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"What Came Before the Big Bang?" --Intriguing New Theories on the Origin of Time (Today's "Galaxy" Stream)

 

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Why do we remember the past, but not the future? Why don’t we meet people who grow younger as they age? Why do things, left by themselves, tend to become messier and more chaotic? What would Maxwell’s Demon say to a Boltzmann Brain? What came before the Big Bang?

The answers can be traced to the moment of the Big Bang — or possibly before, discussed below by rock-star theoretical physicist Sean Carroll, at the California Institute of Technology. His research involves theoretical physics and astrophysics, focusing on issues in cosmology, field theory, and gravitation.

 

Time pervades our lives — we keep track of it, lament its loss, put it to good use. The rhythms of our clocks and our bodies let us measure the passage of time, as a ruler lets us measure the distance between two objects. But unlike distances, time has a direction, pointing from past to future. From Eternity to Here examines this arrow of time, which is deeply ingrained in the universe around us. The early universe — the hot, dense, Big Bang — was very different from the late universe — cool, empty, expanding space — and that difference in felt in all the workings of Nature, from the melting of ice cubes to the evolution of species.

The arrow of time is easy to perceive, much harder to understand. Physicists appeal to the idea of entropy, the disorderliness of a system, which tends to increase according to the celebrated Second Law of Thermodynamics. But why was entropy ever small in the first place? That’s a question that has been tackled by thinkers such as Ludwig Boltzmann, Stephen Hawking, Richard Feynman, Roger Penrose, and Alan Guth, all the way back to Lucretius in ancient Rome. But the answer remains elusive.

The only way to understand the origin of entropy is to understand the origin of the universe — by asking what happened at the Big Bang, and even before. From Eternity to Here discusses how entropy relates to black holes, cosmology, information theory, and the existence of life. The book tells a story that starts in the kitchen, where we can turn eggs into omelets but never the other way around, and takes us to the edges of the universe. Modern discoveries in cosmology — dark energy and the accelerating universe — and quantum gravity — the possibility of time before the Big Bang — come together to suggest a picture of a multiverse in which the arrow of time emerges naturally from the laws of physics.

 

 

A more human-centric look at time has been offered by quantum physicist Menas Kafatos and bestselling author, Deepak Chopra, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Clinical Professor UCSD Medical School, researcher, Neurology and Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).

In their  new book, You Are the Universe, Chopra and Kafatos cover time in great detail, but here's a thumbnail sketch of their more philosophical argument: If you ask a simple question like "What came before the big bang?" you are posing a paradox.

(Warning: As the great Danish physicist Neils Bohr said to one of his colleagues: "Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.)

 

 

"Before" and "after" have a meaning only in time, and linear time at that. There is no evidence of any kind that time existed before the big bang. Moreover, what we typically think of as time--the tick tock on a clock face--depends on having a human nervous system. Einstein broke free of this model, where we think we intuitively know what time is, when he introduced the concepts in his theories of relativity.

In those theories, the speeding up or slowing down of time depends on the frames of references of observers. Time is not universal. For example, a moving observer’s time slows down as seen by a stationary observer. Slowing down of time also occurs when an observer is falling towards a black hole, as seen by a distant observer. The effect is still there, but tiny, in all gravitational fields, including the Earth's gravity.

 

 

The relativity of time depended upon a new theory, and if we stand back, we discover that all views of time are human constructs. If time seems linear, that's because we humans have modeled it that way in accord with our nervous system. It is just as viable to construct other models of time. For example, your body obeys natural rhythms in accord with the planetary, lunar, and solar cycles. The very notion of "time passing" fits with the firing of neurons in the brain, which have a beginning, middle, and end.

If you drop every model, something surprising happens. They are not needed. For example, you can view your daily life as occurring entirely in the present moment. The present moment is not a clock phenomenon. Clocks measure intervals--seconds, minutes, hours--while the present moment has no interval. It's always here, endlessly renewing itself, unmeasurable, and fleeting. Because the instant you try to capture it, it's gone. This implies that the "now" is actually outside time. It can be defined either as instantaneous or eternal. Both are valid as verbal descriptions but in the end invalid, since the vocabulary of time doesn't apply to the timeless.

