The First T + 100 Planck Seconds

Phillip I. Good, Ph.D.,

Information Research, 205 W. Utica Ave., Huntington Beach CA 92648, USA.






Details of the Expansion

Myth of the Bubble

Transfer of Energy

Manifold Approximation


Alternative Models





1. Introduction

The night sky as seen from a telescope in space may be likened to a vast ocean on which a few archipelagos of light can be observed. These archipelagos or super-clusters can be further resolved into clusters of galaxies and then into the galaxies themselves. 

     This analogy with an ocean breaks down when we observe that the individual archipelagos are drifting further and further apart as was to be expected of a still expanding scalar field, while the islands (galaxies) within each archipelago (super-cluster) are moving closer and closer together under the influence of gravity.

     The distribution of super-clusters like that of islands in Earth’s own oceans is far from homogeneous.  Yet the cosmic microwave background generated in the early universe is almost uniform.

     To explain why, Guth1 posits the following:

·         Our universe began as the expansion of a scalar field of constant energy density. Presumably, this field expanded at the speed of light, though it would be more accurate to say that the speed of light was determined by the rate of expansion of this field.

·         At random points in space-time, quantum tunneling within the field resulted in the creation of a Planck volume of ordinary space.

The immediate results are as follows::

  • These volumes expand as self-avoiding random walks, cooling as they expand2, eventually giving rise to what is termed a super-cluster of galaxies, the archipelagos of our universe.

·         As the scalar field expands at the speed of light, these regions are never able to catch up.

     According to Guth1, first-order phase transitions occurred when the temperature dropped below the grand-unification and Weinberg-Salam energies and a Planck volume of a new phase in which the symmetry between the gravitational and other forces was broken formed surrounded by the scalar field.

     Let T represent the time after the origin of the universe from a point source that the first transition occurred.  As Planck second succeeded Planck second thereafter, the Planck volume of the broken-symmetry phase would have extended itself asymmetrically, a Planck volume at a time, via a self-avoiding random walk along the points of a lattice.

     The scalar field would have continued to expand at the speed of light to occupy a sphere (T+n)3 units in size after n further Plank seconds of time. As it expanded, it would generate or coexist with an expanding gravitational field.

     As shown in the next section, the broken-symmetry phase, also limited by light speed, would only have been able to fill a fractal volume of n2.6 units. The result would have been a filament-like expansion of the broken-symmetry phase rather than nucleation (as in the formation of bubbles of steam in super-heated water) as described by Coleman3 and others.

      Subsequently, when a further Planck volume of the broken-symmetry phase formed after a random time period in a random region of the scalar field, it would have zero probability of interconnecting with the first region or with subsequent regions of broken-symmetry that formed within the scalar field.

     The result of such independent development is consistent with the observed honeycomb-like distribution of galaxies in the observable universe with large regions empty of observable matter interrupted by smears of light-yielding regions.4

2. Details of the Expansion

 We assume the existence of an exponentially expanding Higgs Field of constant energy density in the early universe1,5. This field has both a relative minimum (or false vacuum) and an absolute minimum. Quantum tunneling from the relative to the absolute minimum results in the production of a Planck volume of ordinary space, the non-symmetric phase in which the gravitational is separated from the other forces.

     Figure 1 illustrates one possible realization of the initial expansion of a non-symmetric phase within the scalar field, albeit in only two dimensions. The assumptions on which this figure is based are three in number:

1.     Expansion proceeds in discrete units.6

2.     Each unit expands separately.

3.     Expansion proceeds in a random direction.

Figure 1: Hypothetical expansion in discrete units of EMR-producing space during the first four Planck seconds.

 By using fluorescence microscopy Haber et al.7 observed that DNA molecules extend themselves in just such a fashion. See Figures 2 and 3.


