While it is widely accepted by the scientific community that the universe resulted from the Big Bang, the origin of the Big Bang remains one of the greatest mysteries of modern science.

The Big Bang theory stipulates the universe evolved from an infinitely dense energy point that suddenly expanded 13.7 billion years ago. Significant cosmological evidence supports this theory. However, the Big Bang theory does not explain the origin of the infinitely dense energy point.

Two recently published books, available at Amazon.com, tackle the question head on. They are:

  • A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, (2012), by Lawrence Maxwell Krauss
  • Unraveling the Universe’s Mysteries, (2012), by Louis A. Del Monte

In essence, both books attribute the formation of the infinitely dense energy point to a quantum fluctuation in a super-universe. This begs two questions:

  1. What is a quantum fluctuation?
  2. What is a super-universe?

A quantum fluctuation is a theory in quantum mechanics that argues there are certain conditions where a point in space can experience a temporary change in energy, such as an increase in energy. When this occurs, the increase in energy can give rise to virtual particles.

A super-universe, sometimes referred to as the “Bulk” or the multiverse, is type of universe capable of giving rise to quantum fluctuations resulting in one or more universes.

The theory that a quantum fluctuation in the Bulk gave rise to the infinitely dense energy point is similar to a phenomenon we observe in a laboratory vacuum. According to the U.S. Department of Energy: Newton: Ask a Scientist, “Quantum Fluctuations,” 2004, “Particles can ‘pop up’ out of a vacuum so long as they do not have too large a mass or do not last too long.”

The significant difference between the theories forwarded in the aforementioned books is that Unraveling the Universe’s Mysteries argues that the formation was not a single infinitely energy dense particle (a “singularity”), but a particle pair (a “duality”). The particle pair consists of one single infinitely energy dense particle of matter and another of antimatter. The Big Bang occurs when the particle pair collides in the Bulk and initiates the Big Bang. Hence, it is named the Big Bang Duality theory.

Numerous observations about virtual particles suggest a “duality,” but there is no scientific consensus that virtual particles always appear as a matter-antimatter pair. However, this view is commonly held in quantum mechanics, and this creation state of virtual particles maintains the conservation of energy.

The Big Bang Duality theory is compelling because it allows us to explain the almost complete absence of antimatter in the universe, a mystery that continues to baffle modern science. This mystery is unraveled in Del Monte’s book and will be discussed in a future article.

The entire concept that it is possible to get something from nothing is counter intuitive. Indeed, it may sound like a new science fiction story. However, it was Paul Dirac, a British physicist and Nobel Prize Laureate, who first postulated in 1930 that empty space (a vacuum) consists of a sea of virtual electron-positron (matter-antimatter) pairs, known as the Dirac sea. This was experimentally confirmed in 1932. Modern-day physicists, familiar with the Dirac-sea theory of virtual particles, claim there is no such thing as empty space. They argue it contains virtual particles.

This is hard, if not impossible, to believe. Our entire universe came from nothing. Welcome to the edge of science, where physics and meta-physics blur.