Monday, June 16, 2008

Before T = Zero

I have always loved the title song of Bharat Ek Khoj, taken from the rig-veda. I especially love the questions it asks -- namely, what was there before the creation?

The relevant lyrics, taken from the above wikipedia page, are:

[Hindi in Roman script]
Srishti se pehle sat nahin thaa, asat bhi nahin
Antariksh bhi nahin, aakaash bhee nahin thaa.
Chhipaa thaa kyaa, kahaan, kisne dhaka thaa?
Us pal to agam, atal jal bhi kahaan thaa.

[Hindi in Devnagri]
सृष्टि से पहले सत नहीं था, असत भी नहीं
अंतरिक्ष भी नहीं, आकाश भी नहीं था
छिपा था क्या, कहाँ, किसने ढका था
उस पल तो, अगम अतल जल भी कहां था

[Translation]
Truth/Good did not exist before the Universe came to be, Neither did Untruth/Evil
Neither did Space, Neither did the sky
What was hidden? Where?, Who had covered it?
At that moment, Unmoving, bottomless ocean was not there either

***


As a kid, when I read A Brief History of Time, it mentioned how even if time existed before the big bang, it does not affect us, so it does not make sense to think about it.

So, that made me stand up and take notice when I read this BBC article about possible evidence of time before the Big Bang.

From the article:
Detailed measurements made by the satellite have shown that the fluctuations in the microwave background are about 10% stronger on one side of the sky than those on the other.

Sean Carroll conceded that this might just be a coincidence, but pointed out that a natural explanation for this discrepancy would be if it represented a structure inherited from our universe's parent.


Then, as if taking a cue from the slokas I mentioned in beginning, he said: "We're trained to say there was no time before the Big Bang, when we should say that we don't know whether there was anything - or if there was, what it was."

As a bonus, here comes the video:


Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. अरे आप तो हिन्दी में भी लिख लेते हैं। कुछ चिट्ठियां हिन्दी में क्यों नहीं लिखते।

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