I have read that we may someday be able to initiate the creation of a universe in the laboratory. From a layperson point of view, can someone enlighten me. Is this really possible? If it ever happens then the link between the newly created universe and ours would be very brief so would we even know that we had suceeded? A related question, are there any theories dealing with the 'pre big bang' era of our universe or is that still uncontemplated mystery?