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Representation of the timeline of the universe over 13.7 billion years, and the expansion in the universe that followed. Credit: NASA/WMAP Science Team.

Cosmology 101: The Beginning

17 Feb , 2011

by

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Editor’s note: The article “The Universe Could be 250 Times Bigger Than What is Observable” sparked a sizable discussion among our readers, with several suggesting UT should have a series of articles about cosmology — a Cosmology 101, if you will. Our newest writer, Vanessa D’Amico, who wrote the aforementioned article, begins the Cosmology 101 series today, starting at the very beginning.

How did the universe get its start? It’s one of the most pressing questions in cosmology, and likely one that will be around for a while. Here, I’ll begin by explaining what scientists think they know about the first formative seconds of the universe’s life. More than likely, the story isn’t quite what you might think.

In the beginning, there was… well, we don’t really know. One of the most prevalent misconceptions in cosmology is that the universe began as an immensely small, inconceivably dense collection of material that suddenly exploded, giving rise to space as we know it. There are a number of problems with this idea, not least of all the assumption implicit in an event termed the big “bang.” In truth, nothing “banged.” The notion of an explosion brings to mind an expanding tide of material, gradually filling the space around it; however, when our universe was born, there was no space. There was no time either. There was no vacuum. There was literally nothing.

Then the universe was born. Extremely high energies during the first 10-43 seconds of its life make it very difficult for scientists to determine anything conclusive about the origin of the cosmos. Of course, if cosmologists are correct about what they believe may have happened next, it doesn’t much matter. According to the theory of inflation, at about 10-36 seconds, the universe underwent a period of exponential expansion. In a matter of a few thousandths of a second, space inflated by a factor of about 1078, quickly separating what were once adjoining regions by unfathomable distances and blowing up tiny quantum fluctuations in the fabric of spacetime.

Inflation is an appealing theory for a number of reasons. First of all, it explains why we observe the universe to be homogeneous and isotropic on large scales – that is, it looks the same in all directions and to all observers. It also explains why the universe visually appears to be flat, rather than curved. Without inflation, a flat universe requires an extremely fine-tuned set of initial conditions; however, inflation turns this fine-tuning into a trick of scale. A familiar analogy: the ground under our feet appears to be flat (even though we know we live on a spherical planet) because we humans are so much smaller than the Earth. Likewise, the inflated universe is so enormous compared to our local field of view that it appears to be spatially flat.

As the theory goes, the end of inflation gave way to a universe that looked slightly more like the one we observe today. The vacuum energy that drove inflation suddenly transformed into a different kind of energy – the kind that could create elementary particles. At this point (only 10-32 seconds after the birth of the universe), the ambient temperature was still far too hot to build atoms or molecules from these particles; but as the seconds wore on, space expanded and cooled to the point where quarks could come together and form protons and neutrons. High-energy photons continued to dart around, continually striking and exciting charged protons and electrons.

So what happened next? How did this chaotic soup of matter and radiation become the vast expanse of organized structure that we see today? What’s going to happen to the universe in the future? And how do we know that this is the way the story unfolded? Make sure to check out the next few installments of Cosmology 101 for the answers to these questions and more!

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iantresman
Member
February 17, 2011 8:33 AM

Thank you for taking the time and trouble in putting together an introductory article. I’d like to offer some constructive criticism.

The article appears to be written as a statement of truth. Although it does mention the odd theory (of inflation), with some very specific numbers, there is little science explaining why these facts are considered so.

But a fair introduction nevertheless.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
February 17, 2011 1:39 PM
The article states the facts (modulo details) as they are known, because inflation is part of the standard theory of cosmology. Why that is the standard theory (since ~ 2005ish), you can look up in text books by now I’m sure. In other words, what you wrote reads to me like: “Although it does mention the odd theory (of classical mechanics), with some very specific numbers, there is little science explaining why these facts are considered so.” “Although it does mention the odd theory (of gravity), with some very specific numbers, there is little science explaining why these facts are considered so.” “Although it does mention the odd theory (of quantum mechanics), with some very specific numbers, there… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
February 17, 2011 1:44 PM

Also, IIRC lars and iantresman plays tag team whenever EU/PT is promoted (here by attacking old and _very_ well tested theory). Why is that one wonders … or not. :-/

iantresman
Member
February 18, 2011 6:03 AM

I attacked no theories. However, I would be delighted if you would remind me which “old and _very_ well tested theory” I should look at to support the statement in the article “There was literally nothing”.

This is not intended as a criticism of the theory, but I’d like to see which scientific tests I have overlooked.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 17, 2011 10:32 PM
iantresman said; “The article appears to be written as a statement of truth.” Now calling the kettle soot jet black, eh? One very important point that is equally valid to the PC/EU proponent don;t you think? Doesn’t this very same question equally applies to your (and others unbridled ‘faith’, for want of a better word) in similarly believing in plasma cosmology? Let’s all really cut to the chase here. Why has the whole plasma version of cosmology been so heavily rejected (now several decades ago) and that currently accepted cosmology is held as the better explanation? Is it really as our nutso mate here, lars seems to say, as being some nasty covert plot by all scientists and… Read more »
iantresman
Member
February 18, 2011 6:05 AM

You insult the author of the article by discussing subjects that neither her, or myself brought up, and I suspect that others find it tiresome that you continue to do so.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 7:20 AM

Ah! We are back to using the victim-card yet again… I’m sorry, the only thing tiresome is the same old gross fallacies and deceptions, that time and again, exposes the continued untenable and unsubstantiated position of EU/PC.
Others can think what they want, but I’m determined all this silly pseudoscience will never get a foothold. If that is inconvenient to you, well tough!

