When science and religion collide. Or maybe it's when they intersect:
(Phys.org) —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.
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.
Although the Big Bang singularity arises directly and unavoidably from the mathematics of general relativity, some scientists see it as problematic because the math can explain only what happened immediately after—not at or before—the singularity.
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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.
Ali and Das explain in their paper that their model avoids singularities because of a key difference between classical geodesics and Bohmian trajectories. Classical geodesics eventually cross each other, and the points at which they converge are singularities. In contrast, Bohmian trajectories never cross each other, so singularities do not appear in the equations.
No beginning and no end. So, basically, we're talking about eternity. Boy, that's the one we've tried to get our heads around since all those all-night college dorm sessions. How can something have always been?I think I stopped thinking about this so much about the time I hit 40,a good age to try to get beyond the unfathomable. And quantum theory has been adding to the unfathomable most of my lifetime. Something gets somewhere before it leaves!
And now we're getting into that crossover territory that might change minds. Probably not too many unbelievers are going to end up as God-fearing zealots, but a few atheists might turn into agnostics. Because eternity has been central to religions. I guess if the universe can have been around forever, so, too, God.
Infinity baffles me, too, but that's another post. Btw, are they gonna have to change the name of the TV show to "The Been Around Forever Theory"?
"Can have been." Heh. Check out this "Back to the Future Grammar" segment on TBBT: