What was there before everything came to existence?

  • #1

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I mean , it is said that universe started with a big bang and before it it was a point .so what can we say about where the point was , i mean like when we talk about ,where are galaxies , the answer is universe . So like that where did that point exist . Or there was just "Nothing"?
 

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  • #2
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it is said that universe started with a big bang and before it it was a point
No it is not. It's a pop-sci misconception. If our Universe is spatially infinite (which we think is the case) then it was infinite "during" the Big Bang, not a point. There are plenty of threads here dealing with those misconceptions about BB, use 'search' button.
 
  • #3
phinds
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I mean , it is said that universe started with a big bang and before it it was a point .so what can we say about where the point was , i mean like when we talk about ,where are galaxies , the answer is universe . So like that where did that point exist . Or there was just "Nothing"?
In addition to weirdoguy's having pointed out one of your misconceptions about the Big Bang Theory, here's another one: The theory is silent on the creation even and what, if anything, came before. That is, the answer to your question of what came before is "we have no idea"
 
  • #4
In addition to weirdoguy's having pointed out one of your misconceptions about the Big Bang Theory, here's another one: The theory is silent on the creation even and what, if anything, came before. That is, the answer to your question of what came before is "we have no idea"
Yeah that was what I looking for.
Thanks!
 
  • #5
Ibix
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One additional observation - general relativity models the notion of "before" and "after" in terms of spacetime. In those terms, it doesn't seem clear to me that "before the universe" is a concept that necessarily makes sense. So I'd say you need a theory describing what "before the universe" could mean before you can even get as far as @phinds' "no idea".
 
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  • #6
In addition to weirdoguy's having pointed out one of your misconceptions about the Big Bang Theory, here's another one: The theory is silent on the creation even and what, if anything, came before. That is, the answer to your question of what came before is "we have no idea"
So, except some philosophies that what was there before universe we till date don't have proof what really was there?
 
  • #7
phinds
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So, except some philosophies that what was there before universe we till date don't have proof what really was there?
As I said, we not only have no proof of what was there we have no idea WHAT was there so nothing to have any "proof" OF, and as Ibix pointed out, the situation is far more complicated than you think.

Rather than speculated based on pop-science misconceptions, you would be better severed to study some actual cosmology. Your misconceptions are quite common but are rapidly dispelled with a little study.
 
  • #8
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So, except some philosophies that what was there before universe we till date don't have proof what really was there?
I think you mean "mythologies".
 
  • #9
Hmm. Yeah . mythologies. You can say
 
  • #10
kimbyd
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So, except some philosophies that what was there before universe we till date don't have proof what really was there?
No exceptions. We really don't know.

There are lots of ideas. But there is not as of yet any evidence to point the way as to which of these ideas (if any) are correct.

The way I picture it is this: as we try to look a what happened further and further into the past, our understanding of what happened gets more and more limited. Eventually, we reach a point where the available evidence is so limited that nothing conclusive can be said. Ideally, as time goes on, we'll gather more evidence and learn more about the early universe. But the fact of the matter is that there may be some questions that will be fundamentally impossible to answer.

There is no philosophy which offers a way out of this. There may be some that claim to, but they cannot justify their confidence.
 
  • #11
Just thinking out loud...if the current thinking is that the universe is infinite, do terms like "early universe" and "what happened" even make sense?
 
  • #12
phinds
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Just thinking out loud...if the current thinking is that the universe is infinite, do terms like "early universe" and "what happened" even make sense?
Why would they not?
 
  • #13
In common usage infinite usually means eternal. No beginning and no end. How is it possible to assign early, middle or late time periods to something that has existed forever? If cosmologists have arbitrarily chosen to designate the big bang as the early period of an infinite universe, that's a different concept.
 
  • #14
phinds
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In common usage infinite usually means eternal. No beginning and no end. How is it possible to assign early, middle or late time periods to something that has existed forever? If cosmologists have arbitrarily chosen to designate the big bang as the early period of an infinite universe, that's a different concept.
And that is indeed what has happened. The Big Bang Theory is silent on the creation event and describes the universe starting after the Inflation Era (Inflation is not a hard fact but seems to be the case) and going forward for an infinite amount of time.
 
  • #15
Ibix
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And that is indeed what has happened.
I'm not sure that's completely fair. A simple FLRW universe has a beginning (edit: or at least a singularity it can't work past), and the early universe is the bit of spacetime close to that beginning. More recent models may be different, but that makes the designation a historical artefact, like "atom" meaning "indivisible", rather than arbitrary.
 
