A Universe from Nothing: Not that hard to understand.

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Probably not? I'll accept that as an answer.
    And of course the question of why the universe exists, why stars exist, why planets exist, why we exist, are all scientific questions, for which positive answers have been given in most cases.
    If that's your position then great.

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  3. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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    "Much Ado About Nothing" (Ref. Shakespeare) An alternative hypothesis (Yes MODS . . . Alternative . . . move it there if you want!) : I'd proffer that prior to our currrent universe's creation, there was 'something' within the 'nothing' - a (potential) energy field, EF (or an energy potential field?). The EF was pre-existant, became unstable due to quantum fluctuations (or other subquantum mechanisms), all causing (i.e., causality) a thermodynamic cascade (analogy: water cascading over a waterfall?), ergo, our observable (mass/energy) universe has emerged and is evolving from this continuing creation (EGAD! . . . Continuous Creation!! . . . "Who ordered THAT!"). Albeit, we are now stuck with what is/was the source of the energy potential field . . . and . . . (sigh) there we again run up against a metaphysical 'wall'. [BTW: this hypothesis allows a BB, but does NOT require it!!]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    A ripple in the fabric of space-time.
     
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  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    Hi Karen.

    A non-sequitur is something that doesn't logically follow. Treating 'nothing' as a state of being or as a dark and empty place, would seem to me to be an oxymoron (a self-contradictory phrase).

    I think that it was the Presocratic Greek philosopher Parmenides that noted (in so many words) that 'nonexistence doesn't exist'.

    I agree with both of you on that.

    'Nothing' seems to me to be a sort of a boundary-concept. Reality only extends as far as the boundary and there is no beyond the boundary. Big bang cosmologies that extrapolate the expansion of the space-time-matter universe back to a singularity a finite distance of time in the past might arguably be said to have reached such a boundary. Reality only extends so far and no further.

    Theistic creation myths are similar, with a created world that only extends as far back as creation, except that they always plant their God beyond the boundary and in their schemes God most emphatically isn't nothing.

    How can there be vacuums or fields if there is no spatial extension? How can there be fluctuations if there is no temporal extension? (Imagining everything happening in abstract mathematical spaces still assumes the existence of abstract mathematical spaces.)

    The problem that I see is that if we interpret 'nothing' as the absence of everything, then any proposed physical explanation of the 'something from nothing' problem, in which the universe is theoretically derived from a prior state, could only be a non-sequitur since by definition there could be no prior state.

    The existence of physical laws would become problematic as well, since they only seem to have meaning correlating physical events. Take away the physical events and the universe in which they occur, and there wouldn't be any more physical laws. (Unless we give the laws a Platonic realism that would turn them into peculiar abstract somethings. Logic and mathematics in the abstract would probably encounter similar problems.

    What Krauss and his ilk appear to me be doing is deriving the supposed initial state of the universe, the 'Big Bang' from what seems to them to be a minimal set of physical and theoretical assumptions that include a very active vacuum, fields and all of the relevant laws of physics. And that's most emphatically not 'nothing'.

    Historically 'vacuum' did mean 'void' which was interpreted to mean 'nothing'. Add that to the 'nonexistence doesn't exist' idea and we have the explanation for the historical belief that 'nature abhors a vacuum'. I get the impression that people like Krauss are exploiting that ambiguity of the word 'vacuum', interpreting it in the modern way so as to slip all their beloved fields and quantum processes into it, while interpreting it the ancient way so as to pretend that they have somehow answered the fundamental metaphysical question 'How can something come from nothing'.

    Actually these people aren't addressing the older and deeper question at all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    And yet as I have asked many times, and yet is still unanswered, do you or anyone else have any other scientific alternative?
    And even if one can contend that a non scientific answer should be considered, how does one get around the question asked by Sagan in the following video....

    At least cosmologists are attempting to answer a question using current knowledge and data.
    And personally while finding any suggestion of a hypothetical "infinite" existence hard to accept, I believe that it can be applied to a universe much more reasonably then some omnipotent all powerful "personality" .
     
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    No. I think the point is that there is no scientific answer at all.

    These people are trying to push science beyond its remit, into metaphysics. It's an old temptation, that of seeking a bigger non-scientific audience, for ideas that are not truly scientific. It seems to be intrinsically unverifiable speculation, using confused language, as Yazata says.
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Disagree entirely: People also once saw quantum mechanics also in that vane.
    Everything is open to scientific answers, including where the universe came from, or how it came to be, and obviously all scientists can do is at least attempt answers in line with current data.
    As I said yesterday, who knows what a final validated QGT will reveal.
    The universe is a weird and wonderful place, and that doesn't mean that answers don't exist...and of course all science starts off as unverifiable speculation.
    A Universe from nothing essentially is the only scientific explanation as to how and why we are here.
     
  11. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    While I don't agree with that at all, there are some interesting answers to the following question re "nothing"
    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/92037/how-can-space-and-time-arise-from-nothing

    Again, just because you and I, and even the professionals do not have any definitive answer as yet, does not mean one does not exist, and personally I still see the universe from nothing as the only answer.....
     
  13. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Have you studied the "no-boundary'' idea of James Hartle and Stephen Hawking?
    Two minutes searching on the webernet produces many alternatives :
    - https://phys.org/news/2015-02-big-quantum-equation-universe.html
    - http://www.wall.org/~aron/blog/a-universe-from-nothing/
    - http://www.space.com/24781-big-bang-theory-alternatives-infographic.html
    - http://www.space.com/31465-is-our-universe-just-one-of-many-in-a-multiverse.html

    ...hubris?
     
