Thought it all started with a big bang? Well, not so fast.
If a new theory turns out to be true, the universe may not have started with a bang.
In the new formulation, the universe has never been a singularity, nor an infinitely small and infinitely dense point of matter. In fact, the universe may not have a beginning at all. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once.
“The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told Phys.org.
“Our theory suggests that the age of the universe could be infinite,” said study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
A little later in the article, Das hedges his bet a bit. He says:
But if there was no Big Bang, what is the history of our universe?
‘The universe could have lasted forever,’ speculates Professor Das.
‘It could have gone through cycles of being small and big or it could have been created much earlier.’
So, instead of 13 some billion years ago, it started, what, 25 billion years ago? Have they actually eliminated the need for a beginning, or just pushed it back a few billion or so years?