Notion of matter, space and time

  • Thread starter heusdens
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  • #1
heusdens
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Here are some basic philosophic notions about matter, space and time.

We talk here about the philosophical notions, not the physical notions. Matter denotes the category of existence outside of one's own mind, and independend of it. For Idealism, matter does not exist on itself, since Idealist state that mind is primary, and matter only a secondary property of reality, which was in first instance "created" by mind.
Materialism claims that matter is primary, and mind (in form of consciousness and conscious beings) is a secondary, dependend, property of matter. The world existed before consciouss beings existed; consciouss beings formed out of the non-living material world in a long process of evolution.

Matter can not be separated from motion (#). Where there is matter, there is motion, and vice versa. The notions of time and space denote the "modes of existence" of matter.
Matter is infinite. This means that even when all material forms must be thought of of having a finite spatial and temporal extend, matter itself is just in eternal motion/change/transformation, etc. and all material forms are the effects of previous material forms, and the causes of posterious material forms.
For instance the sun, denotes a finite material form in a finite spatial extend, which at one time formed, and will at one time dissamble, disintegreate. Before there was a sun, there were gasuous clouds, and afterwards (after the sun gone red-giant) part of the material is re-emmitted into galactic space, and the rest will become a white dwarf. Matter is in eternal motion, without begin or end.

The following notions are - according to materialism - invalid notions and can't denote something real:
1. Matter without space or time
(since matter is in motion always, therefore space and time exist)
2. Space or time without matter
(space and time do not exist on themselves, but are modes of
existence of matter)
3. Matter without motion, motion without matter
(the "substance" that is in motion and the motion itself, can not
be seperated, and do not exist independendly)
4. "creation" or "destruction" of matter itself
(nb. not just the transformation of one form of matter into
another but creation or destruction of matter itself)

In particular the notion of the Big Bang as denoting the BEGINNING of matter, space and time, is acc. to materialism an invalid notion.
Matter itself can not be created or destructed, but only be transformed (f.i. mass into energy, energy into mass) from one form into another form. There is nothing wrong with the Big Bang theory as a theory that explains the way the universe evolved from the far past as a more hot and more dense and smaller material form into the current universe, but the claim that the Big Bang denotes an absolute begin of time, space and all matter, is not valid.


Note:
(#) Please note that matter and motion are used here as general terms, and not specific forms of matter or motion. Matter can be anything (particles, energy, fields, etc) and also motion (motion through space, nuclear reaction, chemical reaction, change of temperature, etc. etc,)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Phobos
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[mentor hat]
I'm on the fence as whether to leave this topic here or move it to the Philo. forum. Eh...for now, let's see what happens here.
[/mentor hat]
 
  • #3
drag
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by Phobos
[mentor hat]
I'm on the fence as whether to leave this topic here or move it to the Philo. forum. Eh...for now, let's see what happens here.
[/mentor hat]
I agree it should be moved. No offense, heusdens,
but this is irrelevant in this forum. I'm sure
there'll be a real discussion of it in the Phil. forum.

Peace and long life.
 
  • #4
LURCH
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I second the motion regarding this matter. Here it will probably get very limited discussion, but in Ph. it will really rock. This is going to get into the validity of materialism as a school of thought (philosophy), the tenability and limitations of the Standard Model (A&C), and even the rationality of the laws fo conservation (Physics).

Philosohpy is the only area of thought broad enough to encompass all of these.
 
  • #5
Hello everybody :)

Im new here and came across this site pretty much accidently.. It all looks very interestng and tantalising to the brain.. I hope I can contribute somethings of interest to this forum :)


anyways back to the topic at hand..

heusdens I find your ideas and thoughts very interesting.. One thing I always wonder about the notions of matter is where did matter come from in the first place? I understantd that it is somethig that is forever changing and moving.. But how did it get here?.. After all you can't make something out of nothing...can you?
 
  • #6
Well, I think an interesting meld of Philosophy and Theoretical Physics may be represented here: There is matter and there is motion and they cannot exist without each other.
Matter=particles. Motion=energy or "waves."

The relationship is defined by hbar and that is more or less "proven" Theoretical Physics. So, in such a case, Materialistic philosophy and Theoretical Physics pretty much agree; It's a bit like saying one cannot exist without the other.

Let's put it another way: Planck's Constant reflects the 'dysharmony' between matter and energy which exists in our particular Universe.

Now, quarks, strings and M-Theory muddy the waters a bit. I don't know whether individual quarks must obey Planck's Law or not; and what has 'spin' do do with any of it?

Here's where a relatively neat and understandable relationship becomes complicated: Can quarks, etc., be fitted into a comprehensive philosophy?

I would be grateful for any opinion.

RH
 
  • #7
heusdens
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Originally posted by Heads up
Hello everybody :)

Im new here and came across this site pretty much accidently.. It all looks very interestng and tantalising to the brain.. I hope I can contribute somethings of interest to this forum :)


anyways back to the topic at hand..

heusdens I find your ideas and thoughts very interesting.. One thing I always wonder about the notions of matter is where did matter come from in the first place? I understantd that it is somethig that is forever changing and moving.. But how did it get here?.. After all you can't make something out of nothing...can you?

Without matter, the world would be non-existent, it would not even be empty space, but total nothing.

So, the best answer is to say that matter didn't get there, but was always there. Matter doesn't get created or destroyed, but can only be transformed into another material form.
 
  • #8
heusdens
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Originally posted by r637h
Well, I think an interesting meld of Philosophy and Theoretical Physics may be represented here: There is matter and there is motion and they cannot exist without each other.
Matter=particles. Motion=energy or "waves."


Please don't confuse the philosphical notion of matter, with that of physcics. In the philosophical sense of materialism, energy and fields are as material as anything else. But they all exist in the form of motion.
 
  • #9
heusdens
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The topic maybe should be moved to the phil. subforum, but there is one aspect worth discussing it here.
Materialism claims that, even when it conforms to the Big Bang theory on most parts, it claims that the Big Bang was not the event some people (including Hawking) supposes it was: the beginning of time, space and matter.
Acc. to materialism no such event ever took place..
 
  • #10
Labguy
Science Advisor
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Originally posted by heusdens
Without matter, the world would be non-existent, it would not even be empty space, but total nothing.

So, the best answer is to say that matter didn't get there, but was always there. Matter doesn't get created or destroyed, but can only be transformed into another material form.
Are you counting photons, all the EM spectrum, as "another material form? Also, I think your first post stated "matter is infinite". What about the long-known fact now that protons do decay, on a time scale older than the current universe? Doesn't proton decay mean a mechanism that somehow unbinds the Up and Down Quarks?

These are honest questions, not a "challenge" to your post.
 
  • #11
heusdens
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Originally posted by Labguy
Are you counting photons, all the EM spectrum, as "another material form? Also, I think your first post stated "matter is infinite". What about the long-known fact now that protons do decay, on a time scale older than the current universe? Doesn't proton decay mean a mechanism that somehow unbinds the Up and Down Quarks?

These are honest questions, not a "challenge" to your post.

Matter in the philosophical sense is just anything that can be thought of to constitute the outside objective world that is independend of our mind. What that substance is, and how it behaves, is the subject of physics, chemistry and the other natural sciences.

Confusing enough, physics use the same term matter, but with a different meaning, namely to denote anything that can be modeled as "point particles" in contrast to energy or fields.

Decay of proton or anything is not a problem acc. to materialism, since it is stated they decay (= transform) into something else.

If it would be stated that protons decay leaving no trace of their existence, then that would be a problem for materialism.

In fact, it could be stated that a universe without any component of physical matter (but for example anything that can be present in a vacuum, like a scalar field) is perfectly thinkable, acc. to materialism.
 
