Think of nothing. What do you see? You might imagine a vacuum, a region of the universe drained of all matter and radiation, but go further and try to think of a true nothing, an absolute nothing. This nothing is not just empty but devoid of space and time themselves. Given our everyday experiences this is hard to imagine. But we have often struggled with the concept of nothing.
The biblical story of creation tells us that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. But what existed before god's creation, in a moment before time, in a place before space? The Bible simply does not say.
And indeed our scientific theories and observations also tell us that our universe has not existed for eternity. They tell us that 14 billion years ago it had a beginning, a fiery birth in a maelstrom of particles and energy and it has been expanding and cooling ever since.
So what came before? Cosmologists offer tantalizing possibilities. Maybe our universe was begotten from a previous existence, part of an endless cycle, or formed in the violent collision between two other universes. But perhaps the most unsettling answer of all is that our universe was born from nothing. And if that is the case, how does one get something from nothing?
We are going to go on a journey across time and space, from the universe's first moments to its
far-flung future. We are going to unpack the meaning of quantum mechanics, explore its impact on the cosmos around us, leading us to the biggest question of all: Just where did the universe come from?