Figure 2. Nonspherical shape of a random-walk polymer, as observed by Haber et al7


Figure 3. Growth of a random-walk polymer, as observed by Haber et al7

       As conjectured by Kuhn8 and Flory9 and tabled by Hughes10, self-avoiding random walks in 3-dimensions have an expected length after N steps of N0.6 rather than the N0.5 expected of the simple random walk or diffusion. Instead of a bubble N0.5 in radius one would expect to see an oblong form of shape N0.6 N0.51N0.4. The radiation emanating from such an irregular region would also be irregular, elliptical rather than spherical.

     Figure 4 depicts the hypothetical probability distribution of the aspect ratios, that is, maximum diameter to minimum diameter, expected of such irregular figures or smears. 

Figure 4. Hypothetical distribution of the aspect ratios of an expanding volume of discrete space resulting from a self-avoiding random walk. Reproduced from Haber et al7; based on their observations of the growth of a random-walk polymer.


 3. The Myth of The Bubble

 “[The growth of the non-symmetric phase]…closely parallel the boiling of a superheated fluid…bubbles of the vapor phase materialize in the fluid phase...the bubble expands until it converts the available fluid to vapor.”3

 The use of the term “bubble” in past descriptions of the initial development of the non-symmetric phase is unfortunate as it implies a shape symmetric in three dimensions of minimum surface area and maximum volume. Instead, expansion of the high-energy phase would take place a Planck volume at a time, expanding in an arbitrary direction each time, behaving as a self-avoiding random walk rather than as a diffusion process. Eventually, the multi-branched chain of Planck volumes would assume a shape with maximum surface area and minimum volume resulting in the maximum dissipation of energy. The radiation emanating from such an irregular region would also be irregular, elliptical rather than spherical.

     A bubble of steam continues to be fed by high-energy molecules from its surroundings until, in Coleman’s words, “it converts the ordinary fluid to vapor.” A “bubble” of ordinary space, launched full borne, is repelled by the gravitational field of the surrounding false vacuum. It would not, as Coleman proposes, spread “through the universe converting false vacuum to true.”11  

    Indeed, did such conversion take place, there would be a constant influx of new energy at the boundaries of each super-cluster, leading within a few hours to the production of new matter something which has never been observed.

     Instead, the early universe would witness expansion in the form of filaments (much like a malignant growth in a normal tissue) rather than nucleation (as in the formation of bubbles of steam in super-heated water). Thermodynamic effects might ultimately replace the quantum, but by then the asymmetric shape of the “bubble” or “smear” would be established.

     An attempt at proof of the “bubble’s” spherical nature12 upon which Coleman2 relies, rests on two unproven assumptions: first, that the form of the original “bubble,” a point or Plank volume, can be represented by a wave function analogous to that of a moving particle, and, second, that this function is continuously differentiable in all its arguments. The assumption of a wave function fails for the same reason Gertrude Stein despaired of Oakland, “there is no ‘there’ there” over which a wave function may extend. At the instant the “bubble” is created by quantum tunneling, the only space it can occupy is that of a single Planck volume. And because an isolated Planck volume or countable set of such volumes lack a topology, the corresponding wave function cannot be continuously differentiable.

     Other proofs of the “bubble’s” spherical nature13, 14 rely on analytic continuation of wave functions from the symmetric to the non-symmetric phase. But if the universe is to be viewed as discrete, built of Planck volumes or loops or strings, 15,16,17 then wave functions are only approximations, highly accurate on present-day scales, but hopelessly inadequate for describing the first Planck time units of the observable universe.

     The tunneling geometry from a Lorentzian space time to a Euclidian one 13,14, 3, 18 as with the boundaryless view19 requires us to accept the improbable: a continuous universe fully-formed at birth.

     On the other hand, as the transition from the false vacuum occurs at random in both time and space and with a probability that is the same at all coordinates, our universe is globally (if not locally) homogeneous as described by the “bubble” model. The exception lying in the distribution of background radiation which is largely determined by the first few regions of ordinary space that formed.

     The universe does have a center, located at the starting point of the expanding scalar field, but we will never be able to know whether this center is located within the universe observable from Earth.  


4. Transfer of Energy

 According to Linde20 and Hawking et al.21, although no proof is offered, “the energy released by bubble formation would be transformed into the kinetic energy of the bubble walls and would cause the walls to expand outwards with uniform acceleration.”

     But the decrease in temperature is due only in part to the creation of kinetic energy; the balance will come from dissipation via EMR through the boundary to the surroundings. An oblong shape with maximum surface area for minimum volume would optimize such transfer.

     Reference is also made by Hawking and his colleagues (and earlier 4, 22), again without proof, to the inevitability of collisions between bubbles. Given that the scalar field continues its expansion at the speed of light and that the proportion of the total universe occupied by the oblong energy/matter-containing forms is near zero, the volume occupied by the self-avoiding random walk having a fractal dimension between 3 and 2, such collisions are extremely unlikely. The results are few or no monopoles created and baryon asymmetry.20

     Because the decay of the false vacuum and the formation of fractal cracks is ongoing, one should expect to detect EMR from regions of observable space where no EMR had been observed before, albeit such appearances might be on a scale of millions or tens of millions of years. (The nearest super-cluster to the our resident super-cluster is some 10 million light-years distant.)  Hoyle23 may prove to be right, albeit for a quite different reason.

     The resultant picture of the universe (Figure 5) is similar to that expected from a percolation model of domain formation with a low bias probability. 24

Figure 5. Depiction of a hypothetical universe resulting from a self-avoiding random walk consisting of false vacuum (clear regions) interrupted by irregular smears of a non-symmetric matter-containing phase (solid regions). This figure is taken from Coulson et al.21 and was generated by a computer simulation of a percolation model of domain formation in three-dimensions with bias probability p =0.1.24


5. Interactions

Though symmetric and non-symmetric regions interact, the effects of one upon the other are quite different in nature. The gravitational field of the symmetric region repels mass-possessing particles from the non-symmetric region.25 It affects their movement within the non-symmetric region and acts as an absolute barrier to their passage. Photons on the contrary can pass freely through the false vacuum. Because the energy field is uniform throughout the false vacuum, the geodesics are straight lines in Lorentz space.

     Each non-symmetric region provides an absolute barrier to the further expansion of the false vacuum in the direction of that region. While it is still true that zc=HoL to a first approximation, the Hubble time is LH/cr where r is the proportion of a ray of length LH outward from a fixed observer that intersects non-symmetric regions.


6. Transition to a Manifold

Figures 1 through 4 depict the expansion of a random chain. The expansion of the broken-symmetry phase at the expense of the surrounding false vacuum is more accurately depicted as the expansion of a random surface, with each surface element capable of extension at each instant in time. The behavior of the radius of gyration of such random surfaces has been shown to be similar to that of the self-avoiding random walk.26–28

     Suppose we view one such expanding surface and the surrounding false vacuum as if they were superimposed on a three-dimensional lattice each element of which comprises exactly one Planck volume. Let p denote the probability that a Plank volume of the false vacuum will spontaneously decay via quantum tunneling in the next instant into the broken-symmetry phase. Let P denote the probability that a Plank volume of the broken-symmetry phase will expand into a specific point of the immediately-adjacent false vacuum in the next instant. We assume that P is many orders of magnitude larger than p.

     The probability that a point of the false vacuum will be adjacent to k Plank volumes of the broken-symmetry phase, k= 0, 1, . . ., 26, is given by the formula: 1–(1-p)(1-P)k. Thus the process of expansion is self-smoothing for as k increases, this probability approaches 1. The volume occupied by the expanding broken-symmetry phase, though remaining irregular in shape and decidedly non-spherical, will fill in with the only rough edges on its surface. After a sufficient period of time has passed, say 106 Plank seconds, this volume can be closely approximated by a continuous manifold.


7. Alternative Models

Images from the Hubble telescope and other contemporary sources have given us a portrait of a universe consisting of oblongs or smears of mass-containing light-yielding particles in an otherwise empty void. The model proposed here, a variant of the original inflationary model,4 would account for just such a structure.

