The Big B-?
Big Bang or Big Bounce?
|Image Courtesy NASA|
According to a daily galaxy article I read, Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) seems to offer the greatest promise for solving the mathematical issues involved in having the entire universe crunched up into a single point. (Classical physics breaks down under such extreme conditions).
LQG is the theory that gravity is made of interacting fields forming something called the quantum foam (read that as the turbulent interactions forming the underlying fabric of space-time). LQG indicates that the universe is locked into a never ending cycle of expansions and crunches. There is a growing support for this theory because it can explain the mathematics of the moment before the big bang.
But wait! This is not the end of the story. There were a few things I felt were missing from my other reading.
The article failed to address the phenomena of Dark Energy, the mysterious force that physicists believe started pushing the universe apart at a rate faster than what could be accounted for by the Big Bang alone. In fact, universe expansion is accelerating even today. This has been observed and confirmed many times over, and is not consistent with a big crunch theory.
Although the Big Bang's existence has been supported by multiple observed phenomena, the moments preceding and just after the event are so strange that they represent a vast frontier in the field of cosmology. We live in a time now where our technology is just starting to be able to investigate these questions. The recent discovery of a Higgs-boson like particle has opened a whole new vector from which we can attack these problems.
Whichever theory ultimately triumphs will be a question of time and technology.
|Photo Courtesy NASA|