December 17, 2011

Big Bang Theory Factoid

Doing research for a book is so much fun, that I sometimes lose sight of my original goal (which is why I’ve restricted myself to the 20 books already in my possession I’d purchased for such research).

For instance, reading Brian Green’s The Fabric of the Cosmos, I found out how scientists came up with a little theory called “The Big Bang” (though most of you probably knew of it already. . .).

It’s all about how our universe wants to get bigger than the ox, and temperatures:

“Just as a bicycle tire gets hotter and hotter as you squeeze more and more air into it, the universe gets hotter and hotter as matter and radiation are compressed together more and more tightly by the shrinking of space.  If we head back to a mere ten millionths of a second after the beginning, the universe gets so dense and so hot that ordinary matter disintegrates into a primordial plasma of nature’s elementary constituents.   And if we continue our journey, right back to nearly time zero itself—the time of the big bang—the entire known universe is compressed to a size that makes the dot at the end of this sentence look gargantuan.”

And this ties in with the fact that cosmic observations (starting with Hubble in 1929) show that the universe is currently getting larger and larger (from seeing other galaxies moving further and further away from us, and at a speed proportional to their distance from Earth, and noting that our universe is getting colder).

Isn’t this a cool factoid?  Ok, enough dilly dallying, back to my research!

1 comment:

  1. Note: After reading on, the author (Brian Greene), states that if we imagine space is an infinite flatland (and apparently there's mounting evidence that it is), then technically the Big Bang couldn't have been reduced to a single dot. "So although everything gets closer together and the densities get ever higher as you head further back in time, the overall size of the universe stays infinite; things get dense everywhere on an infinite spatial expanse."

    Which would mean that at the initial big bang milli^nth second, everything was mega-dense and mega-hot, on the whole infinite universal mat.

    So the distancing we see between our galaxy and others would not be due to the infinite space getting larger, but instead...well, they'd just be running away from each other. Period.

    (Well, I'm sure there's lots more hidden behind that period, but I'm not the scientist here, just a collector of facts).