A new theory that has been proposed may deflate the commonly-accepted origin of the universe, namely the Big Bang theory, in that it never happened at all. This new theory also implies that the universe is infinite in age, and may continue to exist forever.
As is widely known, the Big Bang theory posits that all of the energy (and thus matter) in the universe was once compressed into an extremely dense singularity, of which exploded 13.8 billion years ago. This idea of this singularity stems from equations derived from Einstein’s theory of general relativity, that shows that all matter occupied one point in space.
However, the equation breaks down when adhering to Einstein’s formulation, as the laws of physics no longer apply before it reaches the singularity itself. The current Big Bang theory is extrapolated backwards under the assumption that the same laws still apply, of which is a fundamental flaw in the equation’s design. This and other problems, such as the inability to reconcile the uncertainty of quantum mechanics and the determinism of general relativity, help keep the Big Bang theory from properly coalescing.
The new theory, coming from a team at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, employs an older model of quantum mechanics, called Bohmian mechanics, to try to correct the equation. It utilizes a hidden variable to account for the strange behavior of subatomic particles, so that their trajectories can be properly calculated. When applied to the theory of relativity, the new equation shows that there was no singularity, and that the age of the universe may, in fact, be infinite.
The study team plans on testing their theory by using a map of the distribution of dark matter in the universe, and seeing if it matches their new equations. "If our results match with those, even approximately, that’s great," remarks study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge.
Modern theology and cosmology both depend to a great degree on the idea of a creation moment, or singularity. This is especially true of theology, which sees God as having a ‘moment’ of creation that resulted in the big bang. But if it never happened and the universe, has, in fact, always existed, then what is the explanation for it. Should it become evident that the universe is indeed infinite, then theories of origin will become meaningless. It could also impact our understanding of how the universe is expanding, because if it’s infinite, then it must somehow expand and contract cyclically, or it would have long since disappeared into its own endless night.
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