Probing the Very Early History of the Universe (Part II)

Catch up:

Part I: The Big Bang Theory

What the Standard Big Bang Theory does Not Predict or Explain

In the previous post I outlined the basics of the big bang theory. As things stand, there remain a few issues which have not been addressed, and are taken as principles or ‘as given’. There are still many major mysteries of the state and origin of the universe, however for the purpose of this series, I will focus on three.

Paradox 1: the homogeneity and isotropy of the universe

The dictionary defines homogeneity and isotropy as follows:

Homogeneous:  Of the same kind of nature; consisting of similar parts, or of elements of the like nature

Isotropic: Having the same properties in all directions.

And these are the properties that the universe seem to exhibit. Namely, regardless of which direction you observe the properties of the universe, it appears the same. The standard Big Bang theory as described in the previous part offers no explanation to this phenomena.

Paradox 2: the age of the universe

To get an estimate on how old the universe is, cosmologists use a combination of astronomical observations and theory. One way of doing this is by observing distant clusters of galaxies, then plugging in the theory about how these clusters evolve, one then gets an estimate on the age of universe. The estimate is repeated with other structures, so the observers seems pretty sure of the estimate 13.7 billion years.

So far things are looking pretty consistent, we can estimate the age of the universe using theories of how galaxies and stars evolve, and also from the expansion of the universe. Since, if our understanding of the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe is correct we should be able to figure how long it has been doing so.

We hit a pretty big snag though when asking the question “how big was the universe when light ceased to be trapped by electrons?”. The answer naturally is “much smaller than it is today”, which is fine, except for one thing, it was not small enough to explain the why the universe was homogeneous and isotropic.

I’ll explain, remember that the universe is expanding, so when we look up into the night sky, two points in the sky that are today very far apart, would have been very close together in the past. Remember that the universe is homogeneous, now I am going to try an analogy (and am rather naff at them) take a water tank with a divider down the middle, pour water into one side and sit back. The system is now in-homogeneous, one side has water the other does not. How do you get water from one side to the other (each side has an individual lid and they are sealed), obviously remove the divider, now water flows into the second chamber and we have a homogeneous system! What did you do? You allowed the two chambers to communicate (exchange water and air), the divder was blocking information (water and air).

In the universe, distance is the barrier to exchanging information (in this case light), since light can only travel a certain distance in a certain time. So back to our problem, about 310,000 years after the big bang, the universe was quite big so a point in that universe could not have communicated with all other points. On top of that, rewinding 300,000 years, using known theories, the universe still wasn’t small enough, and a point still could not communicate with all the points in the universe!

So the question is: how did the universe end up homogeneous if one half of it didnt know what the other was planning? Coincidence?

Paradox 3: the origin of large scale structure (aka galaxies and galaxy clusters)

Phew, that last effect I find the hardest to explain, this one is relatively simpler (she says). In the Big Bang theory one needs an original ‘mass’ in the various places in the universe where we see galaxies and stuff today, this local fluctuation in the uniform mass of the universe will then attract more matter towards it and grow and grow till the galaxies and stuff appear. The Big Bang theory just ‘assumes’ it exists.

Told you it was simple 🙂

Now what we need is an explanation, a phenomena, an IDEA! We want this idea to explain how the universe is so uniform, why it is uniform, and how come we end up with these ‘mass fluctuation’! An we do, it’s called ‘Inflation’…

Part III: a neat solution, Inflation


9 Responses

  1. Regarding the isotropy. Could it be because:
    Observed Matter has finite states. This matter requires certain conditions to exist. In addition, it would be completely, and violently volatile in the presence of other (unobserved) matter [not to be confused with Anti-Matter]
    Now, shortly after the big-bang (say in the first 1 million years) the Universe that exists today. Was filled with the other extraordinary matter. This matter transformed by the big-bang to what we know today through a strong-weak-gravity-space-time chain reaction that caused everything to transform to what we know today.

    In this theory, the big-bang itself becomes more like a ripple in a pond that swoop across the universe to make it in the shape she is right now.

    Since light wasn’t able to travel in pre-big bang universe. The matter that we see today is actually the anomalies of the vast nothingness that was consumed as energy by the previous reaction.
    In 14 billion years from now, this reaction will happen again and cause another chain reaction that will swoop across everything once again transforming everything to something new. Nothing can transcend the event horizon of these ripples, not even information. So every iteration along with everything that happens during it is completely undetectable by the next one.

    Now can you explain to me, HOW do you find that the Big Bang doesn’t -really- contradict with creation of the universe in the Islamic sense?

  2. Well, an explanation for the phenomena I mentioned will be explained in the next installment.

    3 minutes after the big bang the universe was dominated by radiation.
    Now, am not entirely clear on what this extraordinary matter you mention is supposed to do… but 1 million years after the big bang started, and unless our understanding of structure and star formation is totally wrong, then allowing this matter to dominate and interact with normal matter may ruin the evolution of these structures and would lead to observable consequences, which we have no evidence for.

    Any modification to the big bang would have to occur prior to the formation of known matter/radiation era.

    However there is nothing stopping ‘something’ happening now or in the future.

    As for God, I get the feeling you’re taking belief in God as being akin to creationism, that God somehow has a factory line for the production of various structures etc. and I fail to see how any of us could have any insight into how God or what God did to get the universe as it is, except by logical deduction of the evidence that we observe… and as it stands the evidence supports the big bang theory 🙂

    Oh, I havent forgotten your timeline, still working on it 🙂

  3. Thanks Loolt
    I was hoping to hear more on how God, as a concept; isn’t completely contradictory to the existence and creation (not “ism”) of the universe. They’re two different things and although people can say “god created the universe” and have that sentence be true. But can’t say, “The big bang created the universe, therefore God doesn’t exist”
    Did I make myself clear? I’m not pretty sure I did. But you’re smart, you’ll probably figure it out 🙂

  4. Thanks for the update, to tell the truth, I can’t argue or ask questions cause I barely I’m able to understand the reasoning, but it’s good any ways, at least you can brag about it 🙂

  5. We studies that too 😀

    Quick question:
    If the universe is expanding, which it clearly is, there must be a point were expansion started from, can we know were that point is?

    I have been answered by different people in different ways, one common explanation is that bigbang created time and space, so space its self is the bigbang, so any point in space is the center of the universe, the staring point of expansion, others tried to explain it by unfolding an A4 papper from a ball shape, explaining the expansion of the expansion, I mean its kind of a mind twist for me to accept that universe is expanding from an everywhere exciting center point.

    We also tried to measure distances between as and stars with photometers, which supported the fact that space is expanding and agrees with the results of previous studies made by a scientists that made predictions of space tempreature.

    But then there was this twist again that at any point in space everything is moving away from you, nothing moving closer to you, so it supports the previous explanation the there is really no center of the universe, it is were ever the observer that is making measurements is, which is reasonable yet unreasonable.

    I hope you provide me with your explanation, let’s hope it makes sense to me.

  6. And by the way, please start a separate post in which you explain how the bigbang theory does/doesn’t conflict with the claims of the ”Abrahamic” God’s scripts, its seems to me that I am not the only one that is interested in your point of view!

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  8. […] up with the saga: part I, part II, part […]

  9. […] Comments loolt on List of Scholarships Available…Probing the very ear… on Probing the Very Early History…Probing the very ear… on Probing the Very Early History…Probing the very ear… […]

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