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The latest no-Big Bang theory relies on a quantum fluid of hypothetical massless particles

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big bang
Artist’s conception of theory/NASA

Further to: So we can get rid of the multiverse if we assume that the laws of nature evolve?

From Phys.org:

The widely accepted age of the universe, as estimated by general relativity, is 13.8 billion years. In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or singularity. Only after this point began to expand in a “Big Bang” did the universe officially begin.

Well this is interesting:

The physicists emphasize that their quantum correction terms are not applied ad hoc in an attempt to specifically eliminate the Big Bang singularity.

No? You mean, they sense that a great deal of effort has been directed to that specific end because the Big Bang conflicts with various scientists’ philosophy?

Their work is based on ideas by the theoretical physicist David Bohm, who is also known for his contributions to the philosophy of physics. Starting in the 1950s, Bohm explored replacing classical geodesics (the shortest path between two points on a curved surface) with quantum trajectories.

In addition to not predicting a Big Bang singularity, the new model does not predict a “big crunch” singularity, either. In general relativity, one possible fate of the universe is that it starts to shrink until it collapses in on itself in a big crunch and becomes an infinitely dense point once again.

In physical terms, the model describes the universe as being filled with a quantum fluid. The scientists propose that this fluid might be composed of gravitons—hypothetical massless particles that mediate the force of gravity. If they exist, gravitons are thought to play a key role in a theory of quantum gravity.

Right. And if they exist, leprechauns, banshees, and the Red Ettin of Ireland are thought by some to be responsible for the laws of physics.

Motivated by the model’s potential to resolve the Big Bang singularity and account for dark matter and dark energy, the physicists plan to analyze their model more rigorously in the future.

Might be an idea …

“It is satisfying to note that such straightforward corrections can potentially resolve so many issues at once,” Das said. Rest.

Sure. If only the hypothetical were real.

Some people argue that physicists have to speculate in order to begin to solve problems. Fine. But they shouldn’t pretend they have got anywhere when the best thing about their idea is the graphics.

Like I said before, physics today should mean stuff like the Large Hadron Collider. This kind of stuff is what they used to do in the middle ages.

See also: Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train

and

Physicist says we need more plain Jane physics to bring sense back to the community

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File:A small cup of coffee.JPG Update: A reader writes to mention a correction the paper’s authors made February 11:

We originally termed the results of this model a theory, which was incorrect due to the lack of evidence. We’ve now edited this to hypothesis. Apologies for the error, guys.

Yes, good idea. When proposing a radical old idea, like the universe has always existed, it pays to be cautious about calling it a theory. The Big Bang, correct or otherwise, was accepted on evidence.

16 Replies to “The latest no-Big Bang theory relies on a quantum fluid of hypothetical massless particles

  1. 1
    Mapou says:

    In the beginning, everything in existence is thought to have occupied a single infinitely dense point, or singularity.

    This is precisely why the Big Bang hypothesis is crackpottery in the ‘not even wrong’ category.

    Only after this point began to expand in a “Big Bang” did the universe officially begin.

    The icing on the crackpottery cake.

  2. 2
    ppolish says:

    If you have of glass containing a “fluid of hypothetical massless particles”, how do you know if the glass is half empty or half full?

    Or completely full or completely empty for that matter. Don’t materialists have issues with massless stuff?

  3. 3
    wentzelitis says:

    -the universe was intelligently designed

    “It is satisfying to note that such straightforward corrections can potentially resolve so many issues at once,”

  4. 4
    skram says:

    News, let me point out that neutrinos were once “hypothetical massless particles.” They were conjectured to exist by Pauli in 1930 and discovered experimentally only in 1956.

    Gravitons are quanta of gravitational waves, for which there is circumstantial evidence.

    So don’t sneer at gravitons.

  5. 5
    Latemarch says:

    The universe may have existed forever, according to a new model that applies quantum correction terms to complement Einstein’s theory of general relativity. The model may also account for dark matter and dark energy, resolving multiple problems at once

    Pretty sure it’s logically impossible for the universe to have existed forever. If you have an infinite past you can never get to now.

  6. 6
    mahuna says:

    Is this new invisible fluid the Aether that was theorized to exist back in the 19th century? I think we all know that Aether doesn’t exist.

    Or is this New Improved Aether, with extra whiteners or something?

  7. 7
    wallstreeter43 says:

    I was just going through another physicists blog and this guy absolutely years into this theory and calls it crackpottery. I believe this guy was a harvard professor at one time . The beauty of this is that he’s an atheist and doesn’t agree with this theory because of the many holes it has in it .

    http://motls.blogspot.sk/2015/.....roved.html

    “”””Because in recent 2 days, the news outlets have switched to a (not so) new fad: there has been no big bang!

    I have written a couple of pedagogic blog posts explaining why it is physically right to say that the Universe began with a singularity even if quantum gravity is taken into account. But if you really want to talk about the pure textbook stuff, Ethan Siegel reminds you about the two meanings of the words “big bang”, why the big bang did occur, after all, and what’s the evidence that it did.

    It seems that most of the “science writers” have changed their job to the permanent promotion of low-quality and downright crackpot papers that are chosen not by their cleverness or according to the scientific evidence but by their “audacity to overthrow (and I really mean ‘revert’) all the paradigms of modern physics”. As I was told later, Anthony Watts has become an inseparable component of this cesspool.

    Almost on a daily basis, the readers are served wonderful stories about loons who have found something wrong with string theory or inflationary cosmology, nutcases who don’t believe the Higgs boson, whackadoodles who have “disproved” the uncertainty principle or quantum mechanics or its fundamentally probabilistic character, nut jobs who have violated the rules of relativity and sent signals faster than light, and the persistent authors of a few other “widely expected paradigm shifts”.

    Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but a scientific revolution that would “confirm” elementary laymen’s misconceptions about the contemporary science and that would simply return the picture of the world to the “previous iteration” has never occurred and most likely will never occur so the probability is virtually 100% that all these “paradigm shift” stories will always be just junk.

    Just a week ago, the would-be science media were full of new stories claiming that the black holes don’t exist which were inspired by a “gravity’s rainbow” preprint by Ahmed Farag Ali and two co-authors. You may want to remember the Egyptian name I just mentioned. Why?

    Because in recent 2 days, the news outlets have switched to a (not so) new fad: there has been no big bang!

    I have written a couple of pedagogic blog posts explaining why it is physically right to say that the Universe began with a singularity even if quantum gravity is taken into account. But if you really want to talk about the pure textbook stuff, Ethan Siegel reminds you about the two meanings of the words “big bang”, why the big bang did occur, after all, and what’s the evidence that it did.

    But I want to write a few words about the weird four-page paper – recently accepted to PLB – that has inspired this “big bang is dead” avalanche of delusions in the media. The preprint
    Cosmology from quantum potential
    was written by Ahmed Farag Ali (Egypt) and Saurya Das (Canada). The first question that a TRF reader may be asking now is: Haven’t I already seen the name of Ahmed Farag Ali somewhere? The second thing that a laymen may want to notice is that this paper has, after 10 months, just one non-selfie citation. That’s not too many, you know. Papers that are really transforming physics may get close to 10,000 citations, like Maldacena’s AdS/CFT.

    The third thing that attentive readers won’t overlook is that the preprint isn’t really “all about disproving the big bang theory”. You will have a hard time to see that “the big bang is no longer the case” is a natural title by which the inkspillers may summarize the preprint.

    The fourth aspect of the paper is that it will remind the Czech readers of the “puppy and kitty are baking a cake” fairy-tale by Josef ?apek, a Czech writer and painter (see the picture at the top and more images). You know, when these two animals (who speak Czech) were baking the cake, to celebrate the puppy’s name day, they added all the ingredients they liked: sugar, salt, jam, a stinky ripened soft cheese from Olomouc, peanuts, cucumbers, bones, four mice, onions, chocolate, a sauce, garlic, lard, a pot of sour cream, pepper, sweeties, cottage cheese, gingerbread, vinegar, cinnamon, one goose head, and raisins, among other things. They didn’t throw any bread to their wonderful cake because kittens and puppies don’t like bread too much.

