How did the universe begin?

Jun 24, 2008 By Miranda Marquit feature

One of the most interesting questions considered by astrophysicists deals with the start of our universe. Indeed, there is a great deal of speculation on the subject, with different theories about how the universe began, and what may have existed before the universe came into being.

Several prominent astrophysicists around the world are interested in answering these questions. In one paper, “No-Boundary Measure of the Universe,” published in Physical Review Letters, James Hartle, Stephen Hawking and Thomas Hertog calculate the probabilities that the no-boundary wave function predicts in terms of classical space-time possibilities.

“Theories regarding the beginning of the universe are expressed as wave functions,” Hartle tells PhysOrg.com. “The no-boundary wave function is one theory about the origins of the universe.” The goal of this particular work with Hawking and Hertog, he continues, was to model the universe and see what kind of probabilities exist that the current universe could have originated in a certain way.

The no-boundary proposal predicts that expansion in the early universe would have proceeded smoothly from a moment in time. The idea is that inflation was a feature of our early universe. “It collapsed from a previous large phase, bounced at a small but not zero radius, and expanded again to the large phase we are living in,” says Hartle.

The no-boundary wave function also states that space-time was not what we see today at the outset of universal expansion. “When the universe started out,” Hartle explains, “there wasn’t ordinary space-time. Instead of three space directions, as we have now, there were four space directions. At some point, a transition was made to ordinary space-time.”

Hartle and his colleagues examined models of the universe that were homogenous, isotropic and closed. A cosmological constant was assumed, as was a scalar field with quadratic potential. They looked at entire classical histories, examining the ideas of a singularity, such as a Big Bang, or considering a bounce with a finite radius. The point was to get a picture of which scenarios are most likely to produce a universe that is similar to what we see currently.

“Both things, a Big Bang or a bounce, are possible,” Hartle says. “However, we found a significant probability that the early universe might have bounced.”

Hartle does admit that the simple model used by him and his colleagues does have its limitations. For one thing, the universe is not completely homogenous as the model assumes. “You see a certain lumpiness in the real universe,” he concedes. However, most of the irregularities are small, and many of them can, in fact, be ultimately accounted for in a no-boundary proposal.

“Our model does make a number of strong assumptions,” Hartle continues. But, he insists, “this is a standard trade-off in physics. Our model is simplified so that we can analyze it completely.”

“In present cosmology, we test models to see if different proposals fit the universe that we see. In this instance, we see that the no-boundary wave function does,” Hartle says. “We see that there is a good chance the universe originated in a bounce.”

“We hope that can extend this to other, more sophisticated models, with different potentials and different degrees of freedom.”

Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.

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earls
2.8 / 5 (11) Jun 24, 2008
How the Universe began is simple - Defining "beginning" is the hard part.
Modernmystic
2.4 / 5 (20) Jun 24, 2008
In the beginning there was nothing...which exploded...
mabarker
2.7 / 5 (25) Jun 24, 2008
Let's see - the standard secular explanation is that there was 'nothing' which experienced a 'quantum instability' resulting in a massive explosion that produced huge quantities of a tasteless, colorless gas (hydrogen) plus trace amounts of helium.
Through time it became people.
There.
Questions?
gopher65
4 / 5 (21) Jun 24, 2008
Reading the previous comments, there's a bit of a misconception about what exactly "nothing" is. Nothingness has 1 property: it can have no predictable properties. That may seem obvious (and it is), but it leads to three interesting conclusions:

1) Nothingness cannot be empty. Emptiness is a definable physical property, and thus, if nothingness is empty, it is something, not nothing (ie, empty space). Therefore, nothingness cannot be empty.

2) The non-emptiness of nothingness must have no physically definable properties. In order for this to be true, it has to be absolutely random. Not chaotic (patterned randomness) like our universe, but completely random, with no patterns whatsoever.

3) Pure randomness will eventually become patterned, given enough time (cause it's random, and patterns can evolve out of a random system at any time, due to the very nature of randomness). Once this happens randomness disappears and is replaced with chaos. But chaos has definable properties and is somewhat predictable, so it isn't nothing anymore. So once this happens, nothingness has spontaneously spawned somethingness:). In our case, our universe.
_______________________________

I think that's all fairly obvious. The only question is whether our universe popped directly out of The Nothing, or whether it was spawned by another universe which had previously popped out of The Nothing. The work of these scientists seems to lean vaguely in the direction of the later idea.
p1ll
3.3 / 5 (11) Jun 24, 2008
my head hurts ;)
Modernmystic
2.9 / 5 (15) Jun 24, 2008
"Nothingness has 1 property: it can have no predictable properties."

What mumbojumbo. Nothing has no properties whatsoever, it's nothing. The absence of anything, including properties of any sort.
thales
2.7 / 5 (10) Jun 24, 2008
I agree with modernmystic. Gopher, your beginning assumption has a flaw: you define emptiness as a property, when it is not. This sounds like the ontological argument for the existence of God, which goes like this: (1) existence is a property; (2) God can be imagined to exist; (3) actual existence is superior to imagined existence; (4) God, who by definition is perfect, must therefore actually exist. This argument can be extended to prove the existence of the perfect vacation resort, the perfect margarita, the perfect spaceship, or pretty much anything you can imagine. It's all confusing until you realize existence is not a property. Neither is emptiness.
morbidslug
2.5 / 5 (6) Jun 24, 2008
I agree with modernmystic to a point but, Nothing does have a property, that fact that it it is not the thing which you are saying it is not.

It is the simple assumption that you can have structure in nothing that is a flaw. As soon as structure, even total randomness, exists there is something. So Gophers statement basically reads, there was a mess, then it became tidy.

To have nothing there must be some thing to measure it by. If there was no thing before the universe then the initial nothing instantly becomes the thing to measure all other things by, making nothing, something, right away. But before there was that initial thing there was not-nothing. Incomparible and unobtainable by anything in existence now (it all being a thing). This bit is where we say 'oh it's god' or 'we reach the planck scale and it all goes slithy tovey' or some similar brush off and then point out that our theories obviously must make some assumptions, such as the linearity of time or the compression of it into another space dimension, or some constant that we just cant explain away.
Mayday
2 / 5 (4) Jun 24, 2008
Why would a collapsed universe necessarily need to consume every last particle of itself before expanding or bouncing again? Might it not bounce a moment earlier? If so, would not some of the old universe still be lurking about somewhere? How do we account for such an apparent clean sweep?

Wouldn't the old universe have entirely different physic(al?) properties than the current universe? Maybe even undetectable? Maybe just dark matter?

Oops.
x646d63
4 / 5 (8) Jun 24, 2008
Rather than assuming nothing does exist, but we can't seem to define it because nothing shouldn't have definable properties, why don't we assume that nothing does, in fact, NOT exist.

With this assumption we can easily say that the universe did not begin from nothing, nor will it collapse into nothing. The universe, then, has always existed and will always exist.

There's no doubt that the universe is constantly changing. In fact, we've created time to measure that change.

Meanwhile, the universe changes states on a changing but fluid rate. Our ability to model the universe using math has enabled us to predict future states based on current observations of change, and postulate past states by rolling back .

Human beings are biased to see beginnings and endings because we interact with each other's consciousness, and that consciousness (awareness) appears to begin at some point after conception, and end at some point near death.

But if you think about it, this consciousness interaction is the only thing that appears to begin and end. Our mass doesn't magically disappear when we die. Our form degrades and we become part of the earth again. But we don't "end."

We don't "begin" either. We are an extension of our parents (mostly mother.) We are her, and she is her mother.

The universe did not begin, nor will it end. Nothing begins or ends; all is perpetual and forever, but human bias gets in the way of seeing this. We project our beginnings and endings onto almost everything...including our natural environment.

"Beginning" and "ending" are simply labels on a time line that contain a range of identifiable states. But since the time line has no beginning and no ending, it doesn't serve much purpose to ascribe such labels.

thales
3.8 / 5 (5) Jun 24, 2008
I like your thinking x646d63, but I disagree. If we could transfer our memories to our offspring, we would cease to end and they would basically not begin; our offspring would be a continuation of us. The reason the universe had a beginning is because the information about the previous universe - the "memory" - has been erased by the Big Bounce. You could certainly say this universe is a continuation of the old one, but it would be as meaningful as saying my child is a continuation of me. True from a certain perspective but not very conventional.
gpa
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 24, 2008
If it were possible, it would exist. If not, it does not exist.
KeitoTen
5 / 5 (5) Jun 24, 2008
this brings new meaning to the phrase "arguing about nothing"
Mercury_01
1.3 / 5 (4) Jun 24, 2008
I like the idea of nothing, which in effect, is everything. "nothing" implies an infinite probability of everything. With so much nothing, there just had to be something to even out the probabilities. Does that make any sense to antbody? I think Im on to something.
thales
1.5 / 5 (4) Jun 24, 2008
Probabilities can only range from 0 to 1. There is no such thing as an infinite probability. Besides, "nothing" implies a zero probability of anything. x646d63 is right: "the universe did not begin from nothing, nor will it collapse into nothing."
superhuman
3.5 / 5 (8) Jun 24, 2008
>Nothingness has 1 property: it can have no predictable properties.
This definition is self contradicting.
Besides it has predictable properties, for example: nothingness cannot contain any normal matter and it is a state with minimal energy content in a given context.

Hawking and company need to focus on something productive instead of spewing more not-even-wrong crap. We have way too much of that already in physics.
deatopmg
2.2 / 5 (6) Jun 24, 2008
x646d63 hit the nail squarely on the head.

Hawking et al have a lot of time to ponder how many fairies were dancing around or how they were formed when the universe began - then derive equation(s) to describe their vision. It's all mental masturbation, i.e. it feels good but doesn't produce anything meaningful....AND they get payed for it.

and Thales - we do continue but not physically in our 4 dimensions; our spirit lives on forever. That's f o r e v e r.............
brant
3.3 / 5 (6) Jun 24, 2008
What if somethingness has always been here???

And if infinite, has no beginning.

See how easy that was!!!!
imromo24
2.8 / 5 (4) Jun 24, 2008
one thing that no one ever answers is where nothing came from. If it was something always, then where did something come from.

I believe in God, where did God come from?
aussiecarter
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 24, 2008
Initially there was nothing which became something. Knowing how this happened is beyong imagination.
Eco_R1
2.5 / 5 (4) Jun 25, 2008
Imagine all the matter in the universe squeezed into "a non defined point" its all there but all that matter has got no physical dimension.other universe perhaps with different rules, and then there a sub space "star-trek-like" anomaly which forced an explosion to happen that hurled all that matter into our universe where it got new properties like dimension and mass.thats my idea of the universe after a bottle and a half of merlot!
bobwinners
1.2 / 5 (5) Jun 25, 2008
This subject belongs in the realm of philosophy rather than science. How 'our universe' began, if it actually began, or is simply a infinitisimally part of something without definition that was transformed out of that something is a question without any practical value, now or in the future, except to those who wish to argue the existence of an primal instigator.
bomberman
2.5 / 5 (4) Jun 25, 2008
"..The only question is whether our universe popped directly out of The Nothing, or whether it was spawned by another universe which had previously popped out of The Nothing.."

