Before Time and Space
Does the Big Bang Theory Prove the Universe Began From Nothing?

Before Time and Space
Does the Big Bang Theory Prove the Universe Began From Nothing?

There are powerful forces at work in the universe. From man-made explosions to mother natures devastating destruction. To epic blasts of unbelievable cosmic power. All of them reveal a universe of lurking pallets like exploding stars. Apocalyptic asteroid impacts and invisible jets of radiation streaming across the universe. Nothing is more powerful then the colossal explosion that created it all. The Big Bang.

But what created the Big Bang? Some scientists conclude that the universe began from nothing. Others state that there was no beginning to the universe and some scientists believe that our universe may have come from another universe.

Most scientists agree that the creation of the universe was from what we call 'The Big Bang'. However, what created the big bang remains a mystery to this day.

The amount of energy necessary to create the big bang came from something and somewhere, but no one has the answers, only theories and speculations.

The one obvious detail is that the big bang was the most powerful event this universe has ever encountered.

The Big Bang is the prevailing cosmological theory of the early development of the universe.

Cosmologists use the term Big Bang to refer to the idea that the universe was originally extremely hot and dense at some finite time in the past and has since cooled by expanding  to the present diluted state and continues to expand today.

The theory is supported by the most comprehensive and accurate explanations from current scientific evidence and observation.

According to the best available measurements as of 2010, the initial conditions occurred around 13.3 to 13.9 billion years ago.

The earliest phases of the Big Bang are subject to much speculation. In the most common models, the Universe was filled homogeneously and isotropically with an incredibly high energy density, huge temperatures and pressures, and was very rapidly expanding and cooling.

Approximately 10−37 seconds into the expansion, a phase transition caused a cosmic inflation, during which the Universe grew exponentially.

After inflation stopped, the Universe consisted of a quark–gluon plasma, as well as all other elementary particles. 

Temperatures were so high that the random motions of particles were at relativistic speeds, and particle–antiparticle pairs of all kinds were being continuously created and destroyed in collisions.

At some point an unknown reaction called baryogenesis violated the conservation of baryon number, leading to a very small excess of quarks and leptons over antiquarks and antileptons—of the order of one part in 30 million.

This resulted in the predominance of matter over antimatter in the present Universe. The Universe continued to grow in size and fall in temperature, hence the typical energy of each particle was decreasing.

Symmetry breaking phase transitions put the fundamental forces of physics and the parameters of elementary particles into their present form.

After about 10−11 seconds from the Big Bang, the picture becomes less speculative, since particle energies drop to values that can be attained in particle physics experiments.

At about 10−6 seconds, quarks and gluons combined to form baryons such as protons and neutrons. The small excess of quarks over antiquarks led to a small excess of baryons over antibaryons. The temperature was now no longer high enough to create new proton–antiproton pairs (similarly for neutrons–antineutrons), so a mass annihilation immediately followed, leaving just one in 1010 of the original protons and neutrons, and none of their antiparticles.

A similar process happened at about 1 second for electrons and positrons. After these annihilations, the remaining protons, neutrons and electrons were no longer moving relativistically and the energy density of the Universe was dominated by photons (with a minor contribution from neutrinos).

How Did the Universe Begin?

The universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all physical matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space, although this usage may differ with the context.

The term universe may be used in slightly different contextual senses, denoting such concepts as the cosmos, the world, or nature.

Observations of earlier stages in the development of the universe, which can be seen at great distances, suggest that the universe has been governed by the same physical laws and constants throughout most of its extent and history.

Throughout recorded history, several cosmologies and cosmogonies have been proposed to account for observations of the universe.

The earliest quantitative geocentric models were developed by the ancient Greeks, who proposed that the universe possesses infinite space and has existed eternally, but contains a single set of concentric spheres of finite size – corresponding to the fixed stars, the Sun and various planets – rotating about a spherical but unmoving Earth.

Over the centuries, more precise observations and improved theories of gravity led to Copernicus's heliocentric model and the Newtonian model of the Solar System, respectively. Further improvements in astronomy led to the realization that the Solar System is embedded in a galaxy composed of billions of stars, the Milky Way, and that other galaxies exist outside it, as far as astronomical instruments can reach.

Careful studies of the distribution of these galaxies and their spectral lines have led to much of modern cosmology. Discovery of the red shift and cosmic microwave background radiation revealed that the universe is expanding and apparently had a beginning.

Baryogenesis Theories

In physical cosmology, baryogenesis is the generic term for hypothetical physical processes that produced an asymmetry between baryons and antibaryons in the very early universe, resulting in the substantial amounts of residual matter that make up the universe today.

Baryogenesis theories (the most important being electroweak baryogenesis and GUT baryogenesis) employ sub-disciplines of physics such as quantum field theory, and statistical physics, to describe such possible mechanisms.

