The Big Bang

The greatest, most fundamental mystery in the history of the world and the universe is; how did this all begin? Man now knows a lot about the different stages of Earth’s development, but he still has no definite answers for how our world came to be here or even how the universe came to be formed. Religion provides us with one theory – the idea that God created the planets by hand, but that does not tally with the few pieces of scientific evidence that we do possess. For, although we are still largely ignorant, science has begun to reveal some of the secrets of the cosmos. We do not know much, but we do know it all started with a bang. About 15 billion years ago there was an enormous explosion. Incredible, trilliondegree heat, matter and anti-matter were created in a dense expanding cloud.

In less than 1000th of a second, the universe had doubled in size over 100 times. More matter than anti-matter was produced, and basic particles began to form. The universe remained a thick, plasmatic substance, made up mainly of radiation at an extreme, but cooling, heat. After a second, the universe had a temperature of ten billion degrees Kelvin.

The process continued, with simple particles gradually slowing in speed, allowing for more complex reactions to take place. About three minutes after the initial explosion, the temperature was down to abillion degrees. Nucleosynthesis was beginning to take place, and deuterium, an isotope known as heavy hydrogen, was being created. Deuterium then formed into tritium, which then became a helium nucleus. With slightly more cooling, hydrogen atoms were created.

Over the next 300,000 years, helium atoms were formed, and the universe dropped to a temperature of 10,000 degrees Celsius as it expanded. Radiation gradually became less dense and it, light and matter were able to separate. Eventually, after 15 billion years, the universe became what we know today. Although the Big Bang theory is based on the guesswork of many eminent cosmologists and astronomers, it is supported by a scientific basis. Recent discoveries have also helped to provide proof. NASA’s COBE satellite has detected cosmic microwaves produced at the distant edges of the universe. The fact that these microwaves followed a similar rigid structure suggested the universe developed in a verifiable pattern. Slight temperature differences at three far-off points have also helped to prove scientists’ earlier theories about what happened as the cosmos cooled. The different stages in development between areas of different heat give a good indication of what happened following the Big Bang.

Expansion Timeline

In June 1995, scientists working on NASA’s Astro-2 observatory were able to detect deuterium in the distant corners of the cosmos. This suggests such elements really did exist soon after the Big Bang. Similarly, the Hubble telescope has allowed astronomers to look deep into the universe and discover what substances are predominant in older features. These new discoveries often lead to new questions, and reworkings of old theories. What we can be certain of is that the universe continues to expand, so the Big Bang phenomenon is still in progress. The fact that these procedures are still in effect at the far reaches of the universe provides hope that, as our observational techniques improve, we will definitely be able to learn how the universe initially expanded

As an intelligent life form, we may feel confident enough to scientifically state the conditions at the very dawn of time and space. However, no scientist would dare to suggest exactly what existed before the Big Bang. Religious philosophers have stated that everything has a cause, and have used our ignorance of the subject as proof of God. Others state that not all happenings necessarily have a catalyst, and as we are entering a completely new realm of the unknown, the normal rules of the universe may not apply. In either case, it is a subject for philosophy, rather than physics or chemistry. What science can say is that everything around us is made up of particles that burst from an origin smaller than an atom, 15 billion years ago. Anything else remains a mystery.

(Taken from many sources)

1 comment

Rob said...

My question will always be, how did it all start? It doesn't make any sense to me to just say "it just happened..." - that just doesn't satisfy my searching, and reason would indicate that there has to be a cause for everything to exist, which is why I believe that an omniscient God created everything. There is too much order and detail in the universe to all just "happen" for no reason.

Powered by Blogger.