My trouble with understanding singularity

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My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Mon Oct 22, 2012 0:59

I am aware that the so-called singularity is merely a mathematical expression which is hard to visualize. People (including me) tend to imagine Big-Bang as grain of sand-like object suddenly exploding, which may not be right, just as Big Bang is and will probably stay for a long time only a theory. However, even taking this whole singularity concept as probable, some things don't quite work for me. Notice that I have knowledge neither in maths nor physics and I may not have read enough proper books and web sources to talk about the subject, but I am simply interested in it, like many others. So all corrections and links that may interest me are welcome. 8)

At one point in time, or before space and time began to exist, this singularity which was subject to laws of physics or not, definitely existed. We must assume that something that we talk about must have existed, at least for the sake of this discussion - if not this discussion has no sense. So singularity was some kind of closed system. Suddenly this system makes loud "boom" and begins to flood nothingness, not to mention that it begins to divide into various quarks, gluons etc.

How is it possible that a closed system suddenly explodes without use of external force if it is the only closed system existing (space and time still don't exist)? And if it was infinitely hot and dense (so must have exploded) how it is possible that it reached that state "inside itself" without space and time existing within it? How long it took to reach that state? Maybe it was in that state for several billions of years and all of a sudden decided to explode, but how it survived for such a long time being infinitely dense and hot?

Also, I don't quite understand why this baby Universe decided to divide itself into the particular number of particles and forces we predict to exist today. It exploded, OK, but what happened afterwards must have been either written in it as some kind of DNA code or it exploded in this way, because something outside let it spread under these, and not other, circumstances. It sounds funny that something that is extremely hot and dense later becomes something built of several dozens of different particles (why several dozens and not only two - one could ask)."
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Zyx » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:31

eMTe wrote:How is it possible that a closed system suddenly explodes without use of external force if it is the only closed system existing (space and time still don't exist)? And if it was infinitely hot and dense (so must have exploded) how it is possible that it reached that state "inside itself" without space and time existing within it? How long it took to reach that state? Maybe it was in that state for several billions of years and all of a sudden decided to explode, but how it survived for such a long time being infinitely dense and hot?
As far as I'm aware, the "why" the Big Bang happened goes into the more philosophical side of discussions and so far scientist are more interesting in the "how". We know that the Universe is expanding and some people have theorized that one possibility is that the Universe expands for a while and then contracts into singularity only to Big Bang again and so on forever. Others have tried to put God into the equation by theorizing that maybe God (ie. the external force) began the Big Bang but from there onwards it's been physics and stuff that ruled over the Universe. This is similar as someone writing programming code and then pushing Start. Now, the funny part is that the latter idea is not new but has been around in Western philosophy for a long time. However, it was dismissed because it minimized the role of God which was quite unacceptable at the time. Also, following the idea that everything follows a certain system will also inevitably lead to questions about free will etc...

Also, as you said, time didn't exist so questions like "how long it took to reach that state", "how it survived so long" and similar are meaningless. Also, without time, n0othing "suddenly" explodes. It's a bit, but only a bit, like that a 400m race does not exist until the starting gun goes off. Questions like how long did the runners have to wait for the starting gun are meaningless within the context of the actual race.
Also, I don't quite understand why this baby Universe decided to divide itself into the particular number of particles and forces we predict to exist today. It exploded, OK, but what happened afterwards must have been either written in it as some kind of DNA code or it exploded in this way, because something outside let it spread under these, and not other, circumstances. It sounds funny that something that is extremely hot and dense later becomes something built of several dozens of different particles (why several dozens and not only two - one could ask)."
Well, if we assume our understanding of physics is at least on the correct path, the Universe didn't decide anything. Following the laws of physics it would be inevitable that the Universe would, within some margin of error, resemble something that we witness today. Also, if it had configured itself in some other totally different way, like only dividing into two particles, we would not be here wondering about it. So, in short the "DNA code" was physics. Also, it's not really that strange that something extremely hot becomes matter, because as Einstein showed, energy and matter are quite related and "hot" just means a lot of energy. It's like the reason matter can't reach absolute zero temperature is because at that exact point, the matter would cease to exist.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Scythe » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:01

