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Someone explain please: "the universe could have formed spontaneously from nothing"

  1. Sep 20, 2014 #1
    "A Mathematical Proof That The Universe Could Have Formed Spontaneously From Nothing
    Cosmologists assume that natural quantum fluctuations allowed the Big Bang to happen spontaneously. Now they have a mathematical proof"

    Okay, but "natural quantum fluctuations" is STILL something it seems...it ISN'T nothing...so we've gotten nowhere it seems...

    I find cosmology to mostly be gibber-gabber about the philosophical term of the word nothing...maybe they need a new word, like emptiness...I see that reading some Buddhist literature is in store here for some of you...or something...

    Okay, someone come up with something better then...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2014 #2

    HallsofIvy

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    You say "natural quantum fluctuations is STILL something it seems". What, exactly do you mean be that? Do you know what "natural quantum fluctuations" means? When you say "I find cosmology to mostly be gibber-gabber" all you are saying is that you do not understand it. You seem to be unsure of the definitions of some crucial words.
     
  4. Sep 20, 2014 #3

    marcus

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    Hi Violet, I can only give you a partial answer based on my own experience. Other people may respond differently. I follow the Cosmology research output on a daily basis. New articles by professional cosmologists get posted daily at a site called "arxiv.org".
    These are what gets published in professional journals. (I don't read popular media stuff or watch Nova, or Discovery Channel).
    So my perspective is limited. I can only speak from my experience of the actual research that is going on. (Don't know much about how it is covered in the commercial media.)

    I almost never see any reference to "nothing" or to ideas like "formed spontaneously from nothing".

    People construct and use various different MODELS of how the current expansion could have gotten started and either the model goes back in time before the start of expansion, and describes something (like a contracting phase that rebounded 13.8 billion years ago, or something else) or the model does not go back in time and just takes it for granted that somehow it got started.

    You know a scientific theory does not have to explain everything (it just has to describe and predict). It does not have to answer every possible question (like "how did it all get here?")
    It's mainly in the wide-audience media that you get an emphasis on speculative over-reach.

    The actual theoretical models people use are constantly subject to testing, improvement, modification---they have recognized limits of applicability.

    If you want, you can scan the titles and brief summaries ("abstracts") of the recent research output in quantum gravity. The most cited papers in the past 5 years won't say anything about "quantum fluctuation from nothing". They will mostly use the idea that quantum effects at very high density make gravity repeal so that if you work back in time you find that the "big bang" must (according to that idea) have been a bounce from a collapsing phase of the universe. they don't say anything about grand questions like "where did it all come from? where did the collapsing phase come from that rebounded? why does existence exist?..." They just say that the concentration of energy was so high back around start of expansion that there would have been a rebound, and we ought to look for this and this traces of it. I'll get a link.

    This is "quantum cosmology" keyword search for research papers since 2009, ranked by number of times cited. The most highly cited (i.e. referenced/used/quoted) in other research are listed first. they are almost all quantum bounce cosmology (aka "Loop") type as you can see:
    http://inspirehep.net/search?ln=en&...search=Search&sf=&so=d&rm=citation&rg=25&sc=0
    Sorry the stuff is so technical. Just want to give a brief glance to realize that most of the research is not about "quantum fluctuation from nothing" :biggrin: That idea was more prevalent in the 1990s If you want we could do a similar search for 1990s quantum cosmology and see how the makeup has changed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
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