Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Time Before The Bang!!

Want to know the most controversial question that you can ask any physicist?? Just ask him/her what happened in the time before the Big Bang. Well, we may have found an answer, or so claims a team of physicists.

The discovery comes from studying the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), in other words, light emitted when the Universe was young, at a paltry 400,000 years old.

Their model may help explain time moves in a straight line- from yesterday to today and then into tomorrow, they claim.

Cosmic Microwave Background, as you may know, fills the universe, and is the strongest evidence of the Big Bang that took place roughly 13.7 billion years ago.

Although this microwave background is mostly smooth, the Cobe satellite in 1992 discovered small fluctuations that were believed to be the seeds from which the galaxy clusters we see in today's Universe grew.

Their data comes from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which has been studying the CMB since its launch in 2001.

Their model suggests that new universes could be created spontaneously- from apparently empty space.

Describing the team's work at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in St Louis, Missouri, co-author Professor Sean Carroll explained that "a universe could form inside this room and we’d never know".

The laws that govern physics on a microscopic scale are completely reversible, yet no one gets confused about which is yesterday and which is tomorrow. This "arrow of time", as physicists call it, is blamed on the 2nd law of thermodynamics which states that systems move, over time, from order to disorder.

Till date, there is NO phenomenon which has disobeyed the 2nd law. Infact the great astromomer Sir Arthur Eddington once famously stated "If your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation".

However this understanding of the universe is based on a major assumption - that the Universe began its life in a perfectly ordered state and this makes understanding the roots of this most fundamental of laws a job for cosmologists.

Much work remains to be done on the theory: the researchers' first priority will be to calculate the odds of a new universe appearing from a previous one. These will be pretty small but in Physics small too can be either dismally small, impossibly small, reasonably small or even a little larger than small!!

Detailed measurements made by the WMAP have shown that the fluctuations in the microwave background are about 10% stronger on one side of the sky than those on the other. Though scientists have conceded that this might just be a coincidence, but pointed out that a natural explanation for this discrepancy would be if it represented a structure inherited from our universe's parent.

If the Caltech team's work is correct, we may already have the first information about what came before our own Universe. And this may put to rest some other questions like the question of absolute hot I'd discussed a few days ago.

We're trained to say there was no time before the Big Bang, when we should say that we don't know whether there was anything - or if there was, what it was. -- Prof. Sean Carroll



Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

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