Next time someone asks how was this universe created, consider saying Big Bounce instead of Big Bang. Why so? What is Big Bounce? Let us find out.
What is Big Bounce Theory?
We believed that universe started with an explosion. This explosion is called Big Bang. According to the Big Bang theory, at the very beginning, there was nothing but a point. In this point was matter densely packed in a very hot state. It exploded and the universe sprang to life and it is now expanding, thanks to that explosion!
In 1922 however, an alternate theory came up. That theory was called Big Bounce. The Big Bounce stated that the universe follows a cycle of expansion followed by contraction and then expansion again followed by contraction again…so on. The current universe is expanding. Hence, according to Big Bounce, the universe started at the end of the contraction cycle. From contraction, it bounced in expansion. This is known as Big Bounce.
Why Big Bounce Theory Failed to Gain Popularity?
The problem with Big Bounce theory was one vital question. The theory says that the universe expands and then contracts and then expands again only to contract again… it is a cyclical process. However, what it did not answer back in those days is how did the universe prevent itself from becoming an infinite point and collapsing on itself to ultimately destroy itself? This violent ending is called Big Crunch. The Big Bounce theory was unable to answer this question for 94 years.
New Research in Favor of Big Bounce Theory
Two researchers – Dr. Neil Turok who is the Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics and Dr. Steffen Gielen who belongs to Imperial College London have come up with a new research. The research says that Big Bounce theory is possible and that, universe might not have had a violent beginning like Big Bang or a violent ending like Big Crunch. The study was published in Physical Review Letters.
The researchers suggest that in early universe quantum mechanics laws governed all particles. They say that the laws of quantum mechanics allow the atoms to exist by preventing electrons from losing their energy while traveling around nucleus and thereby collapsing on themselves.
In general, larger matters are governed by physical laws while subatomic particles conform to the laws of quantum mechanics. This breaks what is knowns as conformal symmetry. Conformal symmetry happens when the same set of physical laws govern the entire structure of the universe as well as subatomic particles.
According to the new research, in earlier days, that is towards the end of contraction period when everything became very very small, the laws of quantum mechanics kicked in. It applied to every particle in the universe and thereby prevented it from collapsing entirely.
A New Model for Big Bounce
The two researchers have built a new model for the Big Bounce theory. They added some simple ingredients to the model like no normal matter, radiation etc. This new model stands on the premise that conformal symmetry existed to prevent Big Crunch. Since conformal symmetry was present, the universe actually bounced from a previous universe that was contracting. It did not start from a point where laws of physics were broken (which would happen if the universe collapsed in on itself and was destroyed).
The researchers say that this new model allows (through very minimal assumptions) to provide a mechanical description to hot Big Bang quantum’s earliest moments. Based on these minimal and reasonable assumptions, the Big Bang that we have known till date was actually a Big Bounce – a bounce in which the contraction was reversed into an expansion.
The work on this new model will continue. The researchers will try and apply the model to provide an explanation how other elements gradually formed from the early simple universe. The new model which provides a solution to the Big Bang problem will now pave path for new explanations that will try to explain the formation of the entire universe.
What do you think? Was it Big Bounce or was it Big Bang? Let us know about your views in the comments section below.