Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

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Adam Preston
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Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Adam Preston » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:16 pm UTC

Hi, I was wondering if you guys have heard any interesting scientific theories on how the universe may have been created, excluding the Big Bang Theory (which I believe is the one many people accept). Please excuse any religious ideas here, it's not that I don't appreciate them, it's just I want something with a bit more of a base.
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Gigano » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:19 pm UTC

Technically the Big Bang theory doesn't describe how the universe was created, rather how it developed in its early existence. And others will correct me if I am wrong, but it currently makes little sense to scientifically approach the actual origin or 'creation' of the universe since our understanding of nature and physics break down hopelessly beyond the earliest moment in the universe's existence. Most models and hypotheses beyond this area are highly mathematical.

As I understand there are several hypotheses concerning the actual origin. One that I know of is brane cosmology, in which the Big Bang (and thus the initiation of our universe) is the result of two branes colliding. I am not a physicist at all, so I barely understand the technical details behind it. But maybe someone else can shed some light on it.
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby thoughtfully » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:40 am UTC

There's a couple of other interesting ideas about where the Big Bang came from that I'm aware of:
  • It was a quantum fluctuation. It didn't even have to borrow much energy in the Uncertainty Principle sense, because the gravitational binding energy of the Universe exactly (or almost exactly) cancels the mass-energy of its contents (which is conjecture, but makes sense).
  • The Universe oscillates. It expands for awhile, and then contracts back to a near-singularity and repeats the cycle. This is attractive on symmetrical grounds and as a means of dodging the singularity boogie-man, but doesn't jibe with the observation that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, and seems to be bound to expand indefinitely.
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Scyrus » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:52 am UTC

thoughtfully wrote:There's a couple of other interesting ideas about where the Big Bang came from that I'm aware of:
  • It was a quantum fluctuation. It didn't even have to borrow much energy in the Uncertainty Principle sense, because the gravitational binding energy of the Universe exactly (or almost exactly) cancels the mass-energy of its contents (which is conjecture, but makes sense).
  • The Universe oscillates. It expands for awhile, and then contracts back to a near-singularity and repeats the cycle. This is attractive on symmetrical grounds and as a means of dodging the singularity boogie-man, but doesn't jibe with the observation that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, and seems to be bound to expand indefinitely.



I really like the quantum fluctuation hypothesis, but what points to the universe being bound to expand indefinitely? Isn't there equal chance of it contracting back into a Big Crunch and then 'Bounce?

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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby thoughtfully » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:54 am UTC

Scyrus wrote:I really like the quantum fluctuation hypothesis, but what points to the universe being bound to expand indefinitely? Isn't there equal chance of it contracting back into a Big Crunch and then 'Bounce?


"An equal chance" suggests that someone's conducted a (presumably large) number of trials, and each outcome has a roughly equal count among the trials. We don't have anything like that. As far as existing theory can tell us, to my knowledge, (correct me if I'm wrong), the simplest models that account for the acceleration of expansion have the acceleration as a permanent feature. To obtain a contracting state, not only does the acceleration have to stop, but it has to be reversed. We don't understand the "dark energy" behind the acceleration, so it's hard to make any authoritative claims at all, but a model featuring continued acceleration, given what we know, is a simpler and more likely (eek, probability abuse again!) outcome, until we know more. Perhaps rather than saying "more likely", one should say "a safer bet". But really, the safest bet is to make no bets at all. Which isn't the same as saying either outcome is equally likely!
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Sizik » Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:03 am UTC

It's, like, all in your brane man.
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Adam Preston » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:44 pm UTC

I have heard that the collision of atoms simultaneously everywhere in space is how the universe began, sorry to confuse the big bang theory with the creation of the universe. But that would suggest that there was matter in "nothing", which would suggest that there is more than just the parameters of our universe, what you guys think?
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby eSOANEM » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:59 pm UTC

Adam Preston wrote:But that would suggest that there was matter in "nothing"


Really? In the standard form of big bang theory, whilst the observable universe was infinitesimally small, the universe as a whole was still infinite in extent (because it is probably infinite now after a finite amount of time at what appears to be a finite rate of expansion).
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby starslayer » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:16 pm UTC

thoughtfully wrote:
Scyrus wrote:I really like the quantum fluctuation hypothesis, but what points to the universe being bound to expand indefinitely? Isn't there equal chance of it contracting back into a Big Crunch and then 'Bounce?


"An equal chance" suggests that someone's conducted a (presumably large) number of trials, and each outcome has a roughly equal count among the trials. We don't have anything like that. As far as existing theory can tell us, to my knowledge, (correct me if I'm wrong), the simplest models that account for the acceleration of expansion have the acceleration as a permanent feature. To obtain a contracting state, not only does the acceleration have to stop, but it has to be reversed. We don't understand the "dark energy" behind the acceleration, so it's hard to make any authoritative claims at all, but a model featuring continued acceleration, given what we know, is a simpler and more likely (eek, probability abuse again!) outcome, until we know more. Perhaps rather than saying "more likely", one should say "a safer bet". But really, the safest bet is to make no bets at all. Which isn't the same as saying either outcome is equally likely!

According to GR, the universe will expand forever unless it has non-zero positive curvature (i.e., it is closed). Even some closed universes also expand forever. There is a critical density above which the universe is closed. If the universe is flat, its density is equal to the critical density, and if it has less than the critical density, it is open. The critical density is an energy density, so it includes contributions from matter, radiation, dark energy, and curvature. Based on our best measurements and estimates, the universe is either flat or close to it. The margins of error favor the open case, but do not yet rule out the universe being closed. Note that an initially open universe will always be open, and the same for the other two cases.

