LiveScience is reporting a new study by two theoretical physicists from the University of Lethbridge in Canada that suggests that the universe did not burst forth from a singularity 13.8 billion years ago. This "theory" was devised by Belgian Roman Catholic priest Georges Lemaïtre in the 1920s based on his interpretation of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity. The Big Bang looks suspiciously like it conforms to Catholic doctrine that asserts that the universe was creatio ex nihilo. The Big Bang theory seemed to be strongly confirmed when astronomer Edwin Hubble found in 1929 that the stars and galaxies are red-shifted which indicated that the universe was expanding. The Big Bang eventually became the "consensus" theory among cosmologists.
So what the new Canadian Big Bang deniers claiming? From LiveScience:
In the new formulation, the universe was never a singularity, or an infinitely small and infinitely dense point of matter. In fact, the universe may have no beginning at all.
"Our theory suggests that the age of the universe could be infinite," said study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. …
There are other problems brewing in physics — namely, that the two most dominant theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity, can't be reconciled.
Quantum mechanics says that the behavior of tiny subatomic particles is fundamentally uncertain. This is at odds with Einstein's general relativity, which is deterministic, meaning that once all the natural laws are known, the future is completely predetermined by the past, Das said.
And neither theory explains what dark matter, an invisible form of matter that exerts a gravitational pull on ordinary matter but cannot be detected by most telescopes, is made of.
Das and his colleagues wanted a way to resolve at least some of these problems. To do so, they looked at an older way of visualizing quantum mechanics, called Bohmian mechanics. In it, a hidden variable governs the bizarre behavior of subatomic particles. Unlike other formulations of quantum mechanics, it provides a way to calculate the trajectory of a particle.
Using this old-fashioned form of quantum theory, the researchers calculated a small correction term that could be included in Einstein's theory of general relativity. Then, they figured out what would happen in deep time.
The upshot? In the new formulation, there is no singularity, and the universe is infinitely old.
Well, maybe there was no singularity, but least there apparently was some kind of cosmic fireball 13.8 billion years ago. Damn it! Science never seems to get "settled!"
*Carefully adjust your sarc meter calibrations.
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