What Existed Before Existence?


Muhammad Ahsan, Reporter

The big bang theory is one of the most common theories explaining how the Universe came to be. Ok, so we all have a general idea of how the timeline goes! Before us, there were other cool creatures like dinosaurs, and before them, there were simpler organisms like bacteria. Bacteria came after the Earth was formed and the Earth formed after the Big Bang. Now, the question is what was before the Big Bang? Well, the Big Bang started out as a point of infinite density and gravity, called the Singularity. This Singularity exploded in a fraction of a nanosecond and started expanding in size, at speed faster than that of light! Nothing but the Singularity, and the Flash, are capable of going faster than the speed of light.

Now, the problem is that the Universe has surprisingly low Entropy. Entropy is the disorder, or the randomness of an object. A great example to understand this is a teenager’s room, the room gradually becomes messier and disordered. Another example is an ice cube. When an ice cube melts into water, the entropy increases. The molecules of water were arranged in an orderly fashion, so when it melted into water, the molecules were no longer as ordered as the solid state. As a result, the entropy, or the disorder, of that ice cube increased when it melted. Everything in the universe goes in the direction of less and less order, and not the other way around. But, the question is how then did atoms form molecules, because the formation of the universe is in direct violation of the second law of thermodynamics. The only possible explanation is that the Universe had an even lower entropy than it does today. How? We don’t know for sure. but we do have some theories (insert a theory involving super-intelligent, green, weird-eyed, short aliens here).

All of these theories require thinking out of the box and leaving the possibility of the existence of “crazy physics” open. One of the theories, called the Big Bounce, was proposed by Princeton researchers Robert Dicke and James Peeblesthat, in the 1960s. According to this theory the universe that existed before ours collapsed into the singularity which led to the formation of ours. The principles of entropy, however, do not align with this theory. Another theory is that the universe, or whatever existed before, was in a “metastable” state, which then changed into a more stable state- this sparking the expansion of the universe. Another theory, known as the “inflation hypothesis,” is that instead of singularity there was an inflation field. Some kind of a negative “vacuum energy density” (or positive “vacuum pressure”) triggered the expansion at an unbelievable speed. Another theory, and my personal favorite, and wait for it, is “the Multiverse Theory.” I am sure that you are aware of this theory, thanks to its popularity. Every entertainment platform has used this theory in some manner DC, Marvel, many of the T.V shows, movies, books, comics, audiobooks and memes (pronounced as meem-es). This theory suggests that the factors that lead to the formation of our universe, also formed other low-entropy universes. These “parallel universes” are closed off from one another, preventing us from seeing or interacting with them.

There is a possibility that we might never find out the full story of the birth of the Universe, but human ingenuity is not to be taken lightly, after all, we have done feats that were deemed impossible. Bring on the impossible!