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The Big Bang And Other Loud Noises!
It is the most contentious, hotly debated, infamous, ancient and modern, widely known yet still greatly enigmatic, theories surrounding our origin. Everyone has heard of it, few understand it (and that's just in the case of cosmologists!) What is it that I am referring to? The Big Bang of course! But just what is the simplistic sounding yet most complex of theories?
If the origins of our reality are to be examined and discussed here. A (short, at least) visit to the origins of said theory should also take place. Fred Hoyle coined the term Big Bang, though Hubble, Lemaitre and others were working on the theory of an expanding universe in addition to him. Their view followed that if matter and the cosmos was expanding at an ever increasing rate, it had a start point, a genesis mote where all matter was condensed in a super compact, super heated "Singularity."
This was the spark that lighted the Big Bang theory model of the universe. It is, as far as we see it an era at the beginning of time, when all matter was compressed so tightly as to be one ultra dense singular point at all distances. All the matter that existed now, existed then, it has now spread much farther apart. The question is, what triggered this expansion?
Suddenly, an expansion of unfettered growth ignited, moving outwards faster than the speed of light (a cosmological constant viewed sacrosanct by many physicists). This expansion was followed by a state of super hot plasma that soon cooled, forming particles (more on particles and their types in the next blog). Once a number of particles clubbed together into atoms, the noticeable weight created a tug on the youthful matter. This was known as gravity. When an atom was created, space was formed, it exerted it's first tug as a declaration of presence, time was born. We know this dual state of existence permeating everything as "Space/Time."
As more matter clubbed together. Antimatter annihilated some matter, causing energy, was this the birth of the first forces at the sub-atomic, particle level? When the first effectively strenuous pull of gravity was felt throughout the cosmos, gravity pulled inwards. There is a debate among cosmologists about this stage of evolution, a cosmic chicken/egg scenario. What came first? Stars or black holes? I favour the latter instance, black holes being spawned first. Heavy atomic structure on a formless soup unused to it would have been quite blindsided by this tumultuous effect of gravity, a whirlpool sinkhole effect would have been prompted and black holes would appear. Such a process may have been responsible for the creation of more exotic matter, due to the birth of radiation. As matter passes beyond the event horizon of a black hole (an event horizon is the lip of reality between the universe and a black hole where nothing, not even light, can escape). During this desecration of matter, radiation is thrown back into the cosmos as a side effect of the destruction, it is known as Hawking Radiation. The radiation would have been a breeding ground for more virulent creation, spawning the first stars and galaxies.
From Cosmic Microwave Background radiation (dated 380,000 years after the Big Bang occurred), it can be demonstrated that clumps of more heated or denser matter are already being created, gravity must have been present and perhaps even radiation, radiation would be coming from black holes, possibly Pulsars (although perhaps the matter was not diverse enough for stars to collapse into Pulsars at this stage, even though they possess less mass than a black hole). In the midst of this ancient cocktail formed the first stars, which upon their deaths these colossal (probably far larger even than the likes of VY Canis Majoris, the biggest star we currently know of) stars, only tens of millions of years old, collapsed in the expanding universe, leaving more (massive) black holes, spewing more radiation and, mixing with the abundance of heavier elements (the whole gamut of which we see on the Periodic Table) appeared in a rich tapestry which led to life as we know it on (at least) this planet.
But where did the Big Bang come from? One of the many mysteries surrounding this genesis event. Where did Dark Matter and Energy come from? Why doesn't matter and antimatter exist in equal abundance in the universe? How could all matter be compressed into a singularity?
I hazard a guess at this and some others in more blog posts. Using knots in String Theory, the death of previous universes and hyperspace beyond the bubble boundary of our reality. A widely held theory that all black holes skew off on a separate tangent universe of their very own.
Finally, where does it end? Is reality an ever expanding and retracting model, an "Accordion Universe?" Will the cosmos merely expand forever, until matter is too far apart and too cold to form galaxies, stars, planets, moons and life? An entropic "Heat Death," where the universe's fate is one of an icy, neglected tomb, dotted with white dwarf stars, a candlelit vigil to former varied splendour?
I will also look at life in the universe too. Keep 'em peeled for that one!
Plus there is the recent hypothesis that postulates an existence of a collapsing 4-dimensional star that collapsed, the resulting black hole and subsequent Hawking Radiation spawned the Big Bang. I will follow this up with how the BRANE theory of hyperspace may support this.
Thank you. Keep watching the skies and turning your gaze inward, the universe as is much a part of you, as you are of it. It exists as much in the swirl of a galaxy as it does in the gorging of your pupil!
© Brad James, 2014.