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(Medium)   Mathematical proof that the Universe could have formed spontaneously from...err...nothing   (medium.com) divider line 20
    More: Interesting, Quantum Fluctuation, mathematical proofs, universe, Big Bang theory, Cosmological Constant, uncertainty principle, Institute of Physics, cosmologists  
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3812 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Apr 2014 at 10:11 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-11 10:56:32 AM  
7 votes:
The issue here is that "nothing" isn't "nothing" in the philosophical sense. The "nothing" whence sprang the Universe was still a quantum vacuum, with the rules of quantum physics and potentials and such. It's not "literally nothing".

So now the question is, where did the quantum vacuum, and the rules of quantum physics come from?
2014-04-11 03:53:25 PM  
3 votes:

MassD: whistleridge:
For once, I'm betting the answer on Fark isn't C.

OH... and another thing...  science has already cherrypicked the easy crap....  You know, the visible spectrum, how photosynthesis works, stuff like that... the low hanging fruits are all gone, so now these guys have to put on their big kid pants to keep advancing.  So if the general public can't wrap their starbucks and E-News soaked minds around what they are working on....  too bad, so sad.


Neither the public nor the physicists nor you nor I can wrap our heads around the relative insanities of string theory, M theory, K theory, or any of the other exotic ideas out there that have been fabricated in an attempt to reconcile the disparate observations of particle physics and astrophysics. Most of us can get about 60% of it, the brighter among us with some exposure to higher mathematics can get 80-90%, and maybe a few hundred people on Earth can get all of it. It's less a function of raw intellect than it is one of time spent focusing on the arcane. There are probably a few hundred people on Earth who have the entire D&D manual memorized too. 

Fortunately (and to Bryson's point), really getting it isn't currently necessary. Most of these theories are either untestable and/or entirely lacking in predictive ability. They're mathematical contortions based on some fairly broad assumptions, and even those who specialize in them are frequently dubious of their validity.

You're talking as though the general public are a bunch of idiotic luddites, for not getting what is generally accepted as the single hardest topic mankind has ever discovered.
2014-04-11 12:13:48 PM  
3 votes:

Lando Lincoln: DerAppie: The whole idea that we are the first and only (iteration of the) universe to ever exist seems very boring to me.

The opposite of that seems very boring to me. If the universe has been expanding and contracting forever and ever backwards in time, then that means we've probably had this same discussion an infinite amount of times.


I win again, Lews Therin.
2014-04-11 10:45:39 AM  
3 votes:
Oh yeah, Mr. Wizard... where did all the nothing come from then?
2014-04-11 01:57:04 PM  
2 votes:

MassD: That's why there is a peer-review system.  Sure, it isn't perfect and sometimes crap slips through the cracks, but the vast majority is well vetted out before it is sent to the ignorant masses.....   so if you can't get it by then, f u

It's about time that we stop dumbing down things to cater to the lowest common denominator...  Scientists who've spent decades studying in their field are spending far too much time trying to explain things to pinheads.  If you don't understand it, read a little... the world does not operate on easily digestible chunks of 1st grade science.

If these concepts are too far above your head, go back to reading about whether Kim Kardashian had work done recently or if some other yahoo got checked into rehab....  leave the important work to the adults.


Yes...because incredibly complex theoretical physics that even the most brilliant physicists themselves admit they don't fully understand is clearly so clear and concise. To say nothing about the utter inability of your average science writer to comprehend it enough to be able to convey it accurately and readably to the general public.

The article isn't based on observations, it's based on a mathematical proof. Which can be explained...in mathematics. It doesn't translate worth a damn into daily language. And if you think otherwise, you're either A. wrong, B. very full of yourself, or C. have a brilliant career ahead of you as a popular science writer.

For once, I'm betting the answer on Fark isn't C.
2014-04-11 10:49:36 AM  
2 votes:
Fark it, I don't understand all this science shiat.

So, from now on I'm a Christian. Problem solved!
2014-04-11 08:39:02 AM  
2 votes:
To quote Bill Bryson:

""I'm afraid this is the stop on the knowledge highway where most of us must get off. Here is a sentence from the New York Times, explaining this as simply as possible to a general audience: "The ekpyrotic process begins far in the indefinite past with a pair of flat empty branes sitting parallel to each other in a warped five-dimensional space. . . . The two branes, which form the walls of the fifth dimension, could have popped out of nothingness as a quantum fluctuation in the even more distant past and then drifted apart." No arguing with that. No understanding it either. Ekpyrotic, incidentally, comes from the Greek word for "conflagration."

Matters in physics have now reached such a pitch that, as Paul Davies noted in Nature, it is "almost impossible for the non-scientist to discriminate between the legitimately weird and the outright crackpot." "
2014-04-11 06:39:05 PM  
1 votes:
One thing people keep forgetting is there's a reason we say the universe came from nothing.  It's because "Came from" implies a "before", and in the case of our universe, time itself began at that point.  So while the universe may have come into being as the result of some sort of mechanism or effect, you can't say it came from something, because there was no before.  Scientists for the most part aren't implying the universe poofed into existence for no reason at all.  But they are saying that you can't refer to a previous event when time didn't yet exist.
2014-04-11 06:35:14 PM  
1 votes:
So we came from nothing.

A nothing that had characteristics. Elements sort of. Proto existence. Like the possibility of a quantum fluctuation.

Exactly what sort of nothing are we talking here because nothing doesn`t have anything and this nothing had something..

Are you talking about something?

That`s not nothing.
2014-04-11 04:20:04 PM  
1 votes:

mark12A: So, like, God did it....


