Astronomy

Did the Universe Start with a Big Bang



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"Did the Universe Start with a Big Bang"
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The writer has embarked on writing this article in response to the large amount of scientific literature which treats the Big Bang idea about the origin of the Universe as though it were an indisputable fact. In scientific circles, opinions either for or against any particular idea are sometimes swayed more by the number of articles that are written and the reputations of the scientists involved, rather than the strength of the arguments put forward. Could this be what is happening with the idea of the Big Bang?

The evidence used to support the idea that our Universe was created with a Big Bang is considered by some to be rather superficial and full of conjecture. It's superficial because it fails to take into account some of the deep underlying truths about particles and energy embodied in the science of quantum physics.  It's full of conjecture since no-one could possibly know exactly what happened at the moment of the Big Bang and no amount of experimentation with Super Colliders will ever recreate that moment, if indeed it ever happened.

Although Einstein spent much of his working life disputing the ideas embodied in quantum physics, as espoused by Bohr and his colleagues, he eventually accepted that this new way of explaining the laws of physics was superior to the old classical way based on Newton's laws. In the world of quantum physics the idea of a beginning and an end have no real meaning as such, since information contained in the quantum wave function (quantum waves) is able to travel almost instantaneously across an apparently infinite universe.

The wave/particle duality of light is a well understood concept in which photons (light particles) and light waves become interchangeable aspects of light energy. Sometimes light behaves like waves as can be demonstrated by the use of lenses; at other times it behaves like a stream of particles, a solar wind capable of driving a foil-like sail. Photons are examples of a group of particles called bosons and they have no rest mass, unlike electrons which are examples of a group of particles called fermions. Photons stand at the border between matter and energy and serve as a useful analogy when thinking of the quantum waves associated with mass type particles like electrons and protons.

Classical scientists tend to have a deeply instilled concept of the primacy of particles over waves: the idea that particles produce quantum waves, rather than quantum waves producing particles. The writer suggests that primacy should be assigned to quantum waves rather than the particles they produce. This is important because the Special Theory of Relativity precludes the possibility of particles, or anything made up from particles, traveling faster than light. However, quantum waves are not constrained by the same theory, as argued by the writer in a previous Helium article under the heading of, "Exploring the theory that time does not exist".

Quantum waves have similar attributes to the waves we associate with sound, water and light; wavelength, frequency and amplitude. However there are some significant differences and one of these is that quantum waves can change into matter under certain conditions. This has led some scientists to refer, somewhat incorrectly, to quantum waves as "matter waves." The fact that matter can revert back to quantum waves is possibly misleading, should the reader construe that this is nothing more than a chicken/egg conundrum. The writer suggests that the physical Universe is now, and always has been, the product of an infinite number of quantum waves some of which have collapsed (synchronized or condensed) as a result of combining with other quantum waves. The writer further suggests that there never was a Big Bang and there never will be, given the constraints inherent in the laws of quantum physics.

The red shift in the spectrum of galaxies which surround our own Milky Way galaxy indicates that the visible Universe is expanding. Astronomers have concluded from this that at some time in the distant past the Universe must have existed as an infinitely small point or singularity. From such conclusions, the Big Bang idea had its birth in the explosive release of all the combined energy and matter contained within the singularity. Apart from the fact that there is no satisfactory explanation as to what triggered this big bang, the whole concept of a continuing indefinite expansion of the universe is illogical if the universe is a finite entity produced by the big bang itself. If the Universe is infinite then it is also logical to assume that it existed before the Big Bang and hence the Universe could not have been created by the Big Bang.

Our concepts of expansion are based on the observation that gases expand to fill any container no matter how large this may be. Consider what will happen if a mixture of gases, which will later condense into stars and planets, is expanding within an infinite universe. Is it not logical that the universe will always appear to be expanding, no matter where our reference point for measuring this expansion may be? It may also be worth remembering that the gas hydrogen is by far the most abundant element in the universe and the simplest form of matter as represented by whole atoms.

The writer suggests that the Big Bang idea is simply not supported by any scientific evidence which cannot be better explained in other ways, or indeed by any application of logic in answering questions about what existed in the beginning. The Universe is probably much the same as it always has been and always will be: suns fade, stars explode, planets die, life forms change, our material bodies turn into stardust. Time is unchanging: there is no past, no future, just the continuing "now" produced by the collapsing quantum wave as it synchronises in an infinite number of ways with an infinite number of other quantum waves which are present within an infinite universe. If we as humans have difficulty with such a concept then we should perhaps remember that "God's ways are not our ways."

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