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B Mass in the early universe

  1. Jul 18, 2017 #1
    In the early stages of the universe, before the formation of the first particles, did mass exist?
    If yes, what had mass?
    If no, can one say that the early universe was massless?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2017 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    What does "formation of the first particles" mean? Can you give a reference for the model of the early universe you are using?

    Generally speaking, your questions aren't well-defined because you haven't said what you mean by "mass". Knowing which model you are using might help to pin that down.
  4. Jul 18, 2017 #3


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    Science Advisor

    Total mass plus energy stays the same.
  5. Jul 18, 2017 #4
    My understanding is several of the elementary particles do have mass, and since we don't know the substructure of these particles, who knows if "mass" existed before them, or if there even was a time "before the formation of the first particles".
    If we assume all particles are destroyed in a black hole, their existence doesn't seem to be required for the system to have mass.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
  6. Jul 18, 2017 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    You're using the term "mass" in at least two different ways here. With regard to the elementary particles, you're using it to mean "rest mass". With regard to the black hole as a system, you're using it to mean "total energy". That only confuses the issue.
  7. Jul 18, 2017 #6
    I hear that the Higgs boson has something to do with it.
    The particle/field that was recently discovered by LHC.
    Although I agree. it's hard to imagine a state of stuff before a Higgs boson exists, and whether it could be called matter or not.
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