Questions Concerning The Planck Epoch
I must begin this thread with an apology.
I am NOT a physicist nor astronomer; in fact, my degree is in biology. However, for decades I have had a deep interest in what is commonly referred to as Big Bang Cosmology and have an “educated layman’s” knowledge and appreciation for this field.
My eventual goal is to establish a “best-guess” or “theoretically-acceptable” step-by-step chronology of the Big Bang. I have found WikiPedia’s Chronology of the Universe to be an extremely useful starting point. However, a number of areas in their Chronology are in need of clarification for my humble intellect. In addition, in cross referencing WikiPedia’s information with other sources, both on and off the Internet, I have found that there exists no consensus of opinion regarding certain data and concepts. I am hoping that the intellect and benevolence of the members of this forum will see fit to display a little patience and assist me in my understanding.
So allow me to begin at the beginning… with the Planck Epoch:
Five Basic Parameters of the Planck Epoch (Time 0 to 10^-43 second)
PARAMETER ONE: Time
Time at BEGINNING of Epoch: 0
Time at END of Epoch: 10^-43 second (1 Planck Time)
PARAMETER TWO: DIAMETER
Diameter of Universe at BEGINNING of Epoch: 0
Diameter of Universe at END of Epoch: 10^-35 m (1 Planck Length)
PARAMETER THREE: TEMPERATURE
Temperature at BEGINNING of Epoch: ∞
Temperature at END of Epoch: 10^32 K (Planck Temperature)
PARAMETER FOUR: MASS
Mass at BEGINNING of Epoch: ∞
Mass at END of Epoch: 10^19 GeV (Planck Mass)
PARAMETER FIVE: DENSITY
Density at BEGINNING of Epoch: ∞
Density at END of Epoch: 10^97 g/m3 (Planck Density)
Now I DO understand that (to quote http://www.whillyard.com/science-pages/planck-epoch.html): “The equations of General Relativity suggest that the Universe started as a singularity; that is, infinite density in an infinitely small space. Scientifically, this is not acceptable, and most scientists agree that General Relativity breaks down below the Planck Length due to random quantum mechanical fluctuations. Quantum physics places limits on size and density, and suggests that the expansion started with the entire Universe in a space with the diameter of the Planck length, and with the density at around 10^94 grams per cubic centimeter.”
(Please understand that I am using time=0 (the “singularity”) solely as a metaphorical starting point.)
Now for my for my humble (and no doubt naïve) questions regarding this initial Epoch:
Question # 1: Are my (rounded to the nearest factor of 10) numbers for the Planck Epoch even remotely accurate and theoretically acceptable?
Question # 2: During the Planck Epoch all four of the forces observable in the present-day Universe were combined into a single, unified force, sometimes referred to as the Superforce, Supergravity, or Mother-Force. Am I correct in stating that eventually (at t = 10^-43 second after the beginning) the gravitational force condensed out from the Superforce, and this symmetry-breaking event marked the END of the Planck Epoch and initiated the BEGINNING of the next epoch, the GUT Epoch?
Thanks in advance, my friends for your time and consideration,