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"Some Primordial Black Holes Have Existed Before the Big Bang" -- A Radical Theory Proposed



In recent years, cosmologists have begun to think seriously about processes that occurred before the Big Bang. Alan Coley from Canada's Dalhousie University and Bernard Carr from Queen Mary University in London, published a paper in 2011, where they theorized that some so-called primordial black holes might have been created in the Big Crunch that came before the Big Bang, which supports the theory that the Big Bang was not a single event, but one that occurs over and over again as the Universe crunches down to a single point, then blows up again. 

In some circumstances, they say, black holes of a certain mass could avoid this fate and survive the crunch as separate entities. The masses for which this is possible range from a few hundred million kilograms to about the mass of our Sun.

The theory is based on the fact that the Earth, and the rest of the known Universe is occasionally bombarded with unexplained bursts of gamma rays -- something that could, according to Coley and Carr, be the result of primordial black holes running out of energy and disintegrating. These small black holes ought to evaporate away in relatively short period of time, finally disappearing in a violent explosion of gamma rays. Some cosmologists say this thinking might explain the gamma ray bursts that we already see from time to time.

Primordial black holes are thought to be of a different type than the regular kind that are formed when a supernova occurs but rather formed in the first “moments” after the Big Bang. Primordial black holes would be smaller and created by the energy of the Big Bang itself and would then have been widely dispersed as the Universe expanded.

In their theory, however, Coley and Carr suggest that some of these black holes, if they actually exist, might have been created by the collapsing Universe as part of the Big Crunch, and then somehow escaped being pulled into the pinpoint singularity comprised of everything else. And then, after the Big Bang, they simply assimilated with the newly formed Universe.

A key problem they agree on is that it would likely be impossible to tell the difference between pre- and post Big Bang primordial black holes.

The theory raises major questions for cosmologists: if the Universe contracts, then blows up, over and over, has this gone on forever? Or is it possible that our view of the Universe is so limited that we’re only seeing one tiny fraction of it, and thus, any theories or explanations we offer, are little more than guesses.

Image at the top of page shows co-orbiting supermassive black holes powering the giant radio source 3C 75. Surrounded by multimillion degree x-ray emitting gas, and blasting out jets of relativistic particles the supermassive black holes are separated by 25,000 light-years. At the cores of two merging galaxies in the Abell 400 galaxy cluster they are some 300 million light-years away. 
Such spectacular cosmic mergers are thought to be common in crowded galaxy cluster environments in the distant Universe. In their final stages the mergers are expected to be intense sources of gravitational waves.

More information: Persistence of black holes through a cosmological bounce, B. J. Carr, A.A. Coley, arXiv:1104.3796v1 [astro-ph.CO]

The Daily Galaxy via MIT Technology Review

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The key problem is that the Big Bang theory contradicts the exitence of matter - black holes are matter - before the banging. There is no space-time before the big bang. If there is matter before the start of our Universe - the bibg bang theory is wrong. Or Einstein is wrong.

It depends on which big bang theory is correct.

I was under the impression that the expansion of the universe was accelerating, therefore ruling out a big crunch.

The cyclic big bang model based on branes in a higher dimension would allow this, and the accelerated expansion created by dark energy. In that model, space always existed on the branes. However the matter is spread out to a very thin amount on the branes. Something to the order of one atom to the size of our visible universe. The Branes colliding changes the collision energy to matter and reseeds the universe with matter. So in that theory the black holes could survive. And Einstein would still be correct.

Dall'Italia: from Italy. L'universo è sempre esistito o quasi: In questo ha ragione Ambartsumiam, Arp ed altri.Ciao, ciao.

The universe cannot have "always existed". Infinity is not a number and does not exits in the empirical universe, If the universe was infinite in size or age, empirical science is totally meaningless.

L'universo non può “esistere sempre„. L'infinito non è un numero e non fa uscite nell'universo empirico, se l'universo fosse infinito nella dimensione o nell'età, scienza empirica è completamente insignificante.

In addition to an expanding Universe having no Big Crunch, the Universe did not start at a point. It started being at least as large as our current visible Universe. If it didn't then cosmic microwave background radiation photons, which have been traveling toward us in more or less straight lines since they left the last scattering event as gamma ray photons, would have long since passed us by, and would not be detectable. It's more correct, but a bit more cumbersome to say that all the matter in our currently visible universe was in a hot dense state smaller than a single atom. Where would these black holes be, in that case? A stellar mass black hole has a horizon that is much bigger than an atom. So one shouldn't expect to see a pre-big bang black hole in our visible Universe even if such things exist and they can be distinguished from primordial black holes. I'd be willing to bet that i'm ignorant of at least a book full of currently accepted consensus view understanding of Big Bang knowledge. As far as i know, this ignorance does not include String Theory (and competing ideas), not because i don't know it (true enough), but because it's not accepted.

