Skip to comments.Big bang birthday: Six lingering mysteries of a cosmic bombshell
Posted on 03/04/2014 6:45:37 PM PST by SeekAndFind
In 1964, a pair of engineers at Bell Labs in New Jersey tried to build a better antenna and ended up uncovering the origins of the universe. After ruling out city noise, nuclear bombs and pigeon poop, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson argued that a strange radio hiss in their readings was the first confirmed signal of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This relic glow emerged as a result of the big bang and now permeates the universe.
The discovery solidified big bang theory as our best explanation for cosmic origins, and Penzias and Wilson went on to net a Nobel prize. Now, 50 years later, the CMB (pictured above) has helped us figure out the universe's age, shape and components, as well as details about how it has evolved. But with almost every discovery, the CMB raised new and more vexing questions. Here are six of the biggest lingering mysteries sparked by studies of the big bang.
1. Why is the early universe so smooth?
At first, maps of the CMB looked too good to be true. After the big bang, matter should have flown apart and formed random clumps. But the CMB showed that the universe was incredibly uniform, as if far-flung regions had somehow stayed in contact during the universe's early expansion.
In the 1980s, physicists came up with the idea that the universe went through a period shortly after the big bang when it ballooned exponentially a theory now called inflation.
Recent maps of the CMB have borne out some predictions of this model, but not all of them. Even if the theory is true, we still have no idea what caused inflation, when it started and why it stopped. We could have an answer soon.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
The other questions:
* Was there anything before the big bang?
* Could ancient life have emerged in the big bang’s glow?
* What are dark matter and dark energy?
* What is the universe’s ultimate fate?
* Will the big bang become an untestable theory?
Simply answer to the first question is YES.... God was before all
The Big Bang is a hypothesis with considerable supporting observations but it requires too many twists to make it work, dark matter can be handled, but I’ve a problem with “Inflation”. Where did it come from, where did it go, is it still around??? Silly questions but they trouble me. Cyclic universes answer the very good, “What came before?” question.
However, we have learned a lot in pursuit of answers an that’s all to the good.
My two cents on a couple of these:
“Was there anything before the big bang?”—A poorly phrased question, since time is postulated to be a consequence of the big bang. There is no “before”. Better to ask what grander or more fundamental thing is the universe, including the big bang, a part of or derivative from.
“Will the big bang become an untestable theory?”
Not sure how you prove the past, so it in a sense is already an untestable theory. You could test a theory that’s consistent with discovered physical evidence of a big bang, though.
Who are these “Big Bang” deniers? It’s peer reviewed, it’s published, it’s “settled science.” It’s law of the universe. Just stop it already.
Thanks for the ping!
Only one problem: the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, which is inconsistent with the Big Bang Theory. As with any explosion, the rate of acceleration of mass is at a maximum immediately following the “bang,” and then naturally slows down. A Nobel Prize, however, was awarded to scientists who discovered that, in the case of the universe, just the opposite is true - it continues to expand at an accelerated rate, supposedly billions of years after the alleged event took place. Thus, the Big Bang Theory falls completely apart.
And who was there to observe the fundamental particles that made up the mass responsible for the Big Bang if no intelligence was there to observe and thus collapse the probability wave functions of those particles to a particular eigenstate? Unless, of course, that “observer” was the Almighty Creator. One must then assume that most modern-day quantum/astro physicists are devoutly religious, yet most I run into are either atheists or agnostics. What’s up with that?
“After the big bang, matter should have flown apart and formed random clumps. But the CMB showed that the universe was incredibly uniform, as if far-flung regions had somehow stayed in contact during the universe’s early expansion.”
What is this nonsense? The CMB is not “incredibly uniform”, but pretty patchy, with clumps and filaments everywhere underpinning the non-uniform galactic distribution of the universe.
“Was there anything before the big bang?”
Well, the laws conservation of matter and energy would suggest there must have been.
It only seems to solve the obvious problems if you presume an infinite number of cycles. Then you are left with two ridiculous possibilities. One is that identical cycles sometimes happen in a pattern, and the other is that each cycle varies from the others. In the first case each of us has existed an infinite number of times before. In the second case all possible forms of life have evolved in infinite number of times before and we are all made up of particles that have each existed in an infinite number of pink unicorns from the infinite number of relatively rare previous cycles that had them.
But those of us who can think mathematically about limits realize it doesn't solve the problem anyway.
Materialism is simply disproved.
“A poorly phrased question, since time is postulated to be a consequence of the big bang. There is no before.”
If time didn’t start until after the big bang, then the big bang could never have happened. Without time, no change could occur, so whatever pre-existed the big bang would just continue to exist unchanged.
But...that happened in THIS universe, what about the multi-universes?
“And who was there to observe the fundamental particles that made up the mass responsible for the Big Bang if no intelligence was there to observe and thus collapse the probability wave functions of those particles to a particular eigenstate? Unless, of course, that observer was the Almighty Creator. One must then assume that most modern-day quantum/astro physicists are devoutly religious, yet most I run into are either atheists or agnostics. Whats up with that?”
I’m not sure if the idea that consciousness is fundamental to quantum physics has really caught on yet. It’s one theory that deals with the observer effect, but the prevailing theories just kind of dodge the issue. I think the atheists are hoping they can keep dodging the question until they find some loophole.
