Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How did the Hydrogen Atoms formed from Energy ?

  1. May 28, 2010 #1
    Hi all,well my first questions, such a huge community, thanks to the admin/staffs for this making this forum :)

    How did the Hydrogen Atoms formed from the energy in the early universe ?

    like our DNA determines how we are built (just a sample approach), was there in the energy any codes/laws of nature to create the quarks and electron, and to interact with the force/forces to create the first hydrogen atoms, or was it a random event ?

    Is everything we see around us an evolution of energy ?

    Thanks for all the help :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2010 #2
    Read the "expanding universe" another link in this topic. It talks about this on protonchain's post (#4) there is also some other talks about this in the same thread
  4. May 28, 2010 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Imagine the early universe as a big soup of quarks and electrons (ignore all the other particles for the time being). At a certain temperature, their random thermal motions are greater than the attractive forces wanting to pull them together, so the universe stays a "soup". At a certain point, however, the quarks can start staying together to form protons, neutrons, and a slew of other subatomic particles. So every time two ups and a down got together, we made a proton. Note that almost all of the other elementary particles have short lifetimes, less than 10^-11 seconds (the exception being the neutron, which has a free lifteime of ~800s). So things quickly become proton dominated. After the universe cools down some more, the electrons just get snagged up by the protons and.. voila. Hydrogen.

    So I hope you see you don't need any type of perscription to build hydrogen, it's just the natural behavior of a bunch of quarks and electrons in a cooling universe.

    As far as creating the quarks and electrons... that's a toughie, definitely beyond what I know about.
    Last edited: May 28, 2010
  5. May 28, 2010 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Did you mean to say molecules here? Perhaps a typo?
  6. May 28, 2010 #5
    @ brother time, thanks for the referral, after reading those, new questions arrived in my curious mind, I'll ask in that thread :)

    @Nabeshin, thanks for taking the time to answer :)


    hmmm..yes, We hit a wall :(

    (our language is finite and the universe likes infinity, but I like it, else I would have went to sleep with a peaceful no questions mind :))

    So the first hydrogen atoms were created, now why should it seek for the stability of Iron, is that something to do with the proton/neutron/electron relation or the combination 'atom's natural behavior ?

    if it (the natural behavior to seek stability of iron) not of the (container1-quarks) or (container2-protons/neutrons), and it's the doing of (container3-atoms), then shouldn't we treat the containers as different, quark world another, atom/quantum world another, our big world as another , then for sure there doesn't need the theory of parallel lives/world (we @ 2 places, same time like atoms), right ? or is the parallel lives real ?

    I'm sorry, I can't distinguish whether my thoughts are science or philosophical, but sure I joined here because of the interest of science :)

    anyhow can somebody please please point me, what to read/learn on advanced/solid theories explaining universe, my current understandings are from BBC documentaries and Searching the Internet (which I often get lost with weird theories) and few cosmology books
  7. May 28, 2010 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Nabeshin- It's not apparent why a direct excess of protons over antiprotons (along with electrons over positrons) would have first appeared. I think it's more likely that an excess of neutrons over antineutrons appeared, which could completely account for the hydrogen. Correct me if wrong, but if we just look at Feynman diagrams, two photons (each > 931 MeV) colliding could not convert to two protons (violates charge) but they could convert to two neutrons (baryon # conservation is not absolute). Perhaps in a very small fraction of photon collisions, an excess of neutrons appeared during the era of baryon pair production.
  8. May 28, 2010 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor


    The stability of iron isn't 'sought'. The big bang is believed to have created only the lightest elements: H, D, He, Li, (and some Be). Heavier elements didn't arise until stars formed and started fusion burning. Through fusion, heavier elements are synthesized through a couple different reaction pathways. Eventually, iron is formed from the fusion of heavy elements, for example, through the silicon burning process. Due to iron's stability, the fusion reaction cannot continue.
  9. May 28, 2010 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Right I was trying to sweep this issue under the rug, primarily because I (and I don't think the scientific community at large, either!) don't know the answer to the particle-antiparticle asymmetry. You're right, colliding photons produce protons and antiprotons, not two protons. Of course, we could just assume that we have an asymmetry in protons over antiprotons here and we don't need to talk about neutrons, but what you say makes sense too. Definitely an open question.


    A good book to read might be something like Hawking's https://www.amazon.com/Brief-Histor...sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275075389&sr=8-1". It's a bit dated at this point, but I think (if I recall correctly) it does a good job explaining some of the classical pillars of cosmology and other branches of physics. Someone else can probably provide a better, more up-to-date book, though.

    P.S: Thanks for the catch bapowell, my language has been quite sloppy lately!
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. May 29, 2010 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I'd just like to point out that this isn't true at all. It is a series of rather complex gene-environment interactions that determine this. This really isn't the place to talk about it, but look into developmental biology sometime. It's a fascinating subject.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook