How to Know Once and For All if the Universe Began With a Bang or a Bounce

How to Know Once and For All if the Universe Began With a Bang or a Bounce

However, this is by no means the only explanations for how the Universe came to be, and the ability to falsify any of them has been historically lacking. As Professor Abraham Loeb told Universe Today via email: science and space of universe science

“Although many observed properties of the structures within our universe are consistent with the inflation scenario, there are so many models of inflation that it is difficult to falsify it. Inflation also led to the notion of the multiverse in which anything that can happen will happen an infinite number of times, and such a theory is impossible to falsify through experiments, which is the trademark of traditional physics. By now, there are competing scenarios that do not involve inflation, in which the universe first contracts and then bounces instead of starting at a Big Bang. These scenarios could match the current observables of inflation.” science and space of universe science

For the sake of their study, Loeb and his colleagues developed a model-independent way of distinguishing inflation from alternative scenarios. Essentially, they propose that massive fields in the primordial universe would experience quantum fluctuations and density perturbations that would directly record the scale of the early Universe as a function of time – i.e. they would act as a sort of “standard clock of the Universe”. science and space of universe science

By measuring the signals that they predict would be coming from these fields, they hypothesize that cosmologists would be able to tell if any variations in density were seeded during a contracting or an expanding phase of the early Universe. This would effectively allow them to rule out alternatives to cosmic inflation (such as the Big Bounce scenario). As Loeb explained:

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