What is it about?

The latest cosmological measurements are telling us that the total energy in the Universe is not zero. This finding therefore argues against the idea that it could have been created via a quantum fluctuation from `nothing.' On the other hand, it could still have been seeded in a vacuum existing before the Big Bang, but we would then need to understand how it could have lived long enough for us to see it as a classical entity today.

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Why is it important?

Conventional wisdom has it that the total energy in the Universe is zero. This is a favored condition because it would be consistent with the Big Bang being due to a quantum fluctuation from `nothing.' But such conclusions are not always drawn with a self-consistent definition of what constitutes the `energy' in the Universe. In this paper, we carefully and pedagogically consider the three dominant contributions, from the kinetic expansion, gravity, and the energy density in the cosmic fluid. And while the first two are apparently equal and opposite, the third remains unaccounted for. We are thus left wondering again what caused the Big Bang, re-opening one of the most important questions in all of science.


Though the findings in this paper apparently close the door on a favored idea in cosmology, they nevertheless create an opportunity for re-imagining the early Universe and introducing novel concepts to explore previously undeveloped areas in quantum gravity.

Professor Fulvio Melia
University of Arizona

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This page is a summary of: Initial energy of a spatially flat universe: A hint of its possible origin, Astronomische Nachrichten, February 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/asna.20224010.
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