The fundamental difference between baryogenesis theories is the description of the interactions between fundamental particles. The next step after baryogenesis is the much better understood Big Bang nucleosynthesis, during which light atomic nuclei began to form.

Before the Big Bang
Looking Back in Time

Things are not smooth out in our universe, with clumps of matter we call stars and galaxies drifting through space.

Scientists talk through their theories on how the parallel universe theory might help to plot the history of time to even before the Big Bang.

The multiverse (or meta-universe, metaverse) is the hypothetical set of multiple possible universes (including the historical universe we consistently experience) that together comprise everything that exists: the entirety of space, time, matter, and energy as well as the physical laws and constants that describe them.

The term was coined in 1895 by the American philosopher and psychologist William James. The various universes within the multiverse are sometimes called parallel universes. The structure of the multiverse, the nature of each universe within it and the relationship between the various constituent universes, depend on the specific multiverse hypothesis considered.

Multiverses have been hypothesized in cosmology, physics, astronomy, philosophy, transpersonal psychology and fiction, particularly in science fiction and fantasy. In these contexts, parallel universes are also called "alternative universes", "quantum universes", "interpenetrating dimensions", "parallel dimensions", "parallel worlds", "alternative realities", and "alternative timelines", among others.

The estimated age of the universe is 13.75 ± 0.17 billion years, the time since the "Big Bang". The uncertainty range has been obtained by the agreement of a number of scientific research projects. These projects included background radiation measurements and more ways to measure the expansion of the universe. Background radiation measurements give the cooling time of the universe since the Big Bang. Expansion of the universe measurements give accurate data to calculate the age of the universe.

What Happened Before the Beginning?

Hosted by Morgan Freeman, Through the Wormhole will explore the deepest mysteries of existence - the questions that have puzzled mankind for eternity.

What are we made of? What was there before the beginning? Are we really alone? Is there a creator?

These questions have been pondered by the most exquisite minds of the human race. Now, science has evolved to the point where hard facts and evidence may be able to provide us with answers instead of philosophical theories.

A few minutes into the expansion, when the temperature was about a billion (one thousand million; 109; SI prefix giga-) kelvins and the density was about that of air, neutrons combined with protons to form the Universe's deuterium and helium nuclei in a process called Big Bang nucleosynthesis.

Most protons remained uncombined as hydrogen nuclei. As the Universe cooled, the rest mass energy density of matter came to gravitationally dominate that of the photon radiation. After about 379,000 years the electrons and nuclei combined into atoms (mostly hydrogen); hence the radiation decoupled from matter and continued through space largely unimpeded.

This relic radiation is known as the cosmic microwave background radiation. The Hubble Ultra Deep Field showcases galaxies from an ancient era when the Universe was younger, denser, and warmer according to the Big Bang theory.

Over a long period of time, the slightly denser regions of the nearly uniformly distributed matter gravitationally attracted nearby matter and thus grew even denser, forming gas clouds, stars, galaxies, and the other astronomical structures observable today.

The details of this process depend on the amount and type of matter in the Universe. The three possible types of matter are known as cold dark matter, hot dark matter and baryonic matter. The best measurements available (from WMAP) show that the dominant form of matter in the Universe is cold dark matter.

The other two types of matter make up less than 18% of the matter in the Universe. Independent lines of evidence from Type Ia supernovae and the CMB imply the Universe today is dominated by a mysterious form of energy known as dark energy, which apparently permeates all of space.

The observations suggest 72% of the total energy density of today's Universe is in this form.

Aeons Before the Big Bang

Sir Roger Penrose is a prize winning mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford.

In this talk he discusses that there is much observational evidence to confirm the existence of an enormously hot and dense early stage of the universe—referred to as the Big Bang.

When the Universe was very young, it was likely infused with dark energy, but with less space and everything closer together, gravity had the upper hand, and it was slowly braking the expansion.

But eventually, after numerous billion years of expansion, the growing abundance of dark energy caused the expansion of the Universe to slowly begin to accelerate.

Dark energy in its simplest formulation takes the form of the cosmological constant term in Einstein's field equations of general relativity, but its composition and mechanism are unknown and, more generally, the details of its equation of state and relationship with the Standard Model of particle physics continue to be investigated both observationally and theoretically.

All of this cosmic evolution after the inflationary epoch can be rigorously described and modeled by the ΛCDM model of cosmology, which uses the independent frameworks of quantum mechanics and Einstein's General Relativity. As noted above, there is no well-supported model describing the action prior to 10−15 seconds or so.

Apparently a new unified theory of quantum gravitation is needed to break this barrier. Understanding this earliest of eras in the history of the Universe is currently one of the greatest unsolved problems in physics.