Big Bang Theory Debunked? New Equation May Reveal Our Universe Has No Beginning or End
With the supposedly groundbreaking BICEP2 gravitational waves officially disproven recently, the question of the Big Bang theory is just as unsettled as ever. Now, there may be further evidence that the widely accepted theory of the beginning of our universe could be debunked, as a recent international study asserts that a new quantum equation may produce a model that both accounts for problems in the Big Bang theory and "predicts an infinite age of our universe."
The Big Bang theory, which is extrapolated from Einstein's general relativity, predicts that, since our universe has been shown to be in a state of perpetual expansion, it stands to reason that at one point, the universe consisted of one infinitely dense point in spacetime, or a singularity. Then, the universe underwent a period of exponentially rapid expansion, which then slowed over time. The Big Bang also predicts a possible end to the universe fittingly called the Big Crunch, in which our universe collapses into a singularity once again and possibly leads to another Big Bang.
Although the Big Bang is indisputably the prevailing theory of the beginning of the universe and does seem to inevitably follow from the mathematics of general relativity, it presents with a few problems, chief among them that it doesn't explain the initial conditions that led to the singularity, only what came after it. "The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there," co-author Ahmed Farag Ali told Phys.org. But, according to the study's authors, a new equation that uses quantum concepts to complement general relativity may resolve this issue.
"It is satisfying to note that such straightforward corrections can potentially resolve so many issues at once," Das said.
The expansion and evolution of the universe are explained by equations- called Friedmann equations- that also explain the Big Bang in the context of general relativity. The physicists formulated quantum-corrected versions of these equations, and extrapolated a model that incorporates both general relativity and quantum mechanics, which is a major objective in the search for a "theory of everything," or a theory of the universe that incorporates all the fundamental forces.
According to this model, the universe is filled with a quantum fluid composed of gravitons, a hypothetical elementary particle that mediates the force of gravitation. The quantum corrections predict that the universe is a finite size, and therefore is infinite in its age. As a result, if this theory is correct, then there was no Big Bang, and there will be no Big Crunch, but rather our universe had no beginning and will have no end. Although this theory hasn't been proven, it makes certain predictions that adhere closely to our current knowledge of the density of the universe and the cosmological constant.