The Big Bang Reconsidered (E=MC2)

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Einstein’s general theory of relativity has not only been proven correct time and time again, but has had implicit in it, ideas that Einstein himself disagreed with on a personal level. This must be properly understood, as this fact is often misused within popular science, as a means to undermine the genius of Einstein. To be clear – E=MC2 is absolutely correct and is not wrong in any way. As a formula, it contributes to, and does not contradict the thinking behind quantum physics. Therefore, it logically follows that Einstein was entirely ‘correct’ when he worked-out that energy equals mass – times the speed of light (squared). This is exactly the same formula that Heisenberg used to formulated his ‘uncertainty theory’, and which Georges Lemaitre used to mathematically work-out that the universe had a definite beginning. Given that this is the case, why is Einstein often portrayed as ‘wrong’ within popular science? This is because Einstein did not personally agree with many of the implications of his own theory, a fact that demonstrates that Einstein managed to ‘think’ beyond his own limited viewpoints. It some of Einstein’s personal opinions that are at odds with his own formula – and not his formula that is ‘wrong’. Many popular scientific narratives conflate Einstein’s personal opinions with his formula, and give the false impression that his formula (and not his opinions) is at odds with the thinking of quantum theory. This is bad science, and one is left wondering what lies behind this obvious attack on Einstein’s genius.

Einstein believed that the universe existed in a ‘steady state’, and was not the product of a sudden creation event. Lemaitre – using Einstein’s formula – proved that Einstein’s personal opinion was at odds with the mathematical implications of his formula. Einstein checked Lemaitre’s mathematical work and agreed that it did suggest that the universe had a definite beginning. Not only this, but Lamaitre’s work suggested that the universe was expanding, and that it emerged from a tiny cosmic egg (or ‘super atom’). Einstein agreed with Lemaitre’s mathematics, but disagreed with his physics. Edwin Hubble, during the 1920’s, worked out that the universe was huge, that it was expanding, and was billions of years old (although his assessment of 2 billion years was wrong). Hubble’s genius was that he scientifically proved that the universe was billions of light years across, and not just hundreds of thousands of light years, as previously thought. Indeed, Fred Hoyle – like Einstein – believed that the universe was eternal and that it already contained hydrogen and helium. In 1949, Fred Hoyle coined the derogatory term ‘Big Bang’ to refer to what he thought was a religiously premised pseudo-science. The eminent Soviet cosmologist George Gamov disagreed with the strong-willed Hoyle – and instead agreed with Lemaitre’s idea of a ‘Big Bang’. Even within the Soviet scientific system (that produced many great scientists), George Gamov was considered a genius in his own right (being elected at the young age of just 28, to being a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR). He was an expert in radioactivity, and nuclear fusion, but despite the privileged life he experienced in the USSR, he decided to defect to the West in the early 1930’s – thus betraying his homeland. Whilst building on Soviet expertise and scientific innovation, Gamov exported his knowledge to the USA, where his contribution to science is acknowledged but played-down (Gamov was of the opinion that all hydrogen and helium was suddenly created during the Big Bang).

Although the universe is now known to be 13.8 billion years old, it is considered not old enough for its heat content to be distributed evenly everywhere – as is the case. This is where Alan Guth’s theory of ‘inflation’ comes into play. He stated that although Einstein was right to assume that nothing could travel faster than light, prior to the creation of the universe, this reality did not yet apply. Just before the Big Bang, when the four forces of nature were still a singularity, a certain uniformity of temperature was locked-in to the entire system, before its rapid expansion or ‘inflation’.  Guth premised that the universe originated from a tiny volume, and when the universe was both young and small, its heat content spread evenly, which was retained as space expanded faster than light. Subsequent photographs of the universe just after the Big Bang have subsequently confirmed that the Big Bang happened. Less than one billionth of a second after the Big Bang, a tiny bubble (smaller than a fraction of an atom) with a very high temperature was formed. This contained as of yet the undifferentiated four forces of nature – gravity, electromagnetism, and weak and strong nuclear forces. This is considered a combined superforce. Gravity suddenly split-off from this superforce as the universe rapidly expanded. As the universe expanded, it cooled, triggering a burst of energy which initiated the hyper-inflation of the universe. At this point (perhaps just a second since its beginning), the superforce collapsed into its four constituent natural forces, and eventually light was emitted. As light slowed down, matter was formed, which was then acted upon by gravity (generating spherical shapes). All this was fore-seen in Einstein’s E=MC2. The Big Bang is very much a work in progress within the realm of human science, and could be displaced if new knowledge is discovered or revealed through further research.

