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

What are some theories of the creation of the universe?

  1. Sep 28, 2009 #1
    Hi, I'm new to this forum and I thought I'd ask for some help with my research paper.

    Well Im a Senior in Highschool and I take IB (International Baccalaureate [Google it]) courses which are basically super advanced courses. Anyway, one of the requirements is that I write a 3,500-4,000 word essay of a topic of my choosing.

    Well in my research paper, I wish to compare two theories of the universe in order to conclude which seems more plausible than the other.

    What I'm asking from you guys are the names of a couple of modern theories of how the universe was created.

    I also want to know where I can look for more information on these theories. (Links, books, articles etc...) *NO WIKIPEDIA*

    So, can you guys help a kid out?

    *Note: I know this belongs in the homework help section, but I didn't see a section there that didn't talk about the universe as much as this section did. :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2009 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Sep 29, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Just fyi, you should be happy to make use of Wikipedia to start your research. They tend to have excellent introductions to a variety of topics, as well as many references for further reading (references that you can actually make use of).
  5. Sep 29, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I agree. Certainly for science topics, Wikipedia is a perfectly good platform to start your research. I think many of the percieved problems with it exist more in the politics and current affairs areas rather than the science pages, which tend to be pretty good (with some exceptions). Many professional scientists make use of Wikipedia all the time.

    As to the question, you might want to be a little more specific. So, as far as mainstream science goes, the strong consensus model is the Hot Big Bang theory. There is no single alternative that is set against this, though there are a small number of other ideas around with only a few adherants.

    However, the HBBT paradigm simply asserts that the Universe began in a hot dense state, exactly how that happened (or why it happened) is unknown. There are various proposals, the most plausible being inflation, however there are many different theories about how and why inflation occured and exactly how it proceeded.

    Moving beyond that, there is the question of what happened before inflation (which is obviously linked to the question of why inflation occured). There are a number of different theories around, although there is precious little evidence available to decide between them. Some even argue that we will never be able to answer this kind of question.

    So, I hope that helped, but as I say you will have to be more specific about what you mean by 'theory of the Universe'. From a historical perspective, you could talk about the "Steady State Universe" (the key person to look for there is Fred Hoyle, also Halton Arp although the former is (was) much more sane) as compared to the "Expanding Universe". I say historical because this debate is done and dusted now, but before we had the kind of data we have now was a very interesting and lively debate. If you chose those two ideas to write about you could talk about what made each one plausible at the time, and then explain what it was about newer data that came along that settled the arguement in the favour of the expanding universe.
  6. Feb 14, 2010 #5

    Hi. My name is Han-se Kim. I'm 9 years old and I'm doing a pysics project. It's about pysics and I need help. I'm up to chapter 2- the big bang theory. I urgently need help. Can you help me my posting a document with some information of the big bang theory and attach it to your reply.

    Can you help a kid?
  7. Feb 15, 2010 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Re: Project

    This is my favorite article on the subject:

    It's all about the evidence surrounding the big bang theory.
  8. Feb 15, 2010 #7
    Thanks! That was a lot of help.
  9. Feb 16, 2010 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Another tutoria: http://cmb.physics.wisc.edu/tutorial/bigbang.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook