Triggering the Big Bang explosion
Quantum Mechanics describe the behavior of the universe at the tiny level of the atom. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is a fundamental part of Quantum Mechanics developed by Warner Heisenberg in 1932 for which he received the Noble Prize.
As we will see, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is exactly what is needed to light the fuse that sets off the Big Bang. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tells us how something is created from nothing.
The behavior of the tiny world is very different from the world we experience.
To illustrate this, let's imagine a baseball game played in the tiny world of Quantum Mechanics.
Our quantum pitcher winds up and fires an electrons to the batter at home plate.
The batter needs to see the incoming electron and shines a light in the direction of the pitcher. But the photons of light hit the incoming electron completely changing its direction and speed. Our batter swings and misses - strike one.
Also, our batter is constantly being bombarded by virtual electrons and positrons popping into existence for a short time and then disappearing causing him more confusion.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle allows particles such as negatively charged electrons along with positively charged positrons to pop into existence for a short time before they find each other and disappear by recombining. These particles are called virtual since they typically exist for only a brief time. If separated from each other, these particles can become real. The reality of virtual particle creation has been proven in laboratory measurements described by the Lamb Shift and Casimir Effect.
Our frustrated batter decides to not look at the incoming electron and makes a wild swing. But the electron can travel as a wave and be at more than one location at a time - strike two.
Eventually our batter gets lucky and hits the electron ball.
The center fielder tries to corner the electron in his mitt. As he pushes the electron into his mitt, the electron fights back. The harder he pushes the more energy the electron gains. This electron can never be confined to a particular location in his mitt and will always gain enough energy to break free resulting in a home run for the batter.
According to Quantum Mechanics, an electron confined to a precise location in space will break free with infinite energy - more than enough to cause the Big Bang explosion. If this seems unbelievable, as it should, you may want to check out the physics of a particle in a box and review the previous section about a particle trapped in a small sphere.
The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle is shown below in terms of energy and time:
ΔEnergy = the amount of energy from nothing
ΔTime = the time that this energy exist
h = a very small number called Planck’s Constant (value = 6.63x10-34 joule-seconds)
In the above equation, ΔEnergy is multiplied by ΔTime. The result of this multiplication must be equal to or greater than a very small number that does not change.
This equation tells us that an amount of energy, ΔEnergy, can pop into existence from nothing for a time, ΔTime. This created energy can be in the form of particles since mass is also energy. As the amount of energy becomes smaller, the time interval for its existence becomes longer. In fact, as ΔEnergy approaches zero, ΔTime approaches infinity allowing a universe to exist for an infinite time if the total energy in the universe sums to zero.
The Uncertainty Principle does not allow a perfect vacuum or "nothing" to exist and explains how we get something from nothing. It tells us that nothing does not stay nothing for long.
In the early universe, a fraction of a second after the start of the Big Bang, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle generates pairs of virtual particles. These particles are separated from each other so rapidly during the expansion of the early universe that they cannot recombine with each other. Thus the virtual particles become real particles.
You, me and the things around us are the result of virtual particles created from the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle becoming real.
We are all the result of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.Next Section:
"Nothing" is mathematically unstable.