Sunday, August 1, 2010


AN IDENTICAL, REVERSED UNIVERSE - What happened before our universe began? According to two theoretical physicists, if there was a universe before ours then it should have been remarkably similar to this one, with the same basic ingredients and properties. According to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the universe began at a singularity - a mathematical point with infinite density at which all calculations break down. However, physicists now believe that the theory of relativity is limited and the effects of quantum mechanics would have blurred out the singularity just a little, so at a crucial moment the density of matter and radiation was not infinite. If this was the case, it becomes possible to try to work out what led up to that moment. In cosmological models based on a theory called loop quantum gravity, our universe has a parent. Loop quantum gravity attempts to meld relativity with quantum mechanics by describing space-time as a constantly rearranging fabric of interconnections. So if the universe before ours was contracting, it would have reached a point of maximum density and then bounced out again in our big bang.

Now, physicists Alejandro Corichi from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and Parampreet Singh from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario are working on a simplified Loop Quantum Gravity (sLQG) theory where they approximate the value of the “quantum constraint”, a key equation in the LQG theory. What happens next is a little surprising. From their calculations, it would appear that a universe, identical to our own, with identical mechanics, existed before the Big Bounce. We are not talking about an alternate dimension; we are talking about an identical universe with the same space-time and quantum characteristics as our own. “For the simple model considered, the universe is almost exactly the same on other side,” says Singh.

Analysing what happened before the Big Bang is just the beginning. Singh and Corichi are working on models where galaxies leave an imprint in the pre-bounce universe to influence the post-bounce universe, so it leads to repeated bounces, producing a cycle of universes. Someday, researchers recognize that this universe is only a small portion of the total creation.

It is not possible to imagine how far this material manifestation extends. In the material world everything is calculated by imagination or by some imperfect method, but Vedic literatures give information of what lies beyond the material universe. Those who believe in experimental knowledge may doubt the Vedic conclusions, for they cannot even calculate how far this universe is extended, nor can they reach far into the universe itself. ... The Vedas inform us that beyond this cosmic manifestation there are extensive planets and the spiritual sky. This material manifestation is regarded as only a small portion of the total creation. The material manifestation includes not only this universe but innumerable others as well, but all the material universes combined comprise only one fraction of the total creation. The majority of the creation is situated in the spiritual sky.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Teachings of Lord Caitanya
Lectures in New York City
April 10-14, 1967

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