  • #12
Labguy
Science Advisor
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Ok, now I'm out of my league...
 
  • #13
Materialism claims that, even when it conforms to the Big Bang theory on most parts, it claims that the Big Bang was not the event some people (including Hawking) supposes it was: the beginning of time, space and matter.

The big bang theory states that matter moved inwards towards each other until it condensed to such a point that it then exploded outwars creating the universe we see today ? (at least this is what I understand the big bang theory to be..) but even if materialism states that this may not have occurred it still doesn't say that the universe was created from nothing.. materail condensed togther in such a way as to cause the big bang.. but material was already there to do that.. So it may have created the universe we see today..but something was there before hand..

I can't say I agree with the notion that material exists as a product of the mind..and that nothing exists outside of our perception of it because I can't see how intelligence evolved without the instance of experience (ie if there is nothing to interact with..how could intelligence evolve? Why would it bother to change at all when it had no reason to change?..It had nothing motivating it to do so..)

It makes much more sense to me to believe that at least one atom.. (and it would only take one)had to be created or existed somewhere..that slowly learned how to reproduce itself..perhaps through the instance of being exposed to heat or an electrical current? And as it "evolved" in form and intelligence, it learned to create matter .. And why? because that gave it purpose.. and the more complex the matter..the more purpose it has..

This is only my opinion but I think it makes a lot more sense than to say matter exists and has always existed.. Thats just not logical..
My brin has to spit that one out.. lol

Heres an article which better explains where I'm coming from..

http://www.think-aboutit.com/Spiritual/what_is_the_true_nature_of_reali.htm[/URL [Broken]

ps scuse typos.. I've got a really dikky keyboard at the moment.. ]
 
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  • #14
lol... I'll try again..sorry..




http://www.think-aboutit.com/Spiritual/what_is_the_true_nature_of_reali.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #15
hmmm actually after re-reading it it seems to be arguing against me.. lol..
 
  • #16
heusdens
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Originally posted by Heads up
The big bang theory states that matter moved inwards towards each other until it condensed to such a point that it then exploded outwars creating the universe we see today ? (at least this is what I understand the big bang theory to be..) but even if materialism states that this may not have occurred it still doesn't say that the universe was created from nothing.. materail condensed togther in such a way as to cause the big bang.. but material was already there to do that.. So it may have created the universe we see today..but something was there before hand..

You are arguing from the point that there is a cycluic universe: Big Bang - Expansion - Contraction - Big Cruch = Next Big Bang, etc.

I was arguing from the theoretical point that time itself began at the Big Bang. That is absolutely in contrast with materialism.

I can't say I agree with the notion that material exists as a product of the mind..and that nothing exists outside of our perception of it because I can't see how intelligence evolved without the instance of experience (ie if there is nothing to interact with..how could intelligence evolve? Why would it bother to change at all when it had no reason to change?..It had nothing motivating it to do so..)

It makes much more sense to me to believe that at least one atom.. (and it would only take one)had to be created or existed somewhere..that slowly learned how to reproduce itself..perhaps through the instance of being exposed to heat or an electrical current? And as it "evolved" in form and intelligence, it learned to create matter .. And why? because that gave it purpose.. and the more complex the matter..the more purpose it has..

This is only my opinion but I think it makes a lot more sense than to say matter exists and has always existed.. Thats just not logical..
My brin has to spit that one out.. lol

Hmmm. The evolution of life required a lot more as one atom.
It had to start with an already amazingly complex chemical macro molecules.

Heres an article which better explains where I'm coming from..

http://www.think-aboutit.com/Spiritual/what_is_the_true_nature_of_reali.htm[/URL [Broken]

ps scuse typos.. I've got a really dikky keyboard at the moment.. ]

Perhaps cleaing your keyboard might help?
 
