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Author Topic:   Where did the matter and energy come from?
Larni
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Posts: 3943
From: UK
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 1 of 357 (542742)
01-12-2010 10:20 AM


The tail end of this thread:

How did round planets form from the Big Bang?
http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&t=14090

had a suggestion of thins topic and I think it could be interesting as Cavediver seems inclined to be involved.

So, where did all the matter and energy contained in the big bang come from or, what form did the matter and energy (for want of more accurate labels) have at that point?

Kept having to remind my self not to put 'before' the big bang.

Cosmology please.

Edited by Larni, : Clarity


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Message 2 of 357 (542747)
01-12-2010 11:27 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Where did the matter and energy come from? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
Aware Wolf
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Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


Message 3 of 357 (542759)
01-12-2010 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Larni
01-12-2010 10:20 AM


I hope Cavediver does jump in here and I hope he addresses the question of what we do know and don't know about what may or may not have existed before/outside/external to the Universe. You read folks saying that time/space/matter/energy did not exist prior to the big bang as though that is a settled fact, or at least there is some preponderance of evidence pointing to this. Do we really "know" that? Or, as I suspect in my admitted ignorance, are the possibilities pretty much endless?
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Taq
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Posts: 6827
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 4 of 357 (542760)
01-12-2010 12:41 PM


Quick Simplification
To make this topic simpler you should just ask where the energy came from. It's already well established that matter formed from the energy that was present at the start of the universe.
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Dr Jack
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Posts: 3504
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 5 of 357 (542762)
01-12-2010 12:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Larni
01-12-2010 10:20 AM


If there is no before then it is not meaningful to ask where it 'came from'. If there is no before, there is no change.
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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 6 of 357 (542763)
01-12-2010 12:55 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Taq
01-12-2010 12:41 PM


Re: Quick Simplification
It's already well established that matter formed from the energy that was present at the start of the universe.

No, definitely not! Which is why we need this thread

Back soon...


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Iblis
Member (Idle past 1368 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 7 of 357 (542766)
01-12-2010 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Larni
01-12-2010 10:20 AM


tanstaafl?
So, where did all the matter and energy contained in the big bang come from or, what form did the matter and energy (for want of more accurate labels) have at that point?

One of the things that cavediver has threatened to sort out or clear up for us is Guth's doctrine of a Free Lunch.

This borrowing of energy from the gravitational field gives the inflationary paradigm an entirely different perspective from the classical Big Bang theory, in which all the particles in the Universe (or at least their precursors) were assumed to be in place from the start. Inflation provides a mechanism by which the entire Universe can develop from just a few ounces of primordial matter. Inflation is radically at odds with the old dictum of Democritus and Lucretius, "Nothing can be created from nothing" If inflation is right, everything can be created from nothing, or at least from very little. If inflation is right, the Universe can properly be called the ultimate free lunch.

http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Guth/Guth3.html

In philosophical terms, something does come out of nothing. In fact, this is the only place it can come from. The reason we do not see this happening now, is because we do not actually see nothing anywhere. But when we do our best to approximate a real manifestation of nothingness, we do in fact immediately see something come right out of it.

Vacuum energy has a number of consequences. In 1948, Dutch physicists Hendrik B. G. Casimir and Dirk Polder predicted the existence of a tiny attractive force between closely placed metal plates due to resonances in the vacuum energy in the space between them. This is now known as the Casimir effect and has since been extensively experimentally verified. It is therefore believed that the vacuum energy is "real" in the same sense that more familiar conceptual objects such as electrons, magnetic fields, etc., are real.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_energy


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Briterican
Member (Idle past 1421 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 8 of 357 (542769)
01-12-2010 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Aware Wolf
01-12-2010 12:36 PM


Devoid of even a void
Aware Wolf writes:

You read folks saying that time/space/matter/energy did not exist prior to the big bang as though that is a settled fact, or at least there is some preponderance of evidence pointing to this. Do we really "know" that? Or, as I suspect in my admitted ignorance, are the possibilities pretty much endless?

When you say that we believe "time/space/matter/energy did not exist prior to the big bang", I think the time and space part is accurate. As I understand it, time and space (as we know them) expanded from the singularity of the big bang. If our cosmological model is true - if everything in the universe was in the distant past compressed into a singularity - then there would at that point be neither time nor space by our definitions of those words. All matter and energy (one and the same as Einstein taught us) that we see today is conjectured to have been within that singularity if I understand the model correctly. I sincerely hope someone will point out my error if this is not an accurate statement.

