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LHC, Big Bang, God and Time

WetenschapPosted by Herco de Boer 10 Sep, 2008 21:58:22

I am excited about the Large Hadron Collider. A bit scared too, because actually we know little about what we're doing. We don't understand most of the universe, or why we are here and what our purpose is. (Does there have to be a purpose?)

Some people like to give God all the credits for the existence of the universe, but frankly "God" is not an answer, just another word for "we don't understand and why should we".
Science wants to understand and find answers. That's why we look at the sky with big telescopes. We pointed the Hubble telescope at a tiny bit of space where we saw nothing at all with our biggest telescopes on earth. And the Hubble telescope shows that there are billions of stars, even galaxies, there.

The LHC scientists are trying to find the 'God' particle - nice word, that means that IF we find it, this Higgs Boson particle, it will tell us what mass is and explain how everything can exist.
If we don't find it? Well, maybe we find something else, that will be just as exciting. More probably we will find more questions than answers.

There is one question that puzzles me: what is TIME?
This is a hard question and if you search internet you get lots of hits on the subject, like THIS site.
One thing that troubles me about the Big Bang is that it is not only supposed to be the start of our universe - I can agree on that - but also the start of TIME. Does that mean there was nothing before that? (What is "nothing"?)
How do we "know" that, anyway?

I don't think we do know, and I was speculating that the Big Bang might have occured as an explosion in an already existing universe. Much like some black hole in our present universe that would collect so much matter that it would explode in a Big Bang-like way, creating a new universe and driving our present universe away.

The problem is that the Big Bang happened so long ago that we can not see beyond the boundaries of the universe it created. More and stronger "Hubble Telescopes" might be necessary to be able to see what is beyond the edge of the universe. We think: nothing. But I see no reason for that. Maybe there are even remnants of past universes in our universe. Maybe that is what "dark matter" is.

And did Time began with the Big Bang as well?
What is time anyway. For ordinary humans time is the flow of happenings divided for our convenience. For instance the sun comes up, it goes down and some time later it comes up again. That seems to happen constantly so we can use that frame and devide it, for instance in 24 units. Let's call such a unit an hour.
Now we can go on deviding that hour in smaller timeframes, called minutes etc. So every change of events can be put in a time frame. A snake that goes from one tree to another in a certain time does that much quicker than a snale.
Both ends of our time scale, based on our own lives rhythm, are totally insufficient if we look at the universe. But that is measuring time, it does not say what time IS. Somehow I think that it has something to do with change, and change is movement. But what happens if nothing moves.

Our universe is cold, but there is no place in that universe that is 0 degrees Kelvin. At that temperature (about 273,15 degr. Celsius) all movement stops. Even electrons stop moving. What happens at that temperature? Does matter fall apart? Can matter even exist? Can there be some kind of radiation that maybe existed before the Big Bang as well?

And what about Time? Does Time stop when temperatur reaches 0 K?
You would think it does, because there is no movement or anything you can measure time on (against), there is no interval of events, because there are no events. Or are there?
Suppose for a minute (!) time stops all together.
Then suddenly there is a new Big Bang.
At some time in the past a Big Bang happened and there is no reason to think it didn't happen before or couldn't happen again. So there must be an interval between one universe "stopping" and a new Big Bang starting another universe. Where does that interval between universes come from?

So Time can't have stopped, because between one universe cooling down to 0 Kelvin, and the next Big Bang, time must exist. So what is it that can exist, while nothing else does. So it is also possible Time already existed before our universe started with a Big Bang. So, then, where DOES Time come from.

Maybe Time doesn't even exist in reality. Maybe it is something living beings experience to give their existence meaning. And though we experience time as linear, maybe it isn't. The relativity of time showed us that not everything ages at the same rate. Einstein figured out time was relative even in our universe.

For me, Time is the greatest mystery.
If you have to believe in a God, it must be Time itself.
I hope one day science will explain everything there is to know about the universe, but I doubt it will be in my lifetime or even in the lifetime of many generations to come. (Espescially when creationists and other "anti-scientistis" have it their way.)
And who knows: maybe we are on the brink of creating the next Big Bang ourselves ....

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