Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Beginning of Time

Admin note: I am moving this comment to the main section of the blog so it is easier to access.

Hawaii said...
Well since I'm supposed to make more posts...I'll see about another question.

Did time have a beginning or does it extend infinitely in either direction? I guess my stance is formed around the big bang. I believe this is generally accepted as the beginning of our universe. I will assume that this is the case. Now before the big bang...can we tell what the universe was like at all? The answer is no. Since we can't tell what the universe was like before the big bang, then it doesn't matter what happened before the big bang. To me, this means that time restarted at the big bang. Nothing that happened before affects us now so it may as well have never happened at all.

The answer is that time did have a beginning with the big bang. Is it possible to have multiple beginnings? Perhaps time is more like a set of rays as opposed to a single line.

6 Comments:

Blogger mparent said...

I too agree with your assessment that it doesn't matter very much what happened before the big bang but I stand with a slightly different theory. The theory is that time began at the big bang but extended both forwards and backwards. In other words much like the physical universe is supposed to have stretched out in all possible directions so did time. This results in a slightly confusing idea that the big bang is the beginning of time but is also, in reality, the center point of time. On a related note there is also the theory that the big bang is simply one of many. The theory goes that our universe has been created and destroyed numerous times due to slightly different physical laws etc... but this happens to be the one that stuck around. There are many theories as to how this could happen including parallel universes separated by extremely small distances in some fourth spatial dimension, to vacuum effects with particles popping into and out of existence.

4:17 PM  
Blogger stet200 said...

I would have to disagree wit your assessment of whether time has a beginning, other than the theory that the universe started with the big bang. The time that existed before the big bang, sure maybe its not as important to us, and sure it is possible it could have "restarted" when the big bang occured, but yet that does not imply that there wasn't pre-big bang time. Not an attack on you, but i believe that it is a very selfish conclusion to make, given that we do not know for sure if the time pre big bang is important to "someone else" just to throw that out there. Your argument could be more convincing if you just come to a conclusion because you want to totally disregard a very important part part of this question. The question the problem I am talking about is refering to is whether there is time before the big bang, and not whether it is important.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Hawaii said...

Well...the time pre-big bang is not unimportant I guess. It could have incredible importance. However, it has no effect on us now. Pre-big bang time ended when the universe was crunched into an infinitely small space. No information stored in any amount of atoms from pre-big bang times exists today.

The reason I claim that this is the beginning of time is that if it has no effect on us, then we may as well cut it off. Now...you haven't really said anything to defend your own position. You have simply attacked mine. I can't really write anything else without at least that.

1:35 PM  
Blogger dmbpampa said...

This is a bit off topic, but I just wanted to throw in another possibility. There are theories now (though I could not explain them to you) which state that time was an emergent property of the big bang. According to this theory, there would have been a period of "time" (for lack of better term) when there was no time at all. I'm afraid I can't explain it much better than that because it is complicated and I haven't read much about it, but I think it is a very interesting idea, a universe without time.

2:22 PM  
Blogger stet200 said...

Well i guess that theory would be correct if your just thinking about the big picture or "concept of time." But when we are talking about time i think that it is now established that we measure time with change. We also agreed in class change takes time. Therefore if the big bang is a change that means that there was time at "the point in time" when the big bang was happening. Therefore there must have been time when the universe started. What I think is that the beginning of the universe could not have been the beginning of time at all for that and more reasons. I think that time had to have existed before the universe was created, strictly because the creation is a change and therefore takes time. What does everyone esle think?

2:41 PM  
Blogger Darron said...

I beleive that time did have a beginning with either the Big Bang theory. That this explosion of matter created the entire universe. And once this explosion occured, time began.

4:12 PM  

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