# How can something be created from nothing?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Cragzop, Oct 3, 2016.

1. ### CragzopRegistered Member

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Please excuse my ignorance. I was taught that energy is neither created nor destroyed. How does this law of thermodynamics allow for the big bang? My ex wife is a MIT PhD (Physical Chemistry,) and she had difficulty in explaining how the origin of the universe was created from "nothing." Please do not belabor my question bu explaining that there was mass before the big bang, since that begs the question of what created it. I do NOT believe that god was the prime mover, so if your explanation is metaphysical, please understand I have issues with that. Thanks

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The BB is about the evolution of the universe/spacetime from a hot dense state, not the origin of the universe.
We are able to start with some confidence from t+10-43 seconds after the initial event.
http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/energy_gr.html

and

https://www.astrosociety.org/publications/a-universe-from-nothing/

and

http://www.physicsoftheuniverse.com/topics_bigbang.html

5. ### CragzopRegistered Member

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Great read. Thanks, but for me it still begs some basic physics. He writes "What produced the energy before inflation? This is perhaps the ultimate question. As crazy as it might seem, the energy may have come out of nothing!" just isn't definitive for me and again, is pure speculation, but I really enjoyed the articles. Thank you for taking time out of your life to respond.

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The fact that we can even presume speculatively about how the universe came to be, supports how far we have come.
Of course many mysteries remain, including your question, but at least we appear to be heading in the right direction.

8. ### nebelRegistered Senior Member

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just reading essays by Guth, Steinhardt, Linde, Randall Turock, Carroll, Rees , Smolin Susskind, will be getting to Krauss soon, -- it seems time and energy are fundamental, not derived. eternal. but recommend you read Lawrence Krauss, the energy of empty space, but it will not answer your ultimate question. Science is not about certainty in answers.

9. ### CragzopRegistered Member

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I will look into Krauss. I understand that science is not about certainty in answers in the here and now, but it's goal, imho, is to find truth ultimately. I appreciate your responding, I look forward to the readings. Thanks.

10. ### icarus2Registered Senior Member

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Dear Cragzop!
I'm sorry! I can't English well. Therefore I made the figures.

In the zero energy state, we can build the two models. But these models are hypothesis as yet.

Model-1. ${E_T} = 0 = ( + E) + ( - E) = \sum {m{c^2}} + \sum {U = 0}$

"${E_T} = 0$" corresponds to the nothingness.
"$\sum {m{c^2}}$" is something.

So logically, something birthed from the nothing.

Model-2. ${E_T} = 0 = ( + E) + ( - E) = \sum {{m_ + }{c^2}} + \sum { - {m_ - }{c^2}} + \sum U = 0$

I argue this model.

# My paper.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275056453_Pair_Creation_Model_of_the_Universe_From_Positive_and_Negative_Energy

## Computer simulation video.

Have a nice day!

Last edited: Oct 3, 2016
11. ### pluto2Registered Senior Member

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The fact is that Einstein was wrong because something cannot come from nothing. It's a fact of nature.

Also Einstein's theory is not compatible with quantum mechanics.

12. ### kx000Valued Senior Member

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Singular eternity, and creation are compatible.

13. ### originTrump is the best argument against a democracy.Valued Senior Member

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I do not recall Einstein ever saying "something came from nothing".

Hmmm, quantum mechanics says particles can come from nothing (See quantum fluctuations); so you must think quantum mechanics is wrong.

Also quantum mechanics is not compatible with General Relativity.

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14. ### spidergoatSpeak of the DevilValued Senior Member

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As I understand it, based on my reading of physicist Victor Stenger, the net energy of the universe is practically zero. Energy is balanced by gravitational potential energy. Therefore, no energy was created during the Big Bang, meaning the universe looks just as it should if it came from nothing.

15. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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The Second Law of Thermodynamics clearly states that while entropy tends to increase over the long run, local, temporary reversals of entropy are quite possible. For example,when we eat the flesh of a dead animal, this is a textbook example of a local, temporary reversal of entropy. The animal is dead (loss of organization: an increase in entropy), but we scavenge the energy left in its body to INCREASE the organization in our own bodies: a temporary but local DECREASE in entropy.

In the long run, the universe will have lost all organization, and a state of maximum entropy will prevail.

Then, perhaps, another Big Bang might occur (a temporary, local reversal of entropy), starting the process all over again.

16. ### nebelRegistered Senior Member

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not just from nothing, but in nowhere, and at not now here. [time]

17. ### timojinValued Senior Member

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Let me give you a hint . There was invisible Matter and it is at the present with us. Is just we can not see it nor we can measure it

18. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

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We don't have much detail about potential energies associated with the Big Bang, whether they were gravitational, mechanical (a collision with something else high energy) or whatever. But it's a fact, even today most of the mass / energy of our universe is termed Dark Energy. Energy was conserved. Until or unless negative energy is actually diced covered and verified, you can be certain of that.

19. ### karenmanskerHSIRIRegistered Senior Member

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Hi Timojin: Wanna stick your neck out a little farther and speculate on the metaphysical/spiritual aspects of this 'hint'?

