Watch: Stephen Hawking explains what happened before the Big Bang

Famed physicist Stephen Hawking guest starred on Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s talk show to be interviewed about what came before the beginning of the universe, also known as the Big Bang.

Hawking based his answer on a Euclidean approach to quantum gravity to explain how ordinary real time is replaced by imaginary time, meaning that time continuum is not flat but instead it is curved.

Hawking commented and further explained Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which postulates time and space continuum as a whole. The scientist explained that the common flat line time conception is a misunderstanding since a curved line allows both matter and energy to be part of the timelines. This means that, according to Prof. Hawking, nothing was around before the Big bang.

What is Hawking’s Euclidean approach about?

The Euclidean approach dates back to Ancient Greece as a mathematical system that consists of a set of starting logical proposals or starting points to determine and deduct new proposals with logic as their base. This is when ordinary time is replaced by imaginary with a fourth direction of space, in which the only boundary is a “no-boundary condition.”

According to Mr. Hawking, “the boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary. One can regard imaginary and real time as beginning at the South Pole, which is a smooth point of space-time where the normal laws of physics hold. There is nothing south of the South Pole, so there was nothing around before the big bang.”

This mathematical approach depicts universal history in imaginary time in a curved surface with a four-dimensional characteristic according to Hawking “similar to the surface of the earth but with two more dimensions”; meaning that “the Euclidean space-time is a closed surface with no end like the surface of the Earth.”

What proves Hawking’s approach as outstanding is the fact that Einstein’s general relativity theory proved that geometry of space and time cannot be Euclidean, conceiving space-time continuum as a literal timeline.

Einstein’s postulation is currently the description of gravitation in modern physics. However, Hawking proposed a beginning to the universe based on a discarded approach to geometry space-time to provide a further explanation to the Big Bang.

Professor Hawking is usually seen as an axiom when it comes to explaining physics or math. However, regardless of how complicated a question like where did it all come from, there can always be a very “simple answer” like “Nothing simple as that.”

Source: Popular Science