density.

    Lets also forget about rest mass for a moment.
    The rest mass of a particle is a very useful concept, but where in nature do you find a particle that is not moving?

    A singularity can not exist in any time reference frame,does this conflict with the Inflation/Deflation process? no Time stops at the same instant that gravity disappears, Gravity disappears at the same instant that particle separation ends, Particle separation ends when matter become singular, Inflation begins because gravity ends, time increases because velocity increases,time increases again because particles separate.

    The closest example I see of true mass rest is the conversion from the singularity to Inflation,(more accurately true rest mass is derived from the deflation/inflation conversion.

    Their really is no singularity, nor is their a true rest mass, but the concepts allow us to bring conclusion to the equation.A singularity exist on the time scale of 0.
    Time slows down with density till it stops and reverses.

    Remember, you are a product of Universal production, you are made from the same particles that make up the rest of the Universe,(let me throw in a little woo here to give you a feel of who we are…Have you ever noticed that if you are experiencing a very enjoyable light hearted event, that your concept of time is shortened and when you are doing the drudgery duties of life it seems to drag on and never end)This is of course your personal experience and the person next to you may experience the opposite *hopefully your not having sex when this happens*My point here is tho your experience of time if referenced, you are still both within the context of the whole(you both hear the alarm clock at the same time) and a true meaning of time on the universal scale must include all densities.

    I have written this quickly and probably made some mistakes, but it’s really nice out and I gotta go, catcha later.

  57. #57 Duncan Ivry
    April 11, 2010

    Sphere Coupler: “I think what I had wanted to say was;

    Dark matter is not an accelerating force, the increasing lack of density of Dark matter is an accelerating fictitious force.”

    “fictitious” as in “not real or true, being imaginary or having been fabricated” (New Oxford American Dictionary)? “fictitious” is no common term of physics, as far as I know. What is a fictitious force?

    And, usually a lack of density is sucking something in, because of which the universe should shrink.

  58. #58 Sphere Coupler
    April 11, 2010
  59. #59 Sphere Coupler
    April 11, 2010

    Gravity is overridden by Inflation and expansion on the Universal scale, while on the local scale Gravity sucks.
    Galaxies does shrink/coalesce, Galaxies Clusters Probably coalesce, Universes coalesce locally and expand Universally.
    Universes experience continues time.
    They do not know time.
    Time belongs to use and we die for it.

    Thomas Neil Neubert:
    Have not dealt or delved in time for a while, and that *well* can be very deep. Tho I have written some, It may take a while to reorganise into a more logical delivery.

  60. #60 Sphere Coupler
    April 11, 2010

    Thomas Neil Neubert;

    May I suggest that it is not the “required spatial distance” but the “required temporal distance” which may be important. Does this make any sense?”

    I’m sorry …no. Can you tell me why temporal distant may be important?

    My amended prior comment;

    And yes Dark matter does become normal matter on a diminishing galactic time scale with (probable)input from outside sources.”

    It seems that you are suggesting or implying the need for a quantum property of time.

    Hmmm, My intent was to convey that there are different densities of matter and now that you mention it, yes if you were at the point of normal matter you would be looking through differing local time zones all balanced to give you the perception of a constant and if the density distributions were different then your available constant would be different, but would still hold to the Einstein’s equations.
    Time, Space, Gravity is locally variable.
    Temporal time depends on spatial time .
    Time, Space, Gravity are artifacts of mass distributions.
    Mass distributions are susceptible to Time, space, and gravity.
    So I think I see you’re your going, but the factor remains, It is the spatial time that dictates to temporal time due to mass distributions.

    A quantum property of time?…The more views one has when he looks, the more he will see.When you are submersed in a medium it is difficult to see that same medium, whether it be the Universe,pure water,pure air…whatever. This is the basis for disturbing mass in a particle accelerator, so we can see the dandelion fluff in the air, I mean the matter causal configurations of the proton. I believe all relevant views are needed, Planck, local, Galactic, Cluster, Universal, or individuals veiw, and many more to be developed that we have not forseen.

    My last sentence to you stated” Time slows down with density till it stops and reverses.”
    I should clarify;
    It is the density that reverses not time.
    Time slows down with the increase in density till the density reaches the apex of mass accumulations (of a Black hole singularity attempt, possibly on the order of the upper limit of the mass parameters of each visible Galaxy cluster, AND when a certain percentage of mass-less density of space(due to inflation) is reached, then deflation begins. This deflation value between Gravity and Space will be the same as inflation only reversed.
    The precursor coalescence is happening today. The deflationary epoch will be on the time scale of Inflation.

