Was There a Time Before Time?

I’ve been thinking lately about the Big Bang. Now you have to understand that my mathematical education ended with freshman calculus, a class in which I earned a grand of C 50+ years ago. So anything I say has to be more conceptual than grounded in theoretical physics. Nevertheless. I can’t help thinking about it.

We are told by people know know about theses things that the entire universe began when a single point began to expand. “Before” the expansion, all of the matter and energy that we experience, see, or theorize about was concentrated in that single point, and that point was infinitely dense. I put the word before in quotation marks, because right away I am puzzled.

Could anything happen within an infinitely dense point? If not and if time is the measure of change, how could there be any before the Big Bang? Surely there could have been no time at all, and our naked singularity would have been eternal, outside of time. And yet something must have happened to wrench our singularity out of eternity and into time. At t=0 it changed and began to expand. Why? What happened? What could have happened? And if things can change and times does exist within an infinitely dense point, what is the physics of such a thing? Does such physics resemble the physics of our universe in any way? And how could we ever conduct an empirical test of the theory describing that physics?

Now it could be that this is but the rambling of a retired minister with too much time on his hands. Wouldn’t be the first time, and surely won’t be the last. Yet still. I wonder.


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