Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning

This is a review and commentary on Natalie Wolchover’s June 6, 2019 Quanta Article “Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning.” I recommend reading Natalie’s article in parallel with this one, because I will drop a few quotes (in italics) to show areas where I think Hartle-Hawking’s idea has some connection with the Neoclassical Physics and Quantum Gravity (𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚) model. By the way, Natalie is a top echelon author on the subject of physics!

For 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 basics see: Idealized Neoclassical Model and the NPQG Glossary.

In 1981, many of the world’s leading cosmologists gathered at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a vestige of the coupled lineages of science and theology located in an elegant villa in the gardens of the Vatican. Stephen Hawking chose the august setting to present what he would later regard as his most important idea: a proposal about how the universe could have arisen from nothing.

Quanta Magazine, Natalie Wolchover, June 6, 2019.

The article goes on to explain Hawking’s idea that time had a beginning, and it was therefore nonsense to talk about time before that. The parallel to 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 is that time, as we know it, can only exist for matter-energy enveloped in superfluid. So, if we think about a high energy event involving Planck particles (in-core or plasma) there is no experience of time as we know it within the Planck phase, because it has reached the ultimate time dilation, i.e., the “singularity” as it was called in the GR-QM era.

Phase of Matter-EnergyThe Experience of Time
Planck particle, Planck Plasma, Planck photon all based on a particle with the Planck Energy.Time is not experienced in Planck phase. Planck phase is what Einstein called the singularity. It’s not mystical at all, it’s simply matter-energy so dense that it has no degrees of freedom, zero entropy, maximum order, no ability to participate in gravity one way or the other, no mass when bounded by other Planck particles. General relativity does not apply to Planck phase matter-energy.
High temperature superfluid, e.g., high gravity.Time runs slow, per general relativity.

e.g. your battery has a high charge, your deadline is a long time from now, etc.
Low temperature superfluid, e.g., low gravity.Time runs fast, per general relativity.

e.g. your battery has a low charge, your deadline is approaching fast, etc.
Zero energy,
Zero temperature
It seems from above that we are approaching the answer “time runs infinitely fast”. What would that mean? This is some pretty far out there physics.

I’ll put this line of thought in the queue on low priority. Something to think about in the future. Share your ideas in the comments, please.

The moment a standard matter particle (photon, neutrino, etc.) is created from the Planck plasma is the moment time begins for that particle. An external observer could witness the radiation from such a plasma emission, and therefore be aware that time was elapsing in their frame of reference as that emission continued, but a Planck particle itself experiences no time. You can imagine time ceasing as the ultimate time dilation of Einstein, that time actually stops at the the Planck phase (i.e., Einstein’s “singularity”). The plasma is at maximum entropy and no information can survive in the plasma, including information about time. Time begins for standard matter-energy, including superfluid, when standard matter particles are created from Planck plasma. In 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚, time is related to energy. Time is stopped at Planck energy, runs slow at high energy and fast at low energy.

Also, 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 makes use of an absolute mathematical time in conjunction with Euclidean 3D void space. So, external to the plasma there are multiple conceptions of time, but not within any such plasma. However, 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 does not have a single origin like the Big Bang. Instead 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 has many ongoing intermittent plasma emission events from active galactic nuclei (AGN) supermassive black holes (SMBH) and possibly other forms of high energy mergers and events where Planck temperatures are reached and plasma is emitted. So, unfortunately, Hawking’s hope that his idea could stop the “… and what comes before that?” question does not apply in 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚. As a side note, if it is possible for a Planck photon to escape the plasma, it would also experience no time, until which point it transferred any quanta of energy and fell below the Planck energy.

Hawking partnered with Hartle to create the ““no-boundary proposal” which…

…envisions the cosmos having the shape of a shuttlecock. Just as a shuttlecock has a diameter of zero at its bottommost point and gradually widens on the way up, the universe, according to the no-boundary proposal, smoothly expanded from a point of zero size.

In the 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 model, that point of zero size would correspond to the manifold surface of an exposed Planck core and any Planck plasma. This is where photons and other standard matter may emit from the Planck phase and form more standard matter in reactions. In the process of cooling, these reaction products locally inflate from the Planck scale by many orders of magnitude.

Now, here is a fascinating excerpt:

[Borrowing from Feynmans path integral approach], Hartle and Hawking expressed the wave function of the universe — which describes its likely states — as the sum of all possible ways that it might have smoothly expanded from a point. The hope was that the sum of all possible “expansion histories,” smooth-bottomed universes of all different shapes and sizes, would yield a wave function that gives a high probability to a huge, smooth, flat universe like ours.

That description fits well with 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 where smooth expansion of the universe may be the net long term outflow of superfluid through any closed manifold containing one or more objects or events emitting Planck plasma.

PREDICTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

  • In the NPQG model there is no single Big Bang. Therefore the age of the universe must be considered unknown, until a new consensus theory may someday emerge on how and when the recycling universe began. I suspect that the age of our superfluid bubble may be boundable at best and never known to a high degree of accuracy.
  • If our universe is “expanding,” and there are some serious questions about whether scientists have interpreted expansion correctly, then expansion is really net superfluid inflation and outflow from a very large number of intermittent and ongoing Planck plasma emission processes. It may turn out that some regions expand and others contract. However, net expansion, or outflow of superfluid may correspond with net inflow of matter-energy over the long term if we are in a fluctuating, but steady-state universe.
  • If the superfluid is flowing regionally, and in general outwards, away from galaxies, then the aggregate outflow (“expansion”) of the universe may fluctuate. That means that in regions or in the universe as a whole, the balance of matter-energy vs. superfluid may fluctuate. They are both made from the same fundamental particles and they both carry energy, so this is a straightforward conclusion. It is also possible that a galaxies life cycle may include periods of recycling and periods of pause pause with no emissions/jets over large time scales.
  • The Hubble constant is the GR-QM era’s method of measuring Universe expansion. There is actually a discrepancy in measurement methods for the Hubble constant, which is under investigation by scientists. However, the Hubble constant may be a moot point, because inflation and net expansion or deflation are local phenomena.
  • Is our superfluid bubble static? Is it growing? Is it shrinking? Is it fluctuating? We don’t yet know.
  • The concept of redshift from both inflation and expansion needs to be revisited separately in the context of 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚. See https://johnmarkmorris.com/2019/06/13/fresh-thinking-about-redshift/

The key meta-level takeaway from this post is that GR-QM era scientists were thinking like a uniprocessor in the 1960-70 era of computers. They hadn’t even gotten to the stage of symmetric multi-processors (SMP) or parallel processing. Much less talk about single threaded synchronous software versus multi-threaded asynchronous threads and processes. Here is the deal: THE UNIVERSE IS PARALLEL AND MULTI-THREADED! The universe is self similar both in time and space if the universe is infinite. If our bubble is finite then there is some interesting variation at the cosmos surface and that is new science to be discovered.

All in all, this was a fascinating article in Quanta by Natalie Wolchover on the ideas related to time and the Big Bang. Even though the Big Bang is incorrect, we can still derive insight from the science as recast for 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚.

J Mark Morris

June 11, 2019 San Diego v1
July 11, 2019 San Diego v2 – updated per evolving NPQG model.

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