Goodbye Big Bang, Hello Black Hole? A New Theory of the Universe’s Creation

Posted by on September 21, 2013 in Science, Space with 0 Comments

black-hole-universe-creationBy Elizabeth Howell | phys.org

Could the famed “Big Bang” theory need a revision? A group of theoretical physicists suppose the birth of the universe could have happened after a four-dimensional star collapsed into a black hole and ejected debris.

Before getting into their findings, let’s just preface this by saying nobody knows anything for sure. Humans obviously weren’t around at the time the universe began. The standard theory is that the universe grew from an infinitely dense point or , but who knows what was there before?

“For all physicists know, dragons could have come flying out of the singularity,” stated Niayesh Afshordi, an with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada who co-authored the new study.

So what are the limitations of the Big Bang theory? The singularity is one of them. Also, it’s hard to predict why it would have produced a universe that has an almost , because the age of our universe (about 13.8 billion years) does not give enough time—as far as we can tell—to reach a temperature .

Most say the universe must have been expanding faster than the for this to happen, but Ashford says even that theory has problems: “The Big Bang was so chaotic, it’s not clear there would have been even a small homogenous patch for to start working on.”

Representation of the timeline of the universe over 13.7 billion years, from the Big Bang, through the cosmic dark ages and formation of the first stars, to the expansion in the universe that followed. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

Representation of the timeline of the universe over 13.7 billion years, from the Big Bang, through the cosmic dark ages and formation of the first stars, to the expansion in the universe that followed. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team

This is what the physicists propose:

  • The model they constructed has the three-dimensional universe floating as a membrane (or brane) in a “bulk universe” that has four dimensions. (Yes, this is making our heads hurt as well, so it might be easier to temporarily think of the brane as two-dimensional and the “bulk universe” as three-dimensional when trying to picture it.) You can read the more technical details in this 2000 paper on which the new theory is based.
  • So if this “bulk universe” has four-dimensional stars, these stars could go through the same as the three-dimensional ones we are familiar with. The most massive ones would explode as supernovae, shed their skin and have the innermost parts collapse as a black hole.
  • The 4-D black hole would have an “event horizon” just like the 3-D ones we are familiar with. The event horizon is the boundary between the inside and the outside of a black hole. There are a lot of theories of what goes on inside a black hole, although nothing has ever been observed.
  • In a 3-D universe, the event horizon appears as a two-dimensional surface. So in a 4-D universe, the event horizon would be a 3-D object called a hypersphere.
  • So basically, what the model says is when the 4-D star blows apart, the leftover material would create a 3-D brane surrounding a 3-D , and then expand.

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