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The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

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The Universe Forever

Posted February 19, 2015 10:14 AM by HUSH

Growing up, my mother taught me a nursery rhyme that helped me remember the order of the planets. "Many very early men jump straight up near Pluto." Granted, it was mostly a nonsense mnemonic memory trick, but it did get me through some challenging grade two science quizzes. Once the order of the Solar System was committed to memory, the mnemonic memory technique was discarded but not forgotten. Undoubtedly new mnemonic techniques are taught now, considering Pluto's well-known demotion to dwarf planet in 2006, as well as the subsequent social and political "movements" to reinstate Pluto as a planet regardless of scientific legitimacy. Fortunately, these opinions have largely quieted, because as we grow our astronomical understanding, more strict definitions are needed.

Yet another understanding may be about to change, as a recent report suggests that the singularity-the moment when everything existed in a united, infinitely dense mass-never actually happened. Instead, the universe has always existed in some form. This would dramatically alter the way science is taught in schools, as well as many cosmological models.

Current science estimates the universe at close to 14 billion years old, and at the beginning everything was created by the Big Bang. The 'no singularity theory' does not eliminate the Big Bang, instead it says that all matter once existed in a type of mass with infinite energy potential. The Big Bang dispersed these cosmic materials. Many recent articles state that the theory posits the Big Bang never happened-that is not the case. (In this instance, unfortunately.)

Apparently there are problems with general relativity mathematics, as they can only infer what happened after the Big Bang, not before or during. Researchers at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, believe they have solved many of the inherited problems that arise by applying quantum corrections originally proposed by theoretical physicist David Bohm in the 1950s. His model describes both the expansion and evolution of the universe, and contains elements from both quantum theory and general relativity.

The new model also predicts that there won't be a reciprocal 'big crunch' either. With previous models, there was speculation the universe could one day reach an expansion maximum, only to collapse on itself to create a new singularity. New calculations also fulfill the theory the universe is filled with gravitons, suggested particles that facilitate gravitational forces, much the way electrons facilitate electromagnetism.

Recall that around this time last year, a group of researchers announced that they had found particle evidence of cosmic inflation from early in the universe's existence. This discovery would account for the universe's non-linear expansion and age ratio. Without this evidence for inflation, it means we seriously miscalculated the age of the universe. Now this evidence has been shown to be the result of misreadings. So the search for inflation evidence continues, or else the age of the universe is in question.

So all we know for sure is that we don't know the age of the universe, for sure. The Big Bang is alive and well, but the truth could be the universe had no beginning (and will therefore not end). The singularity theory has been around for a long time, but it's standing on shakier ground than ever.

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#1

Re: The Universe Forever

02/19/2015 11:50 AM

"...His model describes both the expansion and evolution of the universe..."

Well, somewhat. No one has yet found a mechanism to drive Cosmic Inflation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_%28cosmology%29

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#2

Re: The Universe Forever

02/19/2015 4:29 PM

Which is harder to comprehend, a universe that started in a big bang about 14 billion years ago, or that time goes back to negative infinity. They are both mind boggling!

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Re: The Universe Forever

02/20/2015 9:39 AM

This article hinges on a common misconception of the initial Big Bang theory, that the universe came from nothing. AFAIK That has never been the believed case for the Big Bang. The Big Bang states that the conditions prior to the Bang cannot be known not that nothing existed prior. Debunking the universe came from nothing is a straw man debunk.

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