What happened before the Big Bang? Nobody knows, and perhaps we won’t need to know if a new model concerning quantum corrections to general relativity holds true. Canadian researcher Saurya Das from the University of Lethbridge and Ahmed Farag Ali from the University of Behna have developed a model which avoids a singularity, the big bang, and says that the universe may have always existed. The research was published in the journal Physics Review B under the title “Cosmology from Quantum Potential.”
The model was to take Einstein’s theory of general relativity and to include quantum correction terms. These terms would correct for the effects of quantum mechanics. In a sense, quantum mechanics and general relativity are different languages. General relativity speaks to the macroscopic world of black holes and stars, whereas quantum mechanics speaks to the behavior of tiny particles which make up the universe. When these researchers used mathematical equations to correct for these quantum terms, they found they could avoid talking about the Big Bang in general. This means avoiding the current view that the universe came into existence some 13.8 billion years ago, and before that time there was nothing.
In fact, in the opening of their paper, they introduce a list of problems the current model needs to explain in better detail. Examples of these are the true nature of dark matter and the beginning of the universe or the Big Bang. Instead of a ‘big bang,’ they proposed the universe always existed as quantum potential. To explain this, they derived a differential equation with two quantum corrections. The first could be interpreted as dark matter and the other as the point of the singularity extended infinitely in time, thus never occurring.
“The second quantum correction term pushes back the time singularity indefinitely and predicts an everlasting universe,” the researchers said.
The Big Bang theory is the current and most accepted cosmological model for the origin of the universe. It came out of the solution for Einstein’s general relativity equations. In fact, one of the first signs of this came from the solutions done by a Belgian priest, Georges Lemaître.
Both theoretical and physical evidence has been mounted since that time. The problem thus far in understanding the Big Bang is the moment of the singularity. A commonly misunderstood concept, it is a point in space with infinite density and gravitational pull. At that point, however, the current laws of physics break down while explaining what’s going on. The new model proposed does not simply overthrow the Big Bang theory. It may open the doors for more interpretations and avenues in unravelling the truth about the origins of the universe.