Glimpse of Time Before Big Bang Possible
- URL to an interesting article in SPACE.COM
First few paragraphs
" Glimpse of Time Before Big Bang Possible
By _Charles Q. Choi_ (mailto:cqchoi@...)
Special to LiveScience
posted: 01 July 2007
01:15 pm ET
It may be possible to glimpse before the supposed beginning of time into the
universe prior to the Big Bang, researchers now say.
Unfortunately, any such picture will always be fuzzy at best due to a kind
of "cosmic forgetfulness."
The _Big Bang_
(http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060911_mystery_monday.html) is often thought as the start of everything, including _time_
(http://www.livescience.com/scienceoffiction/070307_time_travel.html) , making any
questions about what happened during it or beforehand nonsensical. Recently
scientists have instead suggested the Big Bang might have just been the explosive
beginning of the current era of the universe, hinting at a mysterious past.
To see how far into history one might gaze, theoretical physicist Martin
Bojowald at Pennsylvania State University ran calculations based on loop quantum
gravity, one of a number of competing theories seeking to explain how the
underlying structure of the universe works.
Past research suggested the Big Bang was preceded by infinite energies and
(http://www.space.com/php/video/player.php?video_id=black_holes) where existing scientific theories break down, making it impossible
to peer beforehand. The new findings suggest that although the levels of
energy and space-time warping before the Big Bang were both incredibly high, they
Scientists could spot clues in the present day of what the cosmos looked
like previously. If evidence of the past persisted after the Big Bang, its
influence could be spotted in astronomical observations and computational models,
However, Bojowald also figures some knowledge of the past was irrevocably
lost. For instance, the sheer size of the present universe would suppress
precise knowledge of how the universe changed in size before the Big Bang, he
"It came as a big surprise that some properties of the universe before the
Big Bang may have only such a weak influence on current observations that they
are practically undetermined," Bojowald said of findings detailed online
July 1 in the journal Nature Physics.
One implication of this "cosmic forgetfulness," as Bojowald calls it, is
that history does not repeat itself-the fundamental properties of the current
era of the universe are different from the last, Bojowald explained. "It's as
if the universe forgot some of its properties and acquired new properties
independent of what it had before," he told SPACE.com."
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