# Thread: comprehending the "nothing" of pre-big bang

1. I was trying to comprehend the physical location of the big bang and read about how it was not an explosion of matter in any location in empty space, but an explosion of space itself. This raised the question in my mind, if space is 'empty space' and empty space is empty, then in my mathematical logic empty space = 0. and if empty space = 0, non-empty space containing matter must surely = 1. 1 or more that is, just something other than 0 showing that it is not empty. HOWEVER, if the big bang was an explosion of space itself, that means that before this event there was NO EMPTY SPACE. this is where i get confused. so.. there was not nothing? there was something? as far as that logic goes, then the universe must have been 100% infinite matter and/or energy beforehand. kind of reminds me of something i heard about a membrane of hyperdimensional energy connected to all points of the universe. however, i also heard that before the big bang, there was "nothing". so does that mean that space itself actually is 'something', that even a 0 is something? or, empty space = 1 and matter = 1? am i supposed to use a negative number somewhere? maybe binary can't be used to describe the universe. so yeah, i get the feeling i'm just looking from the wrong angle of logic. someone please try to make my head less fuzzy, i know i can comprehend this somehow.

2.

3. Maybe enlightening perspective: Big Bang was initially conceived and promoted by a Catholic priest, who called it the moment of creation from primordial egg. A lot of people really liked this alternative to steady state, which denied creation.

That's not to say Big Bang isn't the best we've got, God help us.

4. The Greeks thought that one could decipher everything in the universe by just thinking logically about it. This has been adapted by the scientific method which requires thought (or theory) to match observation. So you have some thoughts, but now what? First off, observation has shown that there is no where in the universe that is literally “empty”, so no empty space. Energy roils throughout the universe. Everywhere you look at every scale there is energy from stars, supernovae, quasars and even energy left over from the Big Bang. One can almost describe the universe as a 3D grid of energy fluctuations. On the very small scale where Quantum Mechanics describes the universe, virtual particle-antiparticle pairs borrow energy from this grid, spring into existence for a fleeting moment and then recombine and annihilate back into energy, so that the net gain is zero. This energy grid is sort of like a fabric of space and time. The fabric is elastic or stretchy in that it can lose energy when virtual particles are created, and then bounce back when the VP’s annihilate.
If you run our observations of the universe backwards in time, then everything collapses into an ever smaller region. The elastic quality of space time does not prevent this. At some point in time the universe is smaller than a proton. Quantum Mechanics again tells us what happens at this small scale. Alan Guth wondered if a unique particle could spring into existence, borrowing energy from nothing, and not annihilate. It turns out that the laws of QM do not prevent this and the “negative energy” would cause exponential inflation, or a Big Bang. Guth’s theory has matched many observational hurdles, although the theory is still undergoing modification. It is even conjectured that gravity is a negative energy, thus the sum of everything in the universe plus its gravitational force might be zero.
So space time underwent exponential or “explosive” growth, which many people misinterpret as an explosion. There literally was nothing and there may still be a sum of nothing.

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