     Despite these observations, the immediate and continuing reaction to Guth’s proposal was and is one of disbelief, most authorities refusing to accept, “a universe comprised of isolated empty bubbles of spontaneous symmetry-breaking (SSD) vacuum separated by exponentially expanding regions of symmetric meta-stable vacuum.”29

     Ignoring the words of John von Neumann, "With four parameters I can fit an elephant and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk," cosmologists proceed to offer alternative models of greater and greater complexity introducing not one but two cosmic constants, both of which lack a causal basis30. 

    This unnecessary complexity has arisen from three sources:  

  • The desire to fit in and get published, so that each new model shall remain compatible with all previous models advanced by potential referees.

  • Failure to apply penalties that increase as the number of model parameters increases.31 

  • Forcing what are fundamentally stochastic phenomena32 to fit into a deterministic framework.  Perhaps, "one can't count all the stars in the sky," but it is possible to enumerate all super-galaxies. The universe is neither smooth nor homogeneous.  

     Yet the still-expanding scalar field accounts for two sets of phenomena, one connected with the early universe that was to determine all that was to follow and one whose impact was to be observed only after several minutes and then for all time.

     At the origin of our universe1, this field provides an explanation for the homogenous expansion of the universe and the near-uniformity of the cosmic microwave background that we observe today. The lack of spherically symmetry of this background is explained by the lack of spherical symmetry in the first regions of ordinary space to form. Later, the gravitational field induced by the scalar field would be responsible for all the phenomena associated, erroneously, with dark matter such as galactic rotation.

     The cold dark-matter model cannot simultaneously fit large-scale and small-scale galaxy distributions.33 The present model accounts for the differences between the two. The large-scale distribution of galaxies results from the creation of independent regions of ordinary SSD space. The small-scale distribution results from gravitational attraction within super-clusters  and gravitational repulsion from the false vacuum without.

     As the archipelagos built of discrete Planck volumes appear at random in the false vacuum, the fundamental homogeneity and flatness of the universe achieved by inflation is not affected. Gravitational attraction between and within the regions of mass-containing space will slow the apparent expansion of our current observable portion of the universe, because the regions are drawn closer together. 

     The masses of the super-clusters will vary in accordance with a Poisson distribution.  For while the probability that two or more Planck volumes would be produced in adjoining regions of time-space is small, it is not infinitesimal. Some regions of ordinary space will have more energy available to them than others; consequently the masses of super-clusters will be expected to vary.

     As recent observations confirm, the universe as a whole will continue to expand indefinitely 34.  Limited by the speed of light, the majority of this expansion will take place outside the portion of the universe we are capable of observing.

     The negative gravity of the surrounding voids affects the movement of material within the SSDs. The extent of the scalar field is such that it will have a greater influence on galactic rotation within the smear than the masses in the smear itself. This influence would be proportional to (1–r)3 where r is the proportion defined in the preceding section. The present model obviates the need to assume the existence of cold dark matter and accounts for the discrepancy between estimates of the age of the universe based on the Hubble constant and the ages of Type II stars.

          The cracks or oriented smears of SSD in the false vacuum appear randomly in time and in space thus accounting for the observed non-uniformities in the cosmic microwave background,35 and providing further support for the Big-Bang theory.36


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Most models of a universe that originated from a scalar field of constant energy density have at least two deficiencies:  They make use of parameters (cosmic constants) which lack a causal basis; they ignore the discrete nature of ordinary space, a distinction that is crucial when ordinary space consists of a few hundred Planck volumes at most.  The model proposed here corrects both these deficiencies.   Assuming that the scalar field and regions of ordinary space coexist accounts for the distinction between large-and small-scale galactic distributions, reconciles disagreements in calculating the age of the universe, and obviates the need to assume the existence of cold dark matter.


Keywords: dark matter, early universe, false vacuum, scalar field, inflationary universe, random walk.

PACS: 98.80 Bp