    When they were finished with this yummy cake, a big evil dog arrived and devoured it. Good for the kitty and the puppy because you may imagine how the dog was feeling when he ate it. Incidentally, I think that there exist deep cultural differences between the nations and children in other nations, perhaps including the U.S., are being taught that this kind of a cake is exactly what you should be baking and doing with your life! 😉

    At any rate, the preprint is analogous to the cake. Even though it is just four pages long, they have added quite some unusual ingredients:
    the bold idea that the usual picture of dark matter could be wrong
    their belief that dark energy, as usually described, is almost certainly wrong
    deformation of the geodesics into “Bohmian trajectories”, an idea that Das learned from his teacher Amal Kumar Raychaudhuri 60 years ago
    the proposal that the graviton is effectively massive, with a tiny mass of 10?41GeV, so that the curvature due to the cosmological constant may be attributed to the mass instead
    the Bose-Einstein condensate of gravitons which isn’t the trivial thing you would expect
    a wrong conceptual idea that the singularities are the main enemy that has to be fought against: this is a part of the broader loop-quantum-gravity-like culture and Das has co-written papers with Abhay Ashtekar and similar authors

    and many others. That’s quite a cake. I need to emphasize that most of these ideas completely and conceptually disagree with the state-of-the-art physical theories used to describe the Universe; according to what we seem to know, these ideas are wrong. And they disagree in many respects; there seem to several independent radical “paradigm shifts” in the paper, if I spin their multi-dimensional crackpottery in a positive way.

    At least, CBS is so far not modifying (or inserting “doubts” into) this TBBT theme song by Barenaked Ladies whose lyrics is perfectly accurate up to the moment when the Universe is said to collapse again, of course. 😉 That part of the song will be mitigated thanks to the cosmological constant. And of course, Barenaked Ladies are actually Four Dressed Gentlemen. I hope that you may trust everything else.

    Nevertheless, the ideas may be interesting enough for physicists to think about them. Can’t one replace the effects attributed to the dark energy – and perhaps even dark matter – by something like the supertiny graviton mass etc.? Can’t there be a new type of a Bose-Einstein condensate of gravitons?

    Is there any physically defensible way to deform the geodesic equation so that it would mathematically resemble the equations of the de Broglie-Bohm pilot wave theory? If you want to use this “brilliant idea”, what will happen with locality and the equivalence principle? Are the changes a lethal problem?

    I think it’s unlikely – the probability is below 1% – that any of these “truly radical” changes of the paradigm may be right. But it seems virtually impossible that their combination – the “cake baked by the kitty and the puppy” – is the right way to rewrite cosmology. So many things seem so arbitrary and the ease with which they ignore what is actually known (what has been discovered after decades of work to agree with millions of observations) is blinding and suggests that they’re as bad physicists – people with incredibly low standards – as the kitty and the puppy as cooks. They simply write random sentence and throw assorted half-baked weird ideas into the mix because they may ask themselves: Why not?

    Your humble correspondent will spend some extra time with the ideas above, anyway. 😉 But the way how this weird paper was presented in the would-be science media was atrocious, indeed. However, we have gotten used to such things so I am no longer shocked. For the “science writers”, this is an example of the business-as-usual, indeed.

  8. 8
    rvb8 says:

    ‘I think it’s unlikely…’ Thank you wallstreeter43, I’m sure now that theoretical physicists understand your doubts they will cease and desist further theorizing, and investigation.

    It’s such a useful thing, that such an accomplished treasury of scientific insight, is so easily accessable to an ill-informed public. I just shudder wallstreeter43, at all those bumbling fools at CERN tripping up over their obvious errors without your aid; publish perhaps? Or have you too been sidelined or ‘expelled’?

  9. 9
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Rvb8
    Thank you so much my friend . Coming from someone who believes in a worldview that says that a man that butchers a billion people is no more objectively evil or good then a man helping an old lady across the street .

    I’m not sure what CERN has to do with this , but of course your religiously motivated cult of scientism will eventually lead us all to all truths .