Isn't this just the plot of the movie "Never Ending Story"?
adam81
1.3 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2008
Emptiness really is different from nothingness, emptiness needs perameters to define it, such as, 'the vacuum chamber is empty' however nothingness can only 'exist' if there is nothing there, which would mean it would be infinitely large and small at the same time, everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

since matter is most likely compressed space time, then it stands to reason that nothingness would be the best medium for the creation of it, as nothingness would be infinitely dense and sparse at the same time, which given time (or not) would eventually (or constantly 'multiverse') spontaneously become a whole lot of something surrounded by emptiness, whic would have no choice but to expand into that emptiness (big bang)

At least that's how I see it. lol
LlamaKing
3.1 / 5 (7) Jun 25, 2008
there is no such thing as 'nothing', nothing = non existence, and emptyness is a bound something, so what we have in the beginning is pure existence.

One can see the fallacy of many comments made here by asking this simply question: Was there ever a time when existence did not exist? If the answer is yes, no universe can logically exist and we shouldn't be. So the answer has to be no, and the universe spawned from an eternal something.

Since the universe changes it couldn't have made itself.
toj
1.5 / 5 (4) Jun 25, 2008
Nothingness has 1 property: it can have no predictable properties. That may seem obvious (and it is), but it leads to three interesting conclusions:

Huh? Complete piffle! 'Nothingness' is defined as the lack or absence of anything at all; nonexistance. It has NO properties, but it is perfectly predictable. In fact, you could argue it is the MOST predictable state.

1) Nothingness cannot be empty. Emptiness is a definable physical property, and thus, if nothingness is empty, it is something, not nothing (ie, empty space). Therefore, nothingness cannot be empty.

More piffle! 'Emptiness' is only definable, in that it has definable boundaries. An area can be empty (ie it has nothing in it), but that does not mean that by definition is has something in it, because that something is emptiness. Illogical conclusion based on false logic in the premise, I'm afraid.

2) The non-emptiness of nothingness must have no physically definable properties. In order for this to be true, it has to be absolutely random. Not chaotic (patterned randomness) like our universe, but completely random, with no patterns whatsoever.

How can 'nothingness' be random? There is nothing to have a pattern (or not)! 'Nothingness' and chaos are indeed different, in that chaos is disordered SOMEthing, and cannot be 'nothing'. Nothingness is, well, nothing!

3) Pure randomness will eventually become patterned, given enough time (cause it's random, and patterns can evolve out of a random system at any time, due to the very nature of randomness). Once this happens randomness disappears and is replaced with chaos. But chaos has definable properties and is somewhat predictable, so it isn't nothing anymore. So once this happens, nothingness has spontaneously spawned somethingness:). In our case, our universe.

'Nothing' cannot just become 'something', chaotic or otherwise. This is where physics as we know it breaks down, as no-one has been able to asertain where the energy necessary for our universe came from. It cannot have spontaneously came into existance. Something must have caused it, whether it was another, collapsing universe, a 'singularity' (vague catchall for the as-yet-unexplainable), or, more realistically, there was no 'nothingness' at all, just a 'something' we have yet to discover/define.
Prokhorovka
4 / 5 (7) Jun 25, 2008
I think we will never fully understand the Universe because we can only ever see it from our perspective, and our perspective is very limited. Imagine if all perspectives were played out evenly, it would explain why everything seems perfect from our viewpoint.
E_L_Earnhardt
2.5 / 5 (6) Jun 25, 2008
"Eternity" escapes your science! I sat in the same classes and heard the same professors who just couldn't admit the obvious. "Dark Matter" powered the first stars. I call it God! He HAS no begining and no end He "moved'! (ENERGY)
Mercury_01
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 25, 2008
You guys talk about it like you know what you are saying. you think what you see is all there is. There wasnt even any light for the first million years, and no particles until after that. Pure energy poured from the void into 4d. you couldnt even call it "something" until symmetry breakdown. It was pure unified energy. It came from somewhere, diddnt it? probably from a "parallel dimention", if youll excuse the archaic phrase. Ok, so the existance of that energy, probably which still exists all around us, in the same place as it did in the beggining, prooves that there was always something somewhere, but at that [time?] there wasnt anything on our physical plane. Our intelects can only go back that far, and if we try to imagine a time before that, we can not. there was no time. We can, however, project our conciousness to immagine the existance of an energy before time began, since conciousness without the human intelect is universal, operating independant of time. See, the human intelect, though determined, can only get one so far. At some time, we have to drop the left- brained logic in favor of a fuzzier, more intuitive understanding. Both are necessary to the human experience.
googleplex
4.3 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2008
It is hard for us to visualize more than 4 dimensions. Therefore imagining an 11 dimension state during the beginning is beyond most peoples ability except a handful of theoretical physicists and mathematicians. Time does not have the same meaning in 11d as in 4d. There is a lot we do not understand. How can a photon change spontaneously change into 2 particles when it gets near an atomic nucleus. In the 20 years since I studied physics there have been no major physics advances. This is very frustrating. We still do not even have a physics model for QED, only a mathematical one. There is still the 3( ) body problem. What is gravity.
We need more brain power than our puny human brains. Circa 2045 we will have it (Singularity by Ray Kurzweil etc.). Then answers will flow and we can upload our conciousness for eternity (if we want to). If i could hazard a guess I think the key is understanding the quantum world. At this point we don't have good enough math tools to do this. We need better math.
Modernmystic
2.6 / 5 (5) Jun 25, 2008
Here's the problem I have with using concepts that apply to the universe to explaining what happened before the universe.

Basically there is no transcendence, you're just using circular reasoning...thus and so is a property of the universe before the universe began therefore thus and so is how the universe began. It's a huge logical fallacy.

Matter and energy are neither created or destroyed, and we all know from our best scientific observations that all the matter and energy in the universe came to be about 14 billion years ago. Therefore something other than or outside the universe was responsible for that, because our universe just doesn't do it (create matter/energy). It doesn't have to be God but it DOES have to be something other than the universe we live in, and if it isn't God then you have to ask...well where did that come from.

Moreover because of the second law of thermodynamics we know the universe hasn't always existed, if it had the stars would have burned out long ago, not to mention proton decay etc etc ...
thales
2 / 5 (2) Jun 25, 2008
so the existance of that energy, probably which still exists all around us, in the same place as it did in the beggining, prooves that there was always something somewhere, but at that [time?] there wasnt anything on our physical plane. Our intelects can only go back that far, and if we try to imagine a time before that, we can not. there was no time.


It's not clear how you can possibly know there was no time before the Big Bang, and according to the Standard Model there certainly was time before recombination.

At any rate, the Hartle/Hawking/Hertog model discussed in this article is based on the Standard Model, which carries its own assumptions with it, but is still the best Model we have right now. Until we know more and develop better mathematical tools and models, much of what occurred before the Big Bang will remain very speculative. I appreciate these scientists' attempts to speculate though, as they are among the best qualified to do so.

Mercury_01
2.7 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2008


"It's not clear how you can possibly know there was no time before the Big Bang, and according to the Standard Model there certainly was time before recombination. "

I think youre mistaken on the standard model, thales. Firstly, Im talking about the impossibility of time before the big bang, not time before recombination. Nice to see you know a few big words though. second, every experiment so far suggests that time is a subject relative to matter, as are the spacial dimentions. They are inextricably linked, and you cant have one without the other. Are you also suggesting that the constants were in place before the bang? T is linked to C, and C wasnt what it is now untill long after the bang. for the first million or so of our years, the universe went through what would ammount to billions of our years, and the farther you go back, the more condensed time is, until you reach that arbitrary point of singularity, which I personally dont believe in, when time ceases to function mathematically and intelectually.
thales
2.7 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2008
Time is closely related to space, but not to matter. I am suggesting that the constants were in place at the moment of the bang, which is in line with cosmic inflation; you appear to support the variable speed of light concept, which is at odds with cosmic inflation. Maybe C was variable, although if it was variable relative to T then it's not a very meaningful statement.

These are without question very complex subjects and I certainly don't claim to completely understand them, and I could be mistaken on the Standard Model -- but I don't think I am in this case.

And I do like my big words, thanks ;)
Mercury_01
Jun 25, 2008
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
vidyunmaya
1.3 / 5 (3) Jun 25, 2008
sub:Beginning of the Universe-Multi-Universe-Cosmos-Origins
The Concepts were introduced in Cosmology review dot com -1999-2000 and outlined in my books. Further update - search ebookomatic-cosmology vedas interlinks-Freedownload.
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Universe-Multiverse-controversial dialogues-[April A&G Journal]and this interaction can be easily be rsolved through East west Centre for comprehension of the Subject. The solution else lies somewhere in the ORIGINS and all Scientists and philosophers need to search with a clear direction and purpose for interlinks.
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adam81
4 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2008
The fact that WE can not create or destroy energy, does not mean that it can not be created, clearly it can, as it does exist and has to have been created to exist, this does not mean god though, it just means we haven't figured it out yet, but I beleive we will, until then we can only theorise using our best math, and these theories are as as close as we have gotten with our current math.

Personally, having read a lot of work in this field I beleive that energy can be created from nothing as basically, energy is nothing but ripples on the surface of our pond, and ripples are a result of the basic instability of the medium they are created in, in this case, nothingness
Picard
1.5 / 5 (2) Jun 26, 2008
I remember a short story we did in high school years ago. In a nutshell it is about a visitor to a party that claims he can make someone disappear. But not just disappear ... but erase the whole person from existence. The story goes on to describe all the people sitting on all the chairs in the living room, chatting and challenging the man to make someone disappear. At the end of the short story, suddenly, only reference is made to a chair that is ... empty.

That's nothing.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (5) Jun 26, 2008
Adam, in this universe you can't create energy. If you can point me to a credible peer reviewed paper that shows that you can I'll drop dead of a heart attack. It's one of those pesky "laws of the universe". You can't reverse entropy, you can't travel faster than light, and you can't get something for nothing (ie can't create energy or matter).

That's why you need a concept that trancends this universe to explain it's beginning. Again this does not HAVE to be "God", but if it isn't then you need to find a way to explain it scientifically...which no one has done yet.
Mercury_01
3.2 / 5 (5) Jun 26, 2008
Modern, what about the casimir effect? And heres one for you to ponder, The atom as a perpetual motion device. Where does the electron get it's constant supply of energy? From where does the strong and weak force arise? Ill tell you where, its disseminated from the vacuum, whos energy can occasionally make chance appearances in our 4d. Without free energy, the universe would be a cold place.
adam81
3 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2008
modern, that's what I said, sort of.

only energy must have been created at some point, otherwise it would not exist, therefor, energy can be created, we just don't know how.

as for faster than light, how do you explain quantum entanglement?
adam81
3.5 / 5 (2) Jun 26, 2008
have aread at this

http://www.calphy...zpe.html
Modernmystic
2.7 / 5 (6) Jun 26, 2008
Adam

ZPE is pretty cool stuff, but the energy was created at the beginning with everything else, it's still a fixed amount of energy we just need to find a way to tap it.

