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Help would be appreciated.

  1. Aug 5, 2007 #1

    First off, I'd like to mention that I'm new to this website, and I apologize if my question is in the wrong section of the forums.

    That aside, I have a question that has been bugging me. I have a moderate understanding of physics, so please consider that when you go to answer my questions.

    I hear that energy cannot be created or destroyed. I also hear that the universe is finite - that at some point, it came into existence. I find some inconsistencies with this...

    First off, how can energy form itself? Of course humans cannot create energy, but how did the energy come to being? What, scientifically, made it? If it was never "created", then it must be eternal. However, eternal energy in a finite universe doesn't make sense. Did the energy exist before the universe was around? If so, how is that possible?

    Not trying to sound rude or condescending; merely a question that has been bugging me, and I figured, no better place to get an answer than Physics Forums.

    Thanks to those of you who have read this, and I'd very much appreciate an answer (just try not to make it go over my head).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2007 #2


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    Welcome to PF, Ifrit.
    You are correct that this is the proper place to ask such a question in expectation of legitimate answers. In this case, however, you won't likely get a definitive one. That is simply because the origin of the universe is still under investigation. The Astronomy dudes here will do everything that they can to bring you up to speed, but be aware that it's an open-ended study.
  4. Aug 6, 2007 #3


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    There is no inconsistency.

    The law of conservation of energy ONLY says that the total energy of the universe is a constant. That means you can't use it to speak of energy before the universe existed.
  5. Aug 6, 2007 #4


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    The section you should read is the cosmology section.
  6. Aug 6, 2007 #5
    Thanks for the welcome and for the answer. Just out of curiosity, do you believe in the Big Bang?

    Thanks for the answer. A few questions...

    Can energy exist without the universe? If energy was present before the universe, what made it? A little confusing. :confused:

    I'll take your advice. Thanks.
  7. Aug 6, 2007 #6


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    You're welcome. Yes, I do. All available evidence points toward it. I don't understand it particularly well, since it's pretty much a mathematical field, but to the extent that I do, it certainly makes more sense than any supernatural explanation.
  8. Aug 7, 2007 #7


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    I try to follow Bertrand Russell's definition: "Belief" is "That for which there is no evidence".

    Therefore, neither "belief" or "disbelief" have anything to do with physics.

    If you accept the experimental evidence is consistent with the idea of a Big Bang, that has nothing to do with "belief".

    If you have an alternative scientific hypothesis to explain the evidence, that has nothing to do with "belief" or "disbelief" either - and the cosmology section is probably a good place to discuss it.
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