Exploring the Big Bang: Questions and Answers

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In summary, the conversation covers various questions about the Big Bang, including the origin of particles, the expansion of the universe, the existence of dark matter and dark energy, and the possibility of black holes taking over the universe. The conversation also mentions the misconception that the Big Bang was an explosion and discusses the idea of the universe extending infinitely in all directions. It is also mentioned that science currently does not have an answer for what existed before the Big Bang.
  • #1
thinkies
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Hey guys and girls,

I have few questions regarding the-famous Big Bang.

- From where do the particles come from that originated the Big Bang...?

- This may be one of the-most-asked question, but how is it possible to say that our universe is expanding? And into what? For example, for matter to expand, it must have a certain space to expand into, right?

Also, why do most scientist think of the existence of dark matter and dark energy? Could be that there might be some errors in few theories or models? Beside, if that matter was to exist and if it does represent the majority of our universe, would'n't that mean that it is even present in our own solar system, then how come we 'cant' detect/see it?


o.0 hmmmmmmmmm...
 
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  • #2
Also, is it fair to say that space itself is not expanding, but simply galaxies are getting farther from each other due to unknown reasons(or,possibly because of dark matter/energy)? In this case, there suppose to be a certain limit to where they expand...
 
  • #3
thinkies said:
- From where do the particles come from that originated the Big Bang...?

questions like this are normally posted in the Cosmology forum. there are several different models under study that involve conditions before and during the beginning of expansion. If one goes by what research has the most peer-reviewed publication and is most widely cited, then the most prominent approach to understanding the Big Bang has it preceded by a contracting universe phase.

A prior stage of the universe collapses, reaches a critical density at which gravity becomes becomes repellent due to quantum effects, and begins re-expanding rapidly.

The equations that describe gravity allow spacetime to be curved, which means that distances need not be static. Distances between otherwise stationary objects can decrease or increase. this is what is meant by "space contracting" or "space expanding".
Space is not imagined to be a material that actually expands and contracts----it is simply that distances between things can change dynamically in a systematic way described by the main equation of GR.

- This may be one of the-most-asked question, but how is it possible to say that our universe is expanding? And into what? For example, for matter to expand, it must have a certain space to expand into, right?

Our universe can expand without having a surrounding space to expand into. All that expansion means is that distances between things increase. You should try not to think of our space as a material---the analogy will confuse you. Indeed for matter to expand it must have a surrounding space. But distances within our space can increase without the surrounding presence of any larger space.


Also, why do most scientist think of the existence of dark matter and dark energy? Could be that there might be some errors in few theories or models? Beside, if that matter was to exist and if it does represent the majority of our universe, would'n't that mean that it is even present in our own solar system, then how come we 'cant' detect/see it?
 
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  • #4
marcus said:
- This may be one of the-most-asked question, but how is it possible to say that our universe is expanding? And into what? For example, for matter to expand, it must have a certain space to expand into, right?

Also, why do most scientist think of the existence of dark matter and dark energy? Could be that there might be some errors in few theories or models? Beside, if that matter was to exist and if it does represent the majority of our universe, would'n't that mean that it is even present in our own solar system, then how come we 'cant' detect/see it?

...? o.0
 
  • #5
Um, arent you simply repeating my post, Marcus? o.0

Or, are you pointing something =.= ...?
 
  • #6
And since we're stacking up Big Bang questions here: It is frequently said that a common misunderstanding is that the Big Bang was like an explosion throwning mass away from a central point. Is a corollary to that that near the point of the Big Bang, say when everything was still the density of plasma, the universe may already have extended infinitely in every direction?
 
  • #7
The Big Bang theory states that there was a certain point where there was a huge pressure(or density?,right?) between particles that it simply 'exploded'. Matter couldn't have originated out of no where and appeared into that particular center where matters simply collided with each other, right?
 
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  • #8
thinkies said:
The Big Bang theory states that there was a certain point where there was a huge pressure(or density?,right?) between particles that it simply 'exploded'. Matter couldn't have originated out of no where and appeared into that particular center where matters simply collided with each other, right?

Big Bang theory does not state that matter exploded into surrounding empty space
 
  • #9
marcus said:
Big Bang theory does not state that matter exploded into surrounding empty space

Aside space, from where did those matters originate? I believe there's not really an explanation to that, right?
 
  • #10
thinkies said:
Aside space, from where did those matters originate? I believe there's not really an explanation to that, right?

If your question is really “What was there before the Big Bang?” I think the answer is “science does not have any way of knowing or even guessing at this point.”

My understanding is that the universe probably extended infinitely in all directions even at the point of the Big Bang. Or at least that modern Cosmology is compatible with that. I'd love to get some confirmation on that if anyone knows...
 
