An alternative to the big bang theory is the big bounce – where the Universe expands until it can expand no more, before crashing back into one infinitesimally small point in a cycle which occurs for eternity. The theory was put forward by Martin Bojowald, assistant professor of physics at Penn State University, who has built on Einstein’s model using equations which were not available to the iconic German physicist. Mr Bojawald uses a theory called Loop Quantum Gravity – a realm of quantum physics which was unheard of in Einstein’s time.
Einstein’s General Relativity theory gives an understanding of the general shape of the universe and how matter is spread out – something which is used to traces the cosmos back to the dawn of time, giving birth to the Big Bang theory.
However, Mr Bojawald combines the General Relativity theory with Loop Quantum Gravity (LQG) – a mathematical formula which scientists can use to describe the existence of the Big Bounce.
Mr Bojawald said: “Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity does not include the quantum physics that you must have in order to describe the extremely high energies that dominated our universe during its very early evolution.
“But we now have Loop Quantum Gravity, a theory that does include the necessary quantum physics.”
What the researchers deduced was that the Universe did not have a beginning point with minimum volume that is not zero, and that the maximum energy is not infinite.
In other words, the universe did not come from nothing, and will not last forever.
Mr Bojawald said: ”For all practical purposes, the precise uncertainty factor for the volume of the previous universe never will be determined by a procedure of calculating backwards from conditions in our present universe, even with most accurate measurements we ever will be able to make.
“A problem with the earlier numerical model is you don’t see so clearly what the free parameters really are and what their influence is.
Columbia University theoretical mathematician, Peter Woit wrote in his Not Even Wrong blog: “To qualify as legitimate science such claims need to be backed up by some conventional sort of evidence.
“This might take the form of experimental predictions, testable either now or in principle in the future.
“It might also take the form of a highly constrained and beautiful theory whose success in other realms makes a compelling case that it could also explain experimentally inaccessible phenomena.
“I don’t know of any example of such pre-Big Bang scenarios now being sold to the public that comes even close to having such backing.”