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The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time --"We may have Emerged from a Black Hole in a Higher-Dimensional Universe"




What we perceive as the big bang, physicists at the Perimeter Institure argue, could be the three-dimensional “mirage” of a collapsing star in a universe profoundly different than our own. Conventional understanding holds that the big bang began with a singularity – an unfathomably hot and dense phenomenon of spacetime where the standard laws of physics break down. Singularities are bizarre, and our understanding of them is limited.

Our universe may have emerged from a black hole in a higher-dimensional universe, proposed a trio of Perimeter Institute researchers in the cover story of the latest Scientific American. “Cosmology’s greatest challenge is understanding the big bang itself,” write Perimeter Institute faculty member, Niayesh Afshordi.

The big bang poses a big question: if it was indeed the cataclysm that blasted our universe into existence 13.7 billion years ago, what sparked it?

Three Perimeter Institute researchers have a new idea about what might have come before the big bang. It’s a bit perplexing, but it is grounded in sound mathematics, testable, and enticing enough to earn the cover story in Scientific American, called “The Black Hole at the Beginning of Time.”




“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” Afshordi says in an interview with Nature.

The problem, as the authors see it, is that the big bang hypothesis has our relatively comprehensible, uniform, and predictable universe arising from the physics-destroying insanity of a singularity. It seems unlikely. So perhaps something else happened. Perhaps our universe was never singular in the first place.

Their suggestion: our known universe could be the three-dimensional “wrapping” around a four-dimensional black hole’s event horizon. In this scenario, our universe burst into being when a star in a four-dimensional universe collapsed into a black hole.

In our three-dimensional universe, black holes have two-dimensional event horizons – that is, they are surrounded by a two-dimensional boundary that marks the “point of no return.” In the case of a four-dimensional universe, a black hole would have a three-dimensional event horizon.

In their proposed scenario, our universe was never inside the singularity; rather, it came into being outside an event horizon, protected from the singularity. It originated as – and remains – just one feature in the imploded wreck of a four-dimensional star.

The researchers emphasize that this idea, though it may sound “absurd,” is grounded firmly in the best modern mathematics describing space and time. Specifically, they’ve used the tools of holography to “turn the big bang into a cosmic mirage.” Along the way, their model appears to address long-standing cosmological puzzles and – crucially – produce testable predictions.

Of course, our intuition tends to recoil at the idea that everything and everyone we know emerged from the event horizon of a single four-dimensional black hole. We have no concept of what a four-dimensional universe might look like. We don’t know how a four-dimensional “parent” universe itself came to be.

But our fallible human intuitions, the researchers argue, evolved in a three-dimensional world that may only reveal shadows of reality.

They draw a parallel to Plato’s allegory of the cave, in which prisoners spend their lives seeing only the flickering shadows cast by a fire on a cavern wall.

“Their shackles have prevented them from perceiving the true world, a realm with one additional dimension,” they write. “Plato’s prisoners didn’t understand the powers behind the sun, just as we don’t understand the four-dimensional bulk universe. But at least they knew where to look for answers.”

The Daily Galaxy via Colin Hunter/Perimeter Institute

Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope and Perimeter Institute



There are not time and space and dimensions but there are massive objects.

Super article!

Inflation as a relativist quantum field is simpler.

@Slava Rodionov: And massive objects are mostly empty space and time in 4 dimensions. =D

Oops. "Relativistic".

If one assumes that matter and energy can be neither created or destroyed, but only change form, then this hypothesis would appear to be very logical.
The black hole would be a one way (?) portal from another existence, or multi-verse.

What have I been saying??? That our newtonian universe is nothing more than poo droppings from a higher dimension, of pure energy, hype-energy. Hyper-energy poured into a fracture in spacial dimensions and created a bubble; where the energy was transformed in Newtonian matter, stars, galaxies and planets.

Three dimensions from a four dimension universe would tie in nicely with the problem of gravity!

ALL of the Cosmology/Cosmogony I read on this site reminds me of stories and articles I have been reading for the last 60 years in Analog magazine.Oh for something original.

then by the same token a two dimensional space and (universe) may exsist in the black hole of ours............

It may be that all the black holes are four or more dimensional. Just we don't know. Isn't it?

My god this is hogwash. Is cosmology going down the tubes into sci-fi material recently? They try so hard to explain the big bang, but they can't find any other answer other than explain it with fantasy. Even I, as a pro-Science citizen and agnostic, have turned to the creator-hypothesis of the creation of our universe. There's enough evidence that there was a big bang 13.8 billion years ago, but what caused it is simply beyond human understanding.

I don't pretend to be all that smart but "if" string theory is correct, is this not the smallest components of all matter?
Could it be that the material within our universe has been pulled into a black hole, or holes, in some other universe? after decending to it's lowest depths, the resulting strings may have "emmerged" through some yet unknown "portal". This may be a function of some quazar type body. After their emmergentce, our universe could easily have formed. To us this would seem like a "big bang event".

‘Incomprehensible’ that there might be no ‘end’ to time or space and we bilateral humans just can’t relate to that kind of truth, yet.

@DimcheSRQ: I don't mind the stupid pseudoscience trolling of pattern recognition ("matter ... can neither be created or destroyed" [as if relativity isn't a century old already], "what have I been saying", et cetera) as much though I prefer they go to their crackpot sites. At least they try to emulate science, as they see it.

