by Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D.
So far, we have discussed what happened after the Big Bang. The Cosmos simply inflated at a dizzying speed of light. But what caused it to bang? What caused the singularity to explode? What happened before it? What was the picture of the Cosmos before the fiery explosion? What is our relationship with the events that happened before the big bang?
Over the decades, scientists have been dissecting the atom in an effort to discover the ultimate beginning of the Cosmos. What they found out in recent years opened a mystical box that led to the discovery of the string theory, which in turn, gave birth to, what scientists described as, the mysterious and even magical M (or, membrane) theory. These two theories finally offered a plausible explanation so far to the questions, what caused the singularity to bang, and, what really happened before the Big Bang.
We used to recall the time when we were taught in schools that matter is made of tiny invisible particles, called atoms. The tiny bits inside these atoms are believed to be small point particles, consisting of the electrons, revolving around a nucleus. The nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons, which are in turn, made up of quarks.
But quantum physicists now realize that, at the deepest level of reality, matter is made up of little vibrating strings. This can be pictured as similar to a plucked guitar string that vibrates which sounds. And, this is the string theory which appeared in the 1960s. According to this theory, these tiny little strings manifest themselves as different vibrational patterns or frequencies that are able to create what we hear as different sounds, or what we see as different colors and forms of light. A particle occupies one point in a region of space at a definite time; a string, on the other hand, is not occupying a point in space, rather it is a line stretching in all possible directions across regions of space and time.
For the String Theory to work, the mathematical equations require the existence of extra dimensions of space all around us. Before this theory, we’ve always thought that there are only four dimensions, three for space, and one, for time. This is the world we live in today. In space, we can go forward or backward, left or right, and up or down.
But quantum physicists have discovered that there are really extra dimensions out there in space, exhibiting varying shapes and sizes. And they’re part of our Cosmos. Physicist Michio Kaku says that these extra dimensions can be just like ours, except that we are not there. String theory has discovered six more dimensions, making the total to 10 dimensions, that is, three from Albert Einstein’s relativity theory, six from the String Theory, and one for time, which Einstein’s added as another dimension.
By combining Einstein’s relativity theory, the String Theory has become M Theory. But M Theory goes even farther by asserting that there is yet another spatial dimension out there, bringing the grand total to 11 dimensions. Physicist Alan Guth even advances the idea that reality is far stranger, for there could be an infinite number of universes out there that have living civilizations.
And what have these parallel universes got to do with the Big Bang?
These parallel universes in the 11th dimension are not static. They are continually moving in ripples around space in varying patterns and frequencies, like turbulent giant waves. Ovrut says that they move away from each or bump into each other. And, once they collide at some point or points of contact, the strong force and energy produced by the ripples of these membrane or brane collisions, produced the Big Bang that created the early universe of ours. And the Big Bang becomes the aftermath of the collisions of two parallel worlds. And it was the force of the ripples produced by the colliding branes that produced matter after the Big Bang.
Thus is the complete explanation of the birth of our universe. This idea is still new. Nonetheless, it is very insightful, since it is able to bring us back in time to the moment of the Big Bang and go to the other side and dimension of the Cosmos.
This theory is so profound that the possibility that M theory may be able to explain everything in the Cosmos is advanced by physicist Stephen Hawking. With the discovery of M theory, we may no longer be able to say that the little universe we live may be something special at all. Our universe is just of the infinite number of parallel universes that exist in the entire Cosmos. Our universe is just one of the parallel universes that make up the multi-verse. Kaku says that there could be an infinite number of universes, each of which has different laws of physics. And it is no longer startling to say that the other universes are also populated by beings that could have higher forms of life and civilizations, more advance than ours.
Our universe is just one bubble of universe, which coexists with other universes which are also in the process of expansion. Our universe has become only one membrane within a much larger, much higher membrane that constitutes the entire Cosmos. And, while they are in the other dimension, they could just be close to us, right next to us, but we could not reach them. Or, another way of saying this, is that, our atoms and molecules, cannot get off our membrane. Physicist Bert Ovrut says that, it’s like reaching out, but you can’t touch anything. We are simply trapped in our own four-dimensional universe. The entire Cosmos, then, is likened to an onion that consists of several layers of reality. Science has given us a most probable explanation so far of the cause of the Big Bang, and a picture of the world and events that happened before it.
And, if this is indeed the case, then, it opens up exciting views, suggesting that there are indeed these extra dimensions which are beyond the reach of our ordinary human experience of time, space, and matter, but which, nonetheless, have bearing on our physical world and, perhaps, on our beliefs, views, and actions too. This only suggests that we are not living alone in this universe, that there are other dimensions of existence besides our own. What is exciting is that it is also implying that these parallel universes are populated by extraterrestrial beings, with civilizations much advance than ours. The several cases of reported sightings of unidentified flying objects has only lend credence to what the M theory has discovered.
But, what could have caused the existence of membranes in the Cosmos? What could have caused the existence of parallel universes? And, if there are indeed human beings like us out there, how did these alien beings, and their civilizations appear? These are some of the deeper questions, which science will continue to grapple with.