A study has suggested that even before the Big Bang, time may still have existed in a manner of speaking. This shouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise, as the theory of general relativity has demonstrated that the Big Bang may not have been the absolute beginning of everything after all.
As Science Alert reports, new research has attempted to show that if scientists take Albert Einstein’s theories and accept them without question and with only a minimum of assumptions, by looking back at the universe to the start of it all, there may actually be no true stopping point and we may end up in a sort of flipped space universe at the beginning of everything.
This is certainly not the first time that physicists have pointed to the Big Bang and proposed that this was not the start of time. It was Georges Lemaître who first observed 90 years ago that the universe was expanding after studying the light from distant galaxies, and if the universe is continuing to grow today, this would surely imply that in the past it was much, much smaller than it is now.
If we were to travel back in time to 13.8 billion years ago, space would theoretically be just a tiny blip, or a singularity. As Stephen Hawking explained, “At this time, the Big Bang, all the matter in the universe, would have been on top of itself. The density would have been infinite.”
Mind-Bending Study Suggests Time Did Actually Exist Before The Big Bang https://t.co/YKtMGpQOoC— ScienceAlert (@ScienceAlert) December 25, 2018
There are numerous models that physicists have created over the years to describe and account for the emptiness of space, including Einstein’s theory of general relativity. But when it comes to applying general relativity to a constrained scale, including that which would exist within a singularity, both Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose believed that solutions suggested so far are not yet complete.
When speaking with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hawking once suggested that the mysterious space-time dimensions of the Big Bang could be compared with the South Pole, noting that there may have been nothing before the Big Bang.
“There is nothing south of the South Pole, so there was nothing around before the Big Bang.”
However, some physicists believe that time did exist before the Big Bang, and that a mirror universe may in fact be lurking on the other side, in which time doesn’t move forward like it does for us, but runs backward. Others have suggested that there may be a rebounding universe and that the Big Bang was really nothing more than a Big Bounce, where instead of the universe being created out of nothing and springing into existence, it simply began expanding after it had already completely contracted.
In the latest study on time possibly existing before the Big Bang, University of Oxford physicists David Sloan, Tim A. Koslowski and Flavio Mercati have concocted a completely new model of the universe. And while the idea of a flipped universe is certainly not new in and of itself, this new research does suggests a different way of looking at it, according to Sloan.
“All the terms that are problematic turn out to be irrelevant when working out the behavior of quantities that determine how the Universe appears from the inside. We introduce no new principles, and make no modifications to Einstein’s theory of general relativity – only of the interpretation that is put upon objects.”
The study which describes how time may have existed before the Big Bang has been published in Physics Letters B.