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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Universe may never run out of time …

… But, apparently, it must have had a beginning!

Cover of a 1904 adaptation of Humpty Dumpty by...
Cover of a 1904 adaptation of Humpty Dumpty by William Wallace Denslow. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Related source » [1204.4658] Did the universe have a beginning?: 'via Blog this'
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“ […] The first two of these scenarios are geodesically incomplete to the past, and thus cannot describe a universe without a beginning. The third, although it is stable with respect to classical perturbations, can collapse quantum mechanically, and therefore cannot have an eternal past.”
— Audrey Mithani and Alexander Vilenkin, Submitted on 20 Apr 2012 (

Two mathematicians have proved that, though the universe may last forever into the future, it could not have existed forever into the past. It must have had a beginning, the so-called Big Bang that occurred 14 billion years ago.

Perhaps you are thinking, "So what is the big deal?" Well, a possible consequence of this mathematical proof, if it holds up under scrutiny, is that it has provided physicists with a potential foundation for the apparent "arrow of time", the concept that time appears to flow in the direction of what we perceive to be the future. This concept has always troubled physicists because the fundamental laws of physics are symmetric with respect to time. And yet, a broken egg has never been observed to reconstruct its whole self (cf., Humpty Dumpty).

It is also, seemingly, a vast simplification, in a manner of speaking, that the temporal dimension of spacetime is only half as infinite as it might have been. Think upon it, if you dare. As for me, I feel the onset of a migraine.

Post 1,799 The Universe may never run out of time …
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