back to article The cooler side of the Big Bang

Quantum graphity – not gravity – is a fairly recent and, as far as I can tell, quite obscure angle on cosmology, but some University of Melbourne and RMIT researchers are proposing a test for the theory, and at the same time, proposing a different model for the formation of the universe. According to the group of theoretical …

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  1. Hungry Sean
    Pint

    thank you Richard Chirgwin

    for always being there to melt my puny mind. Cool stuff indeed.

  2. DougS Silver badge
    Alien

    Cosmic strings

    How are these cracks different from the cosmic strings that were supposed to have been formed during the symmetry breaking/cooling shortly after the big bang? This theory is nearly 30 years old, is this one different or has it just been described via more formalized math?

    I believe cosmic string observation was planned to be done via gravitational lensing being observed where there are no visible indications of mass. I'm only aware of one such potential observation over many years, so if cosmic strings exist at all, they would seem to either be extremely rare or less massive than predicted.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Cosmic strings

      AFAIK the "Cosmic String" stuff was an outgrowth of the Grand Unified Theories ideas, which is now lingering (due to various problems of theoretical and experimental nature, in particular, no magnetic monopoles anywhere and no large symmetry group to reasonably rule them all)

      This looks like it has something to do with newer approaches like

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causal_dynamical_triangulation

      which seems interesting (something like finite element analysis for causally connected events) though still in its infancy. One might speculate that quantum computers might well be of some use here.

      I wonder though why the high-temperature state at the "start" is considered "disorganized". You wouldn't believe the increase in disorder you get by gravitational clumping over 15 billion years.

      1. Carl Zetie
        Boffin

        Entropy and gravity Re: Cosmic strings

        One of the (many) confusing things about entropy is that opposite things happen with and without gravity.

        As you correctly note, in the presence of gravity, matter clumps and entropy increases. A black hole represents the maximal entropy that a region of spacetime can contain. (It's best if you read that in Stephen Hawking's voice).

        But in the absence of gravity, the highest entropy state is one where all the stuff is homogeneously spread out -- much the way entropy is taught in 101 science classes. And what these guys appear to be arguing is that in the very early universe there are no spacetime dimensions, hence no gravity.

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      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Cosmic strings

        Somewhat related: How to get spacetime from the permutation group and the Ghost of Physics Future.

  3. Magani
    Coat

    Quantum graphity

    Isn't that the smallest possible graph-based output from an Excel spreadsheet?

    Mine's the one attached to the PowerPoint presentation.

    1. Thorne

      Re: Quantum graphity

      No. Anything from Microsoft is bloatware

      1. P. Lee Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Quantum graphity

        > No. Anything from Microsoft is bloatware

        The swelling before everything blows apart resulting in increasing entropy?

        1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

          Re: Quantum graphity

          So you're suggesting Microsoft caused the Big Bang in the first place?

          That gives a whole new meaning to "Quantum Gates".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Quantum graphity

            "Microsoft caused the Big Bang "

            Microsoft and "Big Bung" seem to be a better fit

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Quantum graphity

            Wouldn't a 'Micro' 'soft' preclude any 'Big Bang'?

          3. Thorne

            Re: Quantum graphity

            Depends. Is the end of the universe a blue screen of death?

  4. James 100
    Mushroom

    Ever-expanding maelstrom

    Constantly expanding for no visible reason, without actually improving? Clearly, the universe itself is Windows!

    At some point in the future, a far-off version of Windows will consume all available resources in the universe, crashing the cosmos itself and looping back to the start where it can continue expanding without limit. Scary stuff.

    1. BorkedAgain
      Windows

      Re: Ever-expanding maelstrom

      Ah yes, the old "Blue Screen of Cosmic Heat-Death" theory...

      1. BorkedAgain
        Facepalm

        Re: Ever-expanding maelstrom

        ...or, to paraphrase Eliot:

        This is the way the world ends

        This is the way the world ends

        This is the way the world ends

        Not with a bang but a core dump.

    2. ravenviz
      Windows

      Re: Ever-expanding maelstrom

      Actually the Universe is shutting down, it is just taking *forever* to install updates.

  5. Jon Double Nice
    Coat

    opposite of the big bang

    is the gnab gib, Shirley?

    1. asdf Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: opposite of the big bang

      opposite of the big bang

      is the nut grab and don't call me Shirley.

