Novice questions about the Big Bang theory (pt. 1)

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falkor

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Hi all,<br /><br />I've recently become interested in astronomy and would be grateful for any help with these beginner questions!<br /><br />1) In your opinion what is a good book/website/documentary for explaining the Big Bang theory and the origins of the universe?<br /><br />2) We can observe that the distant galaxies are moving apart and accelerating at the same time; therefore, the Big Bang theory suggests that in the beginning the universe blew up from a single point and began expanding in all directions. This seems logical for matter and energy, however, what evidence is there that time and space also began at the same moment of expansion?<br /><br />2) If all the mass and matter of the universe was once contained in a single point no smaller than a pin-prick then isn't it reasonable to assume that it would have resembled a black hole before the "big bang"?<br /><br />3) When stars die they become extremely massive albeit small in size. If we had a spoonful of a dead star on the floor in front of us we would not be able to pick it up. What is the heaviest material on earth? How can atoms become so tightly packed together? How can we engineer the most densest of materials to become even more heavier and therefore increase it's gravitational pull?<br /><br />4) The Hubble deep field photograph is the most distant and earliest view of the universe we're able to observe and shows galaxies. How have scientists been able to find out about the first split-second of the Big Bang before galaxies and even stars ever existed? What evidence is there to support the theory that matter began as quarks and anti-quarks?<br /><br />5) After a split second of the Big Bang, quarks formed into Hydrogen, Helium or were both elements abundant in the universe at that time? Where did electrons come from?<br /><br />6) What do scientists know about the origins of the forces of nature? What is gravity and the strong nucleur force made of? Does it have anything to do with energy/radiation?<br /><br />Tha
 
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heyscottie

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1) Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" would be a good one...<br /><br />3) I think the densest elements on earth are Osmium and Iridium. Atoms become so tightly packed together because of the intense gravity -- it overcomes the electromagnetic repulsion of the electron clouds, which makes up the majority of the volume of any atom. Three steps of increasing density are electron degeneracy, proton degeneracy, and neutron degeneracy.<br /><br />4) Before the universe became transparent, we don't have any record of the universe, aside from the Cosmic Microwave Background. Anything we conclude from earlier than that comes from running the math and physics models backwards in time, or by starting with a hypothetical and running it forward to see if it resembles our actualy universe.<br /><br />I've got to go to a meeting; I'll let others continue...
 
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R1

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I think there's a recent thought or theory that gravity is actually not as weak as it appears,<br />that it is a force that's actually much stronger but not in the 3 usual dimensions, that's why<br />it appears to be kind of weak in the 3 d world <br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Saiph

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good solid questions.<br /><br />1) Brief history of time, or universe in a nutshell are good starts.<br /><br />2) If time and space are not expanding as well as the matter/energy we have a conundrum: Why does all the matter/energy appear to be receeding from us, here, specifically on earth? This can lead to a very centric view of the universe, because it leads to one very specific conclusion: we are the center, the origin of the BB.<br /><br />But there's a few key problems with that: Such as the fact that we're moving about the sun, around a galactic core, amidst a galactic cluster....so either the center follows us, or we just happen to be, at the first time we're able to actually construct instruments to measure it, at the center of the universe...<br /><br />So, we need to find a way around this massive coincidence. And if you posit that the space and time are expanding in all directions at once you can remove our unique stance. If this is the case, <i>any and all</i> points in the universe will be able to observe all matter receeding from them, and yet none will be a unique center.<br /><br />Also, it satisfies the general relativity equations pretty nicely.<br /><br />2) agian part 2) <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Perhaps, or it could have been a spontaneous particle creation even that occasionally occurs (such as virtual particle pairs) but on such a scale as to be incredibly highly improbable. And to answer that little detail: We don't know how long before the BB "<i>we</i>" had to wait for such an improbable event.<br /><br />3) pretty well answered, its just a matter of a balance of forces, gravity vs the other forces.<br /><br />4) The Hubble deep field is one of the deepest, furthest visible images we've obtained. However using microwave radios and other wavelengths we can actually see further.<br /><br />5) Electrons formed, iirc, at the same time as the hydrogen and helium nuclei, they just swam free for quite some time as the universe was st <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#c0c0c0"><br /></font></p><p align="center"><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">--------</font></em></font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">----</font></em></font><font color="#666699">SaiphMOD@gmail.com </font><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">-------------------</font></em></font></p><p><font color="#999999"><em><font size="1">"This is my Timey Wimey Detector.  Goes "bing" when there's stuff.  It also fries eggs at 30 paces, wether you want it to or not actually.  I've learned to stay away from hens: It's not pretty when they blow" -- </font></em></font><font size="1" color="#999999">The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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yevaud

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<i>2) If all the mass and matter of the universe was once contained in a single point no smaller than a pin-prick then isn't it reasonable to assume that it would have resembled a black hole before the "big bang"?</i><br /><br />That was precisely what Hawking and Penrose did: viewed the Primordial Monobloc as if it were a Singularity. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Differential Diagnosis:  </em>"<strong><em>I am both amused and annoyed that you think I should be less stubborn than you are</em></strong>."<br /> </p> </div>
 
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alkalin

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A theory is considered somewhat valid if it does indeed predict something useful within a rather narrow margin. The problem with the big bang theory is it has not proven itself as having validity due to its inability to predict anything, falling outside any margin that makes any sense. In trying to predict anything it has miserably failed. Each time it failed theorists came along with certain logic in exotic math to save it. How long must this continue?
 
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