Quantum entanglement is very likely an effect of a deeper property of the universe where every particle is in some way connected to every other. This does not imply that information can travel faster than light, rather that the DISTANCE we precieve between the two particles can be "short circuted" by a property of quantumm mechanics we don't yet understand.

As to energy being created, well as you've stated obviously it CAN be created, however it can't be created within the framework of THIS universe...period. Whatever created it was by the very definition of the word, supernatural (and no this does not have to imply it was God, merely that whatever it was, it was not this universe which was responsible).
thales
3.3 / 5 (4) Jun 26, 2008
Created -- or transferred from another (or a previous) universe/multiverse/brane. The fact that even the vacuum has an energy field should challenge our subtle belief that nothingness is the "natural" state of things and that energy/matter must have been caused. That, plus the fact that energy and matter can't be destroyed OR created, should at least make us suspect that they are eternal.
Mercury_01
2.7 / 5 (3) Jun 26, 2008
Whatever created it was by the very definition of the word, supernatural


That seems to be the concensus, Modern. It appears humans have an innate need to investigate reality, but after so many hundreds of years of befuddlement, as evidenced by the first half of this thread, we're ready to start calling it what it actually is, a mystery. Quantum physicists are starting to become more ok with that, and so are the rest of us. Soon We'll be able to shed some of that predisposed frustration in favor of some unabashed questioning of reality. Science is going to get really weird then, as if it isnt already weird enough!
x646d63
3 / 5 (5) Jun 26, 2008
"as it does exist and has to have been created to exist".

Nope. That's the human bias speaking, and it's wrong. If everything has to be created to exist, then nothing would exist since something cannot be created by nothing by your own definition.

Nothing does not exist, which means something must have always existed--if it has always existed then it was not created. It's the only possible logical truth. If you have any faith in logic, then you must agree.

So the real question is whether logic is correct. But we have to make some assumptions, right?
thales
1.7 / 5 (3) Jun 26, 2008
Ha, well put x646d63! Of course you know they'll say that logic only applies to this universe.
Mercury_01
3 / 5 (3) Jun 26, 2008
You guys seem to have a lot of faith in your own logic. Have fun with that.
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jun 26, 2008
What is there to have faith in if not logic? Doesn't logic itself persuade us to put our faith in certain things? Certainly rationality demands that logic must come before faith; if otherwise, then the man who claims to be an egg is just as rational as you or me.

This is an easy to read and eminently logical paper:
http://hanson.gmu...true.pdf
superhuman
not rated yet Jun 26, 2008
I also believe in logic and that if anything exists it means that something always existed.

Something cannot be created out of absolute nothingness cause absolute nothingness also means lack of time and lack of time means that the state of things cannot change.

Although even logic has its limits, logic can't prove itself right for example, but the above case is pretty clear cut.
adam81
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2008
It's anything BUT clear cut, the simple answer is, we don't know, my logic tells me that something needs to have been created to exist, matter is created of energy and can be destroyed to release that energy, as of yet, we have not figured out how to destroy/create energy, and math and physics tell us it is impossible, but math is not infallible, nor is physics, and frankly, we have no idea what happens when there is nothing there.
slash
not rated yet Jun 27, 2008
The problem with our understanding of the universe is that all known physics describe some sort of transition, and a transition by it's very nature implies passage of time. Until we can free our mind of this restriction and let it step out of time itself we will never be able to understand the true nature of the universe and it's singularities.
hibiscus
2 / 5 (3) Jun 27, 2008
All those scientists here... rediculous!

Everyone talks about Einstein and quantum stuff but at the same exlcudes the poistion and effect of the 'observer'.

'nothing' does exist but only and only if it is not observed or defined. If there is no observer then 'nothing' can exist.

As soon as an observer observes 'nothing' he must define what it is that he observes otherwise he really does not know what he is observing, right?

And that observation in itself would create somethingness from nothingness, because it has to attach some meaning to that observation.

All of this is logical enough because there would not only be 'nothing' but also an observer who tries to observe 'nothing', so there must be something during the observation.

So at the beginning of time there was nothing (not even time itself), then it was observed and this nothingness exploded into our everythingness, merely because it was observed.

this observation itself must have come from a dimension that is totally outside of our everythingness, even outside all of those 11 or maybe even 12 snare dimensions.

No ... I did not smoke anything weird.

Nothingness exists but cannot be observed within our own everythingness.
Mercury_01
2.8 / 5 (4) Jun 27, 2008
I think youre spot on Hibiscus, Theres no point in trying to project our logic or intelect into an event that defies any observation from this plane. I think anyone who claims to be able to do so is being foolish and errogant in the face of the vast universe. No offense intended guys, but really, If we want to try and speculate about such things, we should take heed of the fact that there is a larger conciousness above our own, with knowledge of other dimentions and invisible things that we have not yet been able to take into account. We talk of the big bang like it was the beginning of everything, but perhaps it was only the beginning of our plane of existance. From another viewpoint, our argument would be inconsequential.
hibiscus
1 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2008
Thanks for your understanding "Mercury 01".

I think even that accepting nothingness as a concept, would logically imply that one has to accept the existence of a higher dimension or God or at least something that has observed our nothingness and defined our everyness.

Accepting nothingness would thus also imply that one would have to accept the concept of infiniteness, because 'something' must observe the 'nothing' to turn it uberhaupt into 'anything'.

We talk of the big bang like it was the beginning of everything, but perhaps it was only the beginning of our plane of existance


FULLY AGREE TO THAT LOGIC!

Just observe 'nothing' and it explodes.

Logically that could also mean that there are an infinite number of dimensions and planes, where no planes could ever intersect.

I must admit that I worry a bit about all those observers that observed our nothingness and re-defined to a limited somethingness that we view as everythingness.

Love it!
adam81
2 / 5 (3) Jun 27, 2008
Well that was kind of random and obscure, but hey whatever floats yer boat man.
adam81
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 27, 2008
AAAW that wasn't very nice, 1/5, I was pullin' yer leg ;)
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2008
So have we agreed to abandon logic? "Just observe 'nothing' and it explodes." Fantastic! At last we know how to get something out of nothing. I'm going to go check my bank account now -- since I'm broke hopefully observing the balance will give me enough for lunch. Be right back.

"Theres no point in trying to project our logic or intelect into an event that defies any observation from this plane. I think anyone who claims to be able to do so is being foolish and errogant in the face of the vast universe." All right, but then: "we should take heed of the fact that there is a larger conciousness above our own, with knowledge of other dimentions and invisible things that we have not yet been able to take into account." Wait a second... how do you know this "fact"? I thought it was foolish and arrogant to speculate.

Here's my favorite: "but math is not infallible"
Really? Give me an example where MATH has failed. Not someone's interpretation of it or someone's application of it, but the math itself. If we cannot rely on logic and math, then debate and even thought become pointless.

And *some* people have rated it 1, but *no* one has legitimately responded to this:

If everything has to be created to exist, then nothing would exist since something cannot be created by nothing by your own definition.

Nothing does not exist, which means something must have always existed--if it has always existed then it was not created. It's the only possible logical truth. If you have any faith in logic, then you must agree.
Mercury_01
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2008
I predict that in the near future, we will observe an increasingly desperate attempt from about half of the human race to cling to whatever vestiges of sanity they can muster. As our collective mindscape swings evevitably to a more intuitive, dare I say spiritual, right brained understanding of reality, we can expect a strong resistance. Indeed, any danger presented to us in the future will not come from the vast unknown, but from within our own society. Thales, we love you like a brother, and I personally respect your logic, but reject it in substitution for my own reality, In which i believe more progression is possible. perhaps someday, a right brained approach will lead to another time of left brained, logical understanding of things which we can not currently grasp. and perhaps anfer a long time of that, we will again have to let go of our own understanding to gain another period of enlightenment in science. You know what they say, sometimes if you want to find yourself, you have to loose yourself first.
x646d63
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2008
'nothing' does exist but only and only if it is not observed or defined.


I can agree that because there exists something (an observer) Nothing cannot exist.

As soon as an observer observes 'nothing'...


I thought you just said Nothing cannot exist if it is observed?

And that observation in itself would create somethingness from nothingness, because it has to attach some meaning to that observation.


I completely understand what you are saying here, and actually agree that perceptual bias will force interpretation.

But, if there is an observer, there isn't nothingness, so nothingness can never be observed.

So at the beginning of time there was nothing (not even time itself), then it was observed...


Haven't we been through this? If we have an observer, we don't have nothingness. Your arguments lack consistency, perhaps the single most aspect of logic.

It's a logical fallacy to say that nothingness can exist, or can have existed, when there is, in fact, something.

Logic may not apply, of course, so I'm not saying that I have all the answers. If you want to believe that everything came from nothing, that's fine, but you cannot say it's logical, because it is not.

Remember, of course that when I say "logic" I don't mean "makes sense" I mean "the principles of valid inference and demonstration."

Mercury_01
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2008
I think what he meant is that if there was nothingness, and you inject an observer, then his oservation would collapse that nothingness and define it into something.


I think he was ignoring the implication of the observers actual presence. So I guess there are two ways that an observer can collapse nothing into something.
1) the observer's presence
2) the observation it's self.

But, theoretically, if there is no observer, then "nothing" could be allowed to exist.

Now, it does seem like a fallacy to say that, on the grounds that of course, there is obviously something now, and if we all think about nothing, we collapse it into something. I guess it's impossible to think about nothing. Thats why we cant do it. Its that circullar logic thing again.
x646d63
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2008
By the way, our somethingness being created by nothingness from some other somethingness is the God argument and it's a logical fallacy.

When I say Nothingness, I assume Nothingness. Not nothingness "in our plane" I mean Nothingness.

Our somethingness may have come from something that we can't currently observe, making it appear to have come from nothing, but that is not the same thing as coming from Nothingness. In fact, it's coming from somethingness, which is my argument that somethingness has always existed, and will always exist.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2008
So I guess there are two ways that an observer can collapse nothing into something.
1) the observer's presence
2) the observation it's self.


No, there are no ways because an observer and nothingness cannot both exist. Nothingness (in this context) is the "lack of everything," so an observer cannot exist at the same time as Nothingness.
x646d63
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2008
Oops, I did not mean to say that the God argument is a logical fallacy, without defining what the God argument is. The God argument is saying that the universe can not exist independent of God while saying that God can exist independent of anything else. That's the fallacy, not that our observable universe may have come into existence from some other somethingness.
Mercury_01
1 / 5 (1) Jun 27, 2008
I agree with you wholeheartedly, x6,You dont need to believe in God, but I think that our best guesses would allow for one.
And likewise, I also do not believe in complete nothingness in every "plane". I guess you could say that there was always something, at least in our universe.
Mercury_01
3 / 5 (2) Jun 27, 2008


No, there are no ways because an observer and nothingness cannot both exist. Nothingness (in this context) is the "lack of everything," so an observer cannot exist at the same time as Nothingness.