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  • #17
Royce
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Whether cyclic or not once the big bang happened no information can be obtained from any time before decoupling took place so anything before that is purely speculative. If time and space is as I believe dependent upon the existence of matter not just energy but actual physical matter in any form then time and space did not exist prior to decoupling. Timespace is therefore finite at least to this cycle.
If the universe is cyclic then timespace are not continous but destroyed and created with ech big Crunch/Big Bang. Either way as I said before we can know nothing about it and no information can reach us from any previous cycle so its moot. IMO
 
  • #18
Eh
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99% of this universe is made of just energy (vacuum). So why should the existence of space depend on "physical matter" as you describe it? And what exactly is non physical about other forms of energy?
 
  • #19
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Royce
Whether cyclic or not once the big bang happened no information can be obtained from any time before decoupling took place so anything before that is purely speculative. If time and space is as I believe dependent upon the existence of matter not just energy but actual physical matter in any form then time and space did not exist prior to decoupling. Timespace is therefore finite at least to this cycle.
If the universe is cyclic then timespace are not continous but destroyed and created with ech big Crunch/Big Bang. Either way as I said before we can know nothing about it and no information can reach us from any previous cycle so its moot. IMO

Because we are ignorant, we may learn. The instant of the big bang is as unknown to us as the instant a virtual particle appears out of thin vacuum. In both cases we are profoundly ignorant as to what is occurring, all we know are the statistical chances of the event occurring. Exactly what might have occurred in any single event, including the prodigeous big bang, remains as enigmatic and probiblamatic as the next throw of the dice.
 
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  • #20
Royce
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Originally posted by Eh
99% of this universe is made of just energy (vacuum). So why should the existence of space depend on "physical matter" as you describe it? And what exactly is non physical about other forms of energy?

I was speaking of the first few mircoseconds of the big bang when presumably the was nothing but infinitely dence energy at infinite temperature and matter did not existe in any form. Some think, and I agree with them, that spacetime did not yet exist. I'm not sure of this but I think that in string theory if it was too energetic for strings to form no other dimention and therefore time could not form until the singularity expanded enough for matter (strings?) to form and later after it expanded and cooled further matter and energy decoupled.
This implys that the singularity that became the universe formed or came into existence in a dimensionless and thus timeless void not a vacuum. I call the dimensionless timeless void null-space. It is this null-space that the universe is expanding into now which is why it can expand faster than the speed of light. To say that the void is infinite is meaningless for it has no dimenion at all. To say that it is vast or eternal is equally meaningless for the same reason.
It is specutated that the expanding universe can still be considered a sigularity and we and the entire universe known and unknown is inside a (the) singularity as time and distance have no meaning or scale either in the void null-space or inside a singularity.
___ ____ ___

To stay in character - God said; "Let there be light." "Big Bang"
There is nor can be any proof that this is what happened or proof that it did not happen. You choose and belive what you want. This is one place where none of us can be proven wrong or right. Maybe this is Free Will.
Sorry about that I just couldn't resist the opportunity. :wink:
 
  • #21
Hmmm. The evolution of life required a lot more as one atom.


Does it though?




http://www.edwardwillett.com/Columns/manmadelife.htm [Broken]
 
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  • #22
heusdens
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Originally posted by Eh
99% of this universe is made of just energy (vacuum). So why should the existence of space depend on "physical matter" as you describe it? And what exactly is non physical about other forms of energy?

You're mixing up here two different notions of matter, the philosophical meaning and the physical meaning.
The philosophical meaning of matter includes energy and fields.

Energy is as "physical" as particles (prtons, neutrons, electrons, etc) and fields. And all of these are forms of matter in the philosophical sense.
 
