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07 March 2018, 07:35 | Erma Lawrence
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In a video published by Popular Science last Friday in which he was interviewed by popular astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, Hawking explained that he did not believe there was anything before the Big Bang, using a geographic analogy.
To answer what happened before the Big Bang, Hawking took a so-called Euclidian approach to quantum gravity to describe the beginning of the universe.
Hawking has lectured many times on the subject, and has previously been urged not to discuss the end of the universe, in case it affected the stock market.
Again, that's a tough concept to wrap your head around and physicists say our understanding of the universe and the Big Bang is an evolving concept - so there could be more to learn in time to come.
The legendary physicist says that whatever happened before the Big Bang, the cataclysmic explosion of matter, exists outside our current understanding of time and space.
"Ordinary real time is replaced by imaginary time, which behaves like a fourth direction of space".
"There was never a Big Bang that produced something from nothing".
The idea here, if I'm understanding correctly, is that the universe didn't exist, and then it did, and now it does. Moving further, he also dictated how time was distorted during the period of singularity where it was reaching closer to "nothing" but never become it. In other words, the Euclidean space-time continuum is an endless closed surface, much like the surface of the Earth. He added that nothing was present before the Big Bang.
At the Big Bang, the matter available in-universe was converted the hot and dense spot of the matter.
He said that it wasn't the Big Bang that caused something to be created out of nothing.
The theory holds that the universe in retrospective can shrink to the size of an extremely small "subatomic ball" known as the singularity.
The president of Reasons to Believe also told CP that the model that Hawking is proposing for the origins of the Universe is problematic in light of modern astronomical observations.
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