Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: big bang issues

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 08/31/2008
Q:
Hello Before the big bang, I have read that, there was a perturbation in the "nothingness" that produced an equal amount of positive and negative matter. This opposite matter meant that the law of conservation of energy was not disobeyed but at the same time produced matter for the big bang. Surely such an explanation is tongue in cheek as you can't get something from nothing which means the big bang although verified experimentally has an impossible beginning. Your response would be much appreciated. Richard.... perplexed about nothing.
- Richard Lennox (age 58)
UK
A:
Richard- I think that you're conflating two or three issues. One is the creation of both matter and anti-matter shortly after the Big Bang. Since that leaves the net amount of various charges unchanged, in many respects it is creating nothing. I think what you're worried about is the apparent creation of mass/energy from nothing. All the theories about the formation of ordinary matter/antimatter from some prior physical state still obey conservation of energy, since there are other forms for energy to be in. As for what happened precisely at the Bang itself, and 'before', we are in no position yet to say. People are working on trying to make some more general theory than the General Relativity which describes our 4-D spacetime. Until such a theory is better developed, we have very little to say about the BB itself and any possible ways of imbedding it and our spacetime in some larger mathematical manifold.

Mike W.

(published on 08/31/2008)

Follow-up on this answer.