Current theories posit that universe began at approximately 3:07 PM on February 7th, 1982 in the oven of DiStano’s Pizzeria on Martin Avenue in Queens, New York. This is an inherently difficult concept for most people to grasp, but, as physicist Eliza Wittmer points out, “if you think about it, is the big bang itself any easier to conceive on its own? Just pow, something from nothing? That makes no sense either.”
Wittmer explains the current thinking on how the universe was created billions of years after it already quite clearly existed, and why it began in a pizza oven. “Think about it this way, on a quantum level, time is not linear. It seems to us that the beginning of something should occur before events that occur at a later time, but if time is like a branch of tree, something resting on its outer end—say a very large bird—will have an effect on the base of the branch. It can even conceivably alter the branch itself, even though that portion of the branch affected existed well before its outer edge did.
‘Quantum theory suggests that if there ever was a moment of pure nothingness—that is if nothing existed at all, quantum fluctuations would basically cause the universe—the big bang—to pop into existence. We think this happened in the DiStano pizza oven in 1982, and then retroactively created the universe. The big bang began in 1982.”
But how did a moment of pure nothingness happen inside a pizza oven? “Well, that’s the question, ain’t it?” asks Wittmer. “My feeling is that the universe is actually a supremely elegant place, all of its chaos and decay notwithstanding. And DiStano’s makes a pretty goddamned elegant pie; crispy yet with a chewy body to it, delicate, sweet, rich, and immensely flavorful. It could be that on that afternoon in 1982, a pie so perfect was made that it basically shocked the universe out of existence for a fraction of a second. The hand of god stopped creation in awe of this perfect pizza pie. And then quantum fluctuations popped it back into existence—but looping backwards to the beginning, if you follow me.”
Wittmer admits that it’s a rough theory. “I don’t know, maybe I forgot to carry a one somewhere. We got some interns double-checking everything.”