[Marxism] Fwd: No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Sun Feb 21 16:04:08 MST 2016


At 21:49 21-02-16 +0100, Jeff via Marxism wrote:
>
>I still have to read this article,

So not only did I read the article, but I went ahead and downloaded the
paper it was based on (ostensibly). So here's a postscript to my previous
post.

First, I absolutely stand by every word I wrote concerning the
irresponsibility of typical popular science writers. As I'll point out, in
this case it's even worse than I had warned.

But from reading the paper itself (disclaimer: I do not have expertise in
general relativity or cosmology, and am not familiar with some of the
cosmological issues that are referred to, and do not understand the
argumentation in any detail) I see that the bigger problem isn't with the
paper but how it was presented in the popular article. The headline stated:
"No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning," but
that is misleading: the paper was not arguing for any sort of steady-state
theory and certainly wasn't arguing against the expansion of the universe.
It accepts the main picture of the universe expanding over the last 13
billion years (though such numbers might vary a bit) more or less the way
that we observe it.

>From what I understand, the paper's variance with the accepted Big Bang
theory has to do with what we would call the "early days" of the universe,
when it was much more compact. At the present time, the galaxies of the
universe are racing away from each other. So if you run time backwards
(think of a movie of an explosion being played backwards), then all the
matter of the universe converges, compresses, and (according to the Big
Bang theory) comes together at a specific time into a point. The DIFFERENCE
according to this paper is that rather than reaching that point (aka
"singularity") in the past, the convergence of the matter (expansion played
backwards) slows down and never comes to a point. Rather, it goes on
forever (into the past).

In terms of fundamental physics, that's a huge difference. In more everyday
terms, however, it doesn't change the fact that the universe expanded from
a small volume 13 billion years ago, only after which came stars, planets,
and life (at least in one place) as we see the universe now. Nor does it
appreciably change the future of the universe in which that expansion
continues indefinitely, as the stars burn out and useful energy is depleted
after trillions of years. I can't judge the likelihood of the paper's
explanation, though I would point out that it is "normal" in physics for
such theories to be advanced in order that they can be disproved (except
for the rare ones that are never disproved, and become standard theory!).
It was accepted by a reputable physics journal for the exact reason that it
can't be summarily disproved, it isn't patent nonsense. Unfortunately the
popular science article written about it doesn't do it justice, and I have
no doubt that the authors would have discouraged writing about their highly
theoretical work in a popular science article. (Also, I don't know if David
Walters was being serious or comical in mentioning the "Plasma Universe"
theory, but THAT is absolutely pseudo-science and isn't going to be
published in a reputable journal).

- Jeff

Should you wish, the paper itself can be downloaded from:
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1404.3093v3





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