I hated it. Things are much better with me around.Originally Posted by [b
This explanation isn't as flashy as the more detailed cosmologies you can find, but it is general enough that pretty much everything in it is true. I'm not sure if virtual pairs is a truly analagous behavior to the big bang, though. At the very least, this is a good introduction to virtual particles.
There is the cosmology from string theory that describes the big bang as the collision and intersection of two or more "universes" of greater dimension than ours. I believe the analogy was drawn with two-dimensional shadows being flat projections of three-dimensional objects. *The abundance and concentration of matter (as opposed to antimatter) is then related to the configurations of the intersecting figures, the way that a red light and a green light produce yellow light when their projections intersect on a white surface. By my understanding, it's not actually definite if these intersecting objects behave much like universes or if they are things of a different nature entirely, but their existance is somehow a consequence of string theory's interpretation of observed fact.
This theory doesn't seem to address the apparent abundance of matter in our universe. Last I read, the physics community was fairly confident that the universe had a significant absence of stable antimatter. So I'm a little puzzled by the sudden conclusion that virtual pairs somehow managed to bend the universe into shape without unbending it a moment later. It just doesn't fit. A lot of energy exists as matter today, and the more energy borrowed to create a virtual pair, the sooner the pair annihilates. Maybe somebody in the physics community could elaborate on this and explain it to me, because I'm just a hobbyist for now.
I also don't like the way they turn the void into such a big deal. They certainly didn't do their research on it - the idea of zero has been present in mathematics for well over a thousand years and with it the philosophical implications of non-quantity, and the concept of void has been central to Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism dating back even longer. But I'm critical of everything.