    The *time* between the deflation and inflation is the apex, the singularity. Think of a ball thrown into the air, at the instant it reaches it’s height potential, it changes from the deflationary to the inflationary, the deceleration- acceleration velocity of the ball at its upper most positions is a good simple analogy. We can measure the time amount of the ball at it’s apex due to external forces…Remove them.
    Now take that same ball with the removed external sources (fictitious and fundamental)assume the same motions of the ball ‘as above’ when the matter reaches the density apex time has no meaning for an infinitely brief instant. (and if you were there it would be eternal, however you are not and you can’t go there). Time is continuous. The direction change of the ball is due to external forces, disregard.
    The Universes arrow of time does not change.
    It is eternal.
    Just as we may be able to break down inflation into more manageable parcels, we may be able to breakdown the extreme coalescence of matter to reach deflation.What we learn from an Inflationary model may help us understand a deflationary model.
    The distance between Deflation and Inflation is infinitely 0 and that is One hell of a lot smaller distance than the Planck scale.*I don’t think their is enough ink in my computer for that #*.

    I think that all artifacts should be quantized

    Time is our problem, not the Universes. The Universe on the whole does not perceive time, it is eternal, We on the other hand can’t seem to get enough of it.

  61. #61 Sphere Coupler
    April 12, 2010

    Thomas, I took some time today and read some of your book and I agree with many aspects that you portray. I think you will agree, when I say that humans are still in an infancy of thought as a whole, yet great strides have been achieved with some models of thought.
    Is this the whole story?,
    I think not, many relevant viewpoints are needed to bring fruition, and some structures that have been fruitful in the past may dry up.
    I will not criticize your work as I will not critique anyone’s work, but suffice to say, I hope to have more time to reread in depth and in leisure.

    And here’s a quote from me,
    We come to this, an understanding of our existence from differing backgrounds, yet each and everyone of us follow in the footsteps, as we study those who came before, and we do them honor by continuing the quest.

    And I’m quite sure someone said it better, and before.

  62. #62 Duncan Ivry
    April 12, 2010

    @Sphere Coupler

    Thank you for the link to “fictitious force”.

    Why is the increasing lack of density of dark matter (a) a fictitious force, and (b) accelerating? I don’t know, but if *we* are accelerated too, like everything in the universe, why don’t we feel any acceleration, as in the case of the Coriolis force, a fictitious force we do feel very well?

    And still my second point: Usually a lack of density is sucking something in, because of which the universe should shrink — whereas in reality it does expand.

  63. #63 Sphere Coupler
    April 13, 2010

    Scale factor.

    The Coriolis force is a local effect when you “feel”.
    The more non-local the fictitious force, the less you would recognise by feel. You don’t feel your acceleration as you travel around the AGN. Our human preception sensors for the most part are geared to deal with local forces.
    Example of a local force: there is non-fictitious force of 200 to 300 volts of electrical potential that you are contained in as you sit there,(you don’t “feel” it), There is no difference of potential(voltage) until a non-local distance is achieved.(between you and another point).

    I hope that isn’t confusing, I’m trying to write from the perspection of “feel”

    The Galaxy is “contained” within the Dark matter.
    It is my contention that Dark matter is coalesing(on a very long scale)and the acceleration of this matter creates a ficticious force that would be very hard to measure.
    I don’t think our galactic sensors are capable yet.

    As for your second point, reread 59 or rephase you’re statement.

  64. #64 Duncan Ivry
    April 13, 2010

    @Sphere Coupler

    Thank you for your answer. Well, post 59 doesn’t help — for me there are just certain strange statements from your personal theory. I think, there is *no* supporting evidence at all for a fictitious force caused by a lack of density of dark matter. I will stay with state of the art physics.

  65. #65 Sphere Coupler
    April 13, 2010

    Duncan, I happen to agree with you in you’re statement;

    “I think, there is *no* supporting evidence at all for
    (a fictitious force caused by a lack of density of dark matter)”.

    However, those are not my words, I stated;

    the increasing lack of density of Dark matter is an accelerating fictitious force.

    It’s non-intuitive and I understand your stance.

  66. #66 Duncan Ivry
    April 13, 2010

    @Sphere Coupler

    Okay, I think, you already know, but here is it:

    I think, there is *no* supporting evidence at all that the increasing lack of density of dark matter is an accelerating fictitious force.

    By the way, practically there is not much difference between nonsense and nonsense.

  67. #67 Thomas Neil Neubert
    April 14, 2010

    Sphere Coupler
    I appreciate your thoughts. I need to read your physics and philosopic remarks very carefully. Feel free to email me (follow links) to discuss further.

    But this is Ethan’s blog; so I feel unconfortable straying too far from his posting ideas. This is definitely not a place to expand upon my ideas.

    Others,
    Remember my ideas are hypothetical; though obviously I think they are worthy to be part of the physics discussion, many if not all are incorrect in the detail. Thus their use is to provide positive big picture skepticism and thus perhaps trigger more correct new ideas. But please do not assume that anything I say is correct current physics; rather assume that Ethan describes current correct physics thinking.

  68. #68 The Nanotech Age
    June 3, 2010

    Is the Universe expected to end in a Singularity?

  69. #69 manav
    September 11, 2010

    that is all fine. but between all the arguments and counter arguments i still did not get get my answer. what is this thing that our universe is expanding into. is there any limits to which it can expand. if yes why. what is there beyond that point. where is all this energy come from.

  70. #70 Jesse
    November 3, 2010

    To answer ‘The Nanotech Age’,no the Earth is not expected to end in a singularity because matter and radiation does not end in a singularity and they are what actually makes up the Universe.So the Universe as a whole is likely not to end in a singularity.

