Gravity Restatement

Posts Tagged ‘Einstein’s equations

To my mind, Professor Roger Penrose’s lecture, “Aeons before the Big Bang”, merits another response.  Mathematics begins with very simple propositions such as 1+1=2, which can hardly be denied. Professor Penrose and Professor Stephen Hawking have manipulated the Einstein equations and proven that the universe began with an initial singularity. Professor Penrose, focusing on a particular term in Einstein’s equation, reasons that there is some possibility that an entire epoch existed before the Big Bang. This web page is presented to prove that, though mathematics provides powerful analytic tools for theoretical formulations, it can never be used to conclusively establish that time existed before the Big Bang.

The above diagram is the familiar schemata showing the Big Bang, but with a tiny theoretical point just behind the initial singularity (the faint dot just to the left of the yellow circle). It is only – and can only be – a theoretical point.  We can imagine it, we can discuss it hypothetically, but it can never be proven because of the initial heat of the Big Bang. That heat has been estimated at 10^32 Kelvin. The initial heat, so great that it borders on the inconceivable, effectively establishes a fundamental limitation on what can be known about the universe.

The tiny point on the diagram represents the “indeterminate point”. Though science may look back to the Big Bang, it can never describe the indeterminate point because of lack of information. The reader will pardon any excessive redundancy; perhaps this theoretical point should be called the “Great Indeterminate Point”. The initial heat obliterated any information that would have been left theoretically before the Big Bang. We can barely detect information from the initial singularity, so can we really expect to find information from a time before the Big Bang?

What we know is that the Big Bang began with immense heat. Professor Gamow predicted that background radiation from the initial singularity would still be detectable.  As a professor at George Washington University, he published often. His teacher in Russia, Friedmann, had also concluded that the universe began with an initial singularity.

Hubble, the famous astronomer and Oxford graduate who worked with Vesto Slipher, observed that the universe was expanding. He based his observations on data he recorded through his astronomy work using the giant Mount Wilson telescope, and in doing so, he built upon the work of Slipher. LeMaitre, too, believed that the universe began with an initial singularity.

Professor Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate, has described the initial moments that followed the Big Bang in his book, “The First Three Minutes”. According to Weinberg, the initial moment was one of incredible heat. Any reader who doubts this can review Professor Weinberg’s book.  It was a moment of such incredible heat that one can hardly imagine it.

After Professor Hoyle derisively labeled Gamow’s concept “The Big Bang Theory”, the name became a part of our vocabulary. Gamow, known for his sense of humor, named Alpher and Bethe as co-authors of the paper; Herman joined later. (Any reader or researcher who wishes to learn more on the topic can visit the Library of Congress.) Professor Gamow was teaching at George Washington at the time along with Alpher, his assistant.

Wilson and Penzias, both at ATT at the time, stumbled upon the background noise that confirmed the Big Bang. Years later, George Smoot and his team at Berkeley produced a map that shows the cosmic background radiation. Wilson, Penzias, and Smoot all received Nobel prizes for their work, and it has been conclusively established that the universe began in an initial moment of tremendous heat.

Let us presume, for sake of argument, that the indeterminate point is at 10^(-3) beyond the Big Bang. What information do we have about such a moment? How do we collect information about that moment? If our best instruments can barely detect the background radiation from the initial singularity, how can know anything about a theoretical point beyond the Big Bang? What physical proof can Professor Penrose offer for a time beyond the Big Bang?

Would it be easier if the scientific community were to begin analysis at a full one second beyond the Big Bang? We lack information about anything beyond the Big Bang, so how can we know anything about such a theoretical epoch? Indeed, what information do we have about anything that theoretically existed before the Big Bang? How is it that we are to proceed on exploration of anything beyond the Big Bang?

The theoretical point on the other side of the Big Bang cannot be proven because of lack of information. With it falls all other notions, concepts, and conjecture about what may have happened beyond the Big Bang.

What lies beyond the Big Bang? There be dark, ugly dragons beyond that point.  Seriously, with the dearth of physical evidence on what occurred after the Big Bang, how is that we can expect to gather evidence of anything beyond it? Exactly where do we start?

It is true that we have the Cosmic Microwave Background information. That is only a faint perturbation in the radiation from the initial singularity. That evidence has been confirmed by Wilson, Penzias, and by the Smoot team at Berkeley who built the COBE telescope and confirmed it. Wilkinson at Princeton confirmed it.

Nothing has been presented to date that proves that anything physical exists or existed in the theoretical area beyond the Big Bang. To my mind, it would be a vain effort to attempt to prove that anything ever existed at the theoretical point.

Easter, 2009.

Copyright, 2009. Wade Hobbs, Jr.


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