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Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?
io9 ^ | 11/19/10

Posted on 11/20/2010 10:05:12 PM PST by LibWhacker

Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang? The current cosmological consensus is that the universe began 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang. But a legendary physicist says he's found the first evidence of an eternal, cyclic cosmos.

The Big Bang model holds that everything that now comprises the universe was once concentrated in a single point of near-infinite density. Before this singularity exploded and the universe began, there was absolutely nothing - indeed, it's not clear whether one can even use the term "before" in reference to a pre-Big-Bang cosmos, as time itself may not have existed yet. In the current model, the universe began with the Big Bang, underwent cosmic inflation for a fraction of a second, then settled into the much more gradual expansion that is still going on, and likely will end with the universe as an infinitely expanded, featureless cosmos.

Sir Roger Penrose, one of the most renowned physicists of the last fifty years, takes issue with this view. He points out that the universe was apparently born in a very low state of entropy, meaning a very high degree of order initially existed, and this is what made the complex matter we see all around us (and are composed of) possible in the first place. His objection is that the Big Bang model can't explain why such a low entropy state existed, and he believes he has a solution - that the universe is just one of many in a cyclical chain, with each Big Bang starting up a new universe in place of the one before.

Have we found the universe that existed before the Big Bang?

How does this help? Well, Penrose posits the end of each universe will involve a return to low entropy. This is because black holes suck in all the matter, energy, and information they encounter, which works to remove entropy from our universe. (Where that entropy might go is another question entirely.) The universe's continued expansion into eventual nothingness causes the black holes themselves to evaporate, which ultimately leaves the universe in a highly ordered state once again, ready to contract into another singularity and set off the next Big Bang.

As alternative theories go, it's not without its merits, but there's no evidence to support it...until now. He says he's found evidence for his ideas in the cosmic microwave background, the microwave radiation that permeates the universe and was thought to have formed 300,000 years after the Big Bang, providing a record of the universe at that far distant time. Penrose and his colleague Vahe Gurzadyan have discovered clear concentric circles within the data, which suggests regions of the radiation have much smaller temperature ranges than elsewhere.

So what does that mean? Penrose believes these circles are windows into the previous universe, spherical ripples left behind by the gravitational effects of colliding black holes in the previous universe. He also says these circles don't work well at all in the current inflationary model, which holds all temperature variations in the CMB should be truly random.

Here's where the fun begins. If the circles are really there and are really doing what Penrose says they're doing, then he's managed to overthrow the standard inflationary model. But there's a long way to go between where we are now and that point, assuming it ever happens.

The inflationary model has become the consensus for a good reason - it's the best explanation we've got for the universe we have now - and so cosmologists will examine any results that appear to disprove it very critically. There are also a couple key assumptions in Penrose's theory, particularly that all particles will lose their mass towards the end of the universe. Right now, we don't know whether that will actually happen - in particular, there's no proof that electrons ever decay.


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: background; bang; big; catastrophism; cosmic; haltonarp; microwave; penrose; radiation; sirrogerpenrose; steadystatetheory; stringtheory; universe; xplanets
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1 posted on 11/20/2010 10:05:21 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

bflr


2 posted on 11/20/2010 10:07:09 PM PST by bigheadfred (/s happens)
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To: LibWhacker

If eternity future is possible.. why not eternity past?..


3 posted on 11/20/2010 10:09:20 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: LibWhacker
The Big Bang model holds that everything that now comprises the universe was once concentrated in a single point of near-infinite density.

Well now, if you concentrated a single atom into single point it would be literally of infinite density, wouldn't it? So how stupid is that? Just wondering.

4 posted on 11/20/2010 10:11:48 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: LibWhacker

We know what happened after the ‘Big Bang’ - “The Big Cigarette” okay I stole that from Johnny Carson.


5 posted on 11/20/2010 10:15:41 PM PST by Perdogg (What Would Aqua Buddha do?)
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To: LibWhacker

Far out! Except for the fact that everything has a beginning (even his endless cycles of universes), it makes perfect sense. Cool.


