Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Cosmic Singularity

Cosmic Singularity :
One thing is clear in our framing of questions such as `How did the Universe get started?' is that the
Universe was self-creating. This is not a statement on a `cause' behind the origin of the Universe, nor is it a
statement on a lack of purpose or destiny. It is simply a statement that the Universe was emergent, that the
actual of the Universe probably derived from a indeterminate sea of potentiality that we call the quantum
vacuum, whose properties may always remain beyond our current understanding.
Extrapolation from the present to the moment of Creation implies an origin of infinite density and infinite
temperature (all the Universe's mass and energy pushed to a point of zero volume). Such a point is called
the cosmic singularity.

Infinites are unacceptable as physical descriptions, but our hypothetical observers back at the beginning of
time are protected by the principle of cosmic censorship. What this means is that singularities exists only
mathematically and not as a physical reality that we can observe or measure. Nature's solution to this
problem are things like the event horizon around black holes. Barriers built by relativity to prevent
observation of a singularity.
Quantum Vacuum:
The cosmic singularity, that was the Universe at the beginning of time, is shielded by the lack of any
physical observers. But the next level of inquiry is what is the origin of the emergent properties of the
Universe, the properties that become the mass of the Universe, its age, its physical constants, etc. The
answer appears to be that these properties have their origin as the fluctuations of the quantum vacuum.
The properties of the Universe come from `nothing', where nothing is the quantum vacuum, which is a very
different kind of nothing. If we examine a piece of `empty' space we see it is not truly empty, it is filled
with spacetime, for example. Spacetime has curvature and structure, and obeys the laws of quantum
physics. Thus, it is filled with potential particles, pairs of virtual matter and anti-matter units, and potential
properties at the quantum level.

The creation of virtual pairs of particles does not violate the law of conservation of mass/energy because
they only exist for times much less than the Planck time. There is a temporary violation of the law of
conservation of mass/energy, but this violation occurs within the timescale of the uncertainty principle and,
thus, has no impact on macroscopic laws.
The quantum vacuum is the ground state of energy for the Universe, the lowest possible level. Attempts to
perceive the vacuum directly only lead to a confrontation with a void, a background that appears to be
empty. But, in fact, the quantum vacuum is the source of all potentiality. For example, quantum entities
have both wave and particle characteristics. It is the quantum vacuum that such characteristics emerge
from, particles `stand-out' from the vacuum, waves `undulate' on the underlying vacuum, and leave their
signature on objects in the real Universe.
In this sense, the Universe is not filled by the quantum vacuum, rather it is `written on' it, the substratum of
all existence.
With respect to the origin of the Universe, the quantum vacuum must have been the source of the laws of
Nature and the properties that we observe today. How those laws and properties emerge is unknown at this

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