Scientists suggest that the Big Bang could have been just a special moment in the evolution of this always existing universe and not its beginning.
Physicist Bruno Bento and his team have presented new research proving that the universe had no beginning. This work challenges the generally accepted theory that the universe was born in the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago.
Did our universe have a beginning and was there a Big Bang?
The objective of the study
Physicist Bruno Bento and his colleagues decided to find out what the birth of the universe would have looked like without the Big Bang singularity.
Studying this issue, they faced many contradictions that arise when comparing generally accepted theories. It is believed that the nature of the universe is most reliably described by quantum physics and general relativity. At the same time, quantum physics has successfully described three of the four fundamental forces of nature, but the fourth – gravity, from its position, does not fit into the framework.
On the contrary, general relativity is the most complete description of gravity ever created. However, it does not work on two important issues. This theory does not give reliable results when studying the centers of black holes and the mechanism of the birth of the Universe.
These controversial areas are called “singularities” – points in space-time where the laws of physics we know stop working. At the same time, calculations show that within both singularities, gravity becomes incredibly powerful even on a tiny scale.
Theory of causal sets
Reflecting on the contradictions, the researchers decided to pay attention to another theory called the theory of causal sets. This is a line of research in quantum gravity based on a mathematical hypothesis about the discrete structure of space-time.
New understanding of space and time
According to Bento, this approach completely changes our understanding of space and time, as it reimagines space-time as a series of discrete fragments or space-time “atoms”. This theory imposes strict restrictions on how close events can be located in space and time – according to the theory, they cannot be closer than the size of an “atom”.
Big Bang singularity
In their work, the authors write that the theory of causal sets removes the problem of the Big Bang singularity because, in the theory, singularities cannot exist at all. Matter cannot be compressed to infinitely tiny points – they cannot be less than the size of an “atom” of space-time.
As Bento explains, the classical view is that the causal set grew out of nothing into the universe. And the alternative version, put forward by the authors of the study, says that the Big Bang as the “beginning of the Universe” did not exist, since the causal set is infinite.
What if the universe had no beginning?
In simple terms, physicists came to the conclusion that the universe may not have had a beginning, therefore, it has always existed. And what we perceive as the Big Bang could only be “a special moment in the evolution of this always existing causal set, and not its true beginning.”
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• Bento, B. V., & Zalel, S. (2021, September 24). If time had no beginning. arXiv.org.
• Choi, C. Q. (2017, June 17). Our expanding universe: Age, History & Other Facts. Space.com.
• NASA. (n.d.). The big bang.
• Sutter, P. (2021, October 11). What if the Universe had no beginning? LiveScience.
• Wood, C. (2021, October 7). A key part of the big bang remains troublingly elusive. Popular Science.