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View Poll Results: Did time exist before the big bang?
Yes, time went infinitely into the past 13 52.00%
Yes, but time had a beginning 3 12.00%
No, the big bang created time 9 36.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-06-2006, 11:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Did time exist before the big bang?

I've heard that time didn't exist before, but if it didn't exist before, then why would it just start a big bang? I would think there has to be something that exists before to seperate it with the actual big bang or else there is no reason why it would happen at that moment.

But even if time did exist, what caused the big bang anyway?
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I figure if space/energy/etc. expands, then so should time. The big bang is a pretty logical explanation for the expansion of the universe, so I don't see a reason why time couldn't begin from zero as well. Like degrees of temperature, or sound levels, it's just a case of putting 0:00:00 down on some arbitrary level. And the big bang seems reasonable enough.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Did time exist before the big bang?

I didn't vote as you don't offer "I don't know".
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I think time requires motion. It's hard to imagine there being time without objects that move in relation to each other.
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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What exactly is time? I don't know, but I know we use matter to measure time, either directly with a watch, or else indirectly, by watching the moon move across the sky, or watching a tree slowly age.

If there was no matter prior to the Big Bang, we cannot measure the passage of time, and therefore can't know if it existed or not.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Time did not exist, IMO, until the invention of the clock.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I voted "No, the big bang created time" in the sense that it created "time as we know it."

Time as we know it is the fourth dimension. It was created in the big bang at the same time as the other three as we know them.

Granted I know my knowledge of this subject is about ten years out of date, but that's the answer I'm going with for the moment.

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Old 10-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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No
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tungsten
Time did not exist, IMO, until the invention of the clock.


I believe that time is an illusion created by humans (maybe even other species believe it), because that's just how we tick.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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funny question, as the word "before" is meaningless without time existing.
I don't think anything knows what was "before" the big bang or what "caused" the big bang. it's an awesome mystery.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprinter
I think time requires motion. It's hard to imagine there being time without objects that move in relation to each other.
Close. Time is used to measure change. Most often the change that time is based on is motion, like to speed at which certain subatomic processes take place.
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Couldn't it be possible that the universe contracts: expanding to a limit, falling back in on itself, creating a "big bang" when hitting a central "nucleus", and then expanding once again, essentially recreating the universe and "resetting" time.

Do note that I read a lot of sci-fi.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tungsten
Time did not exist, IMO, until the invention of the clock.
You make some good comedy posts. Keep up the good work .
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Did time exist before the big bang?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strength
I've heard that time didn't exist before, but if it didn't exist before, then why would it just start a big bang? I would think there has to be something that exists before to seperate it with the actual big bang or else there is no reason why it would happen at that moment.

But even if time did exist, what caused the big bang anyway?
I still have yet to find the definition of time. Time for us is what, the earth spinning on its axis? That gives us day and night, 2am and 2pm. The composing and decomposing of elements? Apparently matter did exist according to the big bang theory in that one very dense ball of matter existed. Thus if matter existed then time existed? I dont know . The big bang theory has more holes then crispy creme.
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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There is no real answer to this question... but it is one of those made to get you thinking.

Time as we know it is just a method of measuring change in a system. It exists only in the mind of the person thinking about it. It's a totally abstract concept like mere thoughts.

Time could only be percieved if there is something to compare one moment to the next. If there is nothing, then is there a way to define time?
Of course that's assuming there was nothing before the big bang. Maybe there was something before...
Maybe that that universe is entirely different and has something different than time for measurment.
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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There's time because we say there is. Time is a measurement. Measurements such as inches, centimeters, time, etc. don't have anything intrinsic about them that makes them required as measurements. They're measurements because we say they are. As for what happened before the big bang, I don't know. Also, it would appear that most physicists haven't agreed upon what happened before the Big Bang.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_bang

Quote:
n physical cosmology, the Big Bang is the scientific theory of how the universe emerged from a tremendously dense and hot state about 13.7 billion years ago. The theory is based on the observations indicating the expansion of space (in accord with the Robertson-Walker model of general relativity) as indicated by the Hubble redshift of distant galaxies taken together with the cosmological principle.

Extrapolated into the past, these observations show that the universe has expanded from a state in which all the matter and energy in the universe was at an immense temperature and density. Physicists do not widely agree on what happened before this, although general relativity predicts a gravitational singularity (for reporting on some of the more notable speculation on this issue, see cosmogony).

The term Big Bang is used both in a narrow sense to refer to a point in time when the observed expansion of the universe (Hubble's law) began — calculated to be 13.7 billion (1.37 × 1010) years ago (±2%) — and in a more general sense to refer to the prevailing cosmological paradigm explaining the origin and expansion of the universe, as well as the composition of primordial matter through nucleosynthesis as predicted by the Alpher-Bethe-Gamow theory.[1]

From this model, George Gamow in 1948 was able to predict, at least qualitatively, the existence of cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB).[2] The CMB was discovered in the 1960s[3] and further validated the Big Bang theory over its chief rival, the steady state theory.[4]
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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http://groups.msn.com/ThephysicsBoard/time.msnw
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I have no clue. It's very difficult for my brain to comprehend what was before the Big Bang.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypatia
Time as we know it is the fourth dimension.
Oh, I thought the fourth dimension was a cube moving parallel to itself. Maybe math and physics have a different definition of what the fourth dimension is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cerberus
There's time because we say there is. Time is a measurement.
That's what I thought too, but my physics instructor was talking as if time is more than that. He said time is what turns a puppy into a dog, and even if we did not measure it, time would still be there. Does that mean time is more like a force in the universe? Then again, supposedly we can slow down time by traveling close to the speed of light, and when we return home from our voyage, we would've hardly aged at all, while the people we left back on earth would be elderly. I probably should have asked my instructor about it, but I was never the type to raise my hand in class...
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stylicho
http://groups.msn.com/ThephysicsBoard/time.msnw
That site looks pretty dodgy.

Time is just a representation for the progression of entropy in the universe. Its the "direction" entropy flows. The talk of time being the "4th dimension" is misleading. Physicists often treat it as just another spatial dimension to simplify calculations.
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Old 10-08-2006, 02:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Voted #3.
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