For a change, this is a well-written article while the news behind it is crazy almost to the point of being stupid. I mean, if the three physical dimensions of our universe are compressed down to a singularity, then where are these black holes? Did they somehow escape the space-time of the old, pre-Crunch universe, only to reappear here?

As long as we have black holes escaping space-time, why not say they escaped our own future, or perhaps came from another universe altogether? What about these black holes would indicate that they came specifically from the pre-Crunch universe?

(Of course, we've been shown time and time again that the stupidest of theories often turn out to be the true ones.)

A couple of responses to others:

@Chris Spray - The current universe is expanding and accelerating, or at least that's what our current data is telling us. That doesn't mean that the previous incarnation didn't have a Crunch. Then too, there are some analysts who think that the data may be inadvertently skewed by some not-quite-understood phenomenon.

@SB - I think that's being a bit extreme. For starters, Aleph numbers and Beth numbers are used in higher mathematics and logic (though that's a minor point). But while your intuition may state that nothing infinite is real, mine says that, in terms of dimensions in the cosmos, it's required.

It's beginning to seem obvious that the more we think about this, the less we seem to understand. Stephen has a point - how could these PBHs exist outside of space-time at the instant of the big crunch? SB also - "infinity" as a number is under-rated. You can make the philosophical argument that the singularity at the center of a black hole is EXTREMELY massive, but hardly infinite, otherwise, by definition, it should swallow up everything around it (within an infinite radius). ET Gamer's point about the BB being the beginning of everything illustrates that, if it's wrong, then we end up with what is, in essence, a steady state universe. It just keeps changing size back and forth. On the other hand, if there weren't an infinite number of previous bang/crunches, can we settle on a finite number, say 215? (Anyone going to try to come up with a better number?)

And how does all of this influence whether I should buy that red sports car?

Sorry, a bit snarky there.

Bing Bang and inflation models are two very different approaches to the beginning of our Universe.
According to the BB theory, our Universe sprang into existence as "singularity" (matter is actually squished into infinite density, all Universe was a single point) - explosive beginning . Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, no space, time, matter, or energy - nothing.
According to the inflation model the Universe doesn't start from nothing, but from a sort of "primordial" energy (and info, my addition). The early Universe came through the stage of inflation, exponentially rapid expansion in a kind of unstable vacuum-like state, with large energy density, but no matter in any form. Vacuum-like state in inflationary theory usually is associated with a scalar field, often called "inflaton field." Universe pops into existence huge, but not explosively.
Inflation models suppose cyclic evolution of the universes, Big Bang - accidental one-time event.
Some researchers are creating a fancy mix of BB and inflation cosmology, in order to save the big bang hypothesis. The big bang idea is already part of the legion of failed theories which constitute the painful development of humans science.


All movements in the Universe are eternally cyclic and all gasses and particles are eternally assembled via electromagnetic and thermodynamic swirling dynamics into stars and planets and other objects that later on dissolves in the eternal creation.

- We are just observing the local part of such a cyclical movement, which seemingly is being in a actual expanding motion in a local spherical 3D cell-like formation.

- Instead of looking at the movements as being linear, as with the Big Bang,, we should look at everything as being cyclical and eternal.

if an event horizon moves over some mass, such that it becomes on the inside, then the apparent inflation can be superlative. So the last crunch maybe not the universe shrinking, but some super-hyper-massive black holes colliding to create a net larger event horizon radius, and an increasing event volume and surface.

@Ivar, couldn't have said it better myself. amazingly concise cosmology!

..was, is now, and ever shall be..” - familiar?

so you are able to believe that everything comes from a small point that appeared from nothing, but not able to believe that there was something before the stupid bigbang...

I've never been able to buy into the idea of the singularity just popping into existence and expanding from there (BB theory). Even that "popping event" would require some previous condition that's conducive to the singularity appearing out of nowhere/nothing. Now, if prior to the BB, "some"thing already existed, it might as well be the result of a previous - and thus very likely circular/reoccurring - crunch into said singularity, to expand from there and crunch again.

I also think, Ivar makes a good point - we're still caught up in a thinking mode of polarity and "motion from a to b" or "cause a causing outcome b" or something. It might constitute a fundamental oxymoron to go and try to understand an eternal, ever-becoming concept from a "bi-polar" point of view, no? I've almost driven myself crazy over trying to do so, right down to suffering the worst panic-attack/pre-nuts-condition one night over driving myself into an infinite loop/tilt mode of thinking, LOL. As a matter of fact - I've always panicked when trying to grasp the idea of "eternity" or "infinity". Maybe I live in a primordial black hole and it's not a comfortable place to live in ;) On the real side - I think, Ivar makes a very good point. (which I'm still not comfortable with, but... that's for a different forum ;))

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