Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Understanding the Big Bang

In the 1920s, Edwin Hubble noticed that the velocity of a galaxy appeared to be proportional to its distance from the Earth. Its velocity is observable from a change in an image know as redshift. Even though distance may not be directly observable, it can be extrapolated. If you know the amount of light certain stars in nearby galaxies are supposed to give off, and you also know the brightness you observe from these galaxies, you can figure out the distance of the galaxy. This distance is constantly changing, because, as Georges LemaƮtre discovered and Hubble confirmed, the universe is constantly expanding. The rate by witch the universe is expanding is modeled by the Hubble Constant. Hubble showed indirectly that the Universe expands as time passes, and hence, that the Universe must be shrinking if you are looking into the past.

By reverse engineering this fact you can describe the beginning of the universe. You can assert that long ago the universe was immensely smaller than it now is. The Big Bang theory describes the maturation of the Universe from just after it was initially created, up until today. It has been deemed as the most well-established scientific theory regarding our Universe's development.

The Big Bang models 10-36 seconds after the Universe began. It says that at this period in time the universe was expanding extremely rapidly. For demonstration purposes, we can think of the initial state of the universe as a concentration of matter and energy in a small point. We can think of this point in a state of near singularity. The point then exploded, and all the energy and matter show throughout the entire Universe. After the ‘point’ exploded is what the Big Bang models.

This nuance of a beginning to the beginning is one that is definitely worth noting. While the Big Bang theory may say a lot about the creation of a universe, there are still many questions to be answered about what happened before 10-36 seconds. This theory does not explain how something came out of nothing. This is a question that we may continue to explore for many years.

At the beginning of the Big Bang it was extremely dense and extremely hot. Because of all of the energy in the Universe during those first few moments that matter as we know it couldn't form. But as the Universe expanded it became less dense and cooled down. In only a short few seconds, the Universe formed, and it stretched across space.

The theory also states that four basic forces arose from the Big Bang: Gravity, strong, and weak nuclear forces, and electromagnetism; before the Big Bang these forces were all part of a unified force. The mystery for scientists today is to understand how these 4 forces could have at one point have been related. In order to properly explain this idea, Scientists have proved the Grand Unified Theory. This theory relates to all of the forces besides Gravity. The theory of everything is related to all of these forces and gravity. It is currently being explored, and so far a scientific explanation is still being discovered.

The Big Bang theory has become a large source of dispute between different groups of people. Some people believe that this theory contradicts the word of God. A large amount of the reason scientists have come to accept the Big Bang theory, is that it is the theory with the most solid scientific information to back it up. Proving the theory of everything will make this theory even harder for some people to ignore. However, as I mentioned earlier, what happened before the Big Bang is still up for debate. Only tireless research over time will tell researchers what happened at the beginning of time.
Connor Moore