  • #11
I've read somewhere that scientist found black holes aged about 13 billion years. Wouldn't that mean black holes are formed much rapidly then we expect? And, eventually, will they even take over the universe, thus the end? In this case, if there was to be many black holes, there would likely be an emergence betweent them, or between many of them. What would happen in this case?
 
  • #12
And is it even possible for two black wholes to collide? I think it would be the same scenarios as with galaxies collision, right?
 
  • #13
thinkies said:
Aside space, from where did those matters originate? I believe there's not really an explanation to that, right?

Not right.
There are several very interesting explanations which people are studying now.
One of the outstanding research questions is how to check the models to see which is most likely to be correct.

In none of these models does matter suddenly come into existence right at the moment called the "big bang"-----there is in each case always some kind of space and some kind of matter BEFORE that moment.

The researchers who study this use both computer modeling and analytical modeling with equations. The simplest models have the space and matter before the bounce be a contracting version of the familiar kind of space and matter that we know about.

According to widely studied quantum theory of gravity, gravity changes from attraction to repulsion when a critical density is reached, so there can be a rebound---which starts a new expanding phase.

There are other expanations, but this is probably the simplest and the most widely cited in recent (post 2002) research literature.
 
  • #14
marcus said:
Not right.
There are several very interesting explanations which people are studying now.
One of the outstanding research questions is how to check the models to see which is most likely to be correct.

In none of these models does matter suddenly come into existence right at the moment called the "big bang"-----there is in each case always some kind of space and some kind of matter BEFORE that moment.

The researchers who study this use both computer modeling and analytical modeling with equations. The simplest models have the space and matter before the bounce be a contracting version of the familiar kind of space and matter that we know about.

According to widely studied quantum theory of gravity, gravity changes from attraction to repulsion when a critical density is reached, so there can be a rebound---which starts a new expanding phase.

There are other expanations, but this is probably the simplest and the most widely cited in recent (post 2002) research literature.

Hmm, let's say the universe was to face The Big Crunch, that would mean that eventually the Big Bang would begin again right? If so, is it fair to say that the current universe may have originated from a Big Crunch in the past. That would mean that the universe always existed, is existing and will exist?
 
  • #15
Also, since dark matter/energy really make most of the universe, did they play significant role in Big Bang? Or, was it some new matter originated by somehow to maintain a certain balance in our universe?
 
  • #16
Here it goes...*bump*... :D
 
  • #17
thinkies said:
... is it fair to say that the current universe may have originated from a Big Crunch in the past.

that is certainly one of the possibilities being actively worked on. It makes a lot of sense once you have a quantized cosmology model. but these ideas are not yet tested. one has to find things that the bounce models predict that we can look for and either observe or not. that's also something people are working on and write papers about: how to test

That would mean that the universe always existed, is existing and will exist?

strictly speaking all it would mean is that time didn't begin at the start of expansion ("big bang") but goes back further.

sure it could go back indefinitely. that's possible. but that is not the issue right now. right now the aim is to understand conditions better at the start of expansion.

if you want to read some research articles. let me know. I'm busy today and don't have enough time to paraphrase for you what you could read directly from an article by Abhay Ashtekar
 
  • #18
marcus said:
that is certainly one of the possibilities being actively worked on. It makes a lot of sense once you have a quantized cosmology model. but these ideas are not yet tested. one has to find things that the bounce models predict that we can look for and either observe or not. that's also something people are working on and write papers about: how to test



strictly speaking all it would mean is that time didn't begin at the start of expansion ("big bang") but goes back further.

sure it could go back indefinitely. that's possible. but that is not the issue right now. right now the aim is to understand conditions better at the start of expansion.

if you want to read some research articles. let me know. I'm busy today and don't have enough time to paraphrase for you what you could read directly from an article by Abhay Ashtekar

Thank You for your reply! I am certainly interested in reading some articles regarding basic cosmology, if possible, I would also like to read articles regarding planetary movements( angular momentum) and other few basic astronomy books. Sorry if I am asking for lots of stuff!

Thanks a bunch!
 
  • #19
thinkies said:
I've read somewhere that scientist found black holes aged about 13 billion years. Wouldn't that mean black holes are formed much rapidly then we expect?
What you may be thinking of are primordial black holes. These are black holes which are not formed in the "usual" way (that is, they are not formed by a collapse of a star) but are formed in the extreme conditions of the early universe. They are entirely theoretical objects and thus may not exist. In fact, if they do exist, I think they should be starting to evaporate now, and so we should be able to detect their radiation pretty soon.
thinkies said:
Thank You for your reply! I am certainly interested in reading some articles regarding basic cosmology, if possible, I would also like to read articles regarding planetary movements( angular momentum) and other few basic astronomy books. Sorry if I am asking for lots of stuff!

