Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Origin of universe/big bang question

  1. Aug 9, 2008 #1
    I've heard that before cosmologists found that our universe' expansion was accelerating, they thought that there could be enough matter to cause expansion to stop and the universe would undergo the 'big crunch' which could result in another big bang. Once they theorized this they concluded that perhaps there have been an infinite number of big bang/'big crunch' cycles and it will continue infinitely.

    Since cosmologists have proven that our universe' expansion is accelerating, could you conclude that there will be no 'big crunch' for our universe and that our big bang was the first and true beginning of everything?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    If the conclusion that the universe is accelerating is sound and Dark Energy continue to behave in the way it behaves now (as we don't know what it is, this may be an over simplification) then yes, there will no 'big crunch' in the future.

    However we cannot therefore conclude "that our big bang was the first and true beginning of everything", it might be the last throw of a number, possibly an 'endless' number, of 'cycles'.

    But this situation would mean our cycle would have to be unique amongst these other cycles and it would be very difficult to explain why that should be so.

  4. Aug 9, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    Garth you mention just one of several ideas that are being studied. There is also the single bounce picture---a temporally infinite contraction leading to a bounce and then a temporally infinite expansion. And there is the Black Hole bounce picture. But the repeated bounce idea that you mention has certainly been considered---even to the extent that a mechanism for breaking out after a finite sequence of bounces has been proposed in the past year or so by Bojowald.

    There's a paper on that by him and someone else. I could find the link to it. Bojowald and Ashtekar have collaborated on a chapter or two of the new book Beyond the Big Bang and I believe one of the things they talk about is the repeated bounce picture.

    Several models of what preceded the big bang are under study. A book is coming out next year with chapters by a number of prominent scientists presenting different approaches to the problem.
    I'll get a link that hopefully will give a list of chapters and the main contributors.

    Here is the publisher's page about the book
    Here is the table of contents

    One of the chapters that discusses the oscillating universe is the second chapter about Loop Quantum Cosmology
    Loop Quantum Cosmology II: Effective theories and oscillating universes.

    One of the chapters that discusses the black hole to big bang transition is the Cosmic Darwinism chapter that immediately follows the LQC II chapter
    Cosmic Darwinism: A universal differential selfreproduction via Black Hole-Big Bangs

    There are some 20 or so chapters, so you can see there are various ideas about conditions preceding bang. It's an active area of research with a lot of prominent scientists interested in it. Keep an eye out for the book. Supposed to be releasted in April 2009
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  5. Aug 9, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    Here's the amazon page for the book I mentioned (Beyond the Big Bang, edited by R. Vaas)


    Here is amazon's product description:

    Product Description

    "The Big Bang model is now both theoretically and empirically well established. However, the very beginning of our universe still remains mysterious. General Relativity breaks down at very small spatio-temporal scales and at high energy densities. That is why Quantum Cosmology is needed. Recent developments open up the exciting new prospect of going 'beyond' the Big Bang and even finding a physical explanation for it. Surprisingly, the ancient idea of a past-eternal universe is being revived, and fascinating new approaches are also being developed. This book provides an up-to-date overview of the competing scenarios in cosmology and discusses their foundations, implications, and philosophical aspects. It gathers original contributions from the world's leading researchers in Quantum Cosmology, who describe their own work and results in a manner understandable even to non-specialists."

    Here is what the amazon page says about the editor, who assembled the chapters contributed by 20-some scientists and made a book out of it. He has himself written several articles about the origins of the big bang.

    * Philosopher of science (Center for Philosophy and Foundations of Science, University of Giessen)
    * Astronomy and physics editor of Bild der Wissenschaft, one of the largest/most influential monthly science magazines in Germany [similar audience to Scientific American]
    * Many contributions to cosmology and philosophy of science and nature
  6. Aug 9, 2008 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Yes thank you marcus, I was just trying to keep it simple and respond to the OP.

    The possibilities are endless, however it would be good to get them on a sound physical basis.

  7. Aug 9, 2008 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    I agree! I hope I haven't discouraged Fisher (the OP) by mentioning several more possibilities.
    Getting physical observational tests for quantum cosmology models is a huge challenge.
    There was just that big QGQG conference in July at Nottingham and several of the talks touched on that theme: testability
  8. Aug 18, 2008 #7
    What about the theory that the universe is actually contracting, not expanding?

