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1. It may be an axiomatically incorrect assumption to assume "nothing" exists. In the beginning, there may have been "everything" and then we added the space in between. This gets rid of the idea of "creation from nothing" (ex nihilo)
5. Randomness is not a good explanation. If I state, "Random events occur. Anything can happen as a result of random events. The universe is therefore possible."... I really don't think I've explained ANYTHING. You then have to prove everything else. Prove that randomness is both random and that it occurs.
Nothingness and randomness are in direct opposition to knowledge. When quantum physicists explain the universe by randomness out of nothingness, they have chosen their religion.
We always implicitly assume the freedom of the experimentalist... This fundamental assumption is essential to doing science. If this were not true, then, I suggest, it would make no sense at all to ask nature questions in an experiment, since then nature could determine what our questions are, and that could guide our questions such that we arrive at a false picture of nature.
~ Anton Zeilinger
Without the big bang, what then?
1. It may be an axiomatically incorrect assumption to assume "nothing" exists. ...
This to me sounds just as bad as the classic big bang theory; you cannot start with a bunch of energy and then refuse to explain how it was created by saying "it was just always there" or something, you need a more scientific answer. And as pure logic goes, it makes more sense to start with nothing rather than something. The trick is to explain how something can come from nothing, once again I refer you to the idea of negative energy and a zero energy universe.
5. Randomness is not a good explanation. ...
Randomness is the only good explanation and the randomness of QM has been verified as true randomness according to the Bell theorem and that randomness has been proven to manifest its self in many real ways, such as random vacuum fluctuations and random particle decay. We live in a universe where it's possible to generate true random numbers using quantum RNG's. If you're trying to push a deterministic view of reality let me tell you right now we're never going to see eye to eye on this.
Nothingness and randomness are in direct opposition to knowledge. ...
I couldn't disagree more, there's nothing religious about it because no intelligent creators are involved, it's a purely natural process which obeys specific laws. Also your distaste for true randomness doesn't make it unscientific, there are no hidden variables, the randomness is inherit to nature and the majority of physicists agree on that. I really don't want to get into this debate though because trust me I've had it many times before. If you want to believe your entire future was determined since the start of time go for it, but from my perspective that is unscientific
And to be clear, it's fine if I'm wrong. But why is my approach ignored when it simply requires asking "where does space (only) come from?"
Technically, vacuum fluctuations could either be truly random, or "not explained". Quantum spacetime theory (unproven) explains that all of the particles that pop in and out of the vacuum aren't popping in and out of existence, but rather in and out of the view of our detectors.
I also submit to you that we cannot figure out how randomness occurs in a quantum system; but, does that mean we don't understand the quantum system, or that QM randomness can never be explained--ever? I believe it is too early to make a judgement. You may disagree.
Random vacuum fluctuations giving birth to the universe is your angel. You believe it exists, but you can't recreate it on demand. You probably believe that proof of these fluctuations will present itself either before or after you die (just like religious people).
This website offers true random numbers to anyone on the internet. The random numbers are generated in real-time in our lab by measuring the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum. The vacuum is described very differently in the quantum mechanical context than in the classical context. Traditionally, a vacuum is considered as a space that is empty of matter or photons. Quantum mechanically, however, that same space resembles a sea of virtual particles appearing and disappearing all the time. This result is due to the fact that the vacuum still possesses a zero-point energy. Consequently, the electromagnetic field of the vacuum exhibits random fluctuations in phase and amplitude at all frequencies. By carefully measuring these fluctuations, we are able to generate ultra-high bandwidth random numbers.
ANU Quantum Random Numbers Server
You stated, "there are no hidden variables". But you and I both know that there MAY BE hidden variables.
The prevailing theory is that virtual particles pop into and out of existence, they're only allowed to exist for a very small period of time so they don't break the uncertainty principle. The Casimir Effect and the precision of Quantum Electrodynamics (which relies heavily on the existence of virtual particles) make it clear that vacuum fluctuations are real.
Experiments which test Bell's Theorem prove there is no possible classical system which can reproduce the results of QM, in the words of Susskind "it cannot be the statistical theory of some complicated, chaotic, jumbled, classical system."
I don't necessarily think random vacuum fluctuations have anything to do with the birth of our universe, like I said earlier it could have been some sort of phase transition on the state of the vacuum causing it to release a vast amount of energy, although I don't doubt there were many random aspects to it.
What I should have said is "there are no local hidden variable theories which work". If you want to believe in quantum mechanical superdeterminism then I'm not going to stop you, but I think it's important for you to take your own advice and learn to accept what the evidence is suggesting rather than have a bias for what makes you feel warm on the inside.
But you did quote Krauss, stating that the universe arose from nothing as a result of randomness, in your original post. To me, that's like saying that emptiness/nothingness spontaneously turns itself into our space-time vacuum where "somethingness" randomly ejected itself out of this "vacuum". But that's like saying 0 = 1. I think a better stated argument (by Krauss) would be that, "the vacuum came into existence by some unknown means, and our universe may have sprouted, via an unknown process or event, from that vacuum, where random probability allows this vacuum to generate our universe." As you know, the vacuum is teaming with activity. To me, at least, it seems disingenuous to tell people that our vacuum is the equivalent of "nothing". And frankly, it's a lie.
I agree, but a new, non-classical system might explain it, such as quantum spacetime theory. That is why I included the video that gave an instance of seemly random data which had a "cause".
My position is that we may not be at "that juncture", where it is either superdeterminism or absolute randomness. We may find that QM, in our current understanding, is actually part of a larger system that better describes the movement of particles, which we currently attribute to randomness.
So, there might be a middle ground, where things that have known causes quickly become incalculable complex... but interestingly enough, they are repeatable.
Leonard Susskind is a great mathematician. I don't deny this at all. But, it seems like all of his physics theories will go untested in his lifetime. Which means some or all of his theories could prove to be false. It makes me curious as to how such a person should be perceived within the physics community. Why is it so popular, in the modern age, to become popular for untestable work, specifically during one's lifetime?
Saying energy can spontaneously come from the vacuum is not the same as saying 0=1, because if an equal amount of positive energy and negative energy are created, then it's equivalent to -1+1=0, it seems pretty clear a zero-energy universe is the best solution.
Also I find your argument about the vacuum not being nothing to be faulty and used far too often as if it were a solid argument... I would indeed argue that an empty vacuum is equivalent to nothingness, just because random fluctuations are occurring in that vacuum doesn't invalidate that point...
all it means is that something is constantly trying to fill in the nothingness because absolute nothingness is not stable, the laws of QM demand that something random will eventually happen in the midst of complete nothingness, which is the underlying point I'm trying to make in this thread, true quantum randomness is intrinsically necessary in order for anything at all to exist.
There is one other thing which could mean reality is deterministic in some sense, and that is the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. Instead of your choices being predetermined, you make every possible choice and they all split into a different time line. Some how that strikes me as even more distasteful than normal determinism but I'll admit it could be the right interpretation of QM.
But I still find a fundamental flaw with it. If you assume that the vacuum is full of an equal amount of negative and positive energy, you're still assuming that "something" is there. I don't consider "equilibrium" to be the same as "nothing".
Your approach: Our vacuum is nothing, but other big bangs may occur in other parts of the vacuum, thus other universes would share the same vacuum.
I still feel like your quantum fluctuations/randomness needs an origin story, separate from the vacuum. If your vacuum is true nothingness, then you can say that the vacuum doesn't need an origin because it is just the default emptiness that "eternally is".
If an infinite or seemingly-infinite amount of parallel universes exist, that means the super-universe has an inexhaustible supply of everything. And since nothing in our reality seems "abundant", let alone "infinitely abundant", I tend to believe it is false.
If the Many-worlds interpretation is true, then in some universe, someone creates and detonates a bomb that destroys all possible universes back to the beginning of time. Alas, since we still exist, not all possible universes can simultaneously be true.
If an empty vacuum is equivalent to nothingness then it can easily explain why our universe appears to be infinite and flat according to all our observations and inferences.
Best Answer: If all matter is over 90% empty space, then there should theoretically be small vacuums throughout the entire universe. However, such a vacuum would be impossible to detect, contain, or sustain.
Perhaps beyond the edge of the universe, a perfect vacuum exists. All the matter/energy ever can only take up so much space. However, there is no way to observe or reach that vacuum either.
we just happen to live in a universe where the laws of nature provide the right conditions for intelligent life.
Again if you are presenting that there is such a thing as a vacuum? Are not we getting into some kind of Holy Grail thing given that there is no observable evidence of a, "true vacuum"?
One result of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is that it’s impossible for a system to be in a zero-energy state. In a nutshell: if a particle definitely has zero energy, then it’s definitely not moving and its momentum is zero. However, to get that level of certainty you need the position to be completely uncertain and (for various reasons) that’s untenable. You can run through this mathematically, and you find that systems always have just a tiny bit more than zero energy, and that that energy is proportional to , where is the frequency of the particle/system in question. That little bit of energy is called the “ground state energy” or just “ground energy”.
The same thing applies to all particle fields, but rather than generalize, I’ll just talk about light: the electromagnetic (EM) field. It turns out that every frequency of the EM field, at every point in space, is its own tiny system (not at all obvious; that falls out of the math). As a result, instead of a tiny ground state energy for a single system, in any given region of space you have lots of systems. These form the ground state energy density, which is more commonlyknown as the “zero point energy”.