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/92037/how-can-space-and-time-arise-from-nothing

    Think of the uncertainty principle. According the the uncertainty principle, over a period of time energy fluctuates and combining this notion with relativity, this translates to virtual particles popping in and out of existence from the 'nothingness' of the vacuum. If we have a quantum theory of gravity (which we don't yet), space and time can behave like virtual particles and become quantum mechanical entities and hence pop in and out of existence due to the uncertainty principle.

    We still don't know how to combine general relativity with quantum mechanics. Such a stark incompatibility between the two arises because of the Uncertainty principle; in general relativity, perfectly flat space arises in the absence of a significant mass (such as the quantum vacuum) and thus the value of the gravitational field should be exactly zero. However, the Uncertainty principle needs only a mean value of zero and so the value of the gravitational field can fluctuate in a random 'foam'; therefore we get infinities (or ultraviolet divergences). Quantum gravity is currently nonrenormalisable

    http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/92037/how-can-space-and-time-arise-from-nothing

    just one of many answers.
     
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Whenever anyone balks at the idea of the Big Bang and how it doesn't make sense, I always find myself asking :

    sense as compared to what?
    All the other 'creation of a universe' things you've experienced?

    The creation of the universe (from whatever) is literally unprecedented. It cannot be like anything in one's experience, or anything that's happened in the 13.7 billions years since. It cannot be modeled with any physics we know since all physics we know was created by the BB.

    So why bother trying to fit it into your 'sense'?

    Just follow the math.
     
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  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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  17. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Apologies, the previous video is around an hour long...I do rather prefer to link to shorter ones,

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    but it is well worth watching with an introduction by Richard Dawkins..................
     
  18. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    And as I wrote in post #37: "What's wrong with just being honest and admitting that we don't know the answer?"

    I have doubts about whether science will ever discover the answer. (Mainly because any scientific answer would seem to me to be circular, appealing to explanatory principles that are part of what needs explaining.)

    That doesn't mean that there's any harm in speculating about the problem and trying to solve it. But unverifiable speculations mustn't be misrepresented as authoritative scientific answers.
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Most all of the many articles and papers I present, do specifically mention that some points are speculative.
    But again, we only really have one scientific answer as to the universe and even life itself. And that appears to be rather reasonable then to latch onto.
     
  20. karenmansker HSIRI Banned

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    Our "nothing' discussion reminds me of a joke from years past . . . . . A physics final exam question . . . . "Define the nature of the universe, and give two examples" . . . . HAHA!
     
  21. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxi...aneously-from-nothing-ed7ed0f304a3#.pa9j4y8op

    A Mathematical Proof That The Universe Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing:

    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.1207v1.pdf

    Spontaneous creation of the universe from nothing:

    An interesting idea is that the universe could be spontaneously created from nothing, but no rigorous proof has been given. In this paper, we present such a proof based on the analytic solutions of the Wheeler-DeWitt equation (WDWE). Explicit solutions of the WDWE for the special operator ordering factor p = −2 (or 4) show that, once a small true vacuum bubble is created by quantum fluctuations of the metastable false vacuum, it can expand exponentially no matter whether the bubble is closed, flat or open. The exponential expansion will end when the bubble becomes large and thus the early universe appears. With the de Broglie-Bohm quantum trajectory theory, we show explicitly that it is the quantum potential that plays the role of the cosmological constant and provides the power for the exponential expansion of the true vacuum bubble. So it is clear that the birth of the early universe completely depends on the quantum nature of the theory.


    VIII. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION
    In summary, we have presented a mathematical proof that the universe can be created spontaneously from nothing. When a small true vacuum bubble is created by quantum fluctuations of the metastable false vacuum, it can expand exponentially if the ordering factor takes the value p = −2 (or 4). In this way, the early universe appears irreversibly. We have shown that it is the quantum potential that provides the power for the exponential expansion of the bubble. Thus, we can conclude that the birth of the early universe is completely determined by quantum mechanism. One may ask the question when and how space, time and matter appear in the early universe from nothing. With the exponential expansion of the bubble, it is doubtless that space and time will emerge. Due to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, there should be virtual particle pairs created by quantum fluctuations. Generally speaking, a virtual particle pair will annihilate soon after its birth. But, two virtual particles from a pair can be separated immediately before annihilation due to the exponential expansion of the bubble. Therefore, there would be a large amount of real particles created as vacuum bubble expands exponentially. A rigorous mathematical calculation for the rate of particle creation with the exponential expansion of the bubble will be studied in our future work.
     
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Nothing about cosmology introduced by Dawkins will be worth even 5 minutes of anyone's time.
     
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  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    To be able to reasonably contemplate this is in itself incredible I suggest.
    In answer to your question I would say Flat, Open or Closed.
    So far according to WMAP, the universe seems "Flat" within pretty small error bars, but also remembering that the apparent flatness of the observable universe, may be just as a small arc of a circle may appear flat when compared to the whole circle....just playing devil's advocate here.

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    That also predicts the universe is infinite in extent which often is questioned with regards to a beginning at the BB.
    explained here better than I can......
    http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/infpoint.html
    A Universe with no boundary such as the Hawking/Hartle "No Boundary" proposal seems easy to understand, other then the fact that it predicts a "Closed universe" which is contrary to current evidence, as there does not seem to be enough matter to recollapse the universe as this no boundary suggests.
    https://web.uvic.ca/~jtwong/Hartle-Hawking.htm

    But still how anything began, scientifically can only apparently have one answer.
     

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