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The Hawking-Hartle Proposal for the Early Universe

There is very substantial agreement as to the development of the universe from the first 10-43 second on: 

Traditional Big Bang cosmology allowed the space-time diagram to arise from a point, like an ice-cream cone:

This point was then a so-called ‘singularity’ at which values such as the density of the universe would go to infinity and the laws of physics could not hold.

The Hawking-Hartle proposal allows the time dimension, the vertical axis of the diagram, to ‘fade away’, to be subsumed into the space dimensions. The diagram therefore originates not from a point but from a curved surface with no boundary or edge, like the surface of the Earth at one of the poles:

Email link | Feedback | Contributed by: Dr. Christopher Southgate
Source: God, Humanity and the Cosmos  (T&T Clark, 1999)

Big Bang Cosmology and Theology

Index - God, Humanity and the Cosmos, 1999 T&T Clark

The Hawking-Hartle Proposal for the Early Universe

Related Book Topics:

The Beginnings of Big Bang Theory
Evidence for a Big Bang?
Is the Big Bang a Moment of Creation?
Stephen Hawking and the Growth of Quantum Cosmology
Theological Responses to Quantum Cosmology
The ‘Anthropic Coincidences’
The Remarkable Uniformity of the Universe
The Weak Anthropic Principle
Anthropic Design Arguments
Many-Universes Models
The Strong Anthropic Principle
Analysing the Anthropic Arguments
Big Bang Cosmology and Theology


Dr. Lawrence Osborn and Dr. Christopher Southgate in God, Humanity and the Cosmos. Published by T&T Clark.

See also:

Big Bang
Albert Einstein
Kitt Peak Telescope
Physics and Cosmology
Does God Act?
Was the Universe Designed?
Did the Universe Have a Beginning?
Books on Physics and Theology