eMTe wrote:How is it possible that a closed system suddenly explodes without use of external force if it is the only closed system existing (space and time still don't exist)? And if it was infinitely hot and dense (so must have exploded) how it is possible that it reached that state "inside itself" without space and time existing within it?
I'm afraid this is not a question that we can answer with the tools that we currently have.
How long it took to reach that state? Maybe it was in that state for several billions of years and all of a sudden decided to explode, but how it survived for such a long time being infinitely dense and hot?
But time is/was/smujh (don't have the proper verbs) meaningless. It smujh bang. My unofficial theory is that a former universe either broke down or reached the end of infinite and all of its matter and energy was released into a new universe. How did that one form then? Well, from the one before that. How did the first one form then? Well, you see, smujh is like a loop, with no end and no beginning, and... Hell, we aren't able to comprehend this.
Also, I don't quite understand why this baby Universe decided to divide itself into the particular number of particles and forces we predict to exist today. It exploded, OK, but what happened afterwards must have been either written in it as some kind of DNA code or it exploded in this way, because something outside let it spread under these, and not other, circumstances. It sounds funny that something that is extremely hot and dense later becomes something built of several dozens of different particles (why several dozens and not only two - one could ask)."
Well, there are two options: Either you try to apply meaning to randomness or you say there is a plan behind it.

As long as randomness follows certain observable rules, it becomes predictable, but you'll never be able to explain completely why a certain result was obtained (it was "random"). But the number "two" would be extremely unlikely, since the rules of this universe say that "extremely hot and dense" is also extremely volatile, in constant flux. As soon as it started expanding and you put time into the equation, you got slightly less extremely hot and less extremely dense areas, which would naturally lead to the formation of new particles due to a different point of flux. And so on and so on until enough yoctoseconds had passed for the core to be spent. Existing particles would then continue to mutate as they were exposed to new amounts of density and temperature. This is inevitable due to the physical laws of this universe.

If you say there's a plan behind it, it becomes a theological discussion.

What I find interesting is that the universe is flat (or very nearly so). For whatever reason the universe existed within 0 spatial dimensions. Now, for whatever other reason, when the Big Bang occurred, the universe only spread in 2 dimensions. It does occupy 3 dimensions now, but the spread should be much, much larger if it had wandered into the third dimension at an early age. Why 2 dimensions? Why not 1? Why not 3? Why did it go from 0 to 2? Did the third dimension not exist to begin with?

Obviously other people have thought about this, but this boggles my mind. The "answer" is that the universe had an exact "critical value" of matter and energy to spread in two dimensions (practical, this must be the case) and that it suddenly hugely increased its rate of expansion (cosmic inflation, theoretical). Even small deviations, which would have happened if the universe had spread at a constant rate of expansion, would have messed up the universe, and it would have either crunched in on itself or spread too thin for gravitational forces to form galaxies. The combination of the exact amount of matter and energy with a sudden, unexplained increase in rate of expansion to form a flat universe is one hell of a lucky shot.

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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Zyx » Mon Oct 22, 2012 13:37

Scythe wrote:The combination of the exact amount of matter and energy with a sudden, unexplained increase in rate of expansion to form a flat universe is one hell of a lucky shot.
...which is why many people believe this was not the first (nor the last time) this happened. Or, that a God played a role. Or, that the probability doesn't matter because in any other way we wouldn't be here observing said fact.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Scythe » Mon Oct 22, 2012 13:59

Zyx wrote:...which is why many people believe this was not the first (nor the last time) this happened. Or, that a God played a role. Or, that the probability doesn't matter because in any other way we wouldn't be here observing said fact.
...or it didn't actually happen, the theory is all wrong, and we are lacking the necessary comprehension to explain it.

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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Mon Oct 22, 2012 22:59

Scythe wrote:My unofficial theory is that a former universe either broke down or reached the end of infinite and all of its matter and energy was released into a new universe. How did that one form then? Well, from the one before that. How did the first one form then? Well, you see, smujh is like a loop, with no end and no beginning, and... Hell, we aren't able to comprehend this.
My unofficial theory is that part of the problem is our language playing tricks on us. People, as animals capable of abstract thinking, are able to create contradictions and negations. If there's an apple on the table you see it and you can say "there's an apple on the table". If there's no apple you can say "there's no apple on the table", but it is meaningless absurd, because with language trick (all negations are language tricks to some point) you describe a situation which doesn't exist. It can apply also to terms like "infinity", "existence" etc. Since humankind learned at some point that a total sum of "objects" can be described as "existence" we also automatically created contradiction - "nothigness" which refers to a hypothetical situation when all this existence doesn't exist, which may be completely false and says more about our language grammar, rather than about outside world. The fact that Universe exists, is finite and doesn't have origin and will have no end may be its immanent attribute.