  6. Mips
    Childcatcher

    Oh inflation

    On the other hand

    If we think about the conditions before the big bang, the singularity, we have learned that distance and time have no meaning, if anything was to happen than it would do so through every particle (if that description can be used) at once. This could well describe a quantum entangled system: time has no relevance.

    Time does not actually exist. What we see and deal with on a daily basis is vectors; absolute time is not important. We might know how a system was before, how it is now and we can predict how it will become but time is just a convent concept which we use to describe what we observe.

    We never consider that “time” might be as flexible as anything else we see. Could it be that the big bang was the loss of the quantum entanglement and the realisation of the implicit vectorisation it concealed? The inflation beloved of cosmologists might be the revelation of the inner nature of the singularity following the loss of entanglement. A large object fully entangle would appear to be infinitely small. If the entanglement was lost, perhaps propagating through the object, it would in an apparently small “time” appear to be massive. Did this shockwave generate the background microwave radiation?

    Inflation or entanglement loss?

    1. BristolBachelor Gold badge
      Coat

      Re: Oh inflation

      Hmmm.. An interesting theory. However I think thst the main problem with inflation is explaining why it happens. In this theory would need to explain why entanglement was lost; do we need an "entanglement-breaking" field, and does it need its own force-carrier particle? a MIPS Boson?

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        1. MyHeadIsSpinning
          Alien

          Re: Oh inflation

          I think that the reason why entanglement was lost (if it was, and isn't just stretched all over the place as space/time expands) is because something forced everything outwards from a central point (note, this is not the centre of the universe, just a central point according to our limited perceptions of what we call the known universe). So why the bang? Force. From what? Don't know, but I would suggest pressure was a major factor because of the heat which we take to be evidence of the bang.

          Why would inflation/expansion stop? Has it done so yet? Will it do? If it does, then I would suggest that the reason is resistance. Something outside of the known universe pushing back.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Oh inflation

      What the hell are you talking about?

  7. Jim Carter
    Megaphone

    /Sings

    Our whole universe was in a hot dense state...

  8. Graham Marsden
    Coat

    Kilroy...

    ... may or may not have been here.

    - Quantum Graffiti

  9. Andy Fletcher

    I'm such a klutz

    I don't actually understand the problem. The universe starts off in a high energy state (no matter particles). QM governs everything. General relativity doesn't have any baring because there is no matter in the initial stage. The analogy being, if you want you can set a national speed limt of 60mph if you like, but if you haven't invented cars and motorways the law is meaningless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm such a klutz

      I take your point but GR includes energy terms in the field equations as well as mass so although QM will govern the very small initial state GR should start to act as the universe expands. Even if there are no particles the curvature of space-time should still influence photons

      1. DanDanDan
        Trollface

        Re: I'm such a klutz

        >>Even if there are no particles the curvature of space-time should still influence photons

        Photons are particles

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'm such a klutz

          Photons are massless particles/waves.

          What else is there ? energy at high temperatures is generally photons - gamma rays, x-rays etc

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh.

    I stopped reading at '...topology and dimensions are useless'.

    Oh, really? Then what the heck is physics all about? I wish I could put it as eloquently as Miles Mathis, but readers can delight their brains at www.milesmathis.com/updates.html

    I hope physics will one day return from its current hocus pocus state.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sigh.

      "I don't understand it, therefore it must be wrong". Thank you for your contribution.

    2. G Murphy
      WTF?

      Re: Sigh.

      Well anyone who can publish several papers a week on cutting edge 'physics', correct hundreds of years of 'errors' and all without a single reference except to their own non-reviewed 'papers' is clearly not in a 'hocus pocus state'.

      Seriously.

    3. asdf Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Sigh.

      Sounds like 100 years ago you would have been arguing only Newtonian physics matters and quantum and GR were hocus pocus.

  11. SwedishCodeMaffia
    Devil

    You are sadly mistaken

    God created the world in 6 days. By 'world' I mean Earth. Which is flat. You will all burn in hell.

    1. asdf Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: You are sadly mistaken

      Hey look another alumni from the Kansas public education system.

  12. Identity
    Coat

    Ooh...

    "Think of the early universe as being like a liquid," said lead researcher James Quach. "Then as the universe cools, it 'crystallises' into the three spatial and one time dimension that we see today. Theorised this way, as the Universe cools, we would expect that cracks should form, similar to the way cracks are formed when water freezes into ice."

    Y'mean like a space-time rift? Where's Torchwood?

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