    But then again coming from someone that thinks a message drawn in the sand that says Steve loves Sandy was created by the waves crashing a billion times on the shore isn’t someone I would exactly place much faith in doing any kind if meaningful critical thinking .

    Big hug for u my friend 😉

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    wallstreeter43 nice find! 🙂 Thanks.

  11. 11
    skram says:

    wallstreeter43:

    I was just going through another physicists blog and this guy absolutely years into this theory and calls it crackpottery. I believe this guy was a harvard professor at one time . The beauty of this is that he’s an atheist and doesn’t agree with this theory because of the many holes it has in it .

    Indeed, Lubos Motl was a promising young physicist, who wrote a paper on string theory as an undergrad in Prague. The paper was noticed by Ed Witten. This got Motl into grad school in the US and propelled him to assistant professorship at Harvard in 2004. It went downhill from there. He stopped doing physics and spent a lot of time blogging. He quit Harvard in 2007 and went back to his home town of Pilsen.

    Motl’s criticisms of the paper may be legitimate, if somewhat over the top (his style). I have not looked into them as there is only so much free time.

    The criticism of the paper by News, however, is completely misguided. She complains that “the best thing about their idea is the graphics.” In fact, the graphics has nothing to do with that paper. It depicts the Standard model of cosmology, which includes the Big Bang. (Here is the original picture at NASA) It’s hilarious that News is barking up the wrong tree.

    On substance, News scoffs at the idea of massless gravitons:

    In physical terms, the model describes the universe as being filled with a quantum fluid. The scientists propose that this fluid might be composed of gravitons—hypothetical massless particles that mediate the force of gravity. If they exist, gravitons are thought to play a key role in a theory of quantum gravity.

    Right. And if they exist, leprechauns, banshees, and the Red Ettin of Ireland are thought by some to be responsible for the laws of physics.

    There is nothing ridiculous about massless particles. Photons are one well-known example. Light travels at the maximal speed and so its quanta cannot have a nonzero rest mass. Likewise, gravitational waves are presumed to travel at the speed of light, and their quanta—the gravitons—should be massless.

    To be sure, gravitons have not been directly detected, and neither have been gravitational waves. However, there is solid indirect evidence for their existence (the slowing down of a binary pulsar is consistent with the emission of gravitational waves), so there is little reason to doubt the reality of gravitational radiation. And then quanta of such waves are practically inevitable.

    So, one can criticize the paper for its scientific problems. However, dissing the paper in the style of News is not cogent criticism.

  12. 12
    Box says:

    Skram: The criticism of the paper by News, however, is completely misguided. She complains that “the best thing about their idea is the graphics.” In fact, the graphics has nothing to do with that paper.

    News formulated it in a more general sense:

    Some people argue that physicists have to speculate in order to begin to solve problems. Fine. But they shouldn’t pretend they have got anywhere when the best thing about their idea is the graphics.

    And that’s called irony, Skram. Have you ever heard a phrase like: the best part of me is my wife?

  13. 13
    skram says:

    Box, I understand that News is being ironic. I point out that the irony is misdirected. That graphics does not even appear in the original paper. It is in the phys.org article. News doesn’t seem to understand that that diagram reflects the standard Big Bang story.

    That is doubly ironic.

  14. 14
    Box says:

    Skram:That graphics does not even appear in the original paper.

    Maybe it’s just me, but IMO that fact adds to the irony.

  15. 15
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Your welcome born again 🙂
    It seems like atheists are so desperate to cling to anything that does away with a universe that came into existence.

    If you only knew how sad it makes me feel to disappoint them lolol

  16. 16
    Timaeus says:

    rvb8:

    1. Are you going to respond to my comments on the Christians Should Be Eradicated thread?

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....radicated/

    2. Since you are from New Zealand, I trust you have made a special effort to follow Steve Meyer’s latest New Zealand tour. He gave a Friday evening talk and a Saturday seminar in Auckland, apparently to packed houses. He was also scheduled to talk on the radio and give a lecture at the University of Auckland. Look forward to your analytical review of his various presentations.

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