How Georges Lemaître (1894-1966) – a Catholic Priest – Progressed Secular Science

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‘A Day Without Yesterday’: Georges Lemaitre & the Big Bang

Albert Einstein (right) and the great mathematician Georges Lemaître (left). Until Lemaitre presented Einstein with his paper detailing how the universe had a definite beginning (subsequently termed by Hoyle as the ‘Big Bang’), and that space was expanding, Einstein use to think that the universe was eternal. In the history of science, for instance, a great injustice is perpetuated against Lemaitre because of his faith. His mathematical breakthrough (although confirmed by Einstein as ‘correct’) is ignored, and the concept that the universe has a definite beginning is instead erroneously ascribed to Edwin Hubble. Einstein stated that Lemaitre’s mathematics was perfect – but that he did not care much for his physics. This was because Lemaitre talked of a ‘cosmic egg’ to describe the  beginning of the universe, for which no evidence exists. My view is that a person’s personal beliefs should not exclude that person from official recognition if their scientific thinking is correct. Of course, I do not support politicised religion, and fully acknowledge that Lemaitre was probably motivated by proving the creationism of theology correct – and in the process – science wrong. As matters transpired, Lemaitre achieved neither of these objectives, but he did advance secular scientific understanding, and for that he should be properly remembered.

How the Big Bang Continues to Defines Human Existence

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The Universe Just 370,000 Years Old

The universe began from an event which human understanding knows to have happened, but which is difficult to define. Space and time suddenly emerged for reasons unknown, within a infinitesimally small area, and suddenly expanded, releasing immense light energy and heat (i.e. ‘inflation’). This process was not an explosion in the conventional sense, as an ordinary explosion requires a change of pressure. The above photograph shows the process of the ‘big bang’ from year 0 – 370,000 years (around 18.7 billion years ago). This is a hot ball of plasma, within which areas are beginning to cool and condense into solid matter. This process produces matter as light energy slows down. This matter has been thrust outward at tremendous speed, and over-time, has created the physical universe (the earth was formed around 4.9 billion years ago). When matter is formed, gravitational force is generated (as a side-effect) which pulls all galactic objects into a rounded shape (due to gravity operating in all directions). Gravitational pull generated by a sun, for instance, also sets the orbits for all the planets (and other objects) to circumnivigate through, in any given solar system. The entire universe appears to rotate around a theoretical centre-point at the heart of existence. As matters stand, human science does not know what caused the big bang, or what exists beyond the light horizon. As there is no data to analyse, or experiments that can be carried-out, everything beyond this point of understanding is purely speculative (with one theory being as valid as anyother). The big bang was probably not a ‘big bang’ – as nothing seemed to exist before this event – or exist in a manner that humanity can currently perceive and understand. Why and for what reasons the physical universe emerged are unknown, but one-day this will be known. There probably is something beyond the light horizon, and there was probably some kind of existence prior to the emergence of the physical universe. Or, it might be that concepts such as ‘existence’ and ‘non-existence’ have no ultimate meaning, and that humanity is looking at existence from an incorrect interpretive position, or utlilising a flawed logic. What is known, is that space at this current time is beginning to speed-up in its expansion rate, and that this expansion of space will continue forever, or what humanity perceives to be ‘forever’. If multiple universes exist, it could be that the universe that humanity inhabits is just one amongst many, with each having its origin through a ‘big bang’ event. As human science is premised upon immutable laws, its understanding is limited to the observation of light. If material (of whatever kind), exists beyond what humanity can see through the observation of ‘light’ (i.e. the ‘light cone’), then as long as human science remains focused upon the observation of light, any reality beyond the light horizon will remain beyond what can be observed and measured. The human universe can probably be defined as having a boundary – the true extent of which cannot be observed through the measuring of light – but it might also be true that the pattern of material universal existence could be repeated infinitely throughout reality, so that there could be many such universes. This feeds into the multi-verse theory and the idea of parallel universes. The point is that anything and everything could have happened before the big bang, but it has been the big bang that has served as the basis of the material reality within which humanity exists and has evolved.

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