Horizon: What Happened Before the Big Bang?

The non amateur stuff. Hawking, black holes, that sort of thing

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brian livesey
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Post by brian livesey »

Making contact with ETs would be profoundly interesting, and it would blow away much of our anthropocentricity and some of the superstitions associated with it.
I take the view that technically-advanced ETs would, ipso facto, be socially-advanced too and would, therefore, treat us with respect.
Last edited by brian livesey on Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
I think your comparison wthe the "arrow paradox" is interesting and may be appropriate in some circumstances but in this particular discussion is too simplistic.
I just read a CollinsEnglish Dictionary explanation of "continuum" which says :- " a continuous series or whole, no part of which is perceptibly different from the adjacent parts."
Now in my conception of a possible universe of infinite size it might be arguable that there is no perceptible change from one place to another nearby. However, assuming the universe isn't uniform but varies in nature throughout - well I suppose being infinite in size it is arguable that despite the overall difference, there is no perceptible difference from the adjacent parts. That might be arguable and maybe a tricky one. But in some of my ideas of an infinite universe the universe does change, in some cases the changes might be very gradual, in others very sudden.So the universe might not be a continuum. It might consist of several continuums, or indeed even an infinite number of different continuums.
So an arrow might travel in unexpected different ways throughout its long long journey.
As I think David has effectively said, once anyone starts to consider infinities things get pretty complicated. Indeed that's partly why I like to think in tems of our universe being infinite in a variety of ways. Funny thing is I'm happy with living in a 4 dimensional universe, but not happy with string theorists 10 or 11 dimensions. On the other hand I'll happily accept a universe involving a infinite number of dimensions, or a Universe made up of an infinite number of universes, which goes on and on and on............. !!!
Best wishes from Cliff
david entwistle
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Post by david entwistle »

I see from an article on the Institute of Physics web site that V.G.Gurzadyan and Professor Sir Roger Penrose have published a paper claiming that results from WMAP provide evidence of pre-Big Bang activity.
Circular patterns within the cosmic microwave background suggest that space and time did not come into being at the Big Bang but that our universe in fact continually cycles through a series of "aeons". That is the sensational claim being made by University of Oxford theoretical physicist Roger Penrose, who says that data collected by NASA's WMAP satellite support his idea of "conformal cyclic cosmology". This claim is bound to prove controversial, however, because it opposes the widely accepted inflationary model of cosmology.
The abstract and a link to the article are here.
Conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) posits the existence of an aeon preceding our Big Bang 'B', whose conformal infinity 'I' is identified, conformally, with 'B', now regarded as a spacelike 3-surface. Black-hole encounters, within bound galactic clusters in that previous aeon, would have the observable effect, in our CMB sky, of families of concentric circles over which the temperature variance is anomalously low, the centre of each such family representing the point of 'I' at which the cluster converges. These centres appear as fairly randomly distributed fixed points in our CMB sky. The analysis of Wilkinson Microwave Background Probe's (WMAP) cosmic microwave background 7-year maps does indeed reveal such concentric circles, of up to 6{\sigma} significance. This is confirmed when the same analysis is applied to BOOMERanG98 data, eliminating the possibility of an instrumental cause for the effects. These observational predictions of CCC would not be easily explained within standard inflationary cosmology.
The paper includes a basic introduction to the concept and some pictures which provides a hint at what the, baffling (to me), mathematics describe in more detail.
David Entwistle
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Post by Cliff »

Dear David
I'm doing my best to keep an open mind about cosmology.
Quite a few years back I was happy with my simplistic understanding of the Big Bang. Then inflation came into being. At first I assumed it must be correct but a few years back I started to become sceptical about inflation and since then things have got worse.
Although I'm a big admirer of Einstein's Relativity (despite me not understanding its detailed maths) I became a semi-supporter of MONDE because I have long conjectured things like gravity and the speed of light might not be constant throughout the huge scale of the Universe.
However, despite my hope I have an open mind, I'm afraid I now think that cosmologists have\or are lost\losing the plot. I now tend to take all their cojecturing with a pinch of salt. Needless to say I cannot hope to understand cosmology's "new" mathematics. However, I feel fairly convinced that many cosmologists are heading off track. Too much reliance on computer models, too many computer models; computers allow too many mediocre minds with average skills to wander at will. I think modern art is|has going/gone the same way.
In my opinion "The Gateshead Flasher" is a case to point, though of course some \many people apparently love it. I cann't help wondering which, if ever, either the Big Bang or the Flasher will crumble first.
Best wishes from Cliff
PS I suppose eventually the Flasher will inevitably crumble.
If the BIG Bang is true then it might last. However, it would be ironic if the BB is actually right and cosmologists get deflected to believing some othe alternative.
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