20. ### danshawenValued Senior Member

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lol. I typed 'discovered' and the all-knowing spell checker changes it to 'diced covered', like a pot of minced potatoes.

21. ### Xelasnave.1947Valued Senior Member

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Well it read "diced covered and verified" which because you said it I thought it profound.
Let's keep it...
I have diced covered and verified my proposition and say that is most anyone can do to find the truth.
Alex

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22. ### YazataValued Senior Member

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I'm not particularly impressed with the so-called "laws" of thermodynamics. How could human beings even know that 'laws' like these exist and hold true universally? They look more like conceptual posits to me, simplifying assumptions that so far generally seem to hold true in our experience.

Of course. For one thing, nobody actually knows that the universe was "created" from "nothing". For two, nobody can currently provide any plausible answer to the 'why is there something rather than nothing' question. (I wonder whether human beings will ever be able to answer it.) And three, a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry is not good preparation for considering questions like these. They are metaphysical questions.

I agree with Paddoboy's post #2 that the "Big Bang" isn't necessarily a something-from-nothing theory. Versions of it that that do try to extrapolate the expansion of matter and space-time back to a mathematical point typically just proclaim 'something from nothing' and are invariably incapable of explaining how and why it happened. (Summing all physical quantities to zero isn't sufficient.)

Neither do I. I'm an atheist regarding God and an agnostic regarding the big metaphysical questions.

If you don't like metaphysics, then don't ask metaphysical questions. Whether something can emerge from nothing is a metaphysical question. So are the definitions of 'something' and 'nothing', along with the nature of 'causality' (and whether it can even apply to a hypothetical origin-event) and the nature and purpose of explanation.

That would be a waste of time in my opinion. Krauss doesn't have any better answer to the 'why is there something rather than nothing' question than anyone else. He's just trying to mislead gullible laypeople into thinking that he does.

The problem with Krauss is that he tries to use physics to answer a metaphysical question. So he has to assume mathematics and the abstract principles of physical law (quantum mechanics in particular) as his explanatory principles, principles that somehow explain the origin of... everything. That project obviously falls prey to circularity, since the principles of physics don't account for themselves. Krauss admits, in a footnote near the end of his book, that he is incapable of explaining the origin of natural law and logical/mathematical principles.

But he presents his ideas to laypeople as if they are the definitive "scientific" answer to the 'something from nothing' problem. His motivation for doing that is primarily religious (he's admitted that in interviews). He's one of the "new atheists" and confuses the something-from-nothing problem with theism's first-cause argument. He thinks that if he can defeat the 'something from nothing' question, then he's defeated the first-cause argument for God. But since he's aware that he hasn't really done that but still wants his readers to think that he has, I think that he's intellectually dishonest.

Last edited: Jan 2, 2017
23. ### Fraggle RockerStaff Member

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You are not reading the Three Laws of Thermodynamics correctly. Specifically, the Second Law states (in my words), "Entropy tends to increase over time, but spatially and temporally local reversals of entropy are possible."

From this perspective, the Big Bang can be seen as nothing more or less than a local reversal of entropy. A very large reversal, to be sure, but please note that the Second Law places no limit on the size and scope of a reversal of entropy. The only thing it promises us is that eventually, the reversal will halt, and entropy will return once again to its original direction, i.e., toward complete chaos.

Sitting in our little corner of the universe, having missed the opportunity to observe the Big Bang with our own eyes, telescopes, thermometers and other biological and technological tools, we're in no position to speculate exactly how it happened. All we know is that this astonishingly large reversal of entropy did, indeed, occur, and since then the Second Law has been directing the fate of the universe, with other reversals occurring occasionally, although apparently not in any time or place where we could actually see them take place. [This is not quite true: see my comment at the end of this post.] And we can be sure that our beloved universe, at some unpredictable moment in the future, will reach a state of total entropy... and vanish.
I have no intention of doing so. Before the Big Bang there was nothing but a completely empty universe. Or perhaps there was no universe at all, depending on how we define these words. Was there a limitless chasm with no matter or energy, spreading out in every direction? We don't know. Perhaps the universe itself came into existence in the Big Bang, so there was no space or time before the Big Bang... although in this scenario the phrase "before the Big Bang" seems inappropriate, since matter, energy and space itself only came into existence as results of the Big Bang.

There are limits to our knowledge. We could regard this with sadness, but on the other hand it means that there's a whole lot of knowledge just waiting for us to discover it. That seems like something to regard with joy!

Note: I fibbed when I said that we have never observed a reversal of entropy. Every time a bear eats a mouse, the mouse's body loses much of its organization, especially the signals sent from its brain to its other tissues and vice versa. But the bear's metabolism breaks down the body, reorganizes the atoms, and uses them to increase the size of the bear's body, as well as providing sustenance for its brain, which is much larger than the mouse's brain.

This is a textbook example of a temporary reversal of entropy, since we all know that the bear himself will one day die, and all those atoms he got from the mouse will become fertilizer for the plants in the forest.

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