As for God explanation I don't believe that any omnipotent being would just sit above the Universe and wait 15 billions of years to watch how people invent computers. Besides, religion is in my opinion merely a manifestation of our biology, so all explanations which contain omnipotence or creation sound to me more like myths than science.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Scythe » Tue Oct 23, 2012 0:21

eMTe wrote:The fact that Universe exists, is finite and doesn't have origin and will have no end may be its immanent attribute.
Fact? What fact?
As for God explanation I don't believe that any omnipotent being would just sit above the Universe and wait 15 billions of years to watch how people invent computers. Besides, religion is in my opinion merely a manifestation of our biology, so all explanations which contain omnipotence or creation sound to me more like myths than science.
Yeah well, turning this into a question of the potential existence of an "omnipotent" creator is on one hand unavoidable, but on the other not worth pursuing. But when it comes to "God," It might not have the motivations or powers you seem to attribute to It. Hmm, on the third hand, maybe that's what's waiting in the third dimension of the universe. The universe is "God's" table, makes sense that it would be flat.

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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:18

It is avoidable, if you take into account that the whole God concept and in fact all "concepts" exist only because humans exist. Trees and oceans don't think and don't create theories. And they were on this planet long before we appeared. More, they still exist, simultaneously with us. Now why the heck we pretend to be "higher" beings, creating all the fancy theories and beliefs, while all these inferior (?) beings still exist too? They also survived, without being aware of their own existence (sure, Lem created a thinking ocean in "Solaris", but it was only a fiction book). Intelligence, self-awareness, self-imposed "superiority", philosophy, science etc. are not essential factors to survive, apparently. So, imo, we can shove the whole God (an old man with white beard who puts things in motion) concept into archives. Somehow, we are not the only chosen ones.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Zyx » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:40

As for God explanation I don't believe that any omnipotent being would just sit above the Universe and wait 15 billions of years to watch how people invent computers.
If we believe the Bible's saying that God made us in his image, you obviously don't know how addicting reality shows are... =)

One interesting theory is that if we assume that any highly-advanced society inevitably comes up with the idea to create a simulation of the universe, it's entirely possible we're living in one of those simulations. Or in a simulation of a simulation ad infinitum.

The benefits of this theory is that it explains why everything is governed by strict physical rules, except when not. However, those exceptions can then again explained by being bugs in the programming.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Scythe » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:27

eMTe wrote:It is avoidable, if you take into account that the whole God concept and in fact all "concepts" exist only because humans exist. Trees and oceans don't think and don't create theories. And they were on this planet long before we appeared. More, they still exist, simultaneously with us. Now why the heck we pretend to be "higher" beings, creating all the fancy theories and beliefs, while all these inferior (?) beings still exist too? They also survived, without being aware of their own existence (sure, Lem created a thinking ocean in "Solaris", but it was only a fiction book). Intelligence, self-awareness, self-imposed "superiority", philosophy, science etc. are not essential factors to survive, apparently. So, imo, we can shove the whole God (an old man with white beard who puts things in motion) concept into archives. Somehow, we are not the only chosen ones.
This is us talking past each other. You're talking about a "God" invented by humans to give them comfort and purpose. I'm talking about a "God" who may or may not have kickstarted the universe and may or may not care about specific bacteria in Its Petri dish. Or maybe I'm just saying that until something is properly understood, "God" is as good a description of it as anything else might be. Worship of "God" is pointless though. All hail the smujh. The smujh provides.

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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Tue Oct 23, 2012 22:49

Zyx wrote:One interesting theory is that if we assume that any highly-advanced society inevitably comes up with the idea to create a simulation of the universe, it's entirely possible we're living in one of those simulations. Or in a simulation of a simulation ad infinitum.
I'm afraid this theory falls into "language tricks" category. See one of my previous posts.

As for God, I'd pursue the topic, but it will turn into philosophical debate and my original post (on another forum) had this line added in the bottom:

"I'd love to keep this topic free of religious explanations. I'm not anti-religious, but please leave this topic God-free and stick to science. Thank you! :D"

I removed the line from CWF version, assuming that nobody will put the discussion on these tracks, but I was wrong. :D
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Scythe » Wed Oct 24, 2012 0:40

I'm done anyway. Thinking is too hard. Time to kill some bunnies or something.