6 posted on 11/20/2010 10:18:04 PM PST by Imnidiot (THIS SPACE FOR RENT)
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To: dr_lew

That atom of yours is in the 4th dimension.

Before the Big Bang, all of the Universe was contained in a single dimensionless point of infinite heat, and ‘point’ isn’t the right word to use here.


7 posted on 11/20/2010 10:25:23 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: Perdogg

The stupidity and narrow mind of scientists will always blow my mind. Everything has a beginning from something - in that case they can search and brainstorm...the only answer is God - the only beginning possible!!! They can go back and back and back, it HAD to begin with “something”...”there’s no proof that electrons ever decay”. ok..when and how were they created??? It will never make any sense to try to explain the “beginning” if we don’t accept A creation. As simple as that. Now if you are an atheist I understand that you will keep on searching...good for you. You’ll never get bored.


8 posted on 11/20/2010 10:26:20 PM PST by American Dream 246 (Open your eyes. Freedom is not a one day fight. Enemies of Freedom are legion.)
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To: SunkenCiv; blam

for your various ping lists


9 posted on 11/20/2010 10:29:35 PM PST by Kevmo (Has Obama resigned yet?)
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To: LibWhacker

Still does not explain the origin of information or morality!


10 posted on 11/20/2010 10:34:21 PM PST by LiteKeeper ("Psalm 109:8")
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To: hosepipe

You are describing God.


11 posted on 11/20/2010 10:35:51 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

ping


12 posted on 11/20/2010 10:40:03 PM PST by Licensed-To-Carry (Hey Obama! All you have done is awaken a sleeping giant and filled us with a terrible resolve!!)
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To: LibWhacker

OH.... THANK YOU.

Something to talk about besides the MYSTERY MISSILE and BRISTOL PALIN.

Now I can go back and read the article. Had to get that out to you, right away.


13 posted on 11/20/2010 10:44:33 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Imnidiot; hosepipe

I saw an interesting take on time this week; namely, that time is just another dimension, and just like the others, has no beginning.


14 posted on 11/20/2010 10:48:28 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: The KG9 Kid
Before the Big Bang, all of the Universe was contained in a single dimensionless point of infinite heat, and ‘point’ isn’t the right word to use here.

According to the article, neither is the word 'before'.

15 posted on 11/20/2010 10:49:04 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: LibWhacker

God has no beginning and no end.
Penrose’s view of a cyclical chain is compatible with that mystery.


16 posted on 11/20/2010 10:50:09 PM PST by citizencon
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To: Perdogg

Fuuuuuny!


17 posted on 11/20/2010 10:50:58 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: UCANSEE2

lol


18 posted on 11/20/2010 10:52:16 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: hosepipe

DeJa Vu all over again


19 posted on 11/20/2010 10:53:55 PM PST by woofie
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To: LibWhacker
The actual Gurzadyan & Penrose paper is here:

http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1011/1011.3706.pdf

for those who can understand it, a group to which I do not belong.

20 posted on 11/20/2010 10:57:55 PM PST by TChad
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To: LibWhacker
"Penrose believes these circles are windows into the previous universe, spherical ripples left behind by the gravitational effects of colliding black holes in the previous universe."


21 posted on 11/20/2010 10:58:33 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: LibWhacker; betty boop; marron; Alamo-Girl; r9etb; little jeremiah; metmom; xzins
In the beginning there was . . . something . . . ??? . . . maybe?

Beep.

22 posted on 11/20/2010 11:08:45 PM PST by YHAOS (you betcha!)
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To: LibWhacker

Whaaa/ The Big Bong?


23 posted on 11/20/2010 11:13:24 PM PST by abigkahuna (screw em all)
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To: Secret Agent Man
[ You are describing God. ]

What is God?...

