MadSci Network: Physics

Re: total energy of universe now vs 10^-6 seconds after the big bang?

Area: Physics
Posted By: Jocelyn Wishart, Lecturer, Education, Loughborough University
Date: Mon Jun 16 12:17:09 1997
Area of science: Physics
ID: 865606980.Ph
I have been reading Stephen Hawking for Beginners by J.P. McEvoy &
O. Zarate who state that Hawking proved that though general  relativity
theory reliably describes the expansion of the Universe since the Big Bang
(don't forget that in the rapidly expanding universe energy would have been
present in forms other than heat eg. kinetic, forces between particles) it
can't be used at its starting point.  According to Hawking general
relativity theory  predicts the existence a singularity of space-time at the
starting point of the Big Bang. A singularity was explained by Roger Penrose
as a point where time comes to an end and the laws of physics break down,
singularities can occur under certain conditions when a dying star collapses
in on itself. 

 As Einstein's general relativity theory is a classical theory of the
physics of space and time it too breaks down and cannot be used to explain
the events at the beginning of the Universe. So you cannot use E=mc^2 in the
way you have proposed in your question.

Hawking goes on to describe the events of the Big Bang using quantum theory,
I suggest you read his works " A Brief History of Time" and "Black Holes and
Baby Universes".
Dr J. M. Wishart

Dept of Education
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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