But I do mind your trolling magic agency ideas on a science site. Our current cosmology is the inflationary cosmology, where Cold Inflation predicts ("explain") the subsequent Hot Big Bang. Inflation was successfully tested by BICEP2 a few months ago, it was all over the news, but that test needs to be independently verified which can take 1-2 years more. Inflation, as any process in the modern causality of relativity light cones, can exist indefinitely. It takes extreme finetuning not to have eternal inflation in fact. (And a multiverse, making a mockery of "a" Hot Big Bang by having a potentially infinite set of them.) These processes are all internal phase changes, by the way, the universe (or multiverse) is zero energy and so it needs no specific prediction. (Think quantum fluctuations.)

In the context inflation makes creationism even more ludicrously erroneous than homeopathy. The putative "magic seed volume" of homeopaths is diluted at least 30 orders of magnitude before they sell their scam. The putative "magic seed volume" of creationists is now known to be diluted at least 150 (!) orders of magnitude ... and still they try to sell their scam. Sorry, the deluded takers becomes fewer and fewer. (See e.g. the Pew statistics on US as an example.)

Did ANYONE understand a word this last guy said......, or is it just me?

What will be the implication of this theory be if accepted by mainstream science? That there is a 4dimensional universe and that living beings from this 4D-universe can communicate with us? Is there also a 5D and a 6D and a 7D universe? Where does it stop? Where is the origin of the origin?

@ Peter
"That there is a 4dimensional universe and that living beings from this 4D-universe can communicate with us?"

The existence of a higher-dimensional universe into which our universe is merely embedded wouldn't imply that living beings from the higher-dimensional universe could communicate with us.

We're living beings from a three-dimensional universe, and we couldn't even begin to communicate with beings living on the two-dimensional "envelope" of a black hole's event horizon. Even with optimistic sci-fi technology on a Star Trek level, we'd have major trouble even observing the event horizon itself because it's surrounded by hot matter falling in.

@ Peter
"That there is a 4dimensional universe and that living beings from this 4D-universe can communicate with us?"

As has already been seen in this colunm of comments, communications within our own 3 dimentional universe is not always that easy.
If we were to communicate with beings from a 4-D universe, they would have to give us the tech to do so. Of course then they would have to teach us to use it, but how could they do this if they could not communicate with us first.

This is an interesting perspective of original thought for more of our understanding the universe. The current view seems to be stuck with the measurements and the lack of explanation for problems that remain unexplained. With all that we can know about the universe from the wavelengths of light it is possible that the theories for how our universe behaves could be lacking perspective and does not indicate what it seems. While other universes may exist in higher dimensions there are other dimensions within our own as well. With more data collection and an outside perspective that our spacecrafts are gathering the current view could be quite different in a few more years. We are still just trying to make sense out of the data already collected so more pieces of the puzzle will fit together.

Ask Kip,
Time-space intervals. The bigger slower universe degrades to the point where it can no longer sustain the minimum relative properties of it's "universe" so it converges through a "black hole" into the field of a smaller faster time space interval where it contains slightly too much energy and mass to exist there, so it explodes using up the extra energy and mass and starts the cycle all over again. It eventually returns to the same mass and energy which is the truly weird part. getting smaller and faster while twisting back into large and slow. This is where my brain explodes.

Larson,oh dear !cold inflation,where did the cold come from ?.the idea that everything we see came from this miraculous singularity is preposterous.and to add insult to injury by quoting another dimension for lack of understanding is taking the biscuit.Fred Hoyle is the only scientist who ever came up with a natural solution,and most prominent scientists today are beginning to realise he was right all along.the whole worlds imagination was captured by the bb theory and its remarkable that even today people cannot let go,forget it,its over.

if we are in 3d and a black hole from collapsed star so formed 2d space and continued till 1d space, what is meant by singular universe

Interesting. But then it is possible that a star caused "our" Big Bang, other may have caused and would cause other Big Bangs!

If a 4 dimensioanl universe can exist and a 4D BH can give rise to a 3D universe then a 3D BH can give rise to a 2D universe. Can we find this?

For some years I've read along with the rest of you that it is "possible" (due to zero proof the word possible is about the only valid word) our 3D universe emerged from a 4D black hole. This is not a new idea. I say, "idea" for there is no basis (eliminating the word, postulate) nor proof (eliminating the word, theory). It is simply an idea, an unproven unbased entity.

OK, fine. The 4D BH idea begs the question, how much material can be had from a simple 4D star collapse and would it be enough to make an entire universe containing mass and energy (mass is incredibly "condensed" energy mind you) out of that energy from just one star collapse in a 4D universe?

That's where the 4D star collapsing into our universe's "big bang expansion" falls completely apart. You can't make a universe from a single damned 4D star, I don't care how you twist it or how much chalk dust you generate on a blackboard full of formularic vomit.

Granted, there may be (the word "may" implies in itself, a serious possibility of pure fantasy) a 4D omniverse from which 3D universes emerge due to merging of "branes" but even that has zero real honest to goodness proof.

All this stuff is good reading however but keep in mind it's not got any more proof than does the story of "Star Wars" yet I loved the series.

This web site and slick backed magazines dealing with physics and astronomy LOVE to publish these "might be" or "could be" or "may be" articles much the same as Hollywood loves blockbuster sci fi movies.

Keep in mind, media's life line is readership or viewership. What gets readers/viewers is fair game, hence the lead in with "could be" and "might be" and "may be" to get you in the door of the media article/product.

Just bear in mind you and I were both manipulated into such articles. But it's fun none the less.

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