    William Tifft, an astronomer at the University of Arizona has completed about 20 years of data regarding the problems with red shift and it's use to determine that the universe expansion is underway.

    " the redshift seemed to depend upon the type of galaxy that was emitting the light. Spiral galaxies tended to have higher redshifts than elliptical galaxies in the same cluster. Dimmer galaxies, higher redshifts than brighter ones. " - Tifft
  9. Aug 18, 2008 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

  10. Aug 18, 2008 #9
    Considering the universe had basically no volume < big bang, shouldnt we have named it the little bang then?
  11. Aug 18, 2008 #10
    G'day from the land of ozzzzzzzz

    I have read the link

    Molecular Hydrogen in a Damped Lyman-alpha System at z_abs=4.224

    They had the mind set that the Big Bang model was correct than made assumptions than proceeded to fit the data.

    There is no consideration to the star formation cycles and rejuvination.

    This is their conclusion:

    Marcus said

    Applies to the super structures and not to the local galaxies. Even that is in question, or should I say in conflict.

    Most of the data distance and velocity of objects relies on redshift. Since it is general knowledge that redshift is intinsic of galaxies and supernova one would question the evidence.

    We assume that the Big Bang Theory is a fact and proceed to make conclusions.

    Before we step in that direction, just hold your horses until the cows come home.

    I wish that the Big Bang is correct. But! wishing is not very scientific.

    Lets have a look at some deep field clusters

    9 and 11 Gyrs

    6 to 8 Gyrs

    11 Gyrs

    6.7 Gyrs


    13 Gyrs

    11 Gyrs


    The X-ray image of the quasar PKS 1127-145, a highly luminous source of X-rays and visible light about 10 billion light years from Earth, shows an enormous X-ray jet that extends at least a million light years from the quasar. The jet is likely due to the collision of a beam of high-energy electrons with microwave photons.

    Reading Chandra you would think that the Big Bang is reality.

    6 Gyrs

    13.2 Grs

    Now for a galaxy to form in just 400 million years is quite an ask. For a cluster of galaxies is going to far with the question.

    Compare this with the evolution of our solar system and its life expectency of about 10 to 12 Gyrs.

    Something is wrong. Are we blind not to question?

    Soon we will look into deep field over 14 Gyrs. What than?
  12. Aug 19, 2008 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award
    Dearly Missed

    Sundance, please give a link to a post when you quote me or anybody else, so the reader can check back and see whether you are quoting accurately, or misquoting. In this case what you pretend I said were not my words. It was actually a quote from the Amazon.com product description of a book.

    What I said was "Here is amazon's product description", referring to the book Beyond the Big Bang that Springer press is bringing out.

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  13. Aug 19, 2008 #12
    G'day all

    Marcus is right,,,,,,,,sorry

    moving on

    Trying to understand what the hell is going on out there by reading paper upon papers.

    I see most papers assume first that the big bang is a fact, the model to make work.

    Than without any understanding of galaxy evolution and the dependence of the size and activity of the black hole that is directly related to the intinsic redshift proceed to make assumtions and fit the data to the big bang model. In addition there is little discussion as to the foramtion of stars and their stage evolution. Rather they assume a star is formed and date it, assuming an intial start. This process gives a false dating process.


    This link is quite interesting

    Anomalous redshifts in the spectra of extragalactic objects.



    I say bring back science to the table.
  14. Aug 19, 2008 #13


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Does citing old, speculative ideas that have largely been refuted bring science back to the table?
  15. Aug 20, 2008 #14
    G'day Chronos

    What has been refuted?
  16. Aug 21, 2008 #15


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    e.g., Quantized redshift, variable mass over time, Arpian statistics ...
  17. Aug 23, 2008 #16
    G'day chronos

    Mate I think you need to check the right papers.
  18. Aug 23, 2008 #17

    George Jones

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sundance, I think you need to check the right papers.

    The last sentence of the abstract that you quoted is
    Read what Ned Wright has to say about the errors in quasi steady-state cosmological models,

  19. Aug 24, 2008 #18
    G'day from the land of ozzzzzz

    George said

    Smile, I know what Ned Wright has written.

    As for reading the right papers, thats another issue.

    Please explain further what you mean, I have an open mind and still learning bit by bit.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Origin of universe/big bang question
  1. Origin of the Big Bang (Replies: 6)