What Was Here 5 Minutes BEFORE The Big Bang???

I can wrap my head around the idea of a singular event. The idea that a confluence of physics and such created a Big Bang. What was here before…there was…stuff?

If there was nothingness, then where did the raw matter come from for the Big Bang to occur? Another dimension? If there were no galaxies at all, what provided the raw material for this to occur? An empy room is still a room. An empty area in outer space is a vacuum, but it has light ( matter/energy ) and dust and whatnot. There may be a vacuum but there is stuff in there.

What could there have been that is both considered nothingness, and yet provided the raw stuff for the event?


I think the idea is that the Big Bang created space. An empty room is defined by the absence of stuff in the room. That and the walls, ceiling and floor anyway. Even if you were to pump all the air out of the room, it might be a vacuum but would still contain space. Before the Bang though, there was no space for this original matter to be. Also, there was no five minutes before the Big Bang because the Bang was the beginning of time.

Cartooniverse, the “Where did the raw matter come from?” question is likely why some cosmologists subscribe to the recycyling universe theory, which would expand, collapse, expand again, collapse again, etc.

{Tim Wilson}
Uncle BS, where were you 5 minutes before the big bang?
{\Tim Wilson}

Couldn’t help it, was the first thing I thought off when I read the title

Time starts with the Big Bang, so it’s meaningless to speak of “5 minutes before the Big Bang.”

I know the two most common answers to the question, the answers given above (well, the most common answer is “God”, but the answers above are #2 and #3).

I’m not convinced that anyone can say with any certainty. Given that nobody has figured out how to measure the moment of the Big Bang, we cannot even say what conditions existed at the moment; we certainly cannot say what conditions existed before the Big Bang, or even whether there was such a thing as “before.”

Human thought is so intricately tied to the twin concepts of time and space that I’m not sure we can properly conceive of timelessness. If time began with the Big Bang, then we get the strange case of a reaction without an action, an effect without a cause – or else we need to explain how something can cause an effect without happening before the effect.


we were in another quantum wave

General cosmology doesn’t talk about anything before the Planck era (the first ~10[sup]-43[/sup] seconds), before this time Einstein’s theory of gravity (GR) should not apply.

Time is usually said to of started at the instant of the big bang, however it’s not completely redundant to talk about ‘before’ this instant. Many felt that the initial singularity is a flaw in the theory which will dissappear with a more subtle model, one person to hold such a view was Richard Chase Tolman who was one of the developers of the hot big bang model who used the analogy of a bouncing ball whose equation of motion at the point of an impact to take into account the irregularites of the surface. He posited singularitiless alternate cycles of compression and expansion, though the number of these cycles would be limited. this is now thought to be incorrect with such a cyclical universe highly unlikely and a singularity almost unavoidable. In standard big bang cosmology in a Friedmann universe it is actually possible to pass through a singularity, howevre this is only possible in a highly idealized unieverse that is perfectly isotropic and homogenous which does not seem to refelect reality.

There are several contenders currently for what is the current holy grail in physics - a theory of quantum gravity, one such area is SMT or the stringy theories such as M-theory. Appealing to these a mathematical model for a pre-big bang cosmology has been constructed, in this theory the pre-big bang universe underwent a period of exponential accelration just before the big bang. Another (albiiet much weaker) contender for quantum gravity ‘loop quantum gravity’ claims to be able to look back past the big bang.

Another possibilty described by DMC is that the unievrse is contionusly undergoing big bang and big crunch events with some unknown Planck scale physics causing big crunches to change into big bangs.

It is also possible that the big bang and therfore the whole universe was generated by a random quantum flucatuation.

We cannot know anything about what was before the big bang. It’s a point where all causal action and reaction ceases. Unless we come across a whole new branch of physical reality that we can relate to (if such a thing exists) that bridges the big bang, it is a boundary that is impossible to look behind.

What lies beyond or before it is anyone’s guess, but you’re never going to get any factual answer. “God” is a good a guess as any.

One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God.

They picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said,

“God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.”

God listened patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said,

“Very well! How about this? Let’s have a man making contest.”

To which the scientist replied,

“OK, great!”

But God added,

“Now we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

The scientist said,

“Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God just looked at him and said,

“No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!”

And the award for non sequiteur of the year goes to…

Stephen Hawking said something to the effect that asking what was before the Big Bang is like asking what is north or the North Pole.

That’s Stephen Hawking’s concept of imaginery time, in which an extra time axis is added, getting rid of the singularity, but as I said before it is not completely redundant to talk about pre-big bang cosmology.

Gumbo. Before the big bang, space was filled with intergalactic gumbo.

(Go ahead, just try to prove me wrong.)

Given that virtually every other statement on that page is crap, I presume you’ve got another (and hopefully better) cite …

What Urban Ranger said.

It’s a bit hard to talk about questions like this when all our knowledge comes from WITHIN the context of this universe, or at least what we know of it. All the rules and regularities we use to talk about and reason about things are ideas we developed from examining things that take the universe for granted. So it’s not clear that they are at all applicable to then analyzing any questions that would be external to this context: like the concept of “outside” or “before” the universe.

Don’t forget the virtual particle theory; i.e. in a vacuum, subatomic particles may randomly go in and out of existence, the virtual particle phenomenon. As the universe behaved as a quantum particle during what believe is referred to as the Planck era (thh first few bajillionths of a second), it is hypothesized that the entire universe may have come into being as a subatomic particle before the big bang.

Additionally, there is a school of thought that says that an infinite universe has always existed, and that big bangs happen randomly on the outskirts of these universes right before they collapse.

Both of these were outlined in a discover magazine that I think I have lying around here somewhere…

What will be here 5 minutes after the Big Crunch?

According to the second of my listed theories, another CC of this universe.