The same is true of the big bang or the potential end of the universe. Time doesn't begin or end in an absolute way. It is a convenient way of using words. Time is simply a concept that fits various physical models. But its origin is as much in metaphysics as in physics.

When someone believes he will die and go to Heaven for eternity, the typical, casual definition of "eternity" is a long, long time. But that's not true, because whatever is eternal must be outside time. Ultimately, the only participation we can have in time, outside time, or with a dimension of inconceivable time, occurs in our consciousness. Whatever we can experience determines the nature of time. It is just as true to say that the big bang is occurring right now as to date it back to 13.8 billion years, because only when we think about the event do we draw the big bang into the world of human experience, and thinking happens in the now.

None of these conclusions are speculative--quantum physics and cosmology deal with them--and cosmologists and quantum physicists argue over them--every day. Without settling the vexing questions of "What came before the big bang?" "Where did time originate?" and "What is the timeless like?" we only want to point out that time has no meaning outside a specific frame of reference.

There is no "real" time, only models of time constructed in human awareness. Once we realize this simple fact, the capacity to move beyond all models, to truly lose our fear of death, come alive. The spiritual concept that we were never born and will never die then becomes viable, too.

The Daily Galaxy viaSean Carroll Blog and sfgate.com

 

Comments

The readers who are engaged in the research of this issue let have in mind and the theory of "pointal charges" that is a theory similar but enough different to that of the "big bang":
According to the theory of “pointal charges”, initially there was absolutely nothing in the Cosmos. The whole Cosmos consisted of a huge, vast and obscure absolute void. At a certain moment and while this situation predominated, the following event, -as a natural abnormality- happened; the theory of “pointal charges” considers it the simplest and most possible and reasonable event that might have happened at that moment. This event was the creation of an elementary particle, the “pointon”, in the form of a spot-like entity without mass or dimensions. The only characteristic of the “pointon” was the emission of an interaction, which the theory named “pointal interaction”. The pointal interaction corresponds to the electromagnettic radiation, which physics accepts today. The power of the pointal interaction of the pointon was equal to 1/3 of the power of the electromagnetic interaction of the proton.
As a reaction to the abnormality that created the “pointon”, in no time opposite entities were formed, the elementary particles “antipointons”, which had opposite power equal to 1/3 of the power of the electromagnetic interaction of the electron. This reaction was once more considered an abnormality; for counterbalance, new pointons were formed. Thus, a chain reaction started, which formed pointons and antipointons; this reaction continues until our days, beyond the boundaries of the Universes and the Antiuniverses. The total of energy of the particles formed was “zero” and their only property was the emission of the “pointal interaction”.
The “pointal interaction” caused an attraction between heteronymmous particles and repulsion between the homonymous ones. Thus two opposite trends were created; attraction, which aimed to cause selfdestruction and mutual elimination of the particles so that they would end in their natural whole and in their natural total energy, of zero; and repulsion, which aimed to protect the particles so that they would form then the elementary components of matter and antimatter.
Attraction and repulsion between pointons and antipointons were manifested as a simple interaction, without the interference of any medium or any substance among the particles that might result in this interaction. On the contrary, the cleanest the void between the pointons and the antipoiontons, the more perceivable their interaction would be. “Pointons”, “antipointons” and “pointal interaction” are the only “necessary” and at the same time “absolutely sufficient” elements that formed the Universe, the Universes, the Antiuniverses, as well as the whole Cosmos, etc, etc, etc.
The main characteristic of the theory of the "pointal charges", is that it answers to all the questions left unanswered all the other cosmological theories.
I describe the theory in the book, “From the Inside of Quarks and Up to Beyond the Universe”. A brief description of the theory will find in the book, “The Real Grand Unification”.