  • #23
Originally posted by Royce
I was speaking of the first few mircoseconds of the big bang when presumably the was nothing but infinitely dence energy at infinite temperature and matter did not existe in any form. Some think, and I agree with them, that spacetime did not yet exist. I'm not sure of this but I think that in string theory if it was too energetic for strings to form no other dimention and therefore time could not form until the singularity expanded enough for matter (strings?) to form and later after it expanded and cooled further matter and energy decoupled.
This implys that the singularity that became the universe formed or came into existence in a dimensionless and thus timeless void not a vacuum. I call the dimensionless timeless void null-space. It is this null-space that the universe is expanding into now which is why it can expand faster than the speed of light. To say that the void is infinite is meaningless for it has no dimenion at all. To say that it is vast or eternal is equally meaningless for the same reason.
It is specutated that the expanding universe can still be considered a sigularity and we and the entire universe known and unknown is inside a (the) singularity as time and distance have no meaning or scale either in the void null-space or inside a singularity.
___ ____ ___

To stay in character - God said; "Let there be light." "Big Bang"
There is nor can be any proof that this is what happened or proof that it did not happen. You choose and belive what you want. This is one place where none of us can be proven wrong or right. Maybe this is Free Will.
Sorry about that I just couldn't resist the opportunity. :wink:
 
  • #24
heusdens
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Matter does neither escape from the universe or drops into the universe from nowhere, matter just transforms from one shape into another, and this motion of matter is therefore eternal. A "begin" of matter is therefore not a possibility.
 
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  • #25
Eh
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Originally posted by Royce
I was speaking of the first few mircoseconds of the big bang when presumably the was nothing but infinitely dence energy at infinite temperature and matter did not existe in any form. Some think, and I agree with them, that spacetime did not yet exist.


That would be incorrect, because in the first microseconds the universe was not a singularity. You need to go back to t=0, where you get an infinite density within zero volume of space. Effectively at this point, spacetime does not exist. Neither does matter.

I'm not sure of this but I think that in string theory if it was too energetic for strings to form no other dimention and therefore time could not form until the singularity expanded enough for matter (strings?) to form and later after it expanded and cooled further matter and energy decoupled.

In string theory there are no singularities. The strings are also meant to define space and time itself.


This implys that the singularity that became the universe formed or came into existence in a dimensionless and thus timeless void not a vacuum. I call the dimensionless timeless void null-space. It is this null-space that the universe is expanding into now which is why it can expand faster than the speed of light. To say that the void is infinite is meaningless for it has no dimenion at all. To say that it is vast or eternal is equally meaningless for the same reason.

There is no such thing as null-space, by definition. So the universe is not expanding into anything.
 
  • #26
Eh
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Originally posted by heusdens
You're mixing up here two different notions of matter, the philosophical meaning and the physical meaning.
The philosophical meaning of matter includes energy and fields.

Energy is as "physical" as particles (prtons, neutrons, electrons, etc) and fields. And all of these are forms of matter in the philosophical sense.

No, I'm not mixing them up. Royce indicated there is a difference between we he calls physical matter and energy. I'm just clarifying that space does not require matter (whatever he meant by physical matter, while excluding other forms of energy) for it's existence.
 
  • #27
heusdens
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Originally posted by Eh
That would be incorrect, because in the first microseconds the universe was not a singularity. You need to go back to t=0, where you get an infinite density within zero volume of space. Effectively at this point, spacetime does not exist. Neither does matter.

At what point? A point outside spacetime?

Where did the matter come from? That same "point" outside spacetime?

That is just another way of saying "God did it"...
 
  • #28
heusdens
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Originally posted by Eh
No, I'm not mixing them up. Royce indicated there is a difference between we he calls physical matter and energy.

Physcics keept them seperate, yes, but in philosophy both are matter. And please note that this notion of matter was "invented" even before physicists proved that mass can be transformed into energy and vice versa!

I'm just clarifying that space does not require matter (whatever he meant by physical matter, while excluding other forms of energy) for it's existence.

Without matter, space is not a measurable entity or property.

And besides, physcs showed us that our concept of "empty space" is not a physical concept, all parts of space, even the most distantiated parts in between galactic clusters, contain matter in the form of photons (CMBR), the gravitational field, and virtual particles that get created and annihilated every time in every cubic inch of space.