  71. #71 Sarah
    December 8, 2011

    Interessting idea, this reminds me of our astronomy class that we had in school. We also talked about the start of the universe but did not find any good conclusion. Interessting to see how the theories around the beginning of the universe have evolved. By the way – I love your picture with the cat ;-), Greetings from Sarah from Vienna in Austria.

  72. #72 Toks
    January 18, 2012

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    My name is TOKS and I’m from South Africa. First: is this site still active?
    Please let me know. I have some serious stuff to share with you guys. My E-mail: toksvr@gmail.com
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  73. #73 James
    February 8, 2012

    I think that we have to take a step back and re-analyze the problem of linking General Relativity and Quantam Theory. The two just don’t add up on so many levels and all the equations that we can invent haven’t solved this serious issue. Reason tells me that a singularity can not exist for the simple reason that 0 x 1,000,000 is still zero. A crazy idea that creeped into my mind about the big bang is that maybe our universe entered our existing space through a tiny worm hole, coming from a place where the density of matter is so extreme that on entering our space, the lack of pressure caused it to inflate at an insane rate. It’s kind of like taking a highly pressurized ballon and placing it in the vacuum of space…just a thought.

  74. #74 Matthew
    February 18, 2012

    The problem is in looking for some magic formula to explain everything when nothing is the answer. You want the magic formula?, here it is 0. How much time is there?, 0. How much space?, 0. Et cetera ad absurdis ad nauseum. Just put a 0 on a graph chart. 0= everything. 0 isnt even 0 its an abstract concept representing an abstract concept. Abstract concept is an abstract concept representing abstract concept. Like I said its absurdity to the point of nausea attempting to measure infinity with a ruler.

  75. #75 steve
    September 3, 2012

    Hmmm my humble understanding is this has all happened before and will happen again.

    Let me explain – lets say a singularity is to blame then gravity/ mass causes energy due to chaotic protons etc etc then eventually energy is grater than mass and bang the universe as we know it is created – now over billions of years the expansion of space is slowed dark matter keeps the space expanding until a point when the mass outways the continued energy.

    Ok so what happens now – well my humble guess is the elastic band theory the universe shrinks back to the singularity until the point energy takes over again and bang a new universe.

    I wish I had the chance to understand physics alot more too late in understanding at 37 oh well

    What do you think

  76. #76 steve
    September 3, 2012

    G/M*cE = u

    Gravity over mass times chaotic energy = universe

  77. #77 Code Hinter
    Kowloon, Hong Kong
    November 16, 2012

    Everything is infinite.

  78. #78 Code Hinter
    November 16, 2012

    If Everything is Energy and What Lies outside the Universe is Reserved Dark Energy, then Energy consumes Energy.

    Matter / Materialized Energy could either be virtually destroyed, but it seems the only possible way to do so is to convert it back into Reserved Energy or any non-materialized energy form.

    It’s right that time never started and will never end, there is a significant difference between time itself and COUNTING THE TIME. Counting The Time, yes, really it began by as far as some beings are intelligent enough to have counted and measured time in their own units of measurements.

  79. #79 Shenonymous
    Earth
    November 19, 2012

    Not a physicist or scientist of any sort, but have always been fascinated with “cosmic” physics, uh…the universe and its true nature, I have followed this thread with intense interest. I love the conversation. There was a comment made that the universe expanded and also cooled (Ethan says, “…We know it’s expanding and cooling,…” but he also said that the energy doesn’t dilute. But when something cools, doesn’t it contract? So there is a pulsing rhythm to the expanding and the cooling? So does the energy compress? What would cause the cooling?

  80. #80 Sirius
    Australia
    March 30, 2013

    Hey guys, kinda new to this whole thing. BUT I’m really curious as to how matter was formed in the first place?

    All I know is that, the universe began at a singularity. And as it expanded it cooled down. It allowed existing quarks and electrons to form protons and neutrons and then further on formed atoms between the nuclei and electrons.

    I was wonderring if that point of Singularity already had radiation and matter inside it? Or did something happen to the radiation that allowed matter to exist.

    I’ve read many things about radiation being able to split into particles and antiparticles and such?

  81. #81 presa1200
    May 25, 2013

    Sorry for being a completely noob in this, isn’t it supermassive black hole has singularity?

  82. #82 mike
    November 4, 2013

    For the last 30 years its been one crappy useless hypothesis after another. its almost like they’re just stalling hoping the truth will just go away.
    The big bang leads to nothing no matter what model you use. it leads to an absolute beginning. But like the fine tuning. .they cant accept it. its Einstein s blunder repeated over and over and over

  83. #83 Joseph
    United States
    March 18, 2014

    Space is infinite in all directions.
    Our expanding universe is just one of perhaps an infinite number of universes drifting in the infinite space.
    It is the only configuration I can conceive of that allows eternal expansion of our universe leading to a big freeze. Somewhere along the way other universes and their cold masses combine due to gravitational forces. At some point when the masses are big enough, a big bang occurs. It is an eternal and cyclic process.