So what makes the universe's expansion accelerate? Well, dark energy seems to come in the form of a cosmological constant, so named because its energy density is constant as the universe expands or contracts. This means that as the universe expands, more of it comes into existence (by the way, it's for this reason that GR does not contain global conservation of energy). In GR, dark energy is modeled as a perfect fluid with negative pressure. This means that once the matter density drops below the dark energy density, the expansion of the universe must accelerate away. If the matter density is higher than the dark energy density, the gravitational attraction is able to overpower the repulsive push of dark energy and the expansion of the universe slows down. However, if the initial expansion is fast enough, the matter density can drop below the dark energy density before the expansion fully stops, and we get an accelerating expanding universe like our own. The bottom lime is that our universe, even if closed, will expand forever according to GR.

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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Scyrus » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:01 am UTC

Pseudo science that makes no sense but is still interesting:

I say the universe is a complex "bubble" with many dimensions that intersects itself thereby creating lines, or vibrating strings that simulate what we perceive as being "different particles". That gravity is simply a result of the distortion caused by said vibrations and that the amount of strings is a constant. When two strings collide, they switch to other vibrations and can become entangled, affecting the other whenever one is disturbed.
In an outside Multiverse, a random "happens-all-the-time" quantum fluctuation created this curled up bubble that expanded, placing space in between the strings. Everything within this universe or bubble can be expressed by a wavefunction encompassing the movement, state, and possible outcomes of every encounter of every string everywhere. I dubbed it the "Colossal Universal Wavefunction" (It can't be written down because you would need more atoms than those that exist to express everything there is to say about them).
In this Multiverse, bubbles are created and collapse with random frequency.
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Dopefish » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:15 am UTC

Man, you managed to take a lot of components of actual modern theories and merge them together into one blob of pseudo-science.

Reminds me of a show I was watching earlier where the show claimed that "We know from modern physics that there are 11 dimensions. Could <some craziness> allow us to travel between these dimensions?" which is rather misinterpreting what those extra dimensions are based on my limited understanding of them (which largely comes from these forums). Pretty sure we're already 'in' those extra dimensions and they're just 'small'. Also, I don't think they're beyond theory, and aren't something we might claim to 'know' exist. Silly TV...

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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby WarDaft » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:02 am UTC

It was a quantum fluctuation. It didn't even have to borrow much energy in the Uncertainty Principle sense, because the gravitational binding energy of the Universe exactly (or almost exactly) cancels the mass-energy of its contents (which is conjecture, but makes sense).
If the universe is infinite, then aren't we guaranteed that we can create a bijection between the positive existing energy and negative gravitational binding energy, joule for joule? Or do we need to be more specific?

"We know from modern physics that there are 11 dimensions. Could <some craziness> allow us to travel between these dimensions?"
Yeah, somewhere along the line, popular media got the idea that 'alternate-dimension' could be used synonymously with 'alternate-realty.'
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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby shk » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:06 pm UTC

According to GR, the universe will expand forever unless it has non-zero positive curvature


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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Frenetic Pony » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:54 am UTC

"Created" in totality? Well that just gets down to the same answer as everything if you go in for irreducible complexity, 42 as it were. And that answer is "because". It's the ultimate answer, because (there's that answer) no matter how many times you give an explanation, nor how many things you give an explanation for, even an infinite or recursive one you can always ask "why is that"? And so eventually you just have to come back to the answer "because". Or rather "because, now if you want to blather more about it go talk to a bloody philosopher!"

But, why is it the shape it is now? "The Big Bang" is, right now, pretty much taken as writ. A paradigm, as it were, or at least no one's come up with another credible explanation. What happens in the future/could have happened in the past (before the big bang)? Don't know, frankly we don't know enough about what's going on in universe to predict such things. Right now predictions call for everything to expand and entropy away into eternity, but the only force we can put on it is called "dark energy". Which is polite speak for "hell if we know", so we can't really say that's the fate of the universe at the moment.

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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Whitebluur » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:39 am UTC

As of right now, we can see 1x10^-43 seconds AFTER the initial "bang". at that point we can see the different "forces being created from the electromagnetic radiation, there was gravoty as matter formed and then the strong and weak forces. These are things we have actually seen.

There was one hypothesis that I heard recently that was interesting. I can’t remember what they called it, but it went something like this... The universe started off as a singularity. A one dimensional point that was infinitely small and infinitely dense... Somehow, the singularity became "excited" by absorbing energy, looking at dirty magazines or who knows.... Then, since all things want to be in a stable orientation, the singularity "dropped" to a stable orientation and in doing so it released the energy that it absorbed. BANG!!! this is very similar to what happens when an electron, while bound to the nucleus of an atom, absorbs energy, if it isn’t stripped from the atom that is...

Oh, and the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate... Cosmology is my rap!

Side note: one of the biggest issues I have with forums like this is the overuse of the word "theory"... Please look up the difference between an idea, a hypothesis and a theory/law... You will find that there is a distinct difference.

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Re: Interesting theories on how the universe was created?

Postby Soralin » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:00 am UTC

Whitebluur wrote:As of right now, we can see 1x10^-43 seconds AFTER the initial "bang". at that point we can see the different "forces being created from the electromagnetic radiation, there was gravoty as matter formed and then the strong and weak forces. These are things we have actually seen.

Well we can model back to that far at least. We can only actually see back to about 379k years after the event, the surface of last scattering, when stuff cooled down enough for it to not be a plasma anymore, and so become transparent to light. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_mic ... _radiation


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