Existance of time before big bang

  • #26
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Expanding on that, everything is a relational value. time of velocity, velocity of energy, energy of mass, etc. This is a closed system, with a seemingly singular origin, it stands to reason that there are thus no independent variables. Though, sure, some may be more "independent" than others; rather, less dependent.

I agree that a definition of time is needed, but I'm not sure there really is an accepted definition. That's what I've been saying all along, we don't really understand it. There is a definition that we use practically, and we can describe how it seems to affect things, and what factors affect it, but in order to define it, we must understand it, and there hasn't--as far as I know--been anything, published or not, that has been accepted by the science community as a true understanding of time.

I mean, heck, Brian Greene argues that time is a conscious illusion and that quantum states dominate (that there is no past or future, there just...is) while other's like Feynman were proponents of that whole antimatter-moving-backwards-through-time schpiel.

I'm sorry, Ryan, I respect the idea of discussing peer reviewed articles or publications, surely discussions which evolve around accepted research and substantiated concepts will be more useful and helpful, but in this case, all they are are speculative conclusions based on maths that can be looked at in dozens of ways. Nobody here is saying anything (really) ridiculous or out-there, like the universe is in an hour-glass or something, most of what I read has been discussion of the published stuff; even if it wasn't fully or accurately understood.

This thread is about "time before the big bang", and will therefore have very little in the way of substantiating research. Because, well, there isn't any.
 
  • #27
Ryan_m_b
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I mean, heck, Brian Greene argues that time is a conscious illusion and that quantum states dominate (that there is no past or future, there just...is) while other's like Feynman were proponents of that whole antimatter-moving-backwards-through-time schpiel.

I'm sorry, Ryan, I respect the idea of discussing peer reviewed articles or publications, surely discussions which evolve around accepted research and substantiated concepts will be more useful and helpful, but in this case, all they are are speculative conclusions based on maths that can be looked at in dozens of ways. Nobody here is saying anything (really) ridiculous or out-there, like the universe is in an hour-glass or something, most of what I read has been discussion of the published stuff; even if it wasn't fully or accurately understood.

This thread is about "time before the big bang", and will therefore have very little in the way of substantiating research. Because, well, there isn't any.
You don't seem to understand. If there is mathematics (evidence!) behind it then it can be discussed. What cannot be discussed is just senseless speculation. The reason for this is because science works through speculation based on current evidence and there are many good reasons for that.
 
  • #28
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Agreed. And as you stated, before the big bang, all current theories break down. There is no math to describe what happened at this state. And no one has any evidence against anything existing prior to the big bang or even at time zero, so really what can we hope for in the way of maths and evidence in a topic such as this? Does that mean we shut it down? Many of the great discoveries in this field were, while substantiated with math, initially nothing but conjecture and speculation. Speculation is not always senseless.

It can go too far, sure, but I don't see that it has--not that I'm in any position of authority or anything.

Anyway. I agree, spacetime is a great way to discuss time. It is the most widely accepted and supported view of time, but the implications of spacetime aren't really helpful with this question...I agree, I'm sure most would, with the evidence we have today, that the idea of time has no meaning at the big bang, and there is no meaning in talking about anything before it. However, this thread asks a valid point, and one that has been asked specifically since we showed the plausibility of the big bang, and generally since the dawn of mankind.
What was there, before?
It is easy to imagine the nothingness that humans "are" prior to birth and after death. Time stops for us totally, and there is nothing--as far as we are personally concerned, but time itself had gone on before us and goes on after us. There is always something that exists external to us that we pop into existence in. But with the big bang, we are saying that the universe had a beginning, about 13 billion years ago, but that that is it. There was no before that. So while I can sort of wrap my head around that, I find it difficult to truly grasp, and because our universe functions in an apparently cause-effect fashion, it leads me to beleive (here's my speculation, as that is all that one can do in this case) that something is amiss.

It is strange that a universe that functions under the watchful hand of cause and effect will have had no cause at all, but just have sprung into existence (with the help of a lot of fancy and impressive physics, to be sure, but those physics only describe what happened after the singularity expaned). Which is why it is interesting to talk about, even if it is speculation.
 
  • #29
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3
The simple point is this:

The spacetime continuum called the Universe and by extension the metric that governs it are emergent properties following the Big Bang. To talk about "time" before the emergence of the current metric of spacetime is pointless as time did not exist (in our metric as our metric did not yet exist) prior to the emergence of our current spacetime. There is a reason physicists talk about t>0 and not t=0, t=0 is a fallacy and is probably a transitional phase from another governing metric - such as a precollapsing classical spacetime metric.

However we try to phrase it, the fact is that for everything within the U, time began at t>0, anything "before" this is outside of our current spacetime metric. Is it contradictory to have mutliple begginings and ends of times - as in the governing metrics on a U? I really do not know and I feel I am getting into very murky waters!
 
  • #30
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34
I think we all agree on that point. But I believe what the OP was asking was whether or not there is something, perhaps, like the time that we experience (or rather, the time-wise part of our continuum) that existed, in an external sense, prior to the big bang. That is, maybe the universe exists in something that, too, can be measured on some timewise scale. This obviously can't be discussed with evidence or mathematics, simply because we currently have no way of gathering data about such a thing; nor can any ideas be falsified (hence, M-theory and brane theory, though, at least they have some implicating maths to support them)
 
  • #31
Ryan_m_b
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Agreed. And as you stated, before the big bang, all current theories break down. There is no math to describe what happened at this state. And no one has any evidence against anything existing prior to the big bang or even at time zero, so really what can we hope for in the way of maths and evidence in a topic such as this? Does that mean we shut it down? Many of the great discoveries in this field were, while substantiated with math, initially nothing but conjecture and speculation. Speculation is not always senseless.
Speculation without knowledge of the field or accurate data to describe anything is both pointless and against forum rules, speculating explanations must be based on something. As far as I am concerned the OP was answered; current physics cannot say what, if anything conditions were like before the big bang.

Closed pending moderation.

EDIT: The thread has been opened again. All further conversation must make reference to peer-reviewed, mainstream science. "Speculation" henceforth must only be from mainstream science. No personal theories.
 
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  • #32
Space can be described geometrically. If time and space are interchangeable, does that mean that time is geometric too? Doesn't it come down to an understanding of dimensionality? To me, an event can't happen in a zero time state. When we talk about quantum fluctuations occurring that spawn universes, how can these occur without a prior temporal dimension in which they can occur? There is only the singularity at t=0 which is a boundary conditional on our understanding that the universe has a beginning. However, if this 'beginning' was a phase transition of something else that already previously existed it would mean that t>0. It's hard to see how there can be negative time, or for that matter zero time. Yes, time can be run backwards but that is within the temporal dimension, not without it. No matter how it's modelled, it's always going to remain in the realm of speculation because we are confined within our own spacetime. Perhaps there is more than one dimension of time, but without any dimension of time at all I would argue that any geometric spatial dimension can have no real presence or existence.

If there are many universes in the multiverse, each with its own spacetime continuum, how would their time relate to our own, especially if there are wormholes that connect them? Wouldn't it imply that there was some kind of absolute time which linked them all together?
 

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