At the Big Bang, when everything was close together, why did it not "collide", violating Planck length or Pauli Exclusion Principle?

  • How could so much matter, or "all" in fact, have been concentrated in a smaller universe without being in the actual same place? Why did this not result in undercutting the Planck Length or violating the Pauli exclusion principle?

    @BenCrowell adding the links would be helpful.

    Broadly, it matters not at all how so much matter might have earlier been concentrated in a smaller universe, nor anything else. If it helps, a Big Bang might be as close as we could imagine to the opposite of infinity. It's called a "Big Bang" and not just a "Big Beginning/Start/(whatever)…" because "Bang" is the operative word. Whatever might have gone before, in our universe that "bang" meant it had enough energy propelling it outwards to overcome anything else. If that should hurt Planck or Pauli, can you show the maths?

  • ProfRob

    ProfRob Correct answer

    2 years ago

    The Pauli Exclusion Principle forbids two indistinguishable fermions occupying the same quantum state. It does not prevent them getting arbitrarily close together so long as they have very different momentum states.

    The big bang model relies on classical General Relativity. When we go back to scales where quantisation of space might become important (i.e. Planck length scales, corresponding to the first $\sim 10^{-43}$ s of the universe) then GR needs to be replaced by some quantum theory of gravity (which we don't have).

    So, we don't know? We know normal rules won't apply but we don't know which do?

    @Mast Yes, there are limits to knowledge.

    @Mast pretty much the usual situation in science (not only physics).

    @RobJeffries And realistically, there are many more limits than knowledge -- our knowledge is like the rational numbers in a sea of real ones ;-). We can get close, sometimes.

    Did fermions even exist during the very early phases of the Big Bang? I suppose I should ask that on Physics.SE...

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM