We cannot speak of time, we must speak of space/time. Time and space began together.
If we did not live on the arm of a spiral galaxy but instead lived near the galaxtic center we would not be having this conversation. The intensity of the radiation does not allow for life.
Also the early universe was much hotter, and if the universe were not expanding the radiation would not be dissipated and the night sky would be 300 times brighter than the sun.
The lastest theory being tossed around is that the universe is really a multiverse. (brane theory)
And that the big bang may have ocurred when two undulating membranes touched at a point. The universe has been expanding ever since. Either it has enough mass to eventually stop expanding and collapse again (a closed universe) or it will expand forever (an open universe) as it turns out the the universe appears to be balanced right between these and has been said to be flat.
This explanation is of a closed universe. An open universe cannot be visualised because every point in space is saddle shaped.
Einstein did not know when he penned his famous theories, that space was stretching.
In fact the universe is stretching or expanding from the three dimensions we know, into a higher dimension.
We can not visualise this but we can visualise two dimensions expanding into three.
It would look like the skin of a balloon. The skin of the balloon is just like a sheet of paper and has been called flatland, a two dimensional universe. If you put little dots all over it to represent the galaxies and you blow this balloon up, you will see the dots are moving away from each other just like the galaxies are doing. No matter which direction you look, you are looking into the past at a time when the universe was smaller.
Now lets say this balloon has a north and south pole.
If you are standing at the north pole and you look out across this two dimensional surface you will notice that the universe has no edge. If light were infinitely fast and you had a powerful enough telescope you could see the back of your head.
But light takes time to travel. And so as we look out across space we don't see the serface of a sphere but a sight line spiraling in tword the center like the shell of a nautilus.
Let's imagine that the universe is 5 billion light years around and the light leaving a star at the south pole travels two and a half billion years to reach us if the universe were not expanding.
But because it is expanding, by the time the light reaches us six and three eighths billion light years later the universe is now twenty billion light years around.
If you graph this out on a sheet of paper, you will notice that space was stretching out so fast that it exceeded the speed of light.
There is also another scenario in which space swirls faster than light.
The space around a spinning black hole is being spun by the immense gravity at a rate faster than light.
Fredkin has prposed a theory that you might find interesting.
Digital physics suggests that there exists, at least in principle, a program for a universal computer which computes the evolution of the universe in real time. The computer could be, for example, a huge cellular automaton (Zuse 1967), or a universal Turing machine, as suggested by Schmidhuber (1997), who pointed out that there exists a very short program that can compute all possible computable universes in an asymptotically optimal way.
Some try to identify single physical particles with simple bits. For example, if one particle, such as an electron, is switching from one quantum state to another, it may be the same as if a bit is changed from one value (0, say) to the other (1). A single bit suffices to describe a single quantum switch of a given particle. As the universe appears to be composed of elementary particles whose behavior can be completely described by the quantum switches they undergo, that implies that the universe as a whole can be described by bits. Every state is information, and every change of state is a change in information (requiring the manipulation of one or more bits). Setting aside dark matter and dark energy, which are poorly understood at present, the known universe consists of about 1080 protons and the same number of electrons. Hence, the universe could be simulated by a computer capable of storing and manipulating about 1090 bits. If such a simulation is indeed the case, then hypercomputation would be impossible.
Loop quantum gravity could lend support to digital physics, in that it assumes space-time is quantized. Paola Zizzi has formulated a realization of this concept in what has come to be called "computational loop quantum gravity", or CLQG. Other theories that combine aspects of digital physics with loop quantum gravity are those of Marzuoli and Rasetti and Girelli and Livine.
A worthy legacy is the irrevocable consequence of dreaming.
Rick A. Delmonico
[This message has been edited by rad802 (08-16-2009 08:20 AM).]