WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Big Bang? What Big Bang? In a new theory, researchers suggest that the start of the universe may have involved no bang at all.
“Our theory suggests that the age of the universe could be infinite,” study co-author Saurya Das, a theoretical physicist at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, told LiveScience.
In 1929, Edwin Hubble came to the conclusion that “there must have been an instant in time when the entire Universe was contained in a single point in space. The Universe must have been born in this single violent event.” This is what became known the Big Bang theory, NASA explains.
The formulation brings up two major points. First, that the universe possibly had no beginning which involved an infinitely small and infinitely dense point of matter. Second, that more information could be discovered on the make-up of dark matter. Dark matter is the substance that makes up most of the universe, and up until now has remained somewhat mysterious.
The Big Bang theory, which speculates that the universe was born 13.8 billion years ago, comes from Einstein’s general theory of relatively. And according to these equations, all matter in the universe was once in a single point.
Robert Brandenberger, a theoretical cosmologist at McGill University in Montreal, says that even though there are holes in Einstein’s theory, scientists continue to work as if the equations still hold.
“So when we say that the universe begins with a big bang, we really have no right to say that,” Brandenberger told LiveScience.
The two most commonly accepted theories, quantum mechanics and general relativity, are actually at odds with each other and both theories fail to explain dark matter.
To investigate further, Das and his colleagues looked at an older way of visualizing quantum mechanics and were then able to provide a way to calculate the trajectory of a particle. After applying this older form of quantum theory to Eintein’s theory, they took a look at what would happen in deep time.
“One way to test the theory is to look at how dark matter is distributed in the universe and see if it matches the properties of the proposed superfluid… If our results match with those, even approximately, that’s great,” Das told LiveScience.
Brandenburg explained that there is no doubt whether there was a hot fireball at very early times, but problems arise when describing it as a singularity.
The new theory was first published in the journal Physics Letters B.