Thanks a bunch!
I know nothing about astronomy, but a nice place to start reading some introductory cosmology would be Ned Wright's cosmology tutorial, available on the web:http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm.
 
  • #20
Thanks cristo.
 
  • #21
Oh,one more thing...I've recently heard of something called quantum mechanical black hole. If they do exist, then they *surely* must be somewhat the-last-stage of a black hole, right?
 
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  • #22
Also, just wondering, to detect primordial black holes, scientist will likely be looking for gamma rays that'll be assosiated with such evaporation thing...hmm, right?
 
  • #23
...can someone answer my above questions, please :)
 
  • #24
Dude. New topic. New thread. It's OK to ask as many questions as you want. Really.

These questions may be stream of consciousness to you, but keep in mind you're not the only one interested in the answers.
 
  • #25
have you got a reasonable idea of the difference between cosmology (overall history and structure of universe) and astrophysics (how stars work, planetary systems, galaxies)?

if you have a question or topic you want to discuss, look to see if there is already a thread on that, if not, decide which is the appropriate forum
and start a question thread in that forum, where it belongs.

that way other people interested in the same thing will be more likely to find your thread and everybody benefits. it is more efficient.
 
  • #26
The universe from nothing concept remains in play:
http://www.astrosociety.org/pubs/mercury/31_02/nothing.html
 
  • #27
thinkies said:
- This may be one of the-most-asked question, but how is it possible to say that our universe is expanding? And into what? For example, for matter to expand, it must have a certain space to expand into, right?

I think the latter part of the question has been answered but as for the first part...

Scientists know that the Universe is expanding because the spectrum of light from far away galaxies/stars is shifted towards red. It has a redshift because when an object that is emitting light waves is moving away, the light waves that it is emitting stretch.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Doppler_effect.jpg"

For example, in this picture the object emitting waves is moving to the left and the waves on the left are getting compressed and the waves on the right are getting stretched. If these were light waves, and there was an observer on the right side, they would notice a redshift in the spectrum of the light being emitted because the object is moving away from them. If there was an observer standing to the left of the object, they would see a blueshift in the spectrum of the light being emitted because the object is moving towards them.
 
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  • #28
Quincy said:
I think the latter part of the question has been answered but as for the first part...

Scientists know that the Universe is expanding because the spectrum of light from far away galaxies/stars is shifted towards red. It has a redshift because when an object that is emitting light waves is moving away, the light waves that it is emitting stretch.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d3/Doppler_effect.jpg"

For example, in this picture the object emitting waves is moving to the left and the waves on the left are getting compressed and the waves on the right are getting stretched. If these were light waves, and there was an observer on the right side, they would notice a redshift in the spectrum of the light being emitted because the object is moving away from them. If there was an observer standing to the left of the object, they would see a blueshift in the spectrum of the light being emitted because the object is moving towards them.

Not quite true. What you have described is merely garden-variety doppler shift caused by the galaxy's physical movement through space away from us (and can be quite fast, even for galaxies close-by). While it indicates galaxies are moving away from us, it doesn't directly indicate expansion of the universe. There is another form of redshifting which occurs as the space between galaxies expands, and it is this redshifting that indicates an expanding universe. This would be observed even if all galaxies were motionless wrt each other.
 
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Related to Exploring the Big Bang: Questions and Answers

1. What is the Big Bang theory?

The Big Bang theory is a scientific explanation for the origin of the universe. It proposes that the universe began as a singularity, a point of infinite density and temperature, and has been expanding and cooling ever since.

2. How did the Big Bang occur?

The exact cause of the Big Bang is still unknown, but the most widely accepted explanation is that the universe underwent a rapid expansion known as inflation. This expansion caused matter and energy to spread out and cool, eventually forming the galaxies and structures we see today.

3. What evidence supports the Big Bang theory?

Several pieces of evidence support the Big Bang theory, including the cosmic microwave background radiation, the abundance of light elements, and the redshift of distant galaxies. These observations are consistent with the predictions of the Big Bang theory and have been confirmed by multiple experiments.

4. What happened before the Big Bang?

The concept of time as we know it did not exist before the Big Bang, so it is impossible to say what happened before. Some theories suggest that there may have been a previous universe that collapsed and led to the Big Bang, but this is still a topic of debate among scientists.

5. Does the Big Bang theory conflict with religious beliefs?

The Big Bang theory is a scientific explanation for the origin of the universe and does not directly conflict with religious beliefs. Many religious leaders and theologians have found ways to reconcile the Big Bang theory with their faith, viewing it as a way to understand the how of the universe, while their religious beliefs explain the why.

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