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Before a time classified as a Planck time, 10-43 seconds, all of the four fundamental forces are presumed to have been unified into one force. All matter, energy, space and time are presumed to have exploded outward from the original singularity. Nothing is known of this period.
If you take pretty much any model of the origin of the universe, they all fall back to a point where time, space, and matter did not exist.
and all things that we know of rely on spacetime, then its quite easy to conceive of how a state of nothing could exist.
Not true. There are eternal models of the Universe.
If there actually was nothing that's all that could ever be, this is why even believers in God must posit something more than nothing, in their case a creator God powerful and complex enough to create a Universe out of this nothing.
Here's an example. You may be familiar with Hooke's law for the force exerted by a spring: F=kx where k is the tension of the spring and x is the distance it is stretched. Now write the equation as k=F/x. Written this way it would seem that if you compare the tension between any two points on the spring, it grows and grows the closer together the two points are. In fact, two points spaced infinitesimally apart seem to have an infinite tension! It's just a manifestation of the 1/x limit above.
But of course that's not true. If you really want to know what's happening at small distance scales you can't use the classical physics behind Hooke's law. At some point x drops below the spacing between molecules in the spring's metal. Now Hooke's law no longer applies and you have to use atomic physics to explain the spring's properties. So in the large-scale theory (Hooke's law) there was no fundamental distance scale: x could be as small as you want. But at some point this law breaks down. In the small-scale theory (quantum mechanics and atomic physics) there is a fundamental distance scale: the atomic spacing. We would say that the singularity has been 'resolved.'
What you are forgetting is we don't know what existed. It is entirely your interpretation that space-time didn't exist before that big bang happened.
And i personally believe the theory with the black hole of an older universe to be the likeliest. Then our zero point in space time would be what you describes with your hooks law, a point where we change perception. Switch from collapsing to expanding and nothing more. After a moment of equilibrium as in the curve of a jump, which would be the moment of the highest stored energy, but there is still approximately zero space and time, and approximately infinite mass, not nothing.
When I say there is nothing "before" the first planck time, I mean from the perspective of this world there was no thing in a state of existence.
Sources? Because from my research the oscillating universe and the multiverse both would have had "beginnings".
Since the advent of inflation, several theorems have been proven suggesting that although inflation can (and generically does) continue eternally into the future, it cannot be extended eternally into the past to create a “steady-state” model with no initial time. Here we provide a construction that circumvents these theorems and allows a self-consistent, geodesically complete, and physically sensible steady-state eternally inflating universe, based on the flat slicing of de Sitter space. This construction could be used as the background spacetime for creation events that form big-bang-like regions, and hence could form the basis for a cosmology that is compatible with observations and yet which avoids an initial singularity or beginning of time.