24 posted on 11/20/2010 11:13:26 PM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: LibWhacker

My understandig of entropy is that it is a word ,just a word, for disorder of phenomina. So if a disorder in nature of any kind exists it has entropy which in some sciences can be described by symbolic e.g. mathematical manipulation(s). Maybe this gets us closer to defining existance.
I also would ask the question- If at some time past existance was some tiny dot(maybe not so tiny) what happens to our perception of space?


25 posted on 11/20/2010 11:16:16 PM PST by noinfringers2
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To: UCANSEE2

Pinto: ‘Okay. That means that our whole solar system could be, like one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being. This is too much! That means one tiny atom in my fingernail could be..’

Professor Jennings: “. . . could be one little, tiny universe.”

Pinto: “Could I buy some pot from you?”


26 posted on 11/20/2010 11:16:21 PM PST by dfwgator (Texas Rangers -Thanks for a great season.)
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To: LibWhacker

My understandig of entropy is that it is a word ,just a word, for disorder of phenomina. So if a disorder in nature of any kind exists it has entropy which in some sciences can be described by symbolic e.g. mathematical manipulation(s). Maybe this gets us closer to defining existance.
I also would ask the question- If at some time past existance was some tiny dot(maybe not so tiny) what happens to our perception of space?


27 posted on 11/20/2010 11:16:44 PM PST by noinfringers2
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To: LibWhacker

Here is what I take issue with, in these BANG threads.

I was taught the Universe was infinite and everlasting.
The concept there was a big bang implies it is finite.
Scientists claim they know the size of the Universe, when actually it is just the limits of their equipment. That’s why, over time, the ‘size’ of the Universe has increased. Ironically, at the farthest edge of the viewable universe, where the matter should be the thinnest, in the darkest spot we can find, it is packed full of galaxies.

So, the word UNIVERSE needs to have a standard definition.

Is is either infinite, or it is not. If we could settle that, it would make discussion so much easier.


28 posted on 11/20/2010 11:23:55 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: hosepipe; Secret Agent Man
What is God?...

OH..... I know, I know.... (waving hands).

God is.

29 posted on 11/20/2010 11:26:15 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: LiteKeeper
Still does not explain the origin of information or morality!

Comes as standard equipment with every Universe.

30 posted on 11/20/2010 11:28:09 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: YHAOS; GodGunsGuts; Fichori; tpanther; Gordon Greene; Ethan Clive Osgoode; betty boop; ...

Looks like scientists have found something new to replace God with.

And they laugh at us for believing in Him.

Their option is better because.....????


31 posted on 11/20/2010 11:28:16 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: hosepipe
If eternity future is possible.. why not eternity past?..

What about eternity now?

Like when you are waiting for the microwave oven to 'ding'.

Or during a really passionate kiss?

32 posted on 11/20/2010 11:30:36 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: dfwgator

LOL! You have to love those Delta guys!


33 posted on 11/20/2010 11:33:28 PM PST by Sarajevo (You're jealous because the voices only talk to me.)
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To: noinfringers2
My understanding of entropy is that it is ...

God's way of telling the Universe it's getting old.

34 posted on 11/20/2010 11:34:17 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Secret Agent Man
You are describing God.

Everything man says describing the Universe, is describing God.

35 posted on 11/20/2010 11:35:25 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: metmom
Looks like scientists have found something new to replace God with.

Theory?

36 posted on 11/20/2010 11:38:59 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: LibWhacker
The Big Bang model holds that everything that now comprises the universe was once concentrated in a single point of near-infinite density. Before this singularity exploded and the universe began, there was absolutely nothing - indeed, it's not clear whether one can even use the term "before" in reference to a pre-Big-Bang cosmos, as time itself may not have existed yet. In the current model, the universe began with the Big Bang, underwent cosmic inflation for a fraction of a second, then settled into the much more gradual expansion that is still going on, and likely will end with the universe as an infinitely expanded, featureless cosmos.

I'd love to have someone try to explain the mechanism behind this expansion.

