If The Universe is Flat, How Could There Have Been A Big Bang?

The Standard Big Bang model, the Λ-CDM model, considers that there was Dark Matter from the start. What is it made of? No answer so far; both speculative theory and experiments have come up empty. The Big Bang is supposed to fabricate a number of things, none of them behave like Dark Matter. According to specialists, there seems to be a few exotic possibilities left (“Axions”, etc.) So this looks tenuous: their reasonings are too convoluted and depend upon too many axioms. 

The Big Bang model exhibits a plethora of axioms, thus the Big Bang itself is not beyond any suspicion, In My Not So Humble Opinion (IMNSHO). 

The most blatant case is this. Right, there is a cosmic expansion going on, and also a cosmic ageing: these are obvious facts easily established with powerful telescopes. But there is a blatant philosophical problem: a couple of independent axioms doing the same thing at different times. We have TWO  cosmic expansions, none of which is explained by deeper considerations. 

The one which came first was the expansion caused by the Big Bang, initially observed first more than a century ago. It just is: by 1920, astronomers were busy showing that groups of galaxies were flying away from each other, and the more away, the faster (that they could discover that from their grainy and messy pictures is amazing; the guy with the biggest scope, Hubble, carried the prize of eternal renown). 

The other cosmic expansion was a complete surprise. The first inkling of it were found in refined mathematical analysis in the 1960s (mathematician Segal pointed out that the expansion looked quadratic, not linear; he was ignored by the masses). The universe is expanding at an accelerated pace: there is surplus of energy out there. It is called “Dark Energy”. The obvious question I have asked is why would there be two inflation mechanisms, both unexplained? Maybe there is just one. And the Big Bang is an illusion, just a snapshot of Dark Energy applied over 100 billion years or so. (There are inklings this could be true as some stars are nearly as old as the universe…)

Part of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The faintest galaxies here are supposed to be 13.4 billion years old or so. The problem is that then, the universe was obviously completely flat already! How far must flat go before it’s obviously a problem?

The observed cosmic vacuum energy is roughly zero. Here by “observed” is meant observed as interpreted by using a theory of gravitation, aka “General Relativity” (GR). Roughly the main equation of GR is: Curvature = Energy. If energy is huge, so is curvature, and light beams (which define geodesics in GR spacetime) would immediately converge. They don’t.

We have to think about what this means. Spacetime is highly curved around masses, but not so on the largest size. Why should we think it was ever different? Because of the “Big Bang”? That’s a circular argument.

The Paucity of hypothesis philosophy will go on assuming there is only one cosmic inflation, Dark Energy, and that the Big Bang is an illusion driven by a desire to believe our times are special. (I know some will say Helium was created in the Big Bang… But I am not sure: given enough duration, couldn’t stars make all of it? 

As Einstein himself pointed out, the curvature is precisely defined, but the right hand, energy side of the GR equation is not. He was imminently qualified to say so, as by 1912 he and colleagues (starting with Planck himself!) had discovered vacuum energy.

It is traditional to brandish 10^120 as the energy of the vacuum. But that’s obtained by cutting the universe into Planck size boxes first. Then one gets a mass of 10^96 kilograms per cubic meter, 10^46 times the mass of the Sun. Basically all Black Holes, shoulder to shoulder. The ultimate high explosive. Silly stuff.

In SQPR, the number of oscillations of the Pilot Wave is de facto bounded. This also limits the QFT analysis independently of the Planck size, and at a much bigger scale. It also can be all computed. But nobody in the rest of academia was ever interested, aside from… Feynman and De Broglie  (whereas my ultra-finite approach to math attracted the attention of a number of top mathematicians, who bothered to check whether their own work would be immune to it…)

To come back to the initial question, Dark Energy answers it: the universe is flat because its engine is Dark Energy, and it’s not that mighty an engine. No “inflaton” there (the short period of inflation of space at 10^23 times the speed of light that Soviet and then US cosmologists suggested to try to reconcile theory and observations). As I pointed out in the past, given enough time, we don’t need the Big Bang. If the Universe is one hundred billion years old, many cosmic riddles vanish. But right now the official truth is that the universe was created 13.7 billion years ago (thanks to heavy fudging of cosmic, and comic, proportions). It reminds me of when Lamarck was looking through his microscope at fossils of mollusks million of years old, and the Christian church proclaimed that the universe was only 6,000 years old (that was less old than some oral traditions, let alone Hindu mythology or Persian history)…

Patrice Ayme


SQPR assumes that the wave function collapse is a force, the Quantum Interaction (QI). That means first that the definition of force of Buridan, something which modifies trajectory, is extended to just having something which causes an effect (that was already the case with the weak force…) Second anything having an effect is retarded. So QI goes at speed, say 10^23 c… Now, third, the nature of the quantum collapse is to shrink the quantum wave W onto itself (namely the quantum wave goes from all over the Hilbert space H, to an eigenvector within it, so collapse: W–> {*}) if the energy of the wave is the sum of the square root of the square of its curvature, it can be extended only to a limited number of cycles before it goes non linear, thus collapses, by interacting with another stray quantum wave, W’…

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4 Responses to “If The Universe is Flat, How Could There Have Been A Big Bang?”

  1. Ian Miller Says:

    on March 21, 2021 at 10:16 pm said:
    Hello Patrice,
    As I understand it, the 10^120 comes from the energy QFT enthusiasts say is there. To minimize the embarrassment they have tried to renormalize it away, which, in my opinion, is simply a fudge devoid of reason, and they can reduce it an error of about 10^50. Still not good. My view is the fault lies within QFT and I don’t really care about it – I’ll let someone else fix it.

    Yes, the interesting thing about the GR equation is that superficially it appears to be dimensionally wrong. “Discovering vacuum energy” would be an interesting correction.

    I also am not very happy with the inflation concept. The incredible initial inflation is interesting because the only evidence for it is they can’t make their equations work without it, but maybe those equations are wrong. I don’t know, and at present there is no real evidence to say what happened.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Patrice Ayme
      on March 22, 2021 at 6:31 pm said:
      QFT is fundamentally a method to push Quantum Physics, in a spirit adapted to Field Theory, as far as possible. Some tricks work, or at least so it looks, when comparing to experimental results. But QFT is not axiomatically simple, it is more a patchwork of tricks. Some may work for the wrong reasons (say imaginary time, which is used for computations). Strings theory is QFT with one dimensional objects instead of points: that eliminate some infinities. SUSY assumes complete symmetry between fermions and bosons: that eliminates some more infinities.
      Neither SUSY nor Strings are apparent experimentally.
      In truth the theory QFT is rather formal, empirical, and about differences. It doesn’t pretend to be fundamental, but some results are so correct that they clearly depict some reality underneath, especially pertaining to “virtual particles”: if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, shakes its tail like a duck…

      Vacuum energy does EXIST: the Casimir effect is real, thoroughly documented, and there are libraries of more than 10,000 configurations, for tech usage.
      I have proposed, years ago, how to make an engine out of it.

      That GR central idea, [curvature = energy] was more or less explicit in Buridan, nearly seven centuries ago. It is a return to an old idea, with Laplace’s retarded gravitational field for better effect. It’s OK, but, as I said, it’s 670 years old… The QFT mess shows a plethora of new ideas needs new, more powerful axioms.
      Cosmic inflation is exactly like saying we will have Star Trek by surfing spacetime… Applied not just to one ship, the starship Enterprise, but to the whole universe. OK. Whatever. Next we will believe in zillions of parallel universes each picosecond. Oh, shoot, late on that one too… 😉
      The Casimir effect is more interesting… And new, and deeper…


  2. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Discussing the origin of the universe is about as useful as speculating on the existence of God. There are more pressing concerns, such as how to stop China starting WWIII.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hi Chris and thanks for the pertinent comment! This is an objection often made; why to push the limits of reason while the house (“eco” in Greek) is burning down?

      We are not just pondering the universe when we reason about the reasons to believe the universe originated in such and such a way. For example, I believe that Quantum Physics, as presently deployed, is incomplete to the point of being fully wrong in some circumstances. And dark matter is the proof of what I mean. It is a consequence of my inchoate theory, SQPR.

      This is of extreme technological interest in the making of quantum computers, which will enable the computation one can’t even imagine now, like the evolution of life forms.

      More generally, as I think about how people think when they elaborate or defend the Lambda Cold Dark Matter cosmology (the “Big Bang”), I am thinking about how professional thinkers who claim to have the most refined thinking, actually think and whether they exhibit subtle flawed methods that no critique ever diagnosed in the past, or even revealed as a mental disease.

      In other words, it looks like Big Bang thinking, but what we are banging big time is how the elite thinks… Thus, in particular, Xi. I wrote extensively about US plutocrats pushing Xi, just as their spiritual grandparents pushed Hitler: same methods, same reasons, same justification, same entanglement of Western plutocracy with autocratic plutocracy, etc.

      This was all exemplified by the one million COVID deaths in the West: had reason and observation been followed, revealing the virus to be airborne, they would not have happened. By the way, the virus has long term consequences: for one million dead, there are millions with long term, poorly known consequences.

      Now the lack of observation and reasoning happened because the so-called “Democrats” (I’m a registered Democrat myself) politicized masks and used them, successfully, to claim Trump was “anti-science” and persuade the public that Trump was an enemy of science (while Trump was making the successful, new science vaccines possible). So they all wore masks inside, and exploded the pandemic.

      Xi is mad if he thinks he can invade the “country” of Taiwan. Trump ordered the use of the concept of “country” when referring to Taiwan, and now Biden’s underling Blinken has followed suit. Superficially, it looks as if Xi could attack. But the superiority of the West in nuclear attack submarines is overwhelming. Just that. Hitler happened, because the US let him be: Hitler was the weapon of the US against the established world order, which was a European world order. Now the world order is US led. Putin and Xi are supposed to embody the roles of bad cops, and the US-Biden is supposed to be a good cop. No more. Instead Putin invaded part of Ukraine, and Xi is obsessed with Taiwan… as a distraction from his dangerously Confucianizing confusing pseudo-Maoism.

      Hitler was successful in 1939 and 1940, because the West was divided: the US government was formally antagonistic to Britain and France, and US plutocrats were helping Hitler, crucially (and so was Stalin). Right now it seems crucial that the “Quad” (which includes the US, India, Australia and Japan) and the EU make one block against Xi. So far, so good: France and the US have sailed through the Chinese South China Sea fortifications, Australia has acquired a stiffer spine…

      Wars were won by our ancestors against other tribes and human species, because they outsmarted their opponents and predators. Outsmarting requires studying reason… not just one’s reasons, but that of one’s opponents..


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