Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 1 month ago

If the universe began from nothing, how did the laws of the universe exist before there was nothing, to allow something from nothing?

Current theories in physics suggest that the universe began from nothing spontaneously because nothing is inherently unstable. But why is nothing unstable? The only reason it can be unstable is if there are laws that were already established that said that nothing is unstable. If it was truly nothing, then it wouldn't be unstable. There is something that caused it to be unstable, what is that something? What are the laws that governed the pre existing universe? And why do they exist if there was truly nothing?


@neb - But that quantum vacuum is "something", and you state that something cannot come from nothing. So how did that quantum vacuum exist from nothing? How is it fundamental and eternal? How did it come to exist if there was nothing before it existed, in order to create the universe from its existence?

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    1) The origin of our universe does not need a cause. A quantum fluctuation is non-causal and although highly speculative this suggests it can provide a start to a universe.

    2) what we call laws of nature can be emergent properties. They do not have to exist before the universe exists and nothing has emerged yet.

  • neb
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    True nothing does not exist. Physicists no longer believe that the classical vacuum - true nothing - exists in our universe. The classical vacuum has been replaced by the notion of a quantum vacuum which is the ground state of all possible fields. It cannot remain at ‘nothing’ due to the energy-time uncertainty principle which requires its energy to fluctuate above the classical zero point. This is not nothing, it is something. One could say the laws of physics are built into the quantum vacuum.

    The only logical thing that can predate the universe is the quantum vacuum. So, there was something prior to the Big Bang. Something CANNOT come from nothing. This implies that the quantum vacuum is fundamental and eternal. 

    The logical consequence is the universe came from a fluctuation of the quantum vacuum. The laws of physics e.g. fields and their properties were defined by that quantum vacuum.

    Answer to update. Since logically something cannot come from nothing, the quantum vacuum - or God if you are religious - has to be eternal. It is the closest thing to nothing that can exist, so i find it much easier to believe in a something that is the closest thing to nothing that can exist, as eternal. This part is clearly a belief system.

  • 1 month ago

    Well, obviously, they didn't.  They came into existence at the same time as the universe did.  The main idea is that there is a huge range of possible "laws" and this universe only got this particular set.  There are loads of fundamental conditions (which are what cause the "Laws" to be how they behave) which could have come into existence at the moment of generation of the universe.  Most of those conditions would not allow for life or anything remotely close to this universe in function and behavior. 

    It is not obvious to me that the "nothing" which is not actually nothing but is something that we simply do not know what and cannot know what has to be inherently unstable.  I suspect that instability is a probabilistic condition.  I lack the skills to prove it.  Not my area of expertise.

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