Why “The Big Bang” Is a Terrible Name

by Jason Major on August 30, 2013

Have a discussion about the origins of the Universe and, ere long, someone will inevitably use the term “the Big Bang” to describe the initial moment of expansion of everything that was to everything that is. But in reality “Big Bang” isn’t a very good term since “big” implies size (and when it occurred space didn’t technically exist yet) and there was no “bang.” In fact the name wasn’t ever even meant to be an official moniker, but once it was used (somewhat derisively) by British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle in a radio broadcast in 1949, it stuck.

Unfortunately it’s just so darn catchy.

This excellent video from minutephysics goes a bit more into depth as to why the name is inaccurate — even though we’ll likely continue using it for quite some time. (Thanks to Sir Hoyle.)

And you have to admit, a television show called “The Everywhere Stretch Theory” would never have caught on. Bazinga!

About 

A graphic designer in Rhode Island, Jason writes about space exploration on his blog Lights In The Dark, Discovery News, and, of course, here on Universe Today. Ad astra!

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