There is time. Just the way we measure it is uniquely human. On some other world, where the planet rotates on axis every 14 hours and 37.273 minutes (our time), they measure it differently, using base 8 as they have 4 digits on each appendage, and the trip around their sun takes only 212.42 earth days. Their equivalent to a minute might be called a Glark or a Triunik, and based on some other elemental frequency besides cesium. But it still passes.

Before the Big Bang was the Big Collapse, which will happen again. It's a cycle. When our "bubble" in the universe slows down, it will start collapsing on itself, and in another 13.7 * 2 + more years, the huge gravity caused by this will suck up everything, condense, shimmy, shiver, and shake violently, and BANG! Do it all over again. How small this point of excessively uber mucho dense chunk of matter becomes we will never know.

Our bubble is just a portion of the universe, much like egg sacs in a pond. Being that the actual universe is infinite, out little 1.0e-99 percent of it will have little or no effect on the rest. Hell, we may just be some advanced civilizations "ant farm" for the kids.

The Big Bang beginning of time is standing on wobbly legs. Origin of time is deeply connected with the creation of Flippons (Flipping theory) and constant, continuous and circulating flow of energy (Incipient Law of Creation).

Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in the International System of Units. If we try to find a definition we will be faced with a serious problem.

Let's look at "time" in the context of property. Well, we will find examples such as: Time is a property of the universe; Time is a property of reality; ... of space; ... of matter; ... of existence; ... of objects; ... of structural changes; ... of business; Time is a property of life; etc; etc... Time is a property of anything and everything around us. The question is what is common to all of this? What causes time? How time works? For the correct answer, we must find a time source.

Some scientists believe, the entropy is the most fundamental phenomena which defines the time and direction of time. But it should be borne in mind that entropy is not defined in many of its segments. Entropy is just a measure of how disorderly things are. We are not able to establish a strong and usable relationship with time.

The main obstacle in the definition of "time" had caused by the merging space and time and observing motion of objects in space. Space-time and objects in space-time are messy. They are relativistic, unpredictable and uncertain.

From the experiences we feel a time as an unstoppable process of changes pushed by forces of nature. It is not clear, are these forces come from surroundings or from total reality of universe? The believable answer is from both. In close environment we can control our perception of relativistic space and time, but the total time as the Age of the universe or Aging photons we cannot control. For a good understanding, definition of time must be harmonized with fundamental thing of local and large scale. The search for such a definition is not simple...

Generally speaking:
Time is a limited period or interval, as between two successive events.

This definition is borrowed from http://dictionary.reference.com/. I really like it. It is associated with the period between the creation of two Flippons which is the shortest time (Planck time), and cause constant, continuous and circulating flow of energy...

Origin of time is deeply connected with the creation of Flippons (Flipping theory) and constant, continuous and circulating flow of energy (Incipient Law of Creation).

Before the Big Bang (whatever that means and 'whenever' that was) there was NOTHING. The entire, infinite universe came into existence. It did not happen in a 'void', there was no void, nothing.
There was 'time' before we evolved on this insignificant spec of material we call earth and there will be 'time' after we are gone. As to what it is, seems to be tied up with the continual creation/destruction of energy/particles proposed in quantum theory. It has nothing to do with how we perceive it or regret it's passing and it certainly does not require us or any other 'being' to be around to observe it.

Interesting - but why all the fuss? Logically Something must exist forever OR there would be Nothing. Let us just agree that the Forever-Something is the Universe. Why introduce another layer of complexity that exists Before what we can observe with our present instrumentation.

BTW (for what it's worth) since 'red shift' does NOT appear to be a reliable indicator of stellar distance [ie higher red shift objects IN FRONT OF lower red shift objects] we should spend our resources on extending distance measurements that work [parallax] and {my favorite} understanding how gravity interaction HAS NO DELAY which (of course) invalidates any theory that DOES imply a finite speed of light for gravity,

PLEASE - let us understand the world we DO live in instead of inventing imaginary ones.

"...we can turn eggs into omelets, but never the other way around." I can turn omelets into eggs by feeding the omelets to chickens until they lay eggs. Guess I solved the time reversal problem. No more 2nd law. Yaahoo.

