If nothing can escape from a singularity, how did the Universe manage it?
Einstein’s theories of gravity and ignoring quantum effects can explain the conundrum of how the Universe can expand.
Asked by: Keith Mayes, Norfolk
Einstein’s theory of gravity predicts that the Universe began in a singularity – a state of zero size and thus infinite density and gravitational force, which would prevent it expanding.
But theorists believe that such a state – also predicted to exist inside black holes – is the result of his celebrated theory ignoring quantum effects. These would prevent a truly point-like singularity from forming, eliminating the infinitely strong gravity, and thus allowing the Universe to expand.
Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.