|MadSci Network: Astronomy|
Hello, Randall - No, in our current understanding of the Big Bang, it is a true singularity, meaning that space and time (and therefore matter, and the laws of the universe as we know them) did not exist beforehand. So even if the Big Bang was the aftermath of a Big Crunch of an earlier universe, nothing would have survived. Indeed, there is no reason to assume that the other universe would have looked like ours at all - it could even have a different number of space and time dimensions. But even if those were the same, other things could have been different, such as the speed of light, Planck's constant (which sets the scale for quantum effects), the fine structure constant (which determines the energy levels inside the atom), and so forth. Here are some Web pages about the Big Bang: Introduction to Cosmology, from NASA: http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/html/web_site.html The Official String Theory Web Site, including a cosmology tutorial: http://www.superstringtheory.com/ Ned Wright's cosmology tutorial, from UCLA: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm Cosmology and what happened before the Big Bang, from the Astronomy Cafe: http://itss.raytheon.com/cafe/cosm/cosmol.html
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Astronomy.