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 the 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 model.

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 the graviton particle superfluid of spacetime. So, if we think about a high energy event involving electrino/positrino plasma (Planck plasma) there is no experience of time as we know it within the plasma. Of course an external observer could witness the radiation from such a plasma emission, and therefore be aware that time was passing as that emission continued, but from within the plasma there is no experience of time. Another way to say this is that the plasma is at maximum entropy and no information can survive in the plasma. Time begins for standard matter and superfluid gravitions when they are created from Planck plasma. In NPQG time is related to energy. Time runs slow at high energy and fast at low energy.

Also, NPQG makes use of an absolute mathematical time in conjunction with flat Euclidean void 3D 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 AGN SMBH and possibly other forms of high energy mergers and events where Planck plasma temperatures are reached and plasma is emitted. So, unfortunately, Hawking’s hope that this 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 any Planck plasma. This where photons, gravitions and other standard matter form in reactions, and in the process of cooling, 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 perfectly with NPQG where smooth expansion of the universe may be the net long term outflow of graviton superfluid spacetime through any closed manifold containing one or more emitting Planck plasma(s).

Forty years after the Hawking-Hartle proposal, Neil Turok and collaborators challenged its quantum mechanical soundness, initiating an ongoing debate. They defined a concept of “lapse.”

Lapse is essentially the height of each possible shuttlecock universe — the distance it takes to reach a certain diameter. 

Turok and team argued that with real values of lapse it would not be possible to form a stable universe. I think the flaw here is that neither Hartle-Hawking nor Turok’s arguments have been reframed with knowledge of NPQG. Lapse could be generalize as the interaction surface and aftermath of a Planck plasma emission. Given that each Planck plasma emission is driving into an existing graviton superfluid spacetime, this should resolve the problem, since after all, the universe is an existence proof.

All in all, a fascinating article in Quanta by Natalie Wolchover on the ideas related to Big Bang and expansion, which is in itself an incorrect, and one might say anthropomorphic, idea.


  • The age of the universe shall now be considered unknown, until a new consensus theory emerges on how the recycling universe began and when. I suspect that may be boundable at best and never known to a high degree of accuracy.
  • The universe “expansion” is really net graviton superfluid spacetime inflation and outflow from a very large number of intermittent and ongoing Planck plasma emission processes.
  • The composite “expansion” of the universe may fluctuate with a magnitude roughly dependent on the scale of the measured volume and density of matter-energy in that volume.
  • The Hubble constant is a moot point, because inflation and net expansion or deflation are local phenomena.
  • New cosmology is needed to determine if the balance of standard matter-energy, gravitons, and Planck plasma fluctuates in the universe as a whole and at various smaller scales.
  • The concept of redshift from universe expansion needs to be revisited in the context of NPQG.

J Mark Morris

June 11, 2019 San Diego v1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s