Many Questions need to be answered before cosmological inflation can be accepted as a possible theory that can explain what happened within that first second. And the answers lead to further questions that need answers that lead to further questions…. and it goes on and on.
So I follow an approach where there is a conversation between two people such as for example between a professor of cosmology ( lets call him `Pat Boone` ) and a student ( lets call her `Bernadine` ) .
THE CONVERSATION :
Bernardine : What exactly happened in that first billionth of a second after the big bang … the so called `Time zero` of this universe?
Pat Boone : Inflation…I guess.
B : And what is inflation?
P : Something rising or increasing fast such as Rising prices…I guess. They say in January 1923, a loaf of bread in Germany cost 250 Marks….And then the price of bread started increasing …and continued to increase and reached the 200 billion Mark by November 1923.
B : That works out as… an average rate of increase in price by about 8000 Marks per second. Wasn`t that rather high?
P : Unbelievably high….I guess …but nowhere near as high as during the cosmological inflation.
B : When did that start ?
P : It all started at about 10^ – 36 second after the big bang, and during the period between 10 ^ -36 second and 10^ – 35 second, the universe increased from near zero size to as much as a full cm across.
B : Was that considered high ?
P : Unbelievably high considering that even light which travels at 300000 km per second could not have travelled more than 3*10^ – 25 millimetres in such a short time.
B : For how long did the inflation last?
P : They say it lasted for a very very short time, till the universe was just about 10^ – 32 seconds old. Some Scientists say it was even shorter. Opinions differ widely on this .
B: And how big did it get during that time ?
P : I believe It kept doubling itself every 10^ – 35 th fraction of a second, which means it doubled itself nearly a thousand times…assumming that was the correct duration of the inflationary epoch ?
B : But why is inflation considered necessary ?
Pat Boone : This indeed is an important question you have asked. Scientists look at it this way : What exactly is happening in the universe …and what exactly happened in the beginning of the universe which can adequately explain what is happening now.
What is happening in the universe now is there for all to see. The universe is expanding and the universe is homogenious and smooth, . these are established truths. Scientists think that `Inflation `happening in a certain precise way can explain the expansion as well as homogeneity of the Universe, and thats why they are motivated in favour of the `inflation` possibility.
B : How does inflation explain these two things ?
“P : Good Question Bernardine..Just look at that painting ( showing an inverted cone ) over there …and imagine what happened during that brief period of inflation…As you can see, It all began in a very small region which inflated in almost no time at all to cover the entire observable universe , and in the process it ironed out all the deformities that came in its way… In short it wiped the slate absolutely clean, and created all that space for the quarks to arrive on the scene. And they did arrive in large numbers.. Perhaps about 10^ 82 of them … and these were the lucky ones who managed to escape annihilation by the antiquarks.
B : What time was it ?
P : I think it was 10^ (-32) seconds after Time zero….of this part of the universe.
B: What do you mean this part of the universe…were there any other parts ?
P: Just look at that painting over there…Isn`t that clear from the painting? …We`re all within that enclosed space…its clean and beautiful, nicely ironed out… smooth and uniform…and we are currently near the top …and all the galaxies with all the stars ( including Hollywood ones) are in that flat region of the universe…and its expanding nicely….and as you can see from the painting it all started from a small region of space.
B: Whats happening in the other parts ?… Is inflation happening elsewhere too.?
P: Who knows…it could be happening somewhere far off… but light hasn`t had time to reach us from any other part…so we have no idea whats happening over there. Maybe the `Intelligent field` was concentrating in our limited region.
B: So what exactly happened in our region ?
P : A stupendous explosion -but mind you there was no sound – …Let’s call it….`THE BIG BANG`….There was radiation all around. It was extremely hot… Temperature about 100 billion degrees Kelvin…..you entered the universe as a `Quark`… you had but one chance in 30 million to survive. There were about 30 million quarks and the same number (minus one) of anti quarks in your neighbourhood who annihilated each other in no time at all. But one anti quark was short and you failed to find your counterpart anti quark and thus avoided annihilation….And so you arrived Congrats .The duration of inflation, depending upon all the initial conditions, was worked out precisely, to enable the precise number of quarks to arrive on the scene, to obtain the precise density of matter per cubic meter of space per unit time elapsed since the beginning, to obtain the precise rate at which the Universe is expanding now, when it is about 13.7 billion years old.
B:What do you mean `per unit time elapsed` ?
P: As the universe expands, the matter density reduces. As a rough guide we use the rule of thumb that the average density of matter in the universe is inversely proportional to the square of its age.
B : And what is the current average density of matter in the universe ?
P: About 0.2 atoms per cubic metre of space.
B : Does that match well with the current expansion rate ?
