# Mathematician Claims His Painting Predicted Alternate Timeline During the Big Bang

Friday, 29 May 2015 - 12:20PM
Friday, 29 May 2015 - 12:20PM
The Big Bang is widely accepted as an explanation of the beginning of our universe, but there are still paradoxes inherent to the concept that are left unresolved. According to the prevailing theory, the universe collapsed to a point of infinite density and then underwent a period of rapid exponential expansion, and these two physical extremes have led to certain mathematical principles breaking down around the Big Bang. Now, Princeton mathematician and artist Edward Belbruno claims that these problems can be resolved using a "hidden timeline" for the period of the Big Bang, and that one of his own abstract paintings predicted this theory five years before he officially proposed it.

Just as certain laws of physics break down when describing the singularity of a black hole, normal mathematical equations needed to be adjusted around the time of the Big Bang as a result of its physical extremes. Through this process of "regularization," cosmologists such as Belbruno can make sense of the Big Bang and prove the plausibility of a cyclical universe, or that our universe began with the Big Bang, ends with a Big Crunch, and so on.

In a 2014 paper, Belbruno asserted that the conception time itself needs to be adjusted during the Big Bang in order to sufficiently rewrite the mathematical equations:  "The way to make the Big Bang understandable is to first slow down time near the Big Bang, since the universe initially expands extremely fast," he wrote on Space.com. "This is done by using a new time variable that is scaled to change much more slowly right after the Big Bang, when inflation is occurring."

Using the cyclical model of the universe, Belbruno defines t=0 as the exact time of the Big Bang, while positive time is our known universe after the Big Bang leading up to the Big Crunch and negative time represents a universe before ours that underwent the same cycle. He discovered that a new variable must be introduced at t=0, which he calls t-prime. T-prime is an alternate, slower timeline during the Big Bang, or "hidden time":

"It turns out that when the Big Bang occurs and t is greater than 0, then t-prime is also defined as well. This means that t-prime could be used as a time scale instead of the usual time, t. There is a mathematical relationship between these two time scales. At our epoch, they are essentially the same, but as one gets near to the Big Bang, they are much different. This new hidden time then becomes an alternate time."

He stresses that the physical reality of this new variable hasn't been independently verified in any way; it simply provides for a mathematically coherent model of the Big Bang. But with further study, scientists may discover that the Big Bang occurred during an alternate timeline.

Belbruno, who previously claimed that his own abstract art inspired a plausible theory of panspermia, claims that shortly after publishing his 2014 paper, he re-discovered one of his 2009 paintings that predicted this same theory:

"The painting is called Time, and it shows a scene consistent with the results of this paper. Two clocks represent two different time scales, while a circular object in the center, with lines emanating from an interior circle, can be viewed as representing the Big Bang. The little clock to the left connected to it can be viewed as the extended Big Bang time, t-prime. The big clock to the right can be viewed as our usual time, t."

"I've now realized my unconscious mind was possibly working on this theory for all eight years... This painting actually predicted this result! This shows the power of the unconscious mind, which apparently does not abide by the same sense of time that we use. As I look at some of my new paintings, which are very abstract, I have to wonder if or what they are predicting in the world of science."

Two pieces from Belbruno's latest art series: