Monday, October 29, 2007

big bang cosmology

i was just reading about the big bang theory of how our particular universe began and thinking about how well this cosmology explains our universe.

the most successful test of the theory is the measurement of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation (see nobel prize in physics, 2006). The CMB is the very first light we know how to "see" after the big bang, and it only became visible 300,000 years after the big bang happened. it's fantastically exciting that the big bang theory matches so well to the experiment we performed (remember: science it works, bitches!), but there remain many unanswered (and currently unanswerable) issues to understand!

what existed before the big bang? what is dark energy? immediately after the big bang, why were there 10,000,000,000 (ten billion) anti-particles for every 10,000,000,001 (ten billion AND ONE) particles? i keep reading and learning more, trying to understand life, the universe, and everything, but i'm left with unsatisfactory justifications to explain away problems.

the WMAP cosmology tutorial states,

It is beyond the realm of the Big Bang Model to say what gave rise to the Big Bang. There are a number of speculative theories about this topic, but none of them make realistically testable predictions as of yet.

well, that sucks!! i mean, maybe there are other universes, just as there are surely life forms elsewhere in our universe... we just can't prove it (yet?). we dont know how to prove it because we havent developed the ability to find it.

creating "speculative theories" about these lingering questions over a few beers is quite fun, but in my mind it always comes back to the question of "how do we test the theories?" in order to know whether the big bang model of the universe is completely correct, we must develop ways to detect other remnants from the earliest parts of the universe.

but i got nothing.

what are the tests? how can we "see" anything earlier than 300,000 years after the big bang? will dark energy give us a clue? what the hell is dark energy? it's the stuff that is 70% of all the stuff that is our universe, but how does it manage to accelerate the expansion of the universe? (... if it does?) we're currently developing the technology for experiments that will potentially be able to detect the bizzaro entity called dark energy... but are there any other tests we can perform? how does gravity work at humongous distances?

the large hadron collider (LHC) experiment is a good start for understanding the conditions of the universe just after the big bang. i look forward to the results near the end of 2008!

but for now, i still feel somewhat unsatisfied about the finer points of big bang theory. the answer 42 seems way easier to just accept, doesnt it? but it's ultimately even less satisfying.

first art work by vista arts.


C W Magee said...

Are you a star astronomer or a galaxy astronomer?

Unknown said...

hmmm... that seems like a loaded question. care to venture a guess before i reveal my astronomical tendencies?

Tim Hamilton said...

Interesting post. You definitely got me thinking about these subjects in the past few days. It's quite humbling and very exciting to try to wrap the mind around such things.

I have to thank you because you technically answered by question on my blog "where did all the matter come from?"...I forgotten about the ratio of matter to anti-matter.

However, the question I should be asking is "where did all the quark-gluon plasma come from?" or I suppose "where did all the energy in the universe come from?" the Deep Thought computer explains after answering 42: "I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is."

C W Magee said...

From the geochemist's point of view, the big bang explains the initial isotopic and chemical composition of the universe pretty well, before stars started making all the interesting elements.

I was gonna guess none-of-the-above, on the hunch that you're a dust and gas girl. But if you're using optical telescopes instead of IR, then I reckon that isn't the case. I guess galaxy.

Unknown said...

yeah, i'm a galaxy girl! i study galaxy evolution over the last 11 billion years by examining how many stars different types of galaxies form.....

C W Magee said...

Why ignore the first 2.5 Gy? Too faint? Or too scientifically complex?

That actually sounds like a rather cool topic. Any chance we can talk you into posting the cliff-notes version of your lit review?

Anonymous said...

Great post about the BigBANG
I honestly believe in the big bang theory...and also the Big Crunch theory. Maybe if we study both the theory's..will get an answer to the hidden energy and forces in the Universe.

I'm currently looking more information about the BigCrunch theory. I belive that the Universe will end one day...just as it began.

It is impossible for the universe to expand forever. Day by Day the universe is getting cooler and cooler...Galaxies & stars go further and further between each other, stars dies ...and one day...all the matters in the universe will probably have the same temperature...Equilibrium moment of the Universe, except the expending energy will die out rising the collapsing energy.

Newton's third law of motion theory proves that the big crunch will happen and it stats that "All forces in the universe occur in equal but oppositely directed pairs"

It is really hard to find answers of what existed before the big bang? I went to find some information in the Bible ,Holy Quran, the final divine revelation of God.
and guess what I found! I found that the big bang/Crunch theory's are true..and continuously..which means after the big crunch..the 2nd big bang will happen again.

Also what I found interesting and challenging is that...the universe is made up of seven layers.!!

Now here comes the next big questions...if that was true...
How do we see, study and prove it.