P : It doesn`t look like that, if matter was as scarce as that, the expansion would have been much faster.
B : With the current rate of expansion what is the matching matter content ?
P : It looks more like 4 atoms per cub.m of space.
B: But you said the current available/visible/accountable matter in the universe is only about 0.2 atoms per cubm of space. What is the explanation ?
P : I guess there must be something hidden from us that accounts for the remaining 3.8 atoms… Something dark and hidden…Chances are (remember Johnny Mathis ? ) it is `Dark Matter`
B: What is that `Dark matter` ?
P : We don`t know yet. Shall we ask Tom Jones ?
B: He is busy conversing with Delilah. And they are talking about what`s happening now on the planet Earth . But tell me what caused the inflation ? Can someone explain this ?
P: There is no one who can explain this. This is a theoretical Physicist`s nightmare. But we cannot avoid the issue and just say… `it happened on its own – by magic – by an Act of God – or something and be done with it. We need a scientific explanation.I believe there was `Something` that did all the calculations, provided all the constants in the laws of science.. such as what should be the starting time, and the precise duration of the `inflation` based on the prevailing initial conditions, how many of the quarks should fail to find their antiquarks and escape from annihilation and thus arrive in the universe, and account for all the matter in the universe including you and me. As many as two hundred – or even more – such mathematical constants were required to be fixed and incorporated in the programme by that `Something` to ensure that life and consciousness should emerge sometime and understand the universe. Surely the Universe would not perform such a stunning show as the `Big Bang` to empty stalls.
We are the `Audience` that `Something` contemplated. But I don`t believe that `Something` was `Someone`. I call it the `INTELLIGENT FIELD`.
B: But the action taken was `physical`, and it required programming as well as execution, such as `switching on` or something. So it could not have been done by something such as a field, however intelligent that might be…. so there must have been `Someone` in addition to `Something`.
P: Yes, a gigantic `Superconsciousness` created by that `Something` in interaction with an appropriate bio chemistry, might have been that `Someone` that prepared the programme and then switched on the button/s.
B: Thats too far fetched, and impossible to believe. A superconsciousness however large it may be cannot control nature to such an extent.
P: Yes… its far fetched… but not as far fetched or as difficult to believe as if it was an `act of God`. Consider that a human being on this planet Earth can prepare a programme and then press a button (a nuclear one ) and cause a catastrophic explosion and destroy the Earth. Thats enough control of nature exercise by a creature as infinitesimal as a human being. Then why not a Super consciousness can do the same thing on a universal scale. Its just a question of scale.
B: Destruction is not the same as creation.
P: It all depends on the calculations.
B So you are implying that this was a simulation and that the simulation was a mechanism controlled by designers.The problem is that you need some computational substrate for this kind of simulation to exist in, and you need to have a system that can simulate it. To me it seems unlikely that such a simulation can be created, except on a limited scale.
P: Yes.. but it did happen on a limited scale, and in a small region of the universe as you can see from the painting.Perhaps it happened in a laboratory, a gigantic one.
B :But the information required was huge, and there are fundamental limitations to the amount of information that can exist in a volume of space, however large it may be, also there are thermodynamic considerations, not to mention the economic impracticality of such an endeavour.
P : Perhaps the required quantum of simulation was not that high… It is not that each and every activity of the future would be a consequence of that simulation…Perhaps it was some what of a notional simulation.. Only a computer programme was prepared in consonance with the already known laws of science including the already known mathematical constants, already known to the super consciousness via the Intelligent field having trillions of years experience through innumerable eons of the universe. But the programmers had no control over `Randomness` `probability` and the `laws of causation`…The designers could not say when and where life would emerge and then understand the universe…
B: But the already known laws of Science included Einstein`s special theory of relativity and the limiting speed was that of the speed of light. How could the programmers know that they could violate that and how did they have the nerve to perform that experiment?
P: This is an extraordinary difficult question to answer…specially with the limited knowledge at our disposal. But we`ll get there. In one hundred thousand years we have become men from apes. Who knows in another hundred thousand years we will become super minds and we will have all the answers.
B: Any wild guesses?
P: I am thinking…speculating…Perhaps the theoretical physicists of the previous eon were able to get at the magic formula that could unite `Quantum theory` and `Einstein`s general relativity`.
B: Bravo…but this is too much… I`m moving on ( remember Hank Snow?).
P: Wait a minute…we haven`t discussed the second alternative.
B: And what is that?
P: That there was no such thing as the cosmological inflation.
B: Is that possible ?
P: Not just possible…even probable…rather quite likely “
So many possibilities
“Phase Transition“, “Crunch and Bounce“, “The infinite `Cosmic Mind` omnipresent in time and space“, and “ Universe as a Pure Thought“
And they all represent…. `No Inflation` …!