Asking what came "before" the expansion of this singularity might possibly be beyond the reach of science (apart from theoretical). I hope not, but it seems to me a bit of a daunting task. It would be analagous to asking someone to describe what they saw on the day before they were born. Of course they didn't see anything... they couldn't have. But that certainly doesn't mean there was nothing there to be seen.

If I am right that the big bang model posits that ALL matter/energy in existence was present in the singularity, then the question of "where" it came from is less important (in my view) than the question of why it expanded.

I have an admitted ignorance in this regard similar to yourself, and I hope further posts will help clarify somewhat, but I fear that evidence of anything "prior" to the big bang (which would include the "where did it come from" and the "what happened to cause expansion" questions) may forever be beyond our grasp. I too eagerly await Cavediver's input, and any others with a better grasp of this intriguing topic.

Edited by Briterican, : Had to remove "at that time" when referring to a point where time didn't exist. My head hurts.


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Aware Wolf
Member
Posts: 154
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 02-13-2009


Message 9 of 357 (542773)
01-12-2010 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by Briterican
01-12-2010 1:56 PM


In a metal box with glowing walls
I know where you're coming from and I don't think you are wrong with anything you say here, but I guess what I am looking for is scientific permission to call Bullshit when someone says "there definitely was no time/space/energy/matter prior to the Big Bang". I "know" with the layman's certainty that we don't know what caused the Big Bang. What I want someone to confirm for me is that we know so little about it that we can't rule ANYTHING out. Maybe there is no "outside" the Universe. Maybe there is an outside that is very different from what is inside. Maybe there is an outside that is very similar or exactly the same.

Picture the two of us living in a metal box with no doors or windows. The walls of our box glow. We say, "The light we have in here is a characteristic of our 'world', our box, therefore it is impossible that light can exist outside our box." Bullshit.

Of course, I don't know what I'm talking about, hence the desire for someone like Cavediver to set me straight.


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Taq
Member
Posts: 6827
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 10 of 357 (542778)
01-12-2010 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Aware Wolf
01-12-2010 2:16 PM


Re: In a metal box with glowing walls
I "know" with the layman's certainty that we don't know what caused the Big Bang. What I want someone to confirm for me is that we know so little about it that we can't rule ANYTHING out.

It's a matter of what we try to rule IN. It reminds me of Dr. House. He will only run tests for diagnoses that have cures. Somewhat the same in science. You go after explanations that you can test for and confirm.

As for "outside" the Universe, this is a semantic problem. The Universe is defined as everything we can observe which is a sphere about 13.7 billion years in radius around us, at least according to my layman's understanding and reading in the area. It might very well that expanding spacetime is an effect in our part of the overall universe (again, from my layman's understanding of what I have read. This isn't gospel by any means).

As for "before the Big Bang" I really don't have a problem with it. For example, some String Theorists have proposed that our Universe came about when two branes collided. These are some of the brightest physicists around (right or wrong) and even they talk in terms of cause and effect, before and after.


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Briterican
Member (Idle past 1421 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 11 of 357 (542779)
01-12-2010 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Taq
01-12-2010 2:31 PM


Re: In a metal box with glowing walls
Taq writes:

The Universe is defined as everything we can observe which is a sphere about 13.7 billion years in radius around us, at least according to my layman's understanding and reading in the area.

You sound like you're probably on a similar level of understanding about this stuff as I am (possibly a bit presumptious on my part, as I don't really know jack), but I hope you'll forgive me for pointing out one discrepancy in the above.

The idea that the universe is a "sphere" is incorrect. If the universe is finite but boundless (as most believe), then it would probably be more aptly described as a hypersphere - I'm not even going to try to explain that one as it's beyond my capacity - but it basically involves curvature in unobserved dimensions.

For a good article on "the shape of the universe" - click here.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/...ases/1998/02/980217001924.htm
... however, don't expect to come away from it with any solid answer.

Meanwhile, as always, I hope that if anyone spots errors in my statements they will point them out, and, like Taq and Aware Wolf and most of the rest of us, we will listen and learn.

Edited by Briterican, : No reason given.


