Saturday, April 14, 2012

How our universe began

Today I write about the very beginning of all that is known, the big bang. This is what created the universe, and all of space and time as well. There is nothing known before this happened. This is the fundamental base of astronomy (the science of celestial objects and their study) too. This created all existing matter.

Billions of year back, our universe did not exist the same way it does today. Much happened to form the universe we presently live in. Let me make the process simple, in steps.


(Image courtesy: http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2010/04/big_bang_alternatives_anyone.php)

1. 14 billion years - The earliest thing known to exist was a tiny, red, extremely hot (4 trillion degrees Celsius) ball. This singularity was the earliest stage of the universe.

2. Within a fraction of a second, the ball grew to the size of a football. Due to a super-force it expanded within a tiny fraction of a second to the size of the universe. This is called inflation. As it grew in size, it got cooler and cooler.

3. Forces separated from the ball and created a huge cloudy and soupy material made of very tiny particles (smaller than atoms), like quarks.

4. Quarks and anti-quarks which make matter and anti-matter respectively, destroyed each other and some of the matter survived at the end.

5. Quarks combined to form subatomic particles, and these subatomic particles fused (joined) to form the simplest atom, of Hydrogen. Hydrogen atoms fused to form Helium atoms, which in turn fused to form Lithium and so all gases were formed.

6. Due to expansion of universe radiations are stretched and diluted to exist in the form of microwaves which  are present throughout the universe.

7. These gases curdled into strands with black holes (empty spaces which suck up everything) in between.

8. Clouds combined to form galaxies and stars were created.

Our sun is a medium - sized star. All stars have their respective systems, and our sun's system is known as the solar system. The sun, the 8 planets, their moons, the asteroids, meteors together form the solar system.


(image courtesy: http://quarknet.fnal.gov/eeu/index.html)

Here's a timeline of the big bang:

1. 10-43 seconds - the universe starts as a little hot ball
2. 10-35 - 10-33 seconds - inflation of the ball and cooling down
3. 10-6 seconds - separation of forces and tiny particles formed
4. 3 seconds - formation of hydrogen and helium atoms
5. 10, 000 years - radiations form microwaves
6. 300, 000 years - electrons link with hydrogen and helium atoms to form neutrons
7. 300 million years - formation of stars and galaxies

What would be the future of our universe? The universe could either continue expanding, or it would experience a 'Big Crunch', which is the opposite of a big bang. Isn't it surprise to imagine our universe in such a way? Life itself appeared on earth much later. I will post about that another time :)

7 comments:

  1. Hey that was a neat post. So much research has gone into it and you have beautifully condensed a complex topic into an easily readable one. Loved it :)

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  2. Thanks Sir, glad you found it interesting. There is so much to see and admire in not only our world but also our universe.

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  3. Good Job, Vidur! Very interesting read!

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  4. Thanks for appreciating Ma'am, glad you enjoyed it.

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