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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Zyx » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:08

eMTe wrote:
Zyx wrote:One interesting theory is that if we assume that any highly-advanced society inevitably comes up with the idea to create a simulation of the universe, it's entirely possible we're living in one of those simulations. Or in a simulation of a simulation ad infinitum.
I'm afraid this theory falls into "language tricks" category. See one of my previous posts.
Nope, it's a very real and accepted idea.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Wed Oct 24, 2012 23:44

Not accepted by me, surprisingly. :P

The major problem with this computer simulation is that it is computer simulation. Universe is outside.

Basically, this idea is just another reinterpretation of all loop/infinity ideas. If God created Universe then who created God etc. Speaking of movies such ideas can be found in pictures like "Inception", "Matrix", "Shutter Island" and "Parallax View".

What is especially funny, most of the physics theories like the one from your link have their origins in maths, which is also just the language, capable of creating abstract notions just like our speech.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Sun Apr 28, 2013 23:38

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_expansion_of_space

Wikipedia entered its male mature stage. There are people trying to explain other people that there are things that "generally" can't be explained, but there are some people "out there" who WILL TRY to explain what's going on.

Welcome to Mesopotamia.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Mon Nov 25, 2013 0:25

Wild thought. If something kaboomed from singularity why isnt it in a state of homogeneity?

Take it logically. Something is a mathematical point. It expands in a mathematically predictable manner. The natural mathematical expansion for a point is sphere. So Universe should look like multiplied points, in every direction. Yet it doesn't. Look around you. Bed looks different from the chair, doesn't it? Saturn is different from Jupiter, right? There are 118 periodic elements, right? 118 sounds hardly like a homogenous number and, truly, it doesnt depict neither point or sphere.

I get this increasing feeling that 118 is simply a "human" number. One of many weird "numbers". Basically, my point is that since "being human" is only one of many interactions are possible in The Universe (what's the difference between learning multiplication table and hitting the Earth if you're a comet? None.) the funny symbols we use are representations of our biological situation. When you say 118 you say you're a human. You would say 26, but you're a human, so you haven't discovered the reality which is based on 26.

For example. Dogs don't discuss Turing machine, because they didnt reach that stage of complexity humans reached. We did. Reality is only as complex as elements of this reality are/considerthemselves complex.

Fractals. There is no difference between self-awareness and a chair.

Zyx? Pager?
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by Zyx » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:58

Mathematics and physics are tools to understand reality, not reality themselves.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Mon Nov 25, 2013 23:11

I think we already agree upon this as I said it thousand times.

My point is, an never was different however I may be bad in explaining this, would these tools (and answers they give) be different if we weren't beings constructed in this and not the other way. In other words, is Universe mathematical itself or does mathematics gives us answers, because it evolved together with humans and is somewhat cut to our biological perception of outside world.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Sun Dec 08, 2013 23:33

Yesterday, I attended the conference lead by Michał Heller, one of the leading cosmologists of our times. If the name doesnt sound familiar to you and you're a bit scared that catholic priest may be interested in cosmology, well. Asked by one of the participants why he doesnt even mention God during his lectures he replies "science must be done as if there was no God, otherwise it's not a science". Powerful.

To the point. He discussed various issues related to singularity and cosmology in general. Part of his lecture was devoted to current status of research related to singularity problems and big-bang theory. I was surprised to hear (well, I dont read much on subject) that physicists, mathematicians and cosmologists (at least some of them) are in the process of looking how to remove time and space from mathematical equations, because both notions simply "trouble them".

Basically, according to Heller, time and space or simply timespace, act(s) like scene for actors. Where actors are particles and events. To change the perspective mathematicians should try to view particles and events "naked", as they "are", without the timespace burdening them. Here's how he became involved in noncommutative geometry.

"Noncommutative geometry" sounds like message from outer space, as one of the members of CWF once called my private message ;) but its basics are very simple. As usual.

From your primary school you know that if

a * b = c

then

b * a = c as well.

In noncommutative maths the position of "a" and "b" are as much important as the multiplication thingy, so it's no longer important only what you multiply with what, but also in what order.

This refuting of oldschool logic (there are attempts to refute oldschool maths within modern scientists as well) might lead to powerful discoveries, according to Heller.
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Re: My trouble with understanding singularity

Post by eMTe » Thu Dec 19, 2013 0:13

Question:

if something expanded from mathematical singularity, why there are differences at all?

I turn my head left and I see the window. I turn my head right and I see the bed.

Window is not bed. At least not for the time being (we will discuss this subject later).

Simple kiddish question: why there are differences at all?
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