In the universe, in other words in physical existence, there are situations which are hard to be comprehended or perceived by human mind. So, it is necessary to create a scientifically valid picture of the state of existence of the universe in the minds of those who are not very familiar with the subject.
The Big Bang explanation that is accepted regarding the existence of the universe, and proven through various measurements and experiments, says that the universe has a beginning. For this reason, science sets out towards the beginning, that is, backwards. It goes up to a point called singularity, where energy is in infinite density and at atomic scales as the only fundamental material of the universe. Science cannot go beyond for sure because the “Big Bang” is also the start line and threshold of science. All laws of physics and nature that are discovered and used by science have existed just after the Big Bang. Now, let me continue by citing physics professor Richard A. Muller.
Muller stated that before the “Big Bang” there was neither space nor time; actually, the word ‘before’ in this topic has no meaning. The question “What happened before time began?” is meaningless since there was no such thing as ‘before’. These questions cannot be answered because they are meaningless. (Muller, Richard A. Now: The Physics of Time, p.140)
Muller’s above statement claimed that there can be no “before” state for Big Bang because time has not yet been existing from the scientific point of view. However, it also states a much more important situation. He claims that there was no space before Big Bang. So we need to go into details of ‘before the Big Bang’, especially on energy and space because many people who are not very interested in science, especially physics, have a false perception and wrong knowledge of that state.
For many people, the existence story of the universe is as follows; “There was a void, an empty space -some also say nothingness. Energy was created and it started to expand rapidly as a result of random or intelligent design, and it formed the universe by acting in this void ”. However, this thought is wrong because science says that what we perceive as the existing space is the space formed by energy. So space started and existed with Big Bang. As I have mentioned above, according to the scientific data, there was not a huge void called space outside the energy that formed Big Bang. There was nothing, even nothingness itself did not exist! Moreover, the universe is still expanding rapidly, but again, there is no space or void outside.
I can express it more clearly in that way: the space in which our universe is still expanding has an inner surface but no outer surface. If we compare the universe to a balloon, it has an inside but no outside. All the space we perceive is inside the balloon. There is no space outside the balloon, and even the balloon has outer surface.
It is interesting is that there is no void outside the universe, no room to expand, but at the same time, there is not anything to prevent the expansion. Let’s give a balloon example again: according to our laws of physics, in order to inflate the balloon there must be a space outside. For example, if you squeeze the balloon in your hand, the balloon will not inflate. This is the external obstacle which I mean. But there is no such obstacle for the expansion of the universe. Let me explain this with an extreme fiction. Let’s say the expansion of the universe stopped, its boundary is stabilized, and let’s say our technology is capable of reaching this limit. So what happens if we go to the edge of the universe? The answer is simple: we will reach the border, but we cannot cross this border. Not just because there is an obstacle such as a wall, a ceiling or a magnetic shield; there is no other side of the border! There is no space or place! That’s why we can’t pass through.
There is also the reverse side of the coin. Let me explain this with a much more extreme virtual analogy. There are several theories in the scientific world about the end of our universe. One of them says that when the expansion of the universe ends, it will shrink. Let’s say this situation happened and the universe started to shrink, and the universe, which is trillions of kilometers wide, has contracted to the size of a stadium. Well, in that case, could any physical material get out of the stadium? No, it can’t because no matter how large the universe expands, there is no space or room outside, and no matter how small it gets, there will still be nothing outside. Consequently, no physical material will ever be able to get out of the stadium-sized universe.
The same is valid for the singularity of the energy where the universe began. For example, for the beginning of the Big Bang, you go back to the singularity point of the energy. But where is this point? Where was the intense energy at atomic scales? There is no address or a location. So we cannot say that the energy was there and the universe came into being through the Big Bang there. There was no place where energy was found; no space or place contained energy from outside. All existing dimensions, positions, void, space, time, everything was inside the energy, and came into being with the Big Bang. In short, the location or address of the energy was in energy itself. Because of this situation, I wrote the title as “The universe was born, but it has no birth place”. By a common expression, the universe was born into itself.
Apart from the Big Bang, there are various other theories on the existence of the universe. Many scientists discuss those theories and defend models of their own beliefs. However, I will not mention them. My main point is that everything about the existence of the universe can be discussed, but one thing is indisputable, that is energy. Almost all scientists with different ideas and defending different theories agree on energy. Energy is the only indispensable element in the existence of the universe. Whether you call it intelligent design, or random and arbitrary, or claim a different theory, the existence of the universe is obliged to energy. If there is no energy, the universe that we know cannot exist. Therefore, what we call intelligent design or coincidental existence is not actually the universe itself, but the energy which is its foundation, the raw material.
Science acknowledges the existence of energy, but it cannot give any precise information about the origin of energy, i.e. its singular state because, as I mentioned before, all the laws of nature and physics that we know and not know about the existence of the universe started with the Big Bang. Well, what was the situation when the energy was singular, that is, when there was no Big Bang yet? I will comment on this subject again by reasoning through fictional cases based on science. But let me point out here, there are a lot of very interesting questions and problems related to this subject.
Let’s start with the problems. How long did the energy stay at the state of singularity (before Big Bang)? So does the singularity have a duration? If it has, what is it? According to the literature, there is no answer to this question. There can’t be because no duration time can be given for the singularity state since time had not started yet before the Big Bang.
In this case, either the “Big Bang” started at the same time as the energy came into being, that is in zero time (at the edge of Planck time), or energy existed eternally. No period of time can be given between these two.
Well, what happens if you are given a fictional period of time defining the duration of energy before the Big Bang? On the contrary, what happens if time period is not given? Either way, we face very complex situations! I will continue in the next part.
(Translated from Turkish by Semih Aydın)