"Empty space" is therefore an "empty notion", a human concpet for something that does not exist (same way as the "nothing" does not exist).
 
  • #29
Eh
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Originally posted by heusdens
At what point? A point outside spacetime?

Where did the matter come from? That same "point" outside spacetime?

That is just another way of saying "God did it"...


You'll never see me arguing that singularities are anything but absurd. But I was just trying to clarify some cosmological terms.
 
  • #30
Eh
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Originally posted by heusdens
Without matter, space is not a measurable entity or property.

I was referring to the kind of matter (seperate from energy) Royce was talking about.

In physics, empty space seems to more a matter of geometry, rather than a reference to some independent space which may contain separate matter.
 
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  • #31
wuliheron
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Originally posted by heusdens
Matter does neither escape from the universe or drops into the universe from nowhere, matter just transforms from one shape into another, and this motion of matter is therefore eternal. A "begin" of matter is therefore not a possibility.

Note that this definition does not resolve the issue of whether or not we can distinguish between "matter" and "energy." Unless you can make a clear distinction the statement remains possibly paradoxical.
 
  • #32
Royce
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It is of course possible that I am out of date, maybe even hoplessly so but the last comology book that I read, John Gribbin's "In the Beginning" published in 2002 Still treated matter and energy as separate phenomena though interchanable in certain circumstances. I'm sure ther are time/event charts of the big bang on line I have seen several of them in a number of different books. I'm sure that microseconds is the wrong time scale to use but it was a generality.
 
  • #33
wuliheron
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Originally posted by Royce
It is of course possible that I am out of date, maybe even hoplessly so but the last comology book that I read, John Gribbin's "In the Beginning" published in 2002 Still treated matter and energy as separate phenomena though interchanable in certain circumstances. I'm sure ther are time/event charts of the big bang on line I have seen several of them in a number of different books. I'm sure that microseconds is the wrong time scale to use but it was a generality.

That is a convention used out of practicality by default, not because that is necessarilly the reality of the situation. Quantum phenomena are too bizarre for us to speak meaningfully of them in the everyday sense. The two possibilities are that the cat is both alive and dead at the same time, or that when the cat dies a new universe is created where the cat does not die. If the cat dies and a new universe is created, this can help to preserve the identities of matter and energy as distinct.

Unfortunately, no one has proven this actually occurs, much less that it is less absurd than the cat being both alive and dead simultaneously. Fortunately, both words remain useful no matter what the case.
 
  • #34
Royce
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I don't believe in the multiple universe possibility. It is unnecessary and inelegant. That of course does not mean that it isn't true. It is a moot point anyway as there is no possiblity that one could influence the other in any way or that there could be any information pass from one to the other. If that were not true then they would not be separate different universes but simply different locations in the same universe.
As far as matter and energy being the same thing in a physical real sense, matter has rest mass, occupies spacetime and is incapable of traveling at C. Energy has 0 rest mass, does not occupy spacetime and can only travel at C meaning that it is outside time. I think that that should do it and as all of this is scientifically proved and accepted for anywhere/time other that quantum levels/times it is practically speaking real in the macro sense.
As far as singularities are concerned I afraid we are stuck with them just like bad neighbors or relatives. Like them or not they are here and here to stay.
Until COBE there was no evidence to support the BG and it may just be coincidence. It is all specutation and hypothasis. There is no way to prove or disprove any of it.
 
  • #35
heusdens
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Originally posted by wuliheron
Note that this definition does not resolve the issue of whether or not we can distinguish between "matter" and "energy." Unless you can make a clear distinction the statement remains possibly paradoxical.

MATTER in the philosophical sense IS (physical) matter AND energy!

Physics makes the distinction, and E=mc2 just explains that (physcial) matter and energy can be transformed from one to the other.
 

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