Wednesday 10 September 2008

LHC: Large Hadron Collider: What could we discover...?

I am eagerly waiting for the first results to come out of the LHC, and the next, and then the ones after that...

The possibilities for advancing theoretical physics through experimentation are remarkably rare, so an event of this magnitude should be followed with interest. Whatever the results, physics is about to undergo a huge leap forward.

As long as we are still around to see it... {Joke}

However, I have a question regarding the nature of Time&Space that seems to have been ignored, as it is most difficult to find an answer. Either that or I am being an idiot... :->

What Happens to Time when there is no matter?

We understand that the presence of Energy/Matter causes gravity and the curvature of SpaceTime. In fact with enough energy/matter density we get a gravity well of such density that it is effectively infinite, i.e.: a black hole.

It should also be noted that gravity and time are linked. As gravity becomes bigger, time dilates and each period of time lengthens.

Until we reach the theoretical point: that a person (who survived) falling into the event horizon of a black hole would experience such extreme time dilation that they would be able to watch the end of the universe.

This seems to be the normal point of interest, and everyone stops there.

However, my question relates to the opposite.

The opposite of everything?

Before the Big Bang, when there was no matter or energy, there was nothing to curve SpaceTime.

What happens to time in this situation?
What is the shape of the curve?

As far as I can see there are two probably answers.

1. It is a simple curve, and time tends towards a fixed point

2. It is a TAN like curve, where time tends towards infinite values.

For some reason I rather like the 2nd answer, but I have been unable to find anything that would suggest this is the case.

It is an interesting theory, as given my assumption that Curve2 is correct: then all time before the Big Bang, i.e.: before the existence of energy/matter, would be contracted into an infinitely short period. At least from a theoretical observers point of view.

In effect the opposite of a a back hole, the opposite of a gravitational singularity with time dilation.

So my question is:
In the TOTAL absence of energy/matter, does time becomes a singularity.

Request for comment

I have been looking for an answer to this question for a few years. Can you help? Do you know anyone who has already considered or answered this?

Please let me know.


  1. @JTankers: Thank you for pointing that out. You seem to have a stronger grasp of the mechanics that I do, as my interests are more philosophical in nature.

    I have no ideas about the viability of Vacuum Energy pre big-bang, or if the big-bang is the point at which such became possible, but it would solve my question. The existence of energy, even random and fleeting, would create the neccessary conditions for Curve1. Especially as the energy effect would be distributed (I am curious if the vacuum energy theories propose a distributed field density?). In effect creating a low level distributed gravitational field, enough to stop the time singularity anyway.

    However, it still leaves the question as to the nature of Time without energy, and whether a singularity exists until such energy appears.

    I am also curious as to the precise nature of time itself, and whether it is a product of the direct existence of energy or by product. It is quite obviously related, but whether this is direct or indirect seems difficult to tell. I have considered an analogy like a CPU, that gets slower as the energy density rises and the CPU is taxed more, so the system runs more slowly, as seen in time dilation. But this would have some significant implications in itself.

  2. Hi, I found your blog on this new directory of WordPress Blogs at I dont know how your blog came up, must have been a typo, i duno. Anyways, I just clicked it and here I am. Your blog looks good. Have a nice day. James.

  3. The usual answer on your time one is a little odd. Essentially, there's no way to build a clock with no matter, so the answer's meaningless. There's no way to define the position of an observer (since there's no matter to define a point in space), there's no movement of anything to measure (since there's nothing to move) so there's no way to create a "timed event" to produce a clock. As a result, there just isn't any time - it's not measurable in any way, and simply doesn't exist. It's not that it tends to zero, it's that you fundamentally can't even show that it's present.

    As a result, there's no way to *measure* space-time (since both are featureless) and there's no way to define curvature either.

    A more interesting question is what happens in a universe which contains only two particles that subsequently annihilate (thereby removing all the matter from the universe - although the mass of the energy in the resulting photons complicates things - let's assume they interfere destructively too)

  4. Тема ну просто пиздец.
    Неужели ничего поактуальней не нашлось?