How did ‘our’ time start?

We live in time but how did this ‘our’ time start? And how many times did the ‘time itself” start? It is bewildering, to say the least. Eminent British physicist Stephen W. Hawkins in his celebrated book ‘A Brief History of Time’ vividly reveals the depth of these questions when he says: “In order to predict how the universe should have started off one need laws that hold at the beginning of time. If the classical theory of general relativity was correct, the singularity theorems that Roger and Penrose and I proved show that the beginning of time would have been a point of infinite density and infinite curvature of space-time. All the known laws of science would break down at such a point. One might suppose that there were new laws that held at singularities, but it would be very difficult even to formulate such laws at such badly behaved points, and we would have no guide from observations as to what those laws might be…We don’t yet have a complete and consistent theory that combines quantum mechanics and gravity. However, we are fairly certain of some features that such a unified theory should have…To avoid the technical difficulties with Feynman’s sum over histories, one must use imaginary time. That is to say, for the purposes of the calculation one must measure time using imaginary numbers, rather than real ones. This has an interesting effect on space-time: the distinction between time and space disappears completely….If the universe really is in such a quantum state, there would be no singularities in the histories of the universe in imaginary time. … This might suggest that the so-called imaginary time is really the real-time, and that what we call real-time is just a figment of our imagination. In real-time, the universe has a beginning and an end at singularities that form a boundary to space-time and at which the laws of science break down. But in imaginary time, there are no singularities. So maybe what we call imaginary time is really more basic, and what we call real is just an idea that we invent to help us describe what we think the universe is like. But according to the approach I described in Chapter 1, a scientific theory is just a mathematical model we make to describe our observations: it exists only in our minds. So it is meaningless to ask, “Which is real, ‘real’ or ‘imaginary’ time?” It is simply a matter of which is more useful description”.

We are dealing here with the beginning of Time, the singularity of time and space. (It is not the so-called beginning of the time with the Big Bangs of Black Holes.) But in the context of the singularity of time and space, which one of the pulses of Time are we talking here? We are living in “our” time and if we go backward in this our time, we would reach its starting point or the singularity of the space-time of “our this” universe. But if this our time has a commencing point, was there “another” run of time earlier? And, if there was another run earlier also, then in this cyclic run when was the commencement of the cyclic process? What would be the nature of laws ruling the cyclic-runs of Time? These are the questions of the highest order of the human intellect. Unfortunately we are living in “our this” time only and can talk meaningfully about this time alone.

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