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Any books that explain the origin of physics stuff after the Big Bang?

  1. Dec 25, 2013 #1
    Could you please help me by suggesting some books that tell the story of how "stuff" ( I mean the stuff we discuss in physics ) such as origin of matter from a universe with nothing but energy, origins of wave, gravity, electromagnetic forces etc in the course of the evolution of cosmos after the Big Bang?

    For instance, some of the questions of which I would like to know answers:

    1. In the embryonic universe, there was nothing but energy. All the energy that still exists today in the universe. Were there any waves in the "pool" of the packets of energy in the early universe in which there was no matter? If waves appeared first in the universe of matters, how/ why did wave from?

    2. At certain point in the embryonic universe, matter appeared. What would happen if matter didn't form out of energy?

    3. At certain point of the life of the universe, forces like strong and weak nuclear electromagnetic force, gravitational force appeared. What did it mean for the universe to give birth to such forces? What changed? What would happen to the expanding universe if they did not appear?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I can't really recommend a book, but I can answer some of your questions.

    1. There is no such thing as pure energy. The early universe consisted of a mix of particles and radiation, not pools of energy.

    2. The conditions of the early universe depend on the interaction of matter and radiation. Without matter, there is nothing to generate the radiation. (As that requires charged particles) So without matter I'd say we wouldn't have radiation either.

    3. At super high energy scales the four fundamental forces are believed to be unified into a single force. Once the universe cooled down to lower temperatures something like a "phase transition" occurred and each force split off from the others one at a time.
  4. Dec 25, 2013 #3


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    Gold Member

    Try "The First Three Minutes" by Weinberg
  5. Dec 26, 2013 #4
    Thank you for your recommendation. I do have that book. Actually I have already started reading it.
  6. Dec 26, 2013 #5
    Thank you very much for your response. I would love to discuss about the things you said, about cosmological history, but I think I will need to try to first know what I don't understand about those things. I will get back to those questions soon, probably in a different thread. However, thank you infinity for your answers. Your answers will surely help me rethink about my questions.
  7. Dec 27, 2013 #6
    As a laymen, I found "Death By Black Hole" to be pretty good.
  8. Dec 28, 2013 #7
    Do you know the order in which the forces split, I seem to remember it being gravity, then strong, then weak and electro but I could be wrong, also do you have any idea about the time scales involved between the splits in terms of seconds/minutes/years ATB
  9. Dec 29, 2013 #8
    "The Inflationary Universe" by alan Guth is a great book. Inflation looks very convincing and has good supporting evidence for it, but I would point out that there are still legit scientists that question it but still a very good read.
  10. Dec 29, 2013 #9
    As i understand it, it's believed the Higgs field switched on at some point in the very early universe, before this there can not have been any mass. Are you saying this incorrect?
  11. Dec 29, 2013 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    I am not. I don't know anything about how the higgs field may have worked in the very early universe.
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