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The Whole Shebang: The Big Bang Theory of the Universe

The Whole Shebang: The Big Bang Theory of the Universe

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Published by Lyle Brecht
Big Bang theory of the universe described along the arrow of time.
Big Bang theory of the universe described along the arrow of time.

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Published by: Lyle Brecht on Sep 19, 2010
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06/13/2013

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…for the Heav’n’s wide Circuit, let it speak For Maker’s high magnificence, who built So spacious, and his Line stretcht out so far;That Man may know he dwells not in his own; An Ediface too large for him to fill,Lodg’d in a small partition and the rest Ordain’d for uses his Lord best known.
 
(Milton,
Paradise Lost 
, Book VIII, lines 100-106)
The idea that everything in the world has a meaning is precisely analogousto the principle that everything has a cause on which the whole of science rests.
(Kurt Gödel)
1
It would be possible to describe absolutely everything scientifically, but it would make no sense.It would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure. (Albert Einstein)
 2
THE WHOLE SHEBANG: THE BIG BANG THEORY OF OUR UNIVERSE
Lyle Brecht Draft 2.3 Monday, October 24, 2011 APPLIED ECOLOGY RESEARCH
Page 1 of 10
 
 As far as I can see, such a theory [the Big Bang] remains entirely outside any metaphysical or religious question.It leaves the materialist free to deny any transcendental Being...For the believer, it removes any attempt at familiarity  with God...It is consonant with Isaiah speaking of the hidden God, hidden even in the beginning of the universe.
(Georges Lemaitre, Catholic Jesuit priest and theoretical cosmologistwho first postulated the foundational aspects of the Big Bangtheory)
3
the universe must go through a calculable number of combinationsin the great game of chance which constitutes its existence... In infinity, at some moment or other,every possible combination must once have been realized;not only this, but it must also have been realized an infinite number of times (Friedrich Nietzsche)
4
The Fundamental Questions
Why is there something rather than nothing?Why do we exist?Why this particular set of laws and not some other?
5
Why does time appear to run in only one direction in our universe?
Some Other Difficult Questions
What determines what the universe is like when it emerges from the singularity?If space and time didn’t exist before the singularity, how do we account for the laws of physics -did they exist before the singularity?How can one apply the usual methods of science to a unique event like the singularity?
Might non-luminous matter in the universe be composed of elementary particles created after the singularity that are presently unknown to science?Why is the visible universe composed of matter rather than antimatter?
8
The Starting Assumptions
(1)
There is no picture - or theory-independent concept of reality 
.
9
What is part of the Real isalways model-dependent. That is, we have departed from a classical understanding of theexternal world where physical things “are definite and independent of the observer whoperceives them.”
10
Instead, we inhabit a
quantum world 
where the Real is determined by
THE WHOLE SHEBANG: THE BIG BANG THEORY OF OUR UNIVERSE
Lyle Brecht Draft 2.3 Monday, October 24, 2011 APPLIED ECOLOGY RESEARCH
Page 2 of 10
 
probabilities, notcertainties that things exist as we perceive them. In fact, our act ofobservation changes their properties. Our
 Archimedes Point 
, a view outside the system ofour inquiry that enables us to understand the complete workings of the system, is foreverlost. Thus, “
 mode l-dependent realism
corresponds to the way we perceive objects.”
11
“Themodel that explains the most about our present observation, including the historical andgeological evidence, is the best representation we have of the past.”
12
(2)The universe that humans presently inhabit was created 13.7 billion years ago.
13
(3)The universe that humans can presently observe is made up of three spacial dimensionsand one dimension of time.
14
This is referred to as
 spacetime
and is best described by thelaws of General Relativity for macroscales and quantum physics for microscales. What ispresently missing is a theory of quantum gravity, a law that explains what happens tospacetime at very small scales around the Plank length (a billion-trillion-trillionth of acentimeter; 10
-33
centimeters).
15
Presently, the best guess for what happens “when theuniverse was small enough to be governed by both general relativity and quantum theory”is that “there were effectively four dimensions of space and none of time.... our usual ideasof space and time do not apply to the very early universe.”
16
(4)Very early on in the life of our universe, a period of spacetime inflation occurred. Thisinflation was comparable to blowing up a one centimeter indiameter coin to ten milliontimes the width of the Milky Way. This spacetime inflation of the universe occurred in muchless than a nanosecond and is the reason it appears that all galaxies we can observe aremoving away from us and thosegalaxies furthest away are moving faster than thosecloser.
17
The process that describes the origin of the universe is called the “big bang.”
18
(5)“Universes in which life can exist are rare.... if the universe were only slightly different,beings like us could not exist.”
19
The Copernican principle suggests that “in the grandscheme of things, everything we know points towards human beings not occupying aprivileged position” in our universe.
20
There may exist as many as 10
500
self-consistentworlds in the universe, each with randomly selected constants of nature and differing lawsof physics and forces of Nature. All the possible sates defining the laws and constants ofphysics that our small bubble universe that we inhabit could potentially be part of is knownas the
 landscape
.
21
(6)The arrow of time points in only one direction on a macroscale. This is due to the secondlaw of thermodynamics that says that under normal conditions the entropy of a systemalways increases.
22
THE WHOLE SHEBANG: THE BIG BANG THEORY OF OUR UNIVERSE
Lyle Brecht Draft 2.3 Monday, October 24, 2011 APPLIED ECOLOGY RESEARCH
Page 3 of 10

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