... isn't needed.
2014-04-11 01:06:42 PM  
1 votes:

colon_pow: the alternative is unacceptable.


True. We'd rather not believe that some Ra ejaculated the universe into being.
2014-04-11 12:12:31 PM  
1 votes:

Tyrone Slothrop: The universe doesn't technically "exist". It's just the interference patterns of quantum waves.


Thus do I refute Berkeley.  (Ow, my toe)
2014-04-11 11:49:42 AM  
1 votes:

DerAppie: Lando Lincoln: DerAppie: The whole idea that we are the first and only (iteration of the) universe to ever exist seems very boring to me.

The opposite of that seems very boring to me. If the universe has been expanding and contracting forever and ever backwards in time, then that means we've probably had this same discussion an infinite amount of times.

Why would things need to be the same every single time? A small change 0.^A second after the bang will have very large consequences 14 billion years later, if randomness really exists at quantum levels.


Your comprehension is lacking.

If there are an infinite number of universes, then the level of variability between each on the whole is staggeringly small. A universe exists where everything is the same except instead of a gray shirt, I'm wearing a white shirt, and a blue one, and a red one, and a black one, and a green one. Sure, there are also ones where my shirt is "floorp" colored because colors turned out differently, but by and large things turn out the same for huge spans of universes, if there are indeed infinite ones.
2014-04-11 11:43:01 AM  
1 votes:

DerAppie: Lando Lincoln: DerAppie: The whole idea that we are the first and only (iteration of the) universe to ever exist seems very boring to me.

The opposite of that seems very boring to me. If the universe has been expanding and contracting forever and ever backwards in time, then that means we've probably had this same discussion an infinite amount of times.

Why would things need to be the same every single time? A small change 0.^A second after the bang will have very large consequences 14 billion years later, if randomness really exists at quantum levels.


That's the thing about infinity. It's really big. If you go back and check the last 10 billion iterations of the universe and say that you haven't found an instance of us talking about this shiat on this day at this time, then you just haven't looked far enough back.
2014-04-11 11:41:42 AM  
1 votes:

Lord Dimwit: The issue here is that "nothing" isn't "nothing" in the philosophical sense. The "nothing" whence sprang the Universe was still a quantum vacuum, with the rules of quantum physics and potentials and such. It's not "literally nothing".

So now the question is, where did the quantum vacuum, and the rules of quantum physics come from?


There is never an end to this. Each end is but a new beginning.

Unless we finally find out everything is cyclical and the theories wrap into themselves.
2014-04-11 11:39:51 AM  
1 votes:

GungFu: Fark it, I don't understand all this science shiat.

So, from now on I'm a Christian. Problem solved!


Except the Big Bang Theory was conceived by a creationist Christian and mocked by "scientists" for decades.

/themoreyouknow.jpg
2014-04-11 11:26:58 AM  
1 votes:
It's a binary state. You either have something, or nothing. Something can't come from nothing. To say that matter could just pop into existence voids certain laws of physics.
2014-04-11 11:22:42 AM  
1 votes:
This makes me wonder, what does this do with the heat death of the universe? Does everything simply hang around until some sequence in particles popping up causes a slight imbalance causing everything to contract? Or do we get a new big bang causing the "old" matter to be propelled even farther while the young matter starts the whole dance again? The whole idea that we are the first and only (iteration of the) universe to ever exist seems very boring to me.

Hell, the acceleration might even be because of a new bang pushing outwards (yep, now I'm probably grasping).

/Blah blah, multiverse
//Would still mean that there are universes that are the only ones to exist in their neck of the wood and which will be dead for an eternity
2014-04-11 11:12:50 AM  
1 votes:

SordidEuphemism: mutterfark: SordidEuphemism:
Eh, close, but it says that the two branes were also created from nothing. In the universe, even in a vacuum, particles pop in and out of being in pairs of particle/antiparticle. They don't hang around very long and don't, in general, impact the larger scope of things, but it's possible such particle/antiparticle creation at some point in the distant past appeared in just the right place to begin a chain reaction with other particle/antiparticle pairs and create 'space'.

This theory expands upon vacuum fluctuations and explains the 'how', or the hypotheses on 'how' at least.

But if particles were popping in and out of the vacuum before the big bang, then(branes or no branes, one 'verse or multi-'verses) wouldn't that mean that all we can observe now would have had to exist before the big bang as well?

Aaaargghh, quite a bit beyond me. I'm probably arguing from ignorance of the correct definitions of the terms used. As the math is far beyond me, the best I can do is imperfect analogies. I'll go be quiet now. ;)

It's a valid question, honestly. The problem is that most theories point to the 'time' aspect of space/time being inextricably linked to the whole 'space' bit. There is a theory gaining acceptance that 'time' does not actually exist as a concrete aspect of the universe, but is a result of interacting quantum states, and that if you were to observe the universe from the outside it would appear to be static.

Which a lot of religious types are latching on to as proof-of-god as the outside observer, but there you go.


You know, I'm okay with "there might be an Observer outside the Universe, and that Observer might even be the Universe's creator."

The problem is that it never comes out that way. It's always "so it turns out Christianity/Islam/Judaism/Whatever is the only true religion."
2014-04-11 09:32:25 AM  
1 votes:
First, this is several levels above my pay grade, so to speak. But if I remotely comprehend what I am reading( probably not), then the universe didn't so much "come into being from nothing", but, due to quantum fluctuations, some previously existing energy/matter state(s, multiple branes?) evolved/changed/merged into the universe that we observe today?

/but as i said, i'm probably wrong
 
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