If black holes, which are only part of this universe, exert such a strong gravitational field that even light can't escape, how do they explain how the entire mass of the whole universe could be contained within this minute point, and not be trapped forever in it by its own gravitational pull.

How did it escape itself? What kind of and amount of force was necessary to overcome that kind of gravitational attraction?

37 posted on 11/20/2010 11:39:56 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: LibWhacker
that time is just another dimension, and just like the others, has no beginning.

Except for on a personal basis.

38 posted on 11/20/2010 11:41:17 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: LibWhacker
....that time is just another dimension, and just like the others, has no beginning.

From the diagrams in the Penrose paper, he seems to be saying that time and the spacial dimensions existed before the "Big Bang"(always existed). That'll cause some to cough and wheeze.
His theory also states "... all particles will lose their mass towards the end of the universe". Wonder if he means that all particles will become photons whizzing around at the speed of light?

39 posted on 11/20/2010 11:41:34 PM PST by The Cajun
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To: metmom
What kind of and amount of force was necessary to overcome that kind of gravitational attraction?

Well, it would be a whole bunch. I know that.

40 posted on 11/20/2010 11:44:08 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: UCANSEE2

Anything....

ABG - anything but God...


41 posted on 11/20/2010 11:44:20 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: American Dream 246

A very confused peroration. Electrons are created every day and every second, according to Nature’s laws, as we understand them. But how do we even know of this? Please cite Chapter and Verse.

“Now I want them to see that just as nature has given to them, as well as to philosophers, eyes with which to see her works, so she has also given them brains capable of penetrating and understanding them.”

... that’s my Book.


42 posted on 11/20/2010 11:48:41 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: metmom
ABG - anything but God...

That's because AOG (Acts of God) doesn't have a symbol that can be used in scientific equations.

43 posted on 11/20/2010 11:51:49 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Perdogg

Carson runs deep. “After you die, your fingernails keep growing, but your phone calls drop right off.” ( makes swooping gesture and deadpans at camera. )


44 posted on 11/20/2010 11:58:06 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: LibWhacker
The universe's continued expansion into eventual nothingness causes the black holes themselves to evaporate, which ultimately leaves the universe in a highly ordered state once again, ready to contract into another singularity and set off the next Big Bang.

All Penrose achieves here is in unnecessarily complicating the dilemma by forcing the question, how does nothingness contract. But I say unnecessarily because the ordered state that the universe expands into, according to his proposition, is indistinguishable from the ordered state that it contracts to. Something that Penrose doesn't understand, or simply refuses to address.

45 posted on 11/21/2010 12:00:06 AM PST by csense
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To: hosepipe; metmom
If eternity future is possible.. why not eternity past?..

I'll tell you why. Because if the universe were eternally old (infinite past) it would already have to have burned out and gone through the cold dark death. We wouldn't be here.

Sauron

46 posted on 11/21/2010 12:02:03 AM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: LibWhacker

http://www.multivax.com/last_question.html


47 posted on 11/21/2010 12:02:21 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: sauron
Oh, the point of which is this: The universe HAD a beginning. This implies something: Big Bangs have "Big Bangers" as my old pastor used to point out.

Sauron

48 posted on 11/21/2010 12:03:29 AM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: sauron
Prot: "I wanna tell you something Mark, something you do not yet know, that we K-PAXians have been around long enough to have discovered. The universe will expand, then it will collapse back on itself, then will expand again. It will repeat this process forever. What you don't you know is that when the universe expands again, everything will be as it is now. Whatever mistakes you make this time around, you will live through on your next pass. Every mistake you make, you will live through again, & again, forever. So my advice to you is to get it right this time around. Because this time is all you have."
49 posted on 11/21/2010 12:04:50 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: American Dream 246
The stupidity and narrow mind of scientists will always blow my mind. Everything has a beginning from something

How can you call others stupid and narrow-minded when you missed the obvious question: what did god come from if everything has a beginning from something?

50 posted on 11/21/2010 12:12:05 AM PST by GeorgeSaden
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