The zero-energy universe hypothesis states that the total amount of energy in the universe is exactly zero. When the energy of the universe is considered from a pseudo-tensor point of view, zero values are obtained in the resulting calculations.[1] The amount of positive energy in form of matter is exactly canceled out by the negative energy in form of gravity.[2]

Free-lunch interpretation

A generic property of inflation is the balancing of the negative gravitational energy, within the inflating region, with the positive energy of the inflaton field to yield a post-inflationary universe with negligible or zero energy density.[3][4] It is this balancing of the total universal energy budget that enables the open-ended growth possible with inflation; during inflation energy flows from the gravitational field (or geometry) to the inflaton fieldâ€”the total gravitational energy decreases (becomes more negative) and the total inflaton energy increases (becomes more positive). But the respective energy densities remain constant and opposite since the region is inflating. Consequently inflation explains the otherwise curious cancellation of matter and gravitational energy on cosmological scales which is a feature of a zero-energy free-lunch universe, which is consistent with astronomical observations.

[edit] Quantum fluctuation

Due to quantum uncertainty energy fluctuations such as electron and its anti-particle a positron can arise spontaneously out of nothing but must disappear rapidly. The lower the energy of the bubble, the longer it can exist. A gravitational field has negative energy. Matter has positive energy. The two values cancel out provided the universe is completely flat. In that case the universe has zero energy and can theoretically last forever.[5]

Related pages

Vacuum genesis

References

^ On the Zero-energy Universe. International Journal of Theoretical Physics. arXiv:gr-qc/0605063. Bibcode 2009IJTP..tmp..162B. doi:10.1007/s10773-009-0125-8.

^ "A Universe from Nothing". Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Retrieved 10 March 2010. by Alexei V. Filippenko and Jay M. Pasachoff

^ Alan Guth, The Inflationary Universe, (ISBN 0-224-04448-6) Appendix A) Since the negative energy of a gravitational field is crucial to the notion of a zero-energy universe, it is a subject worth examining carefully. In this appendix I will explain how the properties of gravity can be used to show that the energy of a gravitational field is unambiguously negative. The argument will be described [in the appendix] in the context of Newton's theory of gravity, although the same conclusion can be reached using Einstein's theory of general relativity.

^ Stephen Hawking, (page p129, A Brief History of Time)

^ Edward P Tyron, Is the Universe a Vacuum Fluctuation?, Nature, vol 246, pp 396-7, 1973

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