0
$\begingroup$

At the time of the big bang if there was an original entity, what were it's attributes(if applicable) - mass, electric charge, color charge or spin? Can the current matter and dark energy together account for the original entity or was some of the original stuff lost?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No theories and few hypotheses go back to $t=0$. We have a pretty good idea what were the constituents of the Universe down to $t\sim10^{-12}$ s or so (because we can actually recreate these conditions in accelerators), and we have plenty of more or less well-backed up hypotheses down to a Planck time after $t=0$, but what happened before, we don't know. I think this graphical timeline of the Big Bang sums it up. $\endgroup$ – pela Feb 9 '16 at 9:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Original mass/energy of big bang, when time formed, may have been as low as 100kg. Rest of the stuff showed up as the initial instability propagated through the false vacuum. Likely way out of date by now, but a decent explanation by the guy who came up with the story: ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Guth/Guth3.html $\endgroup$ – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 9 '16 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @pela Thank you for your reply. Is there any models from t-minus available rather than t=0? $\endgroup$ – signsgeek Feb 9 '16 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ @Wayfaring Stranger False vacuum theory - interesting. I need to read up on that. thank you. $\endgroup$ – signsgeek Feb 9 '16 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ @signsgeek: I wouldn't be surprised if there were such models, but I wouldn't take them too seriously. We (still) have no way of testing them… $\endgroup$ – pela Feb 10 '16 at 7:26
2
$\begingroup$

The notions of today's universe don't make much sense for the (hypothetical) pre-Planck epoch of the universe. All four known fundamental forces should have been united. Matter didn't exist. It can form only in cooler conditions. Even cause and effect don't work well below Planck scales.

The structure you eventually get can be treated in terms of a groupoid, as described e.g. in this paper. Groupoids are related to groups (algebra). Groups actually are - in some sense - very simple groupoids. You may construct some groupoids from disjoint groups by connecting them via isomorphisms. So you get kind of a network of abstract entities.

Now try to adjust quantum mechanics and General Relativity, such that it fits with these structures, meaning without the smooth space and time, as usually assumed for standard physics. Let known or extrapolated physics of the Planck- and GUT (grand unified theory) epoch emerge from the pre-Planck physics to start the actual Big Bang.

It's possible to construct physical theories for a pre-Planck era. But it's very hard to find observational or experimental evidence to test these theories with respect to actual physics.

Those pre-Planck groupoid theories can be defined in a way that they don't need a predecessor epoch, e.g. by eliminating the macroscopic cause and effect paradigm, which is based on a notion of an arrow of time. Causality and a concept of before/after on isomorphic entities doesn't make much sense.

Although, there should be some mechanism which eventually disrupted a strictly non-local pre-Planck configuration.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your reply. That sums up the complexity of a hypothesis with provable/observable phenomena with current frameworks. Maybe the next paradigm shift similar to quantum mechanics or general relativity can help. I get a better sense of the challenges that Theoretical and Particle Physicists are facing from your explanation. $\endgroup$ – signsgeek Feb 9 '16 at 20:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.