Since the beginning of human history, we have strived to understand how our we and our universe came into existence. It is from our histories that many tales of how we came to be grew out of mystical attempts to explain the unknown. Our quest to study the cosmos has given us strong theories that have led to even more complex questions. Even though our curiosity and questioning will be everlasting, it will be my attempt to put into words our current understanding of the Big Bang Theory.
It is because of the Big Bang Theory’s emergence, that the universe can no longer be only thought of as finite. According to this theory, it was approximately 14 billion years ago that the explosion that created everything took place. At the moment of this tremendous event, all the matter and energy moved away from each other and filled space with particles of a newly formed universe. It was two early 20th century astronomers Edwin Hubble and Milton Humason that discovered that galaxies are moving away from the Milky Way. With that being said, these scientists brought forward the hypothesis that every galaxy in the universe is moving away from all other galaxies. This, in turn, logically means the whole universe is constantly expanding.
Scientist over the decades have been conducting test to prove the big bang theory. There have been discoveries made about the big bang that came from other experiments. It was in 1964, that two astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, were trying to find microwaves originating from space. They accidently discovered noise coming from the cosmos and this noise could not be pinpointed as coming from a singular location, but rather from every direction. According to the textbook Conceptual Physical Science Explorations, “This faint microwave radiation is now referred to as cosmic background radiation and is taken as strong evidence of the Big Bang.”. (Web, Book) This accidental discovery lent more credence to the theory of the Big Bang. Still, many scientists of the time believed the universe to be static?” constant.
Immediately after the Big Bang, the newborn universe began to grow and cool down. At first moment of the explosion, scientist estimate the temperature to be in excess of billions of degrees. The National Aeronautical and Space Administration posted on their website facts about this very phenomenon, “According to the theories of physics, if we were to look at the Universe one second after the Big Bang, what we would see is a 10 billion-degree sea of neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons (positrons), photons, and neutrinos.”. (NASA, web) The matter in the early universe was not evenly distributed across space. There were concentrated clumps of matter were held together by gravity and were unevenly spread around. After a while, these clusters created galaxies, stars, and other celestial formations.
There is one aspect of the Big Bang Theory that still perplexes scientists, what happened before the Big Bang? Some scientist are believers that the universe is in a continuous pattern of contraction and expansion. Others think that there are an incalculable number of universes hanging in some greater dimension. These theories are all plausible in their own ways. One thing for sure it true, questions like this are the reason why the theory of the origins of our universe will always be tested, stretched, and explored.
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