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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 12 of 357 (542784)
01-12-2010 3:17 PM


Some preliminaries...
First off, I will not be addressing how things *are*. When I say what is true and what is not, that is in the context of the particular model/theory that I am discussing at that time. The default model is the "Standard Model" of Lambda-CDM - big bang FLRW comsology with cosmological constant and dominant cold dark matter. In this context, there is no "before" and no "outside". But both of these concepts can take on meaniing in extended models that incorporate string theory and other possible quantum gravity corrections.
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Taq
Member
Posts: 6827
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 13 of 357 (542785)
01-12-2010 3:22 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Briterican
01-12-2010 2:43 PM


Re: In a metal box with glowing walls
The idea that the universe is a "sphere" is incorrect. If the universe is finite but boundless (as most believe), then it would probably be more aptly described as a hypersphere - I'm not even going to try to explain that one as it's beyond my capacity - but it basically involves curvature in unobserved dimensions.

I know, it gets confusing.

What I am trying to convey is that the universe is defined by what we can observe. This observable area is 13.7 billion light years in all directions from where you are right now. The observable area is best described as a sphere. I think this is correct because of how universes can be described, specifically a de Sitter type universe where the expansion of space defines an event horizon (again, described by a sphere).

As for the curvature of space time, due to super-luminal inflation it exists outside of our observable universe. Visually, the observable universe may (as in I think this is how it is) best be described as a marble within a toroid. At least, this is how I picture it.


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Briterican
Member (Idle past 1421 days)
Posts: 340
Joined: 05-29-2008


Message 14 of 357 (542787)
01-12-2010 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Taq
01-12-2010 3:22 PM


Re: In a metal box with glowing walls
Taq writes:

What I am trying to convey is that the universe is defined by what we can observe. This observable area is 13.7 billion light years in all directions from where you are right now. The observable area is best described as a sphere.

That makes good sense.

Taq writes:

As for the curvature of space time, due to super-luminal inflation it exists outside of our observable universe. Visually, the observable universe may (as in I think this is how it is) best be described as a marble within a toroid. At least, this is how I picture it.

Did I try to equate our levels of understanding earlier? A mistake. I'm about to spend the next half hour deciphering this. Thanks

Edited by Briterican, : No reason given.


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cavediver
Member (Idle past 1116 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


(1)
Message 15 of 357 (542788)
01-12-2010 4:03 PM


Matter and Energy
Let's get it right from the start: matter is not energy; matter is not made of energy; matter is not frozen energy.

Our current understanding sees that existence is made up of fields. Each field fills space-time, and they overlap each other perfectly. At each point in space-time, there is a value (set of numbers) associated with each field. A fundemental particle is an excitation in its underlying field, and there are as many fields as there are types of particle: photon, gluon, electron, quark, and even graviton. The graviton field is what gives us the concept of distance and space-time geometry. Think about this for a minute - it is the field that defines the distances we measure between objects - whether from your nose to your right big toe, or from your nose to the quasar 3C273!

These fields are believed to be different facets of one master unified field, and we see this in Supergravity, string theory, and related extended models.

Matter fields are those with spin-1/2, and matter particles (fermions: electron, quark, etc) are excitations of these fields. The spin-1/2 means that these partciles obey the Pauli Exclusion Principle and this gives rise to the first level of "solidity" - we see this in the atom, where virtually empty space is given structure by the electron shells surrounding the nucleus.

Force or *Gauge* fields are those with integer spin, and gauge particles (bosons: photons, gluons, gravitons) are the excitations of the these fields. They obey Bose-Einstein statistics, and can overlap freely - great for lasers but crap for building things!

Combining the two particle types (matter and gauge) gives us the next (and familiar) level of solidity - photons interacting with electrons give rise to the electromagnetic interactions that create the solidity of everyday experience. The reason your hands don't pass through each other when you clap is not because they are "solid" - your hands are essentially empty space - but because of electromagnetic interactions.

Our current theories of fundemental physics (General Relativity, Electroweak, Qunatum Chromodynamics) explain how these fields interact and relate to each other, and build up to give us the existence we know.

Notice anything curiously absent in our above description of everything?

Energy - what about energy? - energy is merely an accounting system, reflecting conservation of excitations between the fields. Energy is simply quantification of the field excitations - given a particular configuration of excitations at time T1, this limits those configurations at time T2. Does this concept sound like the sort of thing that stuff is made of??? NO!!!

Existence is made of the fields - or better, existence IS the fields - is the one master unified field.

Any clearer? What do you mean, "no!"????

Edited by cavediver, : No reason given.


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