Dual Universe: Eternity | Spacetime

star field


5  Creation from Nothing

The key requirement for a creative eternity was energy. That is, a dimensionless eternity required energy in which a phase change, or symmetry breaking, could occur so that spacetime could be precipitated from energy like dew from the air. From the religious point of view, the question is whether the energy of eternity is the Brahmanic source of all existence,  of the potentiality in the Tao, and of the creative impulse in the Abrahamic and other religions. For science, the question is the existence of a form of energy without dimensions. If an energy with dimensions existed in eternity, the eternity would no longer be aspatial and atemporal, upending my search for a common ground between religion and science.

The nearest thing in science to a domain that might exist before initiation of the universe is a perfect vacuum totally devoid of radiation and matter. And it turns out that science is both comfortable and uncomfortable with the idea of energy existing in a perfect vacuum. It assumes that energy can appear in empty spacetime in the form of virtual (or imaginary) particles. These blink in and out of existence in times too short, it is said, to upset the law of conservation of energy. But in that brief appearance an imaginary particle can knock a real particle off its path. This apparent violation of energy conservation is permissible because the energy gained by the real particle is hurriedly given up by jettisoning a new imaginary particle, which blinks out of existence very quickly. The displacement of the path remains, but the real particle has the same energy and momentum as before. As such displacements are considered to happen all the time, particles throughout the universe display a great deal of randomness in their paths.

That is the comfortable aspect of this ingenious idea. It explains the randomness that is a fundamental feature of present physical theory. The uncomfortable aspect is that calculation of the energy of the vacuum attributable to imaginary particles yields the largest discrepancy between theory and observation in the whole of science. The prediction is off by a factor of 10100. It is known as "the vacuum catastrophe". It is the theory that is catastrophic, not the vacuum.

Updated 3/31/2017

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