Something from Nothing

Discussion in 'Science / Nature' started by Heck Tate, Mar 14, 2011.

  1.  
    Heck Tate

    Heck Tate The Fleet Footed

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    I don't know if this is science or philosophy, but the idea of something from nothing has been on my mind a lot recently. I've been told countless times that it is physically impossible for something to come from nothing because of the law of conservation of energy, but there's a couple things I don't understand about the whole thing.
    First, wouldn't the very first something have to come from nothing by default? If it came from something else, then it wasn't really the very first something.
    Second, isn't it a generally held belief that the Universe will one day end? If so, isn't its energy lost since it no longer has a field in which to exist?
    Sorry if my question is naive, I tried looking this up before posting, but the only answers I got were religious ones or things along the lines of "Because it can't, that's why."
  2.  
    J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    Laws of science are tough. Something can come from nothing, just not at the pawn shop.
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    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Like the Big Bang?
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    cornelius

    cornelius former axe demon

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    Well I think there could be a repeating motion. As to where it starts and ends, I don't think we'll get an answer on that any time soon. It's all about speculation. And perception. I like to think of it as a broken vase that you're trying to put back together. The pieces are scattered all across the (huge) floor, but you can't very well see them unless you discover a way to find them. Big pieces may seem logic, but imagine if you find that, half way of puting the vase together, you got the pattern all wrong? And even if you see a pattern in the scattered pieces, it doesn't mean you'll know exactly how the vase came to break.
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    Moonbat

    Moonbat Luna tick

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    It is an interesting one, because logically something must have come from nothing, actually everything must have come from nothing.

    As far as I understand it, before the big bang there was nothing (unless of course ot was the big crunch and we have had a repeating bang and crunch scenario, but even then there had to be a first bang (and or) crunch?) then everything came into existence and since then the conservation of energy has held so that nothing is really created or destroyed it just changes form.
    But....
    This does have its flaws, the only thing we can say for certain about the moments before the big bang is that our laws of physics break down and we can't work out (using maths and physics) what happened.

    Maybe it is a problem with our way of thinking, that there must be a prime mover/first cause to erverything that happened, but the issue of things happening prior to the (this) universe existing kind of negates all our presumptions and so maybe it has always been and time (as we see it with cause and effect) is just an illusion that arises out of our specific 4 dimensional space/time.
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    Nik

    Nik Speaker to Cats

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    Bang the Branes together...

    As I understand it, a likely hypothesis has our 3+1D universe created from the collision between two branes in a higher-order universe.

    Of course, this only moves the issue back one step...

    After which, it is turtles all the way down...
  7.  
    J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    Galactic Rant *157-B
    Yes, where DID all this matter junk come from anyway?
    It doesn't matter, matter doesn't. It's the bang, the big one, that gets everyone excited. Scientists suspect there's been a bunch of really big, big bangs, and even other bigger bangs, mayhap even billions of bangs.
    At the centre of the Milky Way may as well be a big bang. It wants to blow up, you know it does, it just needs a few billion years to think about it.
    Everything is blowing up everywhere you look in space, or swooping about huge gravity centres - all of which are going to blow up!- or worse, simply go fzzzt. Not even a big bang for you, earthlings... eternal darkness starts now. The End.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    This is actually quite an interesting one with a number of answers (I'm sure Chris will chip in shortly with somewhat more correct/informed physics than mine. However lets see...

    First the "end" of the universe. There will not actually be a loss of energy as the universe dies it will simply all be distributed evenly throughout the universe and therefore not much use! It will finally reach a state of maximum entropy (go google) which effectively means total stagnation. Unless we have our current physics/measurements wrong and it does eventually start contracting and then we have the possibility of a cyclic big bang. However that is looking very unlikely at the moment.

    As for something from nothing. I won't try and explain how this works but quantum mechanics (and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle in particular) predicts it will and they have now actually managed to measure it happening. Essentially if you take a perfect vacuum - ie. your "nothing" - then within that vacuum, matter is constanly being spontaneously created and destroyed again within tiny fractions of a second. Basically the way the physicists describe it, two particles get created spontaneously - one matter and one antimatter - by "borrowing" energy from the vacuum (their word not mine!). Then a tiny fraction of a second later the two particles combine and annihilate each other, giving off energy that repays their "debt" to the vacuum and ensure energy is correctly conserved.

    Interestingly they are now speculating that this or something very similar is actually what happened in the big bang. It seems that once every billion or so you end up with the matter but not the antimatter and that one billionth part of the big bang is what actually makes up all the matter in the universe (the rest of it all dissappeared again by annihiliating each other).

    So there you are modern physics actually predicts that you can get something for nothing (briefly) and this has also been proven experimentally.

    There was a very interesting programme on this topic just a few days ago in the UK (second of two parts), presented by Prof. Jim Al-khalili (who is brilliant at tackling really tough topics). The subject of the programme was "nothing" though I can't remember the actual programme title.
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    Heck Tate

    Heck Tate The Fleet Footed

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    Wow very interesting (and confusing) stuff, Vertigo. The entire concept of "borrowed" energy is so weird. I'll definitely have to do some reading on this stuff when I have the time. Thanks.
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    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

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    Was it Hawking that surmised that every now and then each of the two particles would be created either side of a black hole event-horizon? Therefore, one would get dragged into the black hole and the other wouldn't and so no annihilation would take place.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    I'm really not too sure - however that wouldn't work for the big bang as (I suppose) you have to have a bunch of matter first before you can have a black hole. I am only basing it on what Prof Jim said in the program but he didn't go into any greater depth as to how come every billionth or so particle didn't end up getting annihilated. However I do have a bit of a problem with it as it would seem that our universe as an almighty big debt to the vacuum which could be a problem if it gets called in someday! But then I may well (probably am) taking his borrowing analogy a little too far!
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    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Everything is transformed. Energy emerged out of something that preceded it, but we don't know what that is yet. Or else, energy in this universe came from inter-phasing between dimensions. Or in some universes, the flow of Time is reversed and it is the end of that universe that started this one. Or Time is static and we move through it therefor we may be our own creators.

    See?

    Simples.
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    Mouse

    Mouse roar

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    It hurts my brain if I think about it too much, so I don't. But can I just say that every time I see this thread title I burst into song!

    *something grew out of nothing at aaaaalllll, the way things sometimes dooooooo* ~ The Boy Least Likely To.
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    It is a great thread title isn't it :D

    And yes my head always starts to explode and I studied relativity and quantum mechanics at uni. I never did get to a state where I could truly say I understood it, I could do the maths, but understand it? No.

    The one that always gets me is what casued the big bang? and then what first caused the thing that caused that and so on... it never ends! Bottom line I think we may be able to do the maths and even prove it, but our minds (or at least most of us) simply aren't wired to undertand it!
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    woodsman

    woodsman Double-stuff Oreos!

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    Surely (I have no idea) borrowing energy implies there is energy available to borrow and begs the question - from what? Where did it come from.

    At somepoint we have to accept some sort of eternity principle exists? At least it seems a little easier to do this than keep looking for a start.
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    Ursa major

    Ursa major Bearly Believable Staff Member

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    You just know that when someone (some thing?) works out that it was all a big con, based on poor regulation of the laws of the universe, we'll end up having to pay towards bailing it out....
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    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    Who drew up the legislation for the Universe, anyway, and how did it get past the first vote?

    (Floating voters?)
  18.  
    Heck Tate

    Heck Tate The Fleet Footed

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    The reason I asked in the first place was that it seemed to me that there were basically only 2 solutions to the entire universe creation thing. 1) On some level it always was and always will be 2) At some point there was absolute nothingness from which everything came into being. We really have no idea what came before the Big Bang, and every time I ask a question like this I get a response along the lines of "Everyone knows you can't get something from nothing." I was just wondering if there was some reason we generally reject the idea, since the alternative seems to be equally, if not more, mind-blowing
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Ah, I think that's the whole point, though don't quote me! Because stuff like time and the differences between matter and energy all gets a bit fuzzy at the quantum level. Something along the lines of: it's not really borrowed because, see, it's already been given back, in fact it's just as possible that it was given back before it was borrowed. So everything kind of balances out! AAAaaarghhh...
  20.  
    Interference

    Interference Destroyer of Words

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    The general perception of "Universe" really is far too small.

    The Universe is everything that exists. Yeah, of course, says you, we all know that.

    Well, that's right. We all know that, but we don't all know what "everything" entails.

    Everything is all that you can perceive and all that you can't perceive that has a function in the totality of everything. This includes imaginations, consciousness, rocks, atoms, dimensions, emotions, survival imperatives, non-existence, timelessness, imagined time, abstract realities, astral possibilities and everything beyond imagination.

    "Everything" is really big.

    So how did it all come to exist?

    Understand Time and how we experience it while we can't explore it. We can explore the other three dimensions easily. Time just carries us along with it.

    Wrong. Time isn't moving, we are. Perception creates Time. Take perception away and you have timelessness.

    Wrong. Time is still an artifact of Everything and it includes all moments of act and experience as well as perception. But it is only the next dimension up. Beyond it are more dimensions, all of which are essential to our existence and in all of which we have a portion of our existence.

    Now are you getting an idea of how big "Everything", and so "The Universe", is?

    We can't figure out how the Universe began - what was before the Big Bang - because we are only using 4-dimensional observations. And guess what - Our observations are creating a portion of the results of our calculations relating to the observed things. Suddenly the Universe got a little bigger still.

    The Universe came into existence because there was an equal probability that it wouldn't. Our collapsed probability function is this Universe. Be sure, there are others.

    Not quite two cents, I'm saving something for the rebuttal :D

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