A new theory has emerged and if it is proved to be true, it may propose that the universe did not come into existence with a rapid expansion from an infinitesimally small point, or big bang as many people know it.
According to Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Canada, the new formulation which he has co-authored suggests that the universe was never an infinitely small or dense point of matter to begin with.
This would mean that the age of the universe itself is infinite, having no starting point and this notion goes against everything that has become to be popular belief surrounding how the universe itself came to be what it is now today.
Big Bang Theory
According to this theory, the universe was born about 13.7 billion years ago. All the matter that exists today was once squished into an infinitely dense, infinitely tiny, ultra-hot point called a singularity. This tiny fireball then expanded rapidly and gave rise to the early universe.
Stephen Hawking acknowledges that it was at this singularity, that all the laws of physics had broken down. This meant the state of the universe after the Big Bang had not depended on anything that may have happened before it occurred. The universe evolved from the expansion completely independent of what it was like before and since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory, and say that time began at the Big Bang.
The New Theory
It is still unnamed but it aims to solve the problem that currently lies within the physics of the Big Bang theory itself, that being the conflicting theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity.
Quantum mechanics suggests that the behavior of tiny subatomic particles is fundamentally uncertain. This is at odds with Einstein’s general relativity theory, which is deterministic, meaning that once all the natural laws are known, the future is completely predetermined by the past, Das said.
And neither theory explains what dark matter, an invisible form of matter that exerts a gravitational pull on ordinary matter but cannot be detected by most telescopes, is made of.
One way of attempting to unite the two theories, according to Das, is to see how they are related to the density of dark matter in a hypothetical universe.
This universe would be filled with a superfluid made up of small particles such as gravitons or axions. The dark matter would be examined to see how it is distributed within the universe and then it would be compared to the properties found in the superfluid. If the results matched, it would mean the new equation would reconcile the two conflicting theories, something the Big Bang theory could never do.
This new theory doesn’t dispute that the universe was once very small and hot. However, it decides to dismiss the singularity point in favour of an infinite universe lifespan. It currently awaits peer review.