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Space-Time and the Big Bang

  1. Oct 20, 2013 #1
    Space and time did not exist during the big bang or before. Are there any theories as to how the continuum was generated?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2013 #2


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    We don't know this. We cannot see back that far into the past and our calculations break down at t=0.

    I've read some stuff on branes and whatnot, but I've never really put any stock into any of them.
  4. Oct 22, 2013 #3
    What calculations? Where can I learn about this online?
  5. Oct 22, 2013 #4


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    Generally these kinds of questions are not addressed by physical theories (how the continuum was generated, for example). Even the braneworld models that Drakkith mentions generally just assume that the branes are their from the beginning. One important thing to point out, however, is that modern cosmology does not necessarily place much significance in the big bang as being *the* beginning of all there is. All we know, observationally, is that our observable universe arose from a hot, dense state. Our observable universe should not be identified with *the* universe (there's probably more out there waiting to be observed). With the advent of the inflationary universe paradigm (in which the observable universe underwent an ultra-rapid exponential expansion early on), it is perhaps more natural to envision the observable universe as just one small "island" patch amid a larger universe, parts of which are still undergoing inflation (this is called "eternal inflation"). With this view, the big bang was an event local to our observable universe.
  6. Oct 23, 2013 #5


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    Yes, but, some of us feel the need to be special. How can we feel special when our observable universe is merely a grain of sand on an eternal, infinite beach, and the 'universe' is populated with an infinite number of exact copies of ourselves [how depressing is that]? The problem and answer is we are stuck with the observable universe as our only accessible laboratory. We cannot yet even imagine how to test the hypothesis that anything exists external to our observable universe. We can logically infer such 'regions' must exist, but, logic is not science. IMO, that renders the question scientifically irrelevant.
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