I think this is obvious, but we are of course talking hypothetically, as if we could send someone back in time.
hibiscus
1 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2008
I love that right brain thing :-)

"Daddy, where do I come from? Because first there was nothing and then suddenly there was me."

Well, you have the right age my child, so I will explain this to you ...

You were not really created from nothing you know...

Because once upon a time your father put his dick into your mothers pussy and then there was this big bang where my somethingness exploded into your mothers nothingness.

Waaahhhaaaha
DeeSmith
4 / 5 (1) Jun 28, 2008

Why the babble about 'nothingness'? This article describes theory that explicitly suggests that the Universe exists in cycles of expansion and collapse.

There is no 'nothingness' to contemplate. Matter and energy are in a dynamic state, with a pause between phases. The interesting bit is the change in particle/energy composition (cyclic?)
nilbud
2.5 / 5 (2) Jun 28, 2008
In the beginning was the word and the word was Goatse
Ragtime
2 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2008
Why the babble about 'nothingness'?
Because of Hawking senility/ambitions - he's mixing two or more incompatible concepts into single in an effort to explain Universe from scratch ("without God"). If the Universe is quantum wave/black hole, it simply undulates from higher dimensions and back again.

http://superstrun...wave.gif

Basically, it's periodic condensation and evaporation - this is what the quantum wave usually does. But such artifact never appears from complete nothingness.
PaddyL
2.7 / 5 (3) Jun 28, 2008
The answer to the question about the origin of the universe[s] can be found in writings of
Thomas Aquinas. Is not the question metaphysical? How dare the editors of Physorg.com delve into philosophical matters.
Ragtime
1 / 5 (3) Jun 28, 2008
Technically, it's not possible to explain, how something can appear from virtually nothing, or such explanation would violate the fundamental principle of causaulity. Here's no answer to "HOW" question by the very definition of such question.

By Aether Wave Theory something can condense from apparently empty environment, but such environment must be inertial and omnipresent already. Furthemore, the more causual explanation we'll find, the less comprehensible assumptions/postulates such answer would require on the background due the generalized uncertainty principle, which involves every conjugated quantities, including space and time. The infinitelly hot and dense hypothetical environment (the "Aether" assumeed by AWT) can be considered as "emptinesss" (but not "nothingness"), being fully chaotic, so that it doesn't exhibit arrow of time and the space as well, because the energy cannot spread inside of such environment at the distance.

Such Aether cannot evolve, it can be just created, so it can be considered as a physical representation of deity in Aquinas sense.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jun 28, 2008
Paddy I detect a note of sarcasm in your post but I'll bite anyway :)

Just to clarify my own position I don't think the origin of the universe is a question that is not possible for science to solve/address...far from it. What I'm saying is all the theories that address this question in a purely scientific manner have, to me at least, been woefully lacking. In fact most of them smack of something in theological circles known as animism. Basically those religions (usually pagan, Shinto, hinduism) which try to explain origin using concepts/things that exist AFTER the fact. A sort of metaphysical "circulus in demonstrando" or circular reasoning. Using a proposition to support its premise.

When someone speaks of quantum foam, or vacuum fluctuations, it sounds to my ear like the old American Indian myth of the land on the Earth being created from the dirt under a turtle's nails. Sorry to be so asinine, but nothing is N O T H I N G. Nothing means no vacuum, no quantum foam, no "branes", nada/zip/zero/zilch.

Anyway that's my take on the whole thing. If/when someone comes up with a more convincing scientific theory of origin I'll be happy to re-evaluate my stance that origin was in some way metaphysical...until then....
Ragtime
1 / 5 (3) Jun 28, 2008
..Nothing means no vacuum, no quantum foam, no "branes", ..........
By my understanding, our semantics allows only "emptiness", but not "nothingness" at the "very beginning". The infinitelly dense/hot/chaotic Aether is true "emptiness", but it's quite oposite to "nothingness" - in fact it's pure negation of it!

We should realize, to (re)create an empty space - where only infinitelly tiny/zero mass/energy gradient/wave can exist - would require an infinitelly dense environment with respect to causality - this is simply, how the contemporary physics works. Only wery dense system composed of many particles can realize such subtle change in its beginning.

As we can see, the "emptiness" is dual to "nothingness", in fact. The better "nothingness" we would require on the very beginning, the more dense "something" we're required to consider on the background to realize such "nothingness" - or we will violate the logic of causality.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jun 28, 2008
Well ragtime, my semantics does allow nothingness, it's an extremely simple concept. So simple in fact that I think one could whip out old Occam's razor and slice out existence. I mean why does existence go to all the bother of existing? Nothing is much more simple.

Again you can't use a proposition (insert aether or your favroite zero state of EXISTENCE here) to support the premise of existence. You've gotta use something else.
Ragtime
1 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2008
By my understanding, the Aether concept with its infinite number of Universe pasts & futures is sufficiently general to pospone most potential questions about Universe origin/future ad infinitum.

My answer can simply sound: "Which particular Universe origin/future do you mean, exactly? Without specification given it's highly probable, they're interconnected/vanished mutually like the paths inside of foam".

The "emptiness" of purely chaotic Aether involves an infinite number of time arrows (which are dual to zero time, here), which will vanish every causality logic reliably. Including the causality of "nothingness" definition.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jun 28, 2008
Ragtime I respect your opinion, and reasonable people can disagree on the subject, but by my understanding the aether concept requires the concept of existence to exist which is part of what one is trying to explain with any theory of origin....therefore insufficient to postpone any questions about this Universe's origin.
Ragtime
1 / 5 (3) Jun 28, 2008
Like I've explained already, every attempt to explain the Universe from infinitelly small state by logical way assumes the existence of hidden, infinitelly dense reality on the background, despite you're realizing it ot not. For example, vacuum appears empty for most of us - but this is just a consequence of the fact, we're neglecting the reason of light wave spreading by invariant speed and many other related phenomena, which we're usually accepting as it is.

By my opinion, Mr. Hawking can even derive the zero origin of Universe by some tricky combination of QM/GR equations - but the causality of these equations will remain unexplained by him. And at the moment, you'll try to explain the relativity and/or quantum mechanics itself by some deeper theory, you'll required to consider some kind of Aether (or whatever else hard-to-explain concept) again.

You simply cannot have perfectly rigorous & consistent explanation and nothingness involved in the single answer at the same time, because causality says, something can never appear from nothing by logical way. The Aether concept just makes such understanding trivial, but the same consequence follows from Goedel incompletness principle, uncertainty principle, principle of complementarity and other fundamental principles by my opinion.
Ragtime
2 / 5 (4) Jun 28, 2008
The Aether concept makes the requirement of Universe infinity somewhat illusory, in fact. Try to imagine, we are observing the reality through inhomogenenous vacuum like through layer of bumpy glass. The more distance/magnification, the deeper into past/future we can see through such environment. The larger we'll see, the more bumpy /undulating the reality would appear due the geometry of energy spreading through inhomogeneities. Such effect will make an illusion of effectivelly infinitelly dense/large/old environment for us - but as we can see, the infinity "doesn't exist" in fact. Maybe whole Universe is pretty small, we can just observe it by infinitelly many ways like during observation inside of foam and the illusion of infinitelly large space/dense Aether is just a result of permutation of all possible paths inside of this foam (remember the Huyghens or Lagrange calcullus, Feynman integrals formalism, etc).
Mercury_01
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2008
EEEEEEEEEEEEEHHHHHHHHAAHEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Thers no point anymore. I'm going to study a spiritual path. at least then I can have psychic powers.
Ragtime
1 / 5 (3) Jun 29, 2008
..ther's no point anymore....
In fact, maybe it is. No theory really explains, WHY the reality still exist, the Aether is no exception. The AWT simply says, if the Universe is composed of many inertial fluctuations related by wave equation, then these fluctuations are be arranged in certain tightest structures due the probability criterions, so we can interact with them by predictable way, after then. Every logic and number theory is based on the concept of colliding countable artifacts and it doesn't solve, why they're countable at all.

But what makes the particle distinct and separated each other, what makes these object REAL? We don't know, as the Aether is material and space-time scale invariant: every inertial fluctuation is behaving here by the same way like inertial fluctuation: a piece of vacuum, plasma, gene, meme, physical theory...

So we can only rely on the antropocentric explanation: an infinite number of Universes can exist here with different set of laws and we can interact with one of them, because it's arranged by the same way, like we are. Therefore the space for further questions still exist here, but it appears pretty abstract and spiritual one. It's nothing for the people, who are relying on some ad hoced postulates, rules, numbers and equations. It requires a pretty opened mind.
LITWCaretaker
1 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2008
Ponder This
We accept the following in general as known facts:
(1) Black holes have an incredible gravitational pull.
(2). Black holes warp space time (framedragging)
(3). Clocks run slower as they approach stronger gravity fields (NASA has shown this to be true)

Why are these important?
If the Big Ban is accurate (LOL) by itself, then all matter in the Universe was in a single black hole, which would have an immeasurably large gravity field, would likely reduce time in a radius of the milky way to probably 1% or less of its current state (as we perceive it) and would completely stop it in all likelihood within several lightyears of the center of this "singularity".
Hawking radiation theory says that black holes evaporate over time, and that the time required is in inverse ration to the amount of material in the black hole. If all the matter in the universe is in the singularity, it would take on the order of 10 ^400 years or longer for the black hole to evaporate to anywhere close to a level where time could realistical be perceived. (yep double blind refernce, sorry).

What is far more likey is that gravity, which has been theorized to be as weak as we perceive it due to it being stronger in the seven or so dimensions that we cannot yet perceive. (we basically get the table scraps of gravity's effects)
What if our singularity didn't carry our universes entire mass? What if it was only say... 30%, and its gravity well had grown so strong that it pulled (with help on the 'other' side) another Brane (read as universe, plane of existence) in collision with our own? That would possibly liberate enough energy and mass to populate the universe we see.
Nice neat package. The remnants of the prior existence would be washed out in the CMB.
Any seen an estimate of the redshift (distance travelled) for gamma radiation to degrade to far infrared? - that would interesting.
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2008
All I can say is that 'nothing' can not exist. The probability is zero. What can exist either in concrete or abstract form of persistence at 100% probability is 'Time'. That is what existed, exist, and will exist and that is what will always exist. It still is the Master of All. What else can always be is Minimum and Maximum, and that is what existed before the Universe came into being - a Minimum. But how long can you have these probabilities, there is always the fact that a single probability has a 100% chance of existing. The rules that can not be undone. Waves his hand as like Being an image of God.
imromo24
5 / 5 (1) Jun 29, 2008
" "
WolfAtTheDoor
5 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
It's amusing to me that everyone is so absolutely convinced they are correct on this matter, when everyone pretty much knows squat. And that includes the experts.

To back up a minute, we first need to answer: Can we know why we are here? Is it possible? A theory to explain it would have to transcend everything we know. And you'll always be able to ask that next question... what caused the big bang, where did it come from, why are we here?