  • #16
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In common usage infinite usually means eternal. No beginning and no end. How is it possible to assign early, middle or late time periods to something that has existed forever? If cosmologists have arbitrarily chosen to designate the big bang as the early period of an infinite universe, that's a different concept.
But this is not "common usage" forums, and there has been precious little physics discussed so far.

BTW I have already reported this thread as a B (lack of research, no equations), and it was banged down from A to I. I still think I was right in the first place . . .

Bah!
 
  • #17
PeterDonis
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if the current thinking is that the universe is infinite
The current thinking is that the universe is spatially infinite. Our best current theory does not take a position on whether the universe existed for an infinite time in the past. We don't know enough to say either way.

In common usage infinite usually means eternal.
"Infinite in time" means eternal. "Infinite in space" does not.
 
  • #18
kimbyd
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In common usage infinite usually means eternal. No beginning and no end.
In common usage, perhaps. But this doesn't apply to cosmology. There are three possible infinities to discuss in this context:
1) Past-eternal.
2) Future-eternal.
3) Infinite in spatial extent.

(2) seems to be likely based upon the current best-fit model of cosmology. (1) and (3) are unknown and possibly unknowable.
 
  • #19
PeterDonis
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(2) seems to be likely based upon the current best-fit model of cosmology. (1) and (3) are unknown and possibly unknowable.
(3) is also what the current best-fit model of cosmology says, so I don't know that its status is any different from (2). (1) is the one that the current best-fit model is uncertain about.
 
  • #20
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(3) is also what the current best-fit model of cosmology says, so I don't know that its status is any different from (2). (1) is the one that the current best-fit model is uncertain about.
Can you give a reference and explanation for that? are you referring to the flatness for the universe? I understand that to be compatible with either a universe that is spatially infinite or one that is finite but massively bigger than the observable universe and there is no way to decide between the two. Is this what you are referring to?
 
  • #21
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No it is not. It's a pop-sci misconception. If our Universe is spatially infinite (which we think is the case) then it was infinite "during" the Big Bang, not a point. There are plenty of threads here dealing with those misconceptions about BB, use 'search' button.
What do you mean by pop science? I think the unfortunate thing is that several professional cosmologists have often said silly unjustified things like the big bang was the beginning of the universe.
 
  • #22
PeterDonis
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are you referring to the flatness for the universe? I understand that to be compatible with either a universe that is spatially infinite or one that is finite but massively bigger than the observable universe and there is no way to decide between the two.
I said that our best current model says the universe is spatially infinite. The error bars in the data are still enough to make a model in which the universe is spatially finite, but much larger than our observable universe, possible; but cosmologists seem to consider such a model unlikely.
 
  • #23
PeterDonis
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What do you mean by pop science? I think the unfortunate thing is that several professional cosmologists have often said silly unjustified things like the big bang was the beginning of the universe.
Pop science does not mean "things said by people who aren't professional scientists". It means "things said in any medium other than textbooks or peer-reviewed papers, even if they are said by professional scientists". Professional scientists don't say the big bang was the beginning of the universe in textbooks or peer-reviewed papers. They say them in articles and books and videos aimed at non-scientists.
 
  • #24
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Pop science does not mean "things said by people who aren't professional scientists". It means "things said in any medium other than textbooks or peer-reviewed papers, even if they are said by professional scientists". Professional scientists don't say the big bang was the beginning of the universe in textbooks or peer-reviewed papers. They say them in articles and books and videos aimed at non-scientists.
Well you certainly get many textbooks and peer reviewed papers saying the age of the unviers is 13.8 billion years. But if what you say is right, and i very much agree that it is right ,then they shouldn't say that. I agree we cant say the big bang was the beginning of the universe. What we can say is that we can trace the evolution of the universe back to 13.8 billion years, what happened before that is a mystery. It might be that was the beginning of all space and time, or it might be that the universe existed forever into the past, nobody knows. But what follows from that is that age of the universe is unknown.
Now of course you might argue that when scientists use the phrase "age of the universe" they mean time since inflation. But I think its clear the phrase is misleading in the extreme and so i have to accuse cosmology, as a field, yes in the professional literature and in text books., by using terms like this, as misleading the public. Surely professional cosmologists know this pop science idea is out there and by using phrases like "the age of the universe:" they are clearly reincofrcing that misunderstanding. The planetary scientists changed their terminology for planets when they realised there was a problem with it. Cosmologists should do the same.
I expect you will say this is a matter of terminology not science. But how science interacts with the public understanding is an important of science itself as many universities are now recognising.
 
  • #25
jbriggs444
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But what follows from that is that age of the universe is unknown.
That is a bit overstated. My age is known and, in a court of law, relates to my birth. This holds regardless of whether that I can trace my existence prior that birth event.
 

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