By including Chopra in your article, you lose any credibility of this being a science article.

I'm sorry to day, you people are insane. Sean Carrol in particular. Insane. In the membrane.

http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Quantum_Cosmology.pdf
http://lifeform.net/archimedes/Cosmic_Axions.pdf

....I have my own thesis of an theorie ...Maybe there are MUCH more than just one big bang in all this , and if this would be so , what`s will be mean to us?
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..I have my own thesis of an theorie ...Maybe there are MUCH more than just one big bang in all this , and if this would be so , what means this for us?

[end of line]

...And how does observing particles influence their behavior?

[end of line]

You do not exist if you have absolutely no interaction with me. I do not exist if I have absolutely no interaction with you. When I die the whole Universe ceases to exist as everything is merely the interactions of small electric charges going off in my head. It is all just a light show. So, grab a beer, have fun and enjoy the show cause it all ends when I die.

Oh, you're welcome! :)

Causality implies time. Without causality there's no physics, no chemistry. Without those, there's nothing we'd recognize period.

I suspect that human time is an emergent property of physics time. That would help answer why big time doesn't run backwards, but physics time does.

Where is the present? Where does the future come from? The astrophysicists tell us that to look outward is to look back in time. Accepting that, we note that the farther away something is the farther back in time we're looking. Now perform this "thought experiment." Run the process backwards. Since the nearer something is, the closer in time it is, and this is true in all directions, no matter where you are. These leaves only one place for the present to be and the future to flow from: observers. Us (among others). Time arises in us. There is simply nowhere else, by the logic of spacetime, that it can arise.

The notion will not be a strange one to some thinkers. Fred Turner, among others, posits that time (living time, not physics time) arises from beings, and the more complex the being, the more complex the time. Actually, this would allow particles to be sources of time too; it's just that the time of a particle is vastly more simple than the time of a person.

I asked once, if space expands, and since space and time are supposed to be one inseparable manifold, is time expanding too? It has to be, really. But what form would that expansion take? The answer that pleases me is that the "nows" are getting farther apart. This formulation fits perfectly with the notion that time begins in observers.

The actual picture is far more complex. For purposes of calculation, and since, for everyone on Earth, our "nows" are so close, it's feasible to treat Earth as a single observer, in the same way that we treat gravitational force as arising from a central point in a mass, although actually it must arise from the entire mass--a fact which makes calculating the gravitational behaviors of two very close and large masses impossible. But in fact, every one of us has a slightly different viewpoint and therefore a very slightly different "now."

A related matter is the notion of entanglement. According to Big Bang theory, the Big Bang originated from an original point of infinite density. What I wonder, since there could be no quantum phenomenon more powerful, is why, if everything in the universe were crammed into a single infinitely dense point, every particle in the universe is not entangled with every other?

Perhaps they are so entangled. One of the pillars of zen states that everything is dependent on everything else. The evidence? Here everything is, all in the same universe. Try to get rid of anything. Try to detach it from everything else and get rid of it.

One good thing about that notion is, sufficiently studied, it might provide the only way we will ever manage FTL travel.

Pardon the errors in the above. I thought there was an edit function for these comments, but have not been able to find one. I used "since" as a relative adverb, but on a main clause. Later I wrote "these" when I meant "this."

Chopra is a high priest in the religion of Eastern Mysticism, the specific denomination is not relevant. Carroll is a high priest in the religion of Scientism.

Both their worldviews are so self-absorbed and skewed from truth, it is an intellectual challenge to listen to them propagandize.

is it possible that matter and energy originate from absolute nothing? to think this is the case is absolute nonsense. There must be an eternally existent entity that has to be beyond our power of comprehension because we operate within the laws created by that eternally existent entity. To try to use the laws of physics to explain what came before the bigbang is nonsensical since the laws of physics was created by the bigbang and cannot be used to understand the laws before the bigbang. Therefore, the laws before the bigbang is an impenetrable blackbox, no gain in trying to pry.

If you really want to understand the Nothingness, take a look at the Big RAY theory.
www.megacosmicray.com

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