The Science of Existence (2-1) Story


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded. ~ English novelist Terry Pratchett

The conventional fiction is that 13.82 billion years ago (bya), a quantum pinprick of infinite intensity exploded into existence. There were no separate physical forces as experienced today; no matter; just a singularity of energy: a universe’s worth, taking no space to speak of, but pervading more dimensions than humans would ever perceive.

The “big bang” hypothesis of creation is more a confession of desperation and bewilderment than the outcome of logical argumentation rooted in the known (or even unknown!) laws of physics. ~ Belgian theoretical physicist Robert Brout et al

We do not know when the universe began, or how. The conventional 13.82 bya origination date comes from the earliest light detected by a space telescope, in accordance with Robert Grosseteste’s 1225 surmise.

The cosmic microwave background is the light that is the furthest away from us that we can see. ~ American astrophysicist Adam Riess

The bruited Big Bang was actually a quiet affair. No sound was made. But the misnomer does make for a catchy cosmological slogan.

Embedded within the embryonic universe were the ingredients for all that would ever be. The cosmos started as a viscous fluid of subatomic proto-matter. The earliest perturbations in energy density and flow rippled through time, defining the topology of the universe.

According to the Big Bang story, 1 trillionth (10–12) of a second after the cosmos came into being, energy had spread sufficiently that electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force parted ways. Photons emerged. Other subatomic particles came into being.

By its spin, matter claimed the throne of everyday existence. Matter’s mirror – antimatter – was largely shuttered from the observable 4 dimensions; exactly how remains unknown.

A universe was taking form. The cosmos was quark soup for a microsecond. Then came protons and neutrons, as quarks settled into being part and parcel of larger particles. This was followed by the formation of atoms. The time frame in which these events occurred remains highly speculative.

The standard hot cosmological model requires rather unnatural initial conditions at the big bang. One has to postulate that the universe has started in a homogeneous and isotropic state with tiny density fluctuations which are to evolve into galaxies. Homogeneity and isotropy must extend to scales far exceeding the causal horizon at the Planck time. In addition, the energy density of the universe must be tuned to be near the critical density with an incredible accuracy of ~10–55. ~ Ukrainian American physicist Alexander Vilenkin