Monday, December 12, 2011

Our universe from nothing at all

"Many visitors to will be familiar with the timeline of the Big Bang, the idea that our universe started from some kind of ‘gigantic explosion’ some 13.6 billion years ago. But this is not the version of reality accepted by most cosmologists: their story is far, far stranger.

In the beginning (and probably way before 13.6 billion years ago) there was no space, time, matter or energy. All that existed was a totally empty geometry containing no points whatsoever – a particular solution to Einstein’s field equations. Quantum principles still applied though and the totally-empty universe was able to tunnel to a peculiar metastable state called the false vacuum.

At this point the new universe (at c. 10-52 meters) was 17 orders of magnitude smaller than the Planck length .

The false vacuum was permeated with a field called the inflaton field with a strange property: ..."

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