But right here, right now, I think people need to understand that this war between science and God is completely our own doing. One does not invalidate the other. It's a painful realization for both sides.

More on topic, LITWCaretaker's comments are interesting, if not a bit over my head. The study of gravity and it's carrier particles will be very useful in answering these questions.
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
What I should have stated at least to me is that Min and Max is always (rules again) between Min > 0 and Max always < 1. It is like reaching something that is going to always be beyond you, whether it is absolute zero or what is thought of as being the fastest thing in the Universe - the speed of light. And if light even has a smidgon of matter, then that is what it will be. You can not stop anything to be dead and you can not conceive of every possibility (probability) to reach 100%. Anywhere inbetween, the zero and 1 values would be outside of any conceivable reality. It would be like 'Time' existing only for its self. Well, boggles the mind, doesn't it?
hibiscus
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
aaaah, all those particle people, explaining everything from particles and quantum soup. it seems to be a bloody desperate last attempt to explain everything by a single theory. like horses with blinded eyes they run. i said it once before and i will say it again: one cannot model a system by extracting a part of that system and create formulas and then extend that partial theory to that complete system (where the observer or theorist as you like is part of the full system). And then put all the interactions in some stupid thing like a cosmic constant. It's like explaining your relationships by just looking at yourself and forgetting about your partner.

why do these quantomized particle people not accept the openness of systems. why does there have to be causality anyway?

I strongly feel that all those lesser prophets (theorists) who still continue the path while Jezus already already took a left turn :-) will, in some future, be regarded as cheap Newtons after a ZweiStein to be.
LITWCaretaker
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
Folks, point is that the Universe we perceive did begin. What we have tried to do in explaining the beginning of the Universe, is much like the story of the three blind men trying to describe an elephant, after touching it with their hands.
They described the elephant each according to his own observation. All were correct, in their limited observation, yet all were wrong as they failed to consider the other's observations.
The same is true of trying to piece together what started the Universe. Until we can piece together what each of the modern sciences tells us of its observations about the origin of the Universe, we are no closer to being correct than any of the blind men describing the elephant.
Our collective definition for the start of the Universe must basically use and integrate elements from each of our higher sciences:
String Theory (the 'm' version)
Quantum Mechanics
General Relativity
Newtonian Physics.

Until each of these in considered in our theory of the Big Startup, we are simply building definitions and arguments that are easily contradicted by something expected in one of the others.
That is the challenge, building the our house (theory) on rock (sustainable math / theory) not sand (conjecture).
Have a good day folks. Ponder this:
"HE looked upon the void, and said "Let there be light, and there was light, and it was good"
Doesn't that sound like the Ancient peopel who wrote that were talking about the Big Bang?



feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
"Doesn't that sound like the Ancient peopel who wrote that were talking about the Big Bang?" Not at all! Check this out... http://www.orionf.../papers/
thales
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2008
In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- Douglas Adams
x646d63
2.7 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2008
Folks, point is that the Universe we perceive did begin.


Without a common axiom, we can't debate. That means that we'll have to debate the axiom.

I have argued already in this thread that the "begin" and "end" concepts are human bias. Nothing begins, and nothing ends. Everything just *is* and transforming from one state to another.

An infinite timeline is a fallacy because with an infinitie amount of time "behind" us, we can't possibly be here, because an infinite amount of time has not passed.

A finite timeline is a fallacy because if it's finite then there's a beginning; however, as we've debated in this thread if something (God, or another universe, or a giant rabid hyena) created our universe, then clearly this time extends before our beginning. That means time didn't begin with our universe, so the timeline is not finite.

Most people think there's simply a problem with our understanding of time, and that's probably half-right. The problem is that time isn't a natural force/law/part of the universe. It's a man-made concept that helps us model the universe.

Other problems with time: if time is fluid, that is, not "stepped", then there is no "increment" of time. But arithmetic doesn't allow for infinitesimals. 1 an infinitesimal = 1, so there can be no increment in time regardless of how many infinitesimals. Fortunately, we invented analysis (calculus) to deal with this so we can model the universe using infinitesimals. But that doesn't make them right, because a "timeline" is an incremental object and should be traversable using arithmetic. It can't be with infinitesimals.

However, if time is "stepped", i.e., the smallest increment of time is a small "chunk" (like Planck time) then arithmetic can work, and we can move along a timeline. However, that doesn't make much sense since arithmetic lets me divide any length in half, so any length can't possibly be the smallest conceivable unit.

So time can exist only within very simple to conceive contradictions...a concept that seems kind of broken to me.

So I'm left believing that there is no "time" as we laypeople have learned it. "Time" in the universal sense is simply the universe's tendency to consistently transform states, something that has always happened, and will always happen. Humans observe the universe, then observe it again and see that it has changed. We then arbitrarily decide the first observation was a beginning and the second an end.

Beginnings and Endings are arbitrary and decidedly human.
thales
2.5 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2008
Ah, you've cut to the heart of it x6. Here is a concept we can chew on. So it seems you're actually arguing that the apparent arrow of time is purely an artifact of human perception. You may be right; it is an extraordinarily difficult idea to test. At least in terms of physics, it is always true that cause and effect can be reversed so that the effect becomes the cause.

Still, Einstein established that space and time are equivalent. If you do away with time as "arbitrary" and "human" then where does that leave us with space? Space as an arbitrary human convention? I don't even know how to approach that logically, but I don't like it.

But you say "An infinite timeline is a fallacy because with an infinite amount of time 'behind' us, we can't possibly be here, because an infinite amount of time has not passed." I disagree that this is knowable; if time is infinite, then an infinite amount of time has passed and infinitely more will pass. This would be tantamount to being stuck in a repeating loop forever, which kind of sounds like the Big Bounce theory. In fact, if intelligent life turns out to be almost infinitely unlikely, then it would require an infinity to develop.

So I agree that Beginnings and Endings are arbitrary, but don't think time itself is.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2008
The problem with big bounce theories or infinite time theories are:

1. All the best observations indicate that the universe will expand forever.

2. The second law of thermodynamics would indicate that the universe hasn't been around forever. If it had the stars would have burned out long ago, not to mention a host of other problems.

Moreover I think that a finite time theory is perfectly reasonable, as with our current understanding. If you wind the clock backwards you reach a point of "infinite" density a finite period of time in the past. This is actually the EXACT same argument I've swayed several creationists with.
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
We, as humans, being the way that we are just can not transform ourselves to "Escape from this Universe". Heck, for the most part, we can not even "Escape from Planet Earth". "Time" is just invoked whether it is a human concept contrivence or actually a reality. "Time" would happen anyway, because whatever definition given to it, it would be including everything that could happen. It just so seems that the probability of everything that ever could or would happen can not all happen at once, or at a certain measurement whether that measurement is a bunch of 0 after the decimal point before the "1" or a bunch of zeros after the "1" unit. So whether a 'bounce' gave this Universe a start or simply as the older lady stated at one of the Feynman lectures - a turtle is holding up this Universe, all it seems the scientist can try to do is to push back the limits of the way that we think, thus attempting to learn something further to help us all out along the journey. But whether asking your human boss or what is conceived as a God boss, the answer may be that certain probabilites could of only happened "once" (again that "1") no matter how infinite or limited any reality seems to be. It does seem that we as humans have to go outside of what is considered normal thinking, but again that may not add up to any form of reality that can exist, and we as humans may never be able to determine if our thinking outside the box is anything that could happen as a probability. Well, off to do something else, as it is always fun to read such an article whether anyone else thinks we pushed back a limit to what we already knew or don't know or may never know. Such is life. Perhaps certain probabilities can only happen "once" and only "once" and those may be the probabilities we as human aspire to learn about.
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (2) Jun 30, 2008
And another thing...

It seems to me that the common thread in all these posts is a reach for transcendence. There is an attempt to break the circular logic of the "turtles all the way down" argument. This is a good thing, it implies that we're all searching for a truth that MAKES SENSE.

For some this is God with a capital G, for some it's god with a little g, for others it's the improbability of non existence, it really doesn't matter and as far as I can see all these arguments are equally valid from a logical standpoint (if not from a scientific one).

The only people I tip my hat to that are on more solid logical ground than I am are agnostics, both about the existence of God, and about theoretical physics.

As for me I take that one extra step and say I believe. As shepard Book said....

"I don't care what you believe...just believe it."
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
Time is a measure of change. In a system of components, where nothing (ever) happens at all (a frozen-like state), the concept of time is meaningless. But in a system which changes, time can be defined in the common sense we use it. Thus, from a state chosen as the Beginning, time is irreversible going in one direction only. If one chooses an Ending after a Beginning, then one cannot reverse this situation and consider time going from the previously chosen Ending to the Beginning.

Let's consider that this universe was actually created similar to a computer model (run on some hyper-computer, or on a virtual machine directly in God's mind, to say so); then, time would be discrete. And quantum mechanics hints that this could be the case... For a sufficiently small time-step of the computer model (smaller than the Planck time), discrete phenomena could appear continuous at significantly larger timescales (e.g., waves appear as continuum phenomena). Think about how the creator of such a computer model could interact with it...

One should not confuse what is possible in mathematics, with how the universe is actually built.

One problem with the current paradigm in cosmology and particle physics is that theories may have become just wonderful mathematical abstractions, disconnected from the reality of the physics of this universe. Unfortunately, the Big Bang theory appears to be such a case... www.orionfdn.org/papers
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
Time is a measure of change.


Yes, time is a tool we use to measure change.

In a system of components, where nothing (ever) happens at all (a frozen-like state), the concept of time is meaningless.


This has been said already in this thread, by me. In a static and unchanging universe, time is irrelevant.

Let's consider that this universe was actually created similar to a computer model ... time would be discrete.


Well, apart from the fact that you just said time is a man-made concept, if we exist within the reality of something else then its "time" (or change) will apply to us. So our sim-verse may appear to begin, but it didn't actually, it simply is a transformation of something else's universe. It's change applies to us, we just are unable to perceive it.

Think about how the creator of such a computer model could interact with it...


In fact I make models all the time with which I interact. It's decidedly human to do so. Are you worried that imposing this on our own creation is a little biased?

One should not confuse what is possible in mathematics, with how the universe is actually built.


I certainly don't. I am saying that math is a modeling tool that doesn't perfectly reflect the universe--mostly because it relies on "time" which is also a tool.

Let me restate that space/time, to me, is space/change. Using "time" can be misleading.

The universe is changing, and changes at changing rates. We use time to measure that change, whether it's how many times a cesium atom cycles, or how often the earth revolves around the sun. It's become rather important for us to measure this change.

Relativity, then is the relationship between space and the rate of change of mass/energy. As change increases (from an outside observer) change decreases (as an inside observer.) If you travel at the speed of light, someone watching says "wow that's fast" but you say "wow, everything stopped."

This is when time leaves arithmetic (time-line) and enters analysis (time-curve.)
x646d63
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 30, 2008
Still, Einstein established that space and time are equivalent. Space as an arbitrary human convention? I don't even know how to approach that logically, but I don't like it.