Prove to me another universe exists first, then I’ll answer that question.
When God Created 'it all', He created time and space, or spacetime if you will, in which the command 'Light Be' took hold. Inflation happened for an incredibly short time/span of existence, and the result of that expansion of space and time caused 'Light Be' to occur. ALL dimensions and all possible variable expressions of those dimensions came into being in the initial conditions of Creation.
Without that 'blink' of inflation, no light could be. And to show that is correct, if the creation and destruction of 'virtual particles' gave off light, we would be seeing a sparkle all the time and not be able to differentiate our Universe of vast electromagnetic reality. So at the Planck length and Planck time scale no light comes forth. The process of Creation of spacetime is all around us still happening. But the initial conditions, inflation, only happened 'In The Beginning'.
Been a while since I read it, but goes something like this: there resides an intelligent species outside, but inside the core of matter which made the Big Bang, These energy beings (not the Xeelee) ‘decide’ what the Universe is to be, then go dormant (while whatever they set in motion plays out) until it is ‘time’ for a new Universe to come into existence, but different from the previous one.
The whole cosmological physics was difficult to understand, but made for an interesting read. Much of the back story takes place in the first nanoseconds of creation.
My understanding is that time is motion. Every single way that we measure time involves motion. Whether its the movement of the hands on a watch or the vibrations of an atom in an atomic clock. It is all motion. Without -any- motion, there is no time. So, at the time just before the Big Bang, the universe was the size of a mathematical point—a singularity. No motion occurred inside this point (that would be impossible). Since no motion occurred at that point, time did not exist yet. Time begins once things start to move.
As Alamo_Girl has put it on previous occasions, ‘Without Time, events do not occur; without space, things do not exist.’
The Bible tells us Who was there, made simpler in John's Gospel, chapter one. The observer is 'The Word made flesh Who dwelt among us.'
Nachmonides, in his 13th century commentaries on Genesis states that a fair reading of Genesis relates that there are ten dimensions. We exist in three, maybe four of those dimensions (space, time, the one from which Life erupts into the physical universe, and the one where spirit originates).
Yes it is still around. We can see light and structure associated with it, plus, not only is the Universe still expanding, but it's at an ever faster rate.
There is a cold spot in the CMB that could be from another Universe.
Indeed, dear MHGinTN, thank you for remembering!
Or from bifurcation of other dimensions of our initial conditions ...
“Whats up with that?”
Be patient. They’ll work it out, eventually.
“Without time, no change could occur, so whatever pre-existed the big bang would just continue to exist unchanged.”
Well, there could be a “timeline” outside of ours, from which we are a consequence. As an analogy, an author has his own timeline, independent of the one in a book that he wrote. He’s free to read it from the beginning, middle or end as he chooses.
“Well, there could be a timeline outside of ours, from which we are a consequence. As an analogy, an author has his own timeline, independent of the one in a book that he wrote. Hes free to read it from the beginning, middle or end as he chooses.”
Even if this were the case, it wouldn’t invalidate my point. In order for our universe to change from a pre-Big Bang state to a post-Big Bang state, time must have existed in our timeline, not just in an outside one.
“In order for our universe to change from a pre-Big Bang state to a post-Big Bang state, time must have existed in our timeline, not just in an outside one.”
I suppose you’re saying here that “time” exists independently of a timeline started with a big bang. I don’t think Big Bang theory disallows that notion. Also, I don’t think that sort of time need be deterministic, the way we experience ours.
“I suppose youre saying here that time exists independently of a timeline started with a big bang.”
Well, what I’m saying is that change can’t happen without time. If change is happening, then time is happening too. The Big Bang, as proposed, involves a change, so time must have already been in existence in order for such a change to happen.
That’s because the notion of time is wrapped up in the word “change”. I’m not that familiar with Big Bang theory, but I’m comfortable with the notion that there is a moment of time for which there is no “before”. I think the universe demands an explanation but not a cause.
“Thats because the notion of time is wrapped up in the word change. Im not that familiar with Big Bang theory, but Im comfortable with the notion that there is a moment of time for which there is no before. I think the universe demands an explanation but not a cause.”
You can look at time two different ways, but I think that either way you look at it, you will come to the same conclusions.
Option A: Time is just a measurement of change. In this case, when a change occurs, time must pass, because time is essentially an emergent phenomenon of any change, a measurement of how different things are from what we remember them to be.
Option B: Time is a dimension (or part of a dimension), in which motion can occur. However, when moving in the other, non-time dimensions, there is always an element of motion in the time dimension. The only exception is if the motion occurs at the speed of light, but nothing with a resting mass greater than zero can attain that speed. So, for all intents and purposes, as soon as anything substantial changes (moves), it is also moving through time.
Now, there could be some “time before time” in which things operated differently, but the physical laws governing it all would have to be different than what we observe today. If they were different, then how could we speculate at all about conditions beyond that point, since we have no way to observe and experiment to find out what the physical laws were at that time? It would be beyond the purview of science to speak of.
“It would be beyond the purview of science to speak of.”
I agree; that won’t stop people from calling it “science”, though.
Yes, it seems most modern scientists have a problem recognizing any limits on their discipline, or saying the words “we can’t know”.
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