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Mon Nov 18, 2019, 07:12 PM

We May Finally Understand the Moments Before the Big Bang


By Tim Childers an hour ago



An artist's interpretation of the Big Bang.
(Image: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab)

There's a hole in the story of how our universe came to be. First, the universe inflated rapidly, like a balloon. Then, everything went boom.

But how those two periods are connected has eluded physicists. Now, a new study suggests a way to link the two epochs.

In the first period, the universe grew from an almost infinitely small point to nearly an octillion (that's a 1 followed by 27 zeros) times that in size in less than a trillionth of a second. This inflation period was followed by a more gradual, but violent, period of expansion we know as the Big Bang. During the Big Bang, an incredibly hot fireball of fundamental particles such as protons, neutrons and electrons expanded and cooled to form the atoms, stars and galaxies we see today.

The Big Bang theory, which describes cosmic inflation, remains the most widely supported explanation of how our universe began, yet scientists are still perplexed by how these wholly different periods of expansion are connected. To solve this cosmic conundrum, a team of researchers at Kenyon College, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Netherlands' Leiden University simulated the critical transition between cosmic inflation and the Big Bang a period they call "reheating."

More:
https://www.space.com/physicists-model-reheating-universe.html

14 replies, 1109 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply We May Finally Understand the Moments Before the Big Bang (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 2019 OP
Kurt V. Nov 2019 #1
abqtommy Nov 2019 #4
rsdsharp Nov 2019 #6
targetpractice Nov 2019 #2
Judi Lynn Nov 2019 #9
SonofDonald Nov 2019 #3
Judi Lynn Nov 2019 #13
Javaman Nov 2019 #5
Judi Lynn Nov 2019 #10
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2019 #7
Judi Lynn Nov 2019 #11
SCantiGOP Nov 2019 #8
Judi Lynn Nov 2019 #12
targetpractice Nov 2019 #14

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2019, 07:15 PM

1. Contraction. bang. Repeat.

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Response to Kurt V. (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 18, 2019, 10:12 PM

4. In the Issac Asimov book The Universe he presents information that shows that the universe

goes through the big bang/expansion/ contraction/big bang cycle regularly. I know that Asimov was
a highly educated man because I think I only understood about half of this book of his.

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Response to abqtommy (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 01:29 PM

6. He was highly educated. Asimov had a masters and PhD from Columbia

in chemistry, and later taught biochemistry at Boston University school of medicine.

He also spent three years at the Philadelphia Navy yard as a chemist, working with, among others, fellow science fiction writers Robert Heinlein and L. Sprague de Camp.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2019, 07:20 PM

2. I knew it, Judi Lynn...

I love your curation of science stories for DU, and I assumed one day you would post the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything!

Thank you!

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Response to targetpractice (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 07:45 PM

9. Just like a monkey sitting long enough with a typewriter can produce the Tea Party agenda, oh, wait!

I totally love finding them any time I can. It's similar to stumbling across them.

So glad for the chance to post them!

Thank you.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Mon Nov 18, 2019, 07:58 PM

3. Mind blowing stuff

I look at the stars and I feel so very small

But it's a great feeling

I may never know how and why we are here but my imagination runs wild just like it did as when I was a little boy

Look at the stars...

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Response to SonofDonald (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 08:00 PM

13. More information is within reach now because of "the Series of Tubes."



Hard to imagine life before the "Series of Tubes."

It can seem so overwhelming.....

Thanks for your comments.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Nov 19, 2019, 09:46 AM

5. In the beginning. there was cereal, lots and lots of cereal. nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 07:47 PM

10. Amazing!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Fri Nov 22, 2019, 08:45 PM

7. Weird - they seem to have changed the definition of the Big Bang

"In the first period, the universe grew from an almost infinitely small point to nearly an octillion (that's a 1 followed by 27 zeros) times that in size in less than a trillionth of a second. This inflation period was followed by a more gradual, but violent, period of expansion we know as the Big Bang."

But, from, for instance, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

"cosmic inflation: The theory that the universe underwent a brief period of exponential expansion shortly after the Big Bang."

So which came first, cosmic inflation or the Big Bang?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 07:51 PM

11. Time for a conference. Whoa. Thanks for thinking of the conflict. Had no idea it existed. n/t

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 06:18 PM

8. best explanation I ever heard

and Neil Tyson said it was as good a brief, generic description as he had for the beginning of the universe:

Once upon a time, there was nothing. Suddenly, it exploded into everything.

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 07:52 PM

12. Never heard that. Thanks!

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Response to SCantiGOP (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 23, 2019, 08:24 PM

14. Interesting...

I always understood it be that it was always everything, and then suddenly in the beginning it became much, much, much less dense.

Upon edit: There was no time before time began, and there was no nothing before anything. Hard to wrap my human mind around and type about it certainly. I'm not qualified.

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