Well, I say space and change are equivalent. I really think calling it "time" is misleading, since most people see time as something moving linearly, whereas change is not constant (but changing.)

I disagree that this is knowable; if time is infinite, then an infinite amount of time has passed and infinitely more will pass.


which seems kind of ridiculous, doesn't it? Isn't it easier to say that the universe changes. No need for beginnings, no need for endings.

This would be tantamount to being stuck in a repeating loop forever, which kind of sounds like the Big Bounce theory.


Well, not really. But yes, kind of. :) We're stuck in change. There's no loop, no line, the universe just changes. We can step "back" through this change using what we know, but I don't think we fully understand *how* the universe changes, or what may cause the rate of change to change, which might lead to erroneous models.

In fact, if intelligent life turns out to be almost infinitely unlikely, then it would require an infinity to develop.


Not sure where this came from, but the chances of intelligent life in this universe are 1 in 1. This I know from observation.

So I agree that Beginnings and Endings are arbitrary, but don't think time itself is.


Many times when I have this discussion with "learned" folks, we realize we're talking about the same thing, just using different words. It's very difficult for me to impart the subtle difference between "change" and "time" as most people think they are congruent--especially those with higher educations.

Time is always dependent on change. That should raise your eyebrow. In most cases time is defined by something moving through space. This is why a static, unchanging universe doesn't have time (Because it's irrelevant.)

When change changes, we step into relativity because as an observer, our change is constant to our perspective, whereas something else's change is constant to its perspective.
Stbean
not rated yet Jun 30, 2008
Initially there was nothing which became something. Knowing how this happened is beyong imagination.


Maybe there are somethings which merged to create our universe, such as 2 universes colliding. Picture 2 bubbles merging, the third bubble being created is actually defined by the surfaces/boundaries of the 2 existing bubbles.
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
The problem with big bounce theories or infinite time theories are:

1. All the best observations indicate that the universe will expand forever.

2. The second law of thermodynamics would indicate that the universe hasn't been around forever. If it had the stars would have burned out long ago, not to mention a host of other problems.


If I may, a little correction:

1. All the best observations do indeed indicate that the expansion of the universe is currently accelerating. This does not, however, preclude a future deceleration or a future Big Crunch.

2. The second law of thermodynamics would indicate that the universe hasn't been STATIC forever. This is not a problem for a Big Bounce theory, since each "new" universe is for all practical purposes a separate closed system.

The infinite time I was talking about is in the context of more than one universe's lifetime. Obviously an infinity of time in the present universe wouldn't line up with observation or the 2nd Law.
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
Time is always dependent on change. That should raise your eyebrow. In most cases time is defined by something moving through space. This is why a static, unchanging universe doesn't have time (Because it's irrelevant.)


x6, I think I understand what you're saying -- that time per se is just the name we give to observed rates of change. But does this viewpoint leave room for time travel? That is, if time is not a "real" thing, then backwards time travel would require all change in the universe to move backwards. But relativity allows for backwards time travel under certain circumstances (e.g. frame dragging around a black hole).
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
The only way that I can think of it is, around a black hole and even nearer to the singularity, you are dealing more with a term Einstein equated to as "Time" rather than "Space". Yes, there is Space around a black hole but unless the Universe is a black hole, then there only seems to be limited Space around any size black hole, for lack of anything else to be as undetermined including the change, or inconclusive, or simply a reality that is indeterminent, there still must be "Time" that retains a meaning, whether any human would give it that property or not. If not finding it in the Universe, can a human ever think it, or any reality that can be thought of? Thinking of every possibility that could be considered to even be a reality would be an infinite assignment, but according to the background radiation or the data about all of this, it still leaves that at that boundary, it is inclusive, indeterminent, not known.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2008
No, time travel cannot happen without time.

Remember, though, that most aspects of general relativity where "time" is labeled are actually "change."

Of Hawking's three arrows of time, only the first (psychological) is actually time. The other two are change.
feynman
3 / 5 (2) Jul 01, 2008
x646d63, I hope you don't mind that we agree on some issues... My first paragraph in previous comment was intended to clarify a bit the concept of "time". The second one certainly assumes that this universe was "made" (though, not man-made). If you don't have a metaphysical bias against this possibility, then I think it is at least a very interesting idea to think about...

Otherwise, certainly, just as physics doesn't lack puzzles, the fact that our "time" also would be dependent on some transcendent realm should not bother us any more than, e.g., the origin of this universe: where did it come from since it has not ever existed?! And such explanations appear to remain forever metaphysical, or S.F., beyond the scientific method!

In any case, one could think of time also imagining an absolute frame of reference for this; even if we, bound to the physics of this universe where Einstein's relativity so far appears to hold, may not be able to use such reference for actual measurements of time.

P.S. 'If you travel at the speed of light, someone watching says "wow that's fast" but you say "wow, everything stopped."' I guess you know you could not travel at the speed of light. But an observer who could, would not see that "everything stopped." Whatever moves along with the observer would appear to happen normally to the observer, while processes in the rest of the universe will appear to him to run at high speed. It would be someone (at "rest") watching our observer, which is moving at the speed of light, who would notice that "everything stopped" (all the internal processes) for our speeding observer; he's just moving across the space at maximum speed, and "wow that's fast"...
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2008
No, time travel cannot happen without time.

Remember, though, that most aspects of general relativity where "time" is labeled are actually "change."


So are you proposing a paradigm that does not agree with relativity? Relativity does not view time as just "change" but as a 4th dimension. This is perhaps the most important aspect of relativity. One prediction, for example, is that very strong gravitational fields can slow the passage of time relative to the rest of the universe. This is because gravity warps spacetime -- not just space. How can you explain this if time is just "change"? Relativity is well established by now, with predictions such as time dilation and gravitational lensing having been verified via observation and experimentation.

The way I view it, all things are moving at the speed of light through spacetime, and this speed cannot be altered. There is, however, a tradeoff between travel through space and travel through time, and the total speed through both dimensions always adds up to c. For example: light travels at c through space, and thus hardly travels through time if at all. This is known as time dilation. People travel at nearly c through time and thus travel at a tiny fraction of c through space. Let's call that space dilation. But the total speed through spacetime of both light and people is c; they're just moving mostly perpendicular to each other.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2008
x646d63, I hope you don't mind that we agree on some issues...


Of course not. In fact, that might make me feel more sane.

If you don't have a metaphysical bias against this possibility, then I think it is at least a very interesting idea to think about...


I believe the universe (and this includes everything, including that which we may not be able to observe currently) has always existed, and will always exist. I am ok with our observable universe having been created by natural forces, or by a subset of those natural forces--namely some kind of intelligent being. What I don't believe is that there is some diety that created the universe because that's just a ridiculous contradiction by my definitions. Everything includes everything, so if everything was created then nothing preceded it and that's illogical.

In any case, one could think of time also imagining an absolute frame of reference for this; even if we, bound to the physics of this universe where Einstein's relativity so far appears to hold, may not be able to use such reference for actual measurements of time.


I understand that, but disagree about its potential. I don't think there is an absolute frame of reference, although I think it's generally consistent at any given "moment." In other words, in all space with similar properties, change occurs at the same rate.

I'm trying to make this clear, I think general relativity is close, including spacetime. But I don't believe in a time line so I call it spacechange.

P.S. 'If you travel at the speed of light...


I often get those twisted at 3 in the morning...
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2008
So are you proposing a paradigm that does not agree with relativity? Relativity does not view time as just "change" but as a 4th dimension. This is perhaps the most important aspect of relativity.


Change is the "4th" dimension so to speak, although I would classify things differently... :) I would say space is one dimension, and change is another...but that's for an entirely different thread.

There is, however, a tradeoff between travel through space and travel through time, and the total speed through both dimensions always adds up to c.


I see you agree that space should be one dimension and time/change another. So, yes, that seems logical.

However, how does something that is traveling c (which you suggest is not traveling through time) ever get to now? If a photon has been traveling at c since the beginning of the universe, say, isn't it still back at the beginning of the universe? How can we observe it today, since we're at now, and it's at "then?"

Perhaps you've solved the missing matter problem. All the expected matter is in the universe, it's just way back in time...

So let's say you design an experiment that sends organized photons "back in time." You build a detector and your calculations say that the message will appear 1 second before you send it. You set it all up, push the button which tries to detect the message and then sends the message 1 second later.

In your world, that's how it would happen. You would detect the message 1 second before you sent it and you would be famous.

I, on the other hand, would detect the message at the same time that I sent it. But I could detect it only because I put the detector 1 light second away from where I sent it, knowing that the message will still be in the "now", but its change will have accelerated forward and moved "1 second into the past" which really means it has a 1 second head start, but it's still in the now.

My point is this: we all exist now and we can accelerate and decelerate our rate of change (which may include speed, or decay, or whatever) but we don't "move through time" in doing so, we always stay here, now. We may believe that we moved through time because suddenly something changed faster than expected, or because something hasn't "aged" a day, but somehow, everything exists "now" all the time, so there simply can't be a timeline.
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jul 01, 2008
All I can suggest if I may is J.Richard Gott's (Princeton University) book: "Time Travel in Einstein's Universe, the physical realities of time traveling" or something close to that at the end. It is stated that to Space Travel is a certain equation from Einstein I am guessing, the book is not right in front of me and it came out the latter part of 2001. Change the sign of the result and the same equation becomes the equation for "Time" travel. Time travel has to be self-consistent, and although he gives stories he gives also real thinking about it. Not the only book on the subject for sure, but if you place a mirror 10 light-years from Earth and light travels to that mirror and bounces back to the Planet and you are able to pick it up, then you see how the Earth was 20 years ago - at light speed. If you could focus in on people on the Planet, then you would see how the people were 20 years ago. He has numerous thinkings on the subject and what is thought about "Time" travel. Of course there have been other physicists also working on possible time travelling also. Last I read 58% of physicists think there is the multi-verse, and Dr. (german physicists) oh, Deustch, and his team at I think Oxford just proved it mathematically. Although I have not seen any thing since the article back from October I think 2007, there was not many articles on it in the first place. Another physicists put down for redoing the double slit experiment was findly cited in the Foundation of Physics for having the double slit experiment showing that light can be viewed as a particle and a wave at the same time.
http://riofriospa...ose.html

Certainly I do not work in the field of study and maybe a lot of it is sensationalized, but still there may be some merit to some of the thoughts concerning the pros or cons of any such thoughts about the Universe, how it came into being and -- proving it maybe some day.
I do not know, all I know is what I may read like this article here also.

adam81
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
"how does something that is traveling c (which you suggest is not traveling through time) ever get to now?"

A good question, which is easily answered if you consider that time is as you say 'change', or at the very least causes change. since a photon is still a photon and doesn't change it can't be used as an example, however, imagine sending something which can change hurtling away at the speed of light, since time is slowed to a stop relative to the traveling object, it won't have changed when it reaches it's destination, but that doesn't mean that time is change, it just means that entropy is directly linked to time so that if you are not traveling through time then you won't change.

I hope that makes as much sense written down as it did in my head.
adam81
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
I guess time would have to rely on the presence of matter/energy to exist, which would explain why time dilates with movement through space, as effectively you would be dragging time along with you as you move, at low speed no noticeable difference is observed, as the speed increases however, the lag would become more noticeable as you would effectively be moving 'in front of' and therefor outside of time, which negates entropy, as without time entropy can not occur, time would still pass as the object travels, but at great speed the entropic properties of time cannot exert their forces.

It's like time surfing.
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
"I believe the universe (and this includes everything, including that which we may not be able to observe currently) has always existed, and will always exist."

x646d63, it has already been said in this thread that we wouldn't exist if the universe had an infinite past, since entropy would have already reached max (infinitely) long ago. It follows that the organization of matter in this universe in the complex functional systems observed was caused by something transcending it, a finite time ago. Because whatever the ultimate agent causing the existence of organization in form of (highly) complex functional systems is, this has to conserve its own entropy (or in any case not increase it); it also has to have the ability at least to have organized this universe of ours. If you wish to consider this ultimate agent "natural forces", you will have to consider the human mind also "natural forces" or a subset of them...

Now: Why an imaginary absolute frame of ref for time is worth considering? Because it could exist (remember, the possibility that the universe was made like a computer model), and because in any case it helps us better understand what "time" is. Things may not be able to travel faster than the speed of light in this universe, but our mind could move instantaneously across the space-time. So, consider an (absolute) oscillator with a constant period of oscillation shorter than the Planck time (the "time-step" in the putative computer model of the universe); and then imagine taking snapshots of the entire universe each and every period of such oscillator, and recording the successive frozen states of the entire universe. Then simply look at how everything changes in the universe snapshot after snapshot, just as you would analyze a film frame after frame, beginning with frame #1, along the timeline...
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
x646d63, it has already been said in this thread that we wouldn't exist if the universe had an infinite past, since entropy would have already reached max (infinitely) long ago.


That assertion has been made, yes. Entropy applies only to closed systems, though. If it's a computer model, the universe doesn't have to be a closed system. Likewise, if it's natural, it doesn't need to be closed, either. Why would an infinite universe have finite energy?

It follows that the organization of matter in this universe in the complex functional systems observed was caused by something transcending it, a finite time ago.


That's logical in a closed system. In an open system, any part of the system could be at any state any time.

If you wish to consider this ultimate agent "natural forces", you will have to consider the human mind also "natural forces" or a subset of them...


I agree with your semantics. I have always said that "man-made" is a subset of "natural." Environmentalists and religious folk seem to think otherwise.

Now: Why an imaginary absolute frame of ref for time is worth considering? Because it could exist.


We thought dragons and goblins and Zeus existed at one point, too. Can't we move on? :)

Believe me, I completely understand analysis. It's the same thing as a computer model: frame by frame modeling of the universe. In fact, I write software modeling tools for a living. This is part of why I think so much about time.

Meanwhile, I simply can't get by the logical problem of an arbitrary "step" for time (and all the problems that creates.) And "smooth" time brings its own problems, too, as I've noted in this thread.

Frankly, I think both schools of thought are correct at this point because we don't have enough observation to say otherwise.

I have no problem being "wrong." But I recognize dogma when I see it, and general relativity certainly has created a "following" and my human-bias detector is blinking brightly...the same thing it does around religion, global warming, and NFL games.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
since a photon is still a photon and doesn't change it can't be used as an example


Photons move/propagate.

however, imagine sending something which can change hurtling away at the speed of light, since time is slowed to a stop relative to the traveling object, it won't have changed when it reaches it's destination


Again, it will have changed its location. Did you read my time machine post earlier?

but that doesn't mean that time is change


Actually, doesn't it mean that time was irrelevant?

it just means that entropy is directly linked to time so that if you are not traveling through time then you won't change.


Entropy is one kind of change. Motion is another.

I hope that makes as much sense written down as it did in my head.


It does. I do have some level of understanding of current theory (and laws.)

Time is simply so important to our day-to-day existence as human beings that I assume it's very difficult to conceive a universe without it.
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
The fact that the universe is an open system, by itself does not automatically mean entropy can decrease, or at least be conserved (just because it's not a closed system). Something from outside the system, an organizing agent, needs to come in and work against entropy increase. And that's what is needed to explain our existence, as I mentioned before: the universe be an open system AND the input from an organizing agent that transcends this universe and does (did) the organizing job inside it (and the organizing agent has to, at least, conserve its own entropy, and thus be of an eternal existence, without a beginning or an ending). Otherwise, although the system is open, it's just as if it was closed from this perspective. (It would be like having a larger closed system, comprising the universe and the other system with which the universe is interacting.)

(An infinite universe would have no boundary, but that doesn't imply it's an "open" system; being open requires that there is something else outside it with which the universe is interacting.)

Concerning "time", the abs frame of ref for time actually does exist, but we can't use it, because we can only imagine an instantaneous snapshot of our realm. And that's simply considering the state of the universe "now", by imaginary freezing it instantaneously in its entirety. The "step" for time can be chosen eventually each time differently, and the step could be when the next change(s) occur(s) (monitoring the entire universe instantaneously at a higher frequency than that of the changing is necessary for the task). Since in-between two such successive time steps nothing changes, it doesn't actually matter how many times an abs constant oscillator would oscillate in-between any two successive steps...
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
However, how does something that is traveling c (which you suggest is not traveling through time) ever get to now? If a photon has been traveling at c since the beginning of the universe, say, isn't it still back at the beginning of the universe? How can we observe it today, since we're at now, and it's at "then?"


A photon traveling at c must still move through time, just much more slowly than we do. You're right though, if it did not move through time at all it couldn't get to the present time. Perhaps tachyons or something even more exotic don't move through time and are stuck at the bang.

I have no problem being "wrong." But I recognize dogma when I see it, and general relativity certainly has created a "following" and my human-bias detector is blinking brightly...the same thing it does around religion, global warming, and NFL games.


Well, I've done a little reading of my own since my last post, and I think you may be right about time = change. HOWEVER, in my mind, general relativity cannot be wrong; its predictions have been confirmed multiple times and the math holds up. But check this out: a scientist named Julian Barbour has found that the idea of time=change is "is contained in a hidden form within general relativity" and that application of this idea results in his conclusion that "its potential consequences for the yet to be found quantum mechanics of the universe are profound. The quantum universe is likely to be STATIC."

I like to think I have a pretty good bias detector as well, but this really seems legit. If you're interested the website is http://www.platonia.com.
thales
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
This is actually the interesting part of the site: http://www.platon...eas.html
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
This is actually the interesting part of the site: http://www.platon...eas.html


Wow. I never believed that my ideas were novel, now I have proof they aren't! :) I'll be finding his book "The End of Time" and see what he has to say. Thanks for the link.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 02, 2008
The fact that the universe is an open system, by itself does not automatically mean entropy can decrease


Well, I think over time we'll find recyclers. Perhaps black holes will provide this tool where the entropy is reset, so to speak, and new energy with zero entropy escapes (like the big bang.)

Also, with an endless supply of "new" from the "open system", maybe black holes remove the dead to keep the entropy skipping about...

These are obviously areas not yet carefully considered. :)

An infinite universe would have no boundary, but that doesn't imply it's an "open" system;...


My definition of an infinite universe does imply that it's an open system.

Concerning "time", the abs frame of ref for time actually does exist, but we can't use it...


Saying it is so does not convince me.

We have different axioms apparently. You believe time exists, and you are explaining how it works. I believe time does not exist and am trying to demonstrate the fallacies of current time theory.

As for infinitesimals, as you suggest, I've already said it doesn't seem like they should work. They are modeling constructs and don't exist in real life. The sum of any number of infinitesimals is always zero, so no matter how big you make your infinitesimal, time cannot move forward. And no matter how small you make your finite time slice, I can always divide it in half, so that doesn't make much sense.

I will, however, cede that it's quite possible that the universe (or something else) created an arbitrary finite time slice and that's that.

But then how do they move through time?
adam81
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008
"Entropy is one kind of change. Motion is another."

true, but they are very different types of change, motion does not need a change in state (real change) to occur, merely a move to another location, which means that motion through space does not cause change, but motion through time does, if motion through space at great speed moves you away from time then less change will occur...

again I say...

"time would have to rely on the presence of matter/energy to exist, which would explain why time dilates with movement through space, as effectively you would be dragging time along with you as you move, at low speed no noticeable difference is observed, as the speed increases however, the lag would become more noticeable as you would effectively be moving 'in front of' and therefor outside of time, which negates entropy, as without time entropy can not occur, time would still pass as the object travels, but at great speed the entropic properties of time cannot exert their forces.

It's like time surfing."


feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008

Well, I think over time we'll find recyclers. Perhaps black holes will provide this tool where the entropy is reset, so to speak, and new energy with zero entropy escapes (like the big bang.)

Also, with an endless supply of "new" from the "open system", maybe black holes remove the dead to keep the entropy skipping about...


It appears that you think of entropy only from an energetic point of view. How about considering the organizational aspect of entropy, too... What is going to organize matter/energy in the universe in the form of (highly) complex functional systems, e.g. such as our ecosystem?! Having energy available to do that (from some yet to be discovered recyclers or whatever) is an insufficient necessary condition; the other one is having an organizing agent capable of doing the organizing work using the available energy...


You believe time exists, and you are explaining how it works. I believe time does not exist and am trying to demonstrate the fallacies of current time theory.


Time is a measure of change, and I explained how we should look at that. I haven't noticed where you _demonstrated_ the fallacies of my explanation. Otherwise, you too consider time a measure of change. How then you believe time exists for me and it doesn't for you?


I will, however, cede that it's quite possible that the universe (or something else) created an arbitrary finite time slice and that's that.


Quantum mechanics hints that at fundamental level this universe is discrete, and quantum gravity will eventually show that that's the case; it just looks continuous at large enough scales.
whiterosealchemist
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008
Wouldn't it cause all sorts of problems for one to say that the universe is infinitely old mathematically? I mean the whole problem with an infinite number of past events would pop up wouldn't it? (infinity - infinity = 0, 1, 235, 842, infinity, etc.)
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008
Well, alright, everything can be looked at as change. But still, to me, and perhaps only me, after reading some of the popular books put out by physicists or scientists, certainly they do not always agree either. I just think that "Time" is Transcendence and also a Measurement when it filters on down to us lowly humans on this Planet and with measuring anything. Afterall, something created the energy that the Laws of Thermodynamics are based on. I just think that "Time" is the only dimension, and that all of "SpaceTime" is just another sub-dimension of the overall Transcendence "Time". So, Time is infinite and finite all at the same time depending on what level of time you want to deal with. With string theory or anything, working with more dimensions I think is suppose to make the math simplier but still in the end, with "Time" as the only medium for change to occur in the first and last place, it also ends up being the only dimension that really exists. The energy and matter came from "Time" and whether we bounced into this Universe, like being born from a third generation star as the late Dr. Sagan stated, I suppose this Universe could well also be from a Third Generated Universe. Well, bouncing in and perhaps in the end bouncing out through only the way it can be done now - death.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008

Time is a measure of change, and I explained how we should look at that. I haven't noticed where you _demonstrated_ the fallacies of my explanation. Otherwise, you too consider time a measure of change. How then you believe time exists for me and it doesn't for you?


Time exists as a tool, created by humans, to measure change. It does not exist independent of human thought. I believe that's the difference in thought you and I have.
x646d63
1 / 5 (1) Jul 03, 2008
It appears that you think of entropy only from an energetic point of view. How about considering the organizational aspect of entropy, too... What is going to organize matter/energy in the universe in the form of (highly) complex functional systems, e.g. such as our ecosystem?! Having energy available to do that (from some yet to be discovered recyclers or whatever) is an insufficient necessary condition; the other one is having an organizing agent capable of doing the organizing work using the available energy...


No, not just energy. The concept of recyclers is just Big Bounce stuff. If everything gets all mashed up together again and pops out in a big bang then what has already happened (at least) once, can happen again, right?

I know Big Bang purists think the Big Bang was the "beginning" but then that's what started me posting was my belief that "beginnings" and "endings" are purely a human construct and our bias won't let us see that there was no beginning and will be no ending.
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2008

Time exists as a tool, created by humans, to measure change. It does not exist independent of human thought.


I agree! The problem is that when we talk, we commonly refer to 'change' as 'time' and that creates confusion... (The link provided by thales above is quite interesting; you can read some of J.B.'s papers online here www.platonia.com./papers.html before you get the book.)


No, not just energy. The concept of recyclers is just Big Bounce stuff. If everything gets all mashed up together again and pops out in a big bang then what has already happened (at least) once, can happen again, right?


Here you attempt to use circular reasoning. You imply that recyclers could (should) exist, because here we are; and if recyclers do exist, than that's how it happened that we are here... The problem is that we don't know if we are here because "it happened" (by chance, using the concept of recyclers); that's part of what we are trying to determine, right?
Kineticriticality
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2008
A question:

Is not doppler red-shift the reason we have theorized expansion of the universe, and thus posited the idea of the "big bang,"?

Two things stand out on an empirical basis as to why this "data point" (red shift) might not imply what big bang theorists imagine it implies - and I do use 'imagine' deliberately, as Big Bang theory becomes less experimentally viable and more ad hoc as new information is found -- specifically, first, the existence of objects such as certain quasars whose redshift implies an age greater than that posited by the big bang theory, and second, the existence of macrostructures governed by the laws of gravitation, structures of such massive size that they could not have been formed in the short 12-14 billion years since the alleged Big Bang if the "origin" was point/singularity.

Rather than re-evaluating the data which led to the original conclusion, that of the Big Bang, cosmologists invent experimentally unverifiable additions to the theory, amending the theory with what amounts to epicycles in the geocentric model. Galactic superclusters could not have formed given what we can see? There must obviously be something we CANNOT see, because the theory is correct, even though data seems to contradict it!

Read Alfven's plasma cosmology work: a universe that always has been and always will be, governed by processes which work today the same way they worked ten billion years ago, which will continue to work that same way ten billion years hence, makes more sense empirically and individually-intuitively. What's the reason there has to be an origin? And how do we reconcile the vast amount of unknown-and-unknowable the Big Bang requires? Any "theory" that can't predict, can't be verified, and has more than one after-the-fact addition when information contradicting fundamental assumptions come to light... is all the worst parts of religion.
Peanuts
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2008
We are stuckies on this Planet - inmates. Stuck here in this inertial frame of reference. The Universe probably has its own inertial frame of reference (and every other Universe) but is it random or of a Grand Design?
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2008
Peanuts, it seems like there are (many) more puzzles than correct answers about the universe...
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 04, 2008
There must obviously be something we CANNOT see, because the theory is correct, even though data seems to contradict it!


Obviously?! The theory could hide undetected errors. Even if correct, it could be just a wonderful mathematical abstraction disconnected from the reality of the physics of this universe. Check also this out... www.orionfdn.org/papers
EarthScientist
1 / 5 (2) Jul 04, 2008
My.My Gentlemen,Your intense commentary on the theories of the universe have not solved the conflict yet,answer for me please,who has put you into conflict? Gurus and professors with their loyalty to a particulal theorists theory?

The universe is actually simple,and it was designed,and built by men.

So many of you have seen commentary by me and just dismissed my process as impossible,but you have alot to learn.

We do not explan the universe with mathematical theories and that will not work out for you fellas either.

Math as I have stated dozens of times just explains the cymatic relationships between the spheres.

This earth and all of the gas and process spheres were grown,they are salts,just as our core is an ammonia salt that when powered by our grid system provides the gravity of our planet and any other sphere that has enough mass to have gravitational pull.

You really do not need anyone except an "Earth Service" tasker to explain the whole place to you,but you obviously have no real desire as you boys have not sought out the answers,you just parrot your most esteemed theorist as you have been placed in a loop by someone(s) that do not desire you to have process in earth science.

On many different forums ,I have explained over and over the keys to open up your process for discovery and have "protocolers after protocole)attempt to disrupt the transfer of simple informationl keys to make anyone with process ability an initiate into those simple keys of the universe.

I am sanctioned day after day by the NSA system reading my e-mails and only sending those forth that might be as simple as an order for a simple product forth.

No,I am not paranoid,they really do not desire tier one guys with grid information letting out that information as it disrupts things or certain "folks" that do not like their paradigm unsealed.

Please just keep in mind this simple piece of information,"They are cutting the motor of this planet out from below" These certain people have destroyed 17 habitable planets so far and this one is next,and you do not have to believe that either,but I assure you this is a fact.

You think they have built a government saving system underground and I know that the opposite is true.

I no longer have a security agreement in force,and so protocol information I have really makes them vibrate,and so they sequester my e-mails. But these forum are not as easily disrupted through the server.

Ha,Ha,Ha Now the motor information is partilly out NSA boys ,come and arrest me and I will urther damage you every single hour.

Of the 30 scientists in my field,there are only six of us left and you math boys just have a great time playing with your chalkboards while we are hunted everday.

So try to remember boys,cymatic matrix,process and gas planets that have speed and mass to create the required light frequency and componentry to provide that process and you might get somewhere "They" do not like you boys to go.

Black holes are circuit connector between galaxies,plain,simple and accurate.

Comets are "Loose planetary core material" that rides on oxygen cymatic lines and returns fom a system explosion 28 thou ago which produced the first grid over revv heating event that made our first batch of vegtable oil and degraded plant components here.

Many of you boys claim me to not be clear in my statements,yet only choose to throw stones from your "protocoler" not being happy with my informational out flow,and they know who they are.

Ciao for now boys as most of you will be forced to forget you ever read this unless you have a certain consciousness level and let me give you a quick clue,If you can be hypnotized,you are dead meat,Processing wise. Oh,these things say that some with parts of their processing ability still intact would ask a hundred questions for the scientific curiousity.
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 05, 2008
No,I am not paranoid,they really do not desire tier one guys with grid information letting out that information


EarthScientist, perhaps you're not paranoid, but the info you're "letting out", at least the way you present it, doesn't make much sense (if any at all). If you expect to be taken seriously, do your homework and put together a meaningful theory explaining your claims in an understandable way for the rest of us (and do it on your website; we need here only the link to it). Otherwise, you better do us a favor and keep the secrets for yourself!
Kineticriticality
1 / 5 (1) Jul 05, 2008
There must obviously be something we CANNOT see, because the theory is correct, even though data seems to contradict it!


Obviously?! The theory could hide undetected errors. Even if correct, it could be just a wonderful mathematical abstraction disconnected from the reality of the physics of this universe. Check also this out... www.orionfdn.org/papers
[
Did you read my whole comment? I suspect you did not; The absolute divorce of cosmology from useful physics. The Hawkings/Big Bang models are no longer predictive nor experimentally verifiable, and as such are no longer constructive explorations of reality -- this is not to say that theories based on complex math are useless, nor that theories the average person can't understand are useless. On the contrary, theories such as General Relativity (the math of which is extraordinarily complex) which offer successful predictions of yet-to-be-observed events, as well as mathematically consistent explanations for previously unexplainable events, or which offer possible experiments to contradict or confirm -- those theories are worth talking and thinking about. The first type, though, reduces to palmistry.
feynman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 06, 2008
Did you read my whole comment? I suspect you did not;


Actually, I did. Did you read at least the first few papers from the link I provided ( www.orionfdn.org/papers )? I suspect you did not, because you obviously did not understand my comment. I suggest you read those papers before you jump to new conclusions...
EarthScientist
1 / 5 (4) Jul 06, 2008
Feynman, I suspect you are a junior man,as you would not be stating over and over again and again that I must have a website or that I have not been clear. I share information,not secrets,as others from my office fully understand the earths grid system.

It really is not my fault that you cannot assimilate and co-ordinate any information I share,I think maybe that you are the forum troll that has nothing to share,therefore just throw stones. Mayhaps Feynman,you could keep your commentary to your self. Others may find value in my taskings,if they have any ability to keep their scientific pledge,to always seek to understand more.

I have not been un clear,you are having an assimilation problem from your refusal to seek answers in the proper locations,and as I said,the actual problem lies in the fact that you mayhaps need to ask for a rebate in any physics lessons that you have undertaken.

Heres one for you again ,just to make your lip quiver,plants do not make any oxygen on this or any other planet sphere,and we could eliminate all plant life from this planet and breathe just fine,we just might get a touch hungry.

Ya might try supporting your statements,as I have no trouble supporting mine. Your theoretical garbage is one of the funnies in our office.
Mercury_01
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 07, 2008
You guys are all pompous dickheads.
hibiscus
1 / 5 (3) Jul 13, 2008
... Have a good day folks. Ponder this:
"HE looked upon the void, and said "Let there be light, and there was light, and it was good"

Doesn't that sound like the Ancient peopel who wrote that were talking about the Big Bang?
...


Nope, it sounds like my statement about an observer who observes nothing and as the result of observation and attached semantics there was something... in this case "ligt".
james11
1 / 5 (1) Apr 15, 2009
Sometimes reading these articles like the one where black holes eject jets I am overwhelmed with the thought that maybe we shouldnt be trying to figure out everything, maybe we wont like what we find and if that happens please dont tell me so I can be in peace
googleplex
1 / 5 (1) Apr 15, 2009
We haven't even solved the 3 body problem and we are spending time on these esoteric questions. Whatever physics underlies the universe it is very alien to our current thinking. Perhaps we don't even have the mathematical language to describe it yet.
Even QED "the crown jewel of physics" is devoid of any physics interpretation. According to Feynman we only have a mathematical understanding of it. We don't have a physics model of QED. IMHO the elephant in the room is that physics has failed to explain quantum theory other than playing with mathematical formula. Why is progress so slow in physics. It really frustrates me.
Bring on the tech singularity.