Sydney: The beginning of the universe should not be ascribed to the Big Bang. It was more like water freezing into ice, say theoretical physicists from the University of Melbourne and RMIT University in Australia.
They have proposed that by investigating the cracks and crevices common to all crystals – including ice – the understanding of the nature of the universe could be revolutionised.
James Quach, from Melbourne, who led the study, said the current theorising was the latest in a long quest by humans to understand the origins and nature of the universe, the journal Physical Review D reports.
“A new theory, known as Quantum Graphity, suggests that space may be made up of indivisible building blocks, like tiny atoms. These indivisible blocks can be thought about as similar to pixels that make up an image on a screen,” Quach was quoted as saying in a University of Melbourne statement.
“The challenge has been that these building blocks of space are very small, and so impossible to see directly,” said Quach.
However, Quach and colleagues believe they may have figured out a way to see them indirectly.
“Think of the early universe as being like a liquid,” he said.
“Theorised this way, as the universe cools, we would expect that cracks should form, similar to the way cracks are formed when water freezes into ice.”
RMIT University research team member Andrew Greentree, an associate professor, said some of these defects might be visible.
“Light and other particles would bend or reflect off such defects, and therefore in theory we should be able to detect these effects,” he said.
The team has calculated some of these effects and if their predictions are experimentally verified, the question as to whether space is smooth or constructed out of tiny indivisible parts will be solved once and for all.