If and when the Big Bang

  1. If and when the "Big Bang"......

    Here's one I've pondered for almost seventy summers [and winters; etc.] When the Universe began, was the black container of space "there" to welcome the expanding matter, or was it created as the matter expanded from its initial inception? If the space was "there," how did that "empty" get to be? And if the space was created as the matter expanded, what was it replacing as it grew...the empty, or the nothing, or the null, or.......??
  2. jcsd
  3. marcus

    marcus 24,227
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    Harvey, I personally doubt that space (a web of relationships) can exist without matter

    I am not saying that matter must be everywhere, but there must be some sprinkled around for space to be space

    I cannot imagine space having an Absolute existence on its Own, like your black container.

    I guess I mean to include light in the idea of matter---as some people do---so energy as well as mass-ful stuff counts here as matter.

    It is a nice question to wonder about for 70 years. Humans get a chance to wonder about some great questions, dont we? :smile:
  4. Pondering

    Yes, Marcus; seventy years of pondering - it's not enough...I hope another of me in one of those other dimensions has resolved some of my questions. You would think with all that space, and the problems of time, human beings would find warfare infantile, and pre-historic. That's why the dialogue is everything. To continue asking questions, do you think Mankind will ever get over religion, and begin to focus on the greater questions of how Humanity will survive if it doesn't reach out to the cosmos for its continuance?
  5. Harveyf; there are those alive today who have answers for your questions. But to get others to see beyond what they feel is the only answers, just like in religions, is the hardest part. Just like how Einstein went beyond present day thoughts, others today must also go beyond the norm to see more. Also going beyond present thoughts today is the key to continuance of humanity.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 18, 2004
  6. Strange, but I almost understand of what you speak; the rational mind, setting aside all mundane thought, focusing on the common sense of reality, expunging all consideration of conflict, prejudices, and any strife of human spirit. The thinkspeak; the feelspeak - the mind, if you will, of empirical evidentiaries. The mind of Man striding one level up to truly rational thought, allowing emotional compassion to rule over the baser animal instincts of pre-Cambrian mentality. "Wings Over The World," as H.G. Wells imagined the human of the future to be. Long overdue for Humanity, if you ask me...
  7. Yes Harveyf that is well put. Going beyond what is known, to seek more knowing, is the Evoluting of human knowing. We must never stop Evoluting or thoughts, or live in fear of knowing more then we believe.
  8. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    The way the big bang theory goes, space itself was created with the big bang. The matter in the universe is actually essentially stationary in an expanding space.
  9. Phobos

    Phobos 1,982
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    Welcome to Physics Forums, Harveyf. :smile:

    Like Russ said, the Big Bang marked the beginning of space, time, matter, energy, etc. In the standard Big Bang model, there is no external reference frame into which space is expanding. Perhaps "expanding" has the wrong connotation...perhaps our language doesn't have a word to accurately describe it since it is something very different from our everyday experiences. The universe certainly appears to be expanding from our viewpoint (galaxies getting farther apart), but the expansion is not at the expense of some external reality.

    As far as we know.

    Our scientific insight is limited to the "visible universe", which is the portion that is within our field of view. There are some theories about external realities (for starters, check out String Theory) but these are not as well developed/accepted as Big Bang theory.
  10. Then, if I understand you correctly, Phobos, you and Russ are advocating our viewable cosmological reality as having been created simultaneously with the "empty" of the spatial boundary into which all matter is "sort of" expanding from micro-second to micro-second. It IS a puzzlement to attempt visualization of a spatial vacuum which obviously has "depth," and yet can accomodate "expanding" matter which does not lie on the periphery of the simultaneously created space, but fills the "hollow" of the dark container with its content...whew!
  11. Chronos

    Chronos 10,348
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    Its pretty hard to fathom space, time or matter as stand alone entities. None of these concepts can be defined in terms that do not include all three properties. The observable universe is the only universe of any consequence to us. Whatever unobservable properties it may possess, if any, are irrelevant: at least from a scientific perspective. Just to clarify, the universe may well include features not yet observed, but, that is not the same as unobservable features.
  12. Doesn't seem fair to be endowed with such a capacity for curiosity, only to have the candle dim and extinguish itself just as the flame has begun to burn its brightest. With such limited scope, wouldn't it be more beneficial to focus our energies on the only universe we can see, before we begin to tackle the abstract philosophy of alternate universes? I can see trying to fathom and define the concept of whether or no matter fills the void at the moment of the "Big Bang," or if the void is expanding its dark interior as the newly-created matter rushes to "fill" it, quicker than conceptualizing the possibility of imperceptible dimensions. Yes, it's hard to fathom Space and Time, but even harder trying to ignore them, and almost impossible not to look up and out and think, "why?"
  13. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Slight clarification: the way it looks, there is no boundary. The Hubble telescope has found that if you look in any direction, the large scale structure of the universe looks pretty much the same. Think about the surface of a balloon - its a 2d analogy to what space is like. The surface of a balloon is finite but has no boundary - and if you blow up the balloon, the surface expands, but doesn't really expand "into" anything.
  14. Chronos

    Chronos 10,348
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    What russ said is better. His logic is compactly described. I tend to venture off into a 'void' which does not even exist [by my own admission!]
  15. I know what you're saying, Russ; the problem is attempting to resolve that balloon's surface expanding "not into anything..." In reality, of course, when you blow up a balloon, its surface is expanding into the space in which I also dwell. My mind creates the troubling thought of the dark container of space that matter is filling being finite. In other words, to my simple mind, created space as finite, expanding as it does along with the matter it contains, leads my rationality to consider as to what, if anything, lies beyond the periphery of that "finite edge?" If nothing [no thing] - how does one describe it to his own mental satisfaction? If the peripheral "edge" of space is being "pushed outward" by its content expansion - what is it "pushing" against? See how limited minds work? I know you will say my perspective is a little off; that there is no "other side" to the peripheral edge of expanding space, but you can grasp, I'm sure, the philosophical, as well as the physical complexity of that "no thing's" consideration. Hmmmm...
    Harvey [p.s.] deep, but very enjoyable conversation...
  16. Chronos

    Chronos 10,348
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    Just to compound the torment [I routinely do that to my puny mind], consider this. We are in the most ancient region of the universe observed since the big bang. Everything else we see, even nearby stars, appear as they were in the past. So, in that sense, we are the leading 'edge' of the universe.
  17. Chilling, if not absolutely fascinating!! Gotta tell you this: I was nine years of age when I first had the thought about the "why" of the blackness of space. After seeing two H.G. Wells motion pictures, and staring at the night sky, I responded to my mother's inquiry as to what I was staring at, with: "Why is the black, mom?" She said, "You mean the sky?" I said, "No, mom; you take all the lights out of the sky and you're left with the black - the container - why is that?" She said, "God knows!" You can see why, at the age of almost seventy, I'm still asking the simple, yet tough, and maddening question!
  18. Two forms of expanding: It can just expand like a loaf of bread, in which the center stays still and everything else just expands like rising dough, or it can expand like an explosion, in which an empty shell is formed with all the material leaving the center.

    If it expands like a loaf of bread we could see regions that are “outside the loaf”. If it expands like a shell, it would look infinite because light would travel round and around the shell and never leave the shell.

    With the universe expanding like a shell, it would have a dipole look to it, which the universe does have. When you look directly at the outer or inner edges, there will be fewer things to see, but the light will eventually bend around the shell.

    Expanding like a shell gives rise to the idea that there is another shell below us and another shell above us, and the center is constantly renewing itself.

    To answer Why is the sky black? If expanding like a shell, then the shell we are in doesn't have to be that old or that big, so if not that old or big, it didn't have the time or the capacity to fill itself up entirely with light.
  19. Chronos

    Chronos 10,348
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    Because light requires space and time to travel through. It is a big picture thing. Once you let go of the absolute reference frame thing, it all makes sense.
  20. I must admit, the manner of your explanations are becoming more "familiar" to my inexperienced thought-processes on this matter of expansion, but may I inquire of you as to list other analogies to help the process along? I still feel like a fledgling in comparison to the ease by which you comprehend the phenomenon; I'd like to say, 'eureka,' and join the mental party. In utilizing the "shell" analogy, as opposed to the loaf of bread one, you state the light might bend at the edge of viewable space corroborating the "shell" analogy. I really want to understand this; can you elaborate? I do so want to 'let go' of the absolute reference thing, Chronos...If I could just fully comprehend the process you're trying to help me visualize?! [And thank you all for exhibiting such patience with my naivete].
  21. I would like to know what Chronos thinks about the shell form, and if this idea has been put forth by anyone else. All I know about the universe being an expanding shell is, when I compared what we would see being in an expanding shell, the form any explosion takes on, it looked exactly like all the descriptions I have ever seen about the universe, for example:

    If we were inside the expanding shell, Andromeda might appear as another galaxy one revolution of the shell away from us, but it would be younger and seen from a different angle, so we wouldn't recognize it as Andromeda. The light arriving from Andromeda the second time around would have been given off when the shell was smaller. It would have spiraled up to us from closer to the center. As we look farther still, we would see light that has spiraled up and around several times, so every galaxy we see will be younger than ours, relative to how far away. The universe would appear to be a solid expanding form with us on the edge and no older galaxies than ours. We would also appear to be exactly in line with the polar axis of it, even though we are just part of the shell. We would even appear to be in the center, with the whole of it expanding away from us. The expanding shell fits every description of the universe I have seen so far, but I have never heard anyone say it is an expanding shell, like you would typically get after an explosion.

    I have to say I am tired of people telling me my ideas are all wrong. This seems right.
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