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
February 17, 2011 6:51 AM
The quoted 10^{78} expansion of space is different from what is the standard calculation. This is usually stated as e-folds, or the number of times volume expands by a factor of e = 2.71828. The calculation which is consistent is e^{63} =~ 2.3×10^{27}. The bang in the big bang is really not inflation. During inflation the vacuum energy density was huge. The cosmological constant /\ ~ energy density, is very large and drives a rapid exponential expansion of space. There is some theoretical controversy here, but while the energy density of the vacuum was very large, the entropy was not that large. The entropy is a measure of the number, N, of degrees of freedom in a system… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
February 17, 2011 12:21 PM

I have a question regarding to Planck time/Planck length

Does Planck time mean that we cannot split time intervals endlessly? The same for Planck length and mass. I mean in our current sized universe?

Or is Plank time and Planck length, mass only meaningful during the big bang itself.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
February 17, 2011 4:53 PM
The Planck length is derived by equating the deBroglie wavelength of a particle of mass m with its Schwarzschild radius. Actually it is the area of a wave, but I will stick with the length. So you have the relativistic 4-momentum P = (0, mc^2) in the rest frame of the particle. The deBroglie wavelength is L = h/p, which in this relativistic setting is L = h/mc. Now equate L with R = 2Gm/c^2. Substitute m according to R = L in the other equation and you get L = sqrt{2Gh/c^3}. If you do it according to the area you get the actual result.L = sqrt{G hbar/c^3} hbar = h/2pi. The Planck length means this is the… Read more »
Underlings
Member
February 18, 2011 5:16 PM
Here’s a question for you that I’ve been unable to ascertain through my own research: As I understand it, it’s possible that the universe is spatially infinite, and has been since the beginning of inflation. Is this correct? The reason I ask is I’m arguing with a theist who insists that the universe lacks ANY “actual” infinites (which is his “evidence” for rejecting any notion of infinite regression, meaning the universe had to have a “first cause,” thus his conclusion for the existence of God…in case you’re wondering the particulars). What he means by that is the universe possesses “potential” infinites (as well as mathematical infinites)–like a photon could travel infinitely, but has not done so YET, and… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 8:22 PM

Derek said about; “…existence of God”

Truly, cosmology can not prove or deny the existence of any god.
By definition; Cosmology is the scientific study of the Universe, being the place where everything known exists. God exists outside this physical realm.

Also the universe could be infinite, but we have no direct evidence to support such a conclusion.

lars
Member
lars
February 17, 2011 7:37 AM
The problem I have with all of this Big Bang business is: ‘selective ignorance’; and by that I mean selectively ignoring the Laws of Physics as are already known to us by observation and experiment. So to begin with, you have this ‘high density energy pulse’, then the ‘inflation event’. 1. The high density energy pulse, by your own physics of Black Holes, should create a black hole and make it all go back to where it came from. No universe can be born in a near infinitely dense environment, certainly 100 orders of magnitude denser than you currently postulate that a black hole needs to have in order to exist. (Assuming the physics of black holes is… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 17, 2011 8:02 AM

Oh silly lars…..
Please. Your playing with the big boy school now.
The article and subject title here is Cosmology 101, not Kindergarden 101.
Sorry, mate. You have already failed the course, and it is only the first day!

Olaf
Member
Olaf
February 17, 2011 12:38 PM

The high density energy pulse, by your own physics of Black Holes, should create a black hole and make it all go back to where it came from.
What is your evidence for that?
Some math formula would suffice.

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
February 17, 2011 1:15 PM

You confuse black holes, general relativity objects within a cosmology, with big bang, a general relativity cosmology (that may have black holes). The math is conclusive enough for both, they are not the same. I believe you should be able to find this in text books by now (black holes for sure).

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
February 17, 2011 1:17 PM
Contrary to what you apparently think the predictions of big bang cosmology have a superb record of observational support. These include the Hubble velocity-distance relationship, the CMB, far distant measurement of galactic frame dragging, nucleosynthesis and abundance of D and He, and correspondence with the quark family doublets. Inflation is a way in which the big bang can be made to fit within the flatness criterion, which states disparate regions of the cosmos should have some causal connection to the earliest time frames. Inflation solves this problem and predicts a universal scaling rule for small anisotropy in the CMB. This has been measured, which gives the first supports for inflation. There is no problem with big bang model… Read more »
Manu
Member
Manu
February 17, 2011 1:20 PM

The Big Bang + inflation model is generally accepted for one simple reason: it currently provides the best, testable fit with observations of the state of the Universe.
You are free to come up with a better alternative, that will explain at least as well all that the BB model does explain, plus some of the few things it doesn’t.
That would be the scientific attitude, which calling names isn’t.

Inflation _is_ an ad-hoc hypothesis, which is uncomfortable but not necessarily wrong.
Tycho Brahe rejected the heliocentric model because it also required enormously distant stars, which he rightfully considered an ad-hoc hypothesis. That happened to be true nonetheless.

Manu
Member
Manu
February 17, 2011 1:22 PM

Comments clash! wink

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
February 17, 2011 1:42 PM

Atoms were once ad hocs, because molecules turned out to have rational ratios of constituents…

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
February 17, 2011 1:58 PM
Lars – it seems that you do not have the necessary skills to understand and evaluate ‘our own physics of Black Holes’ – i.e. our theory of gravity, The General Theory of Relativity. Nor it would seem have you have taken on board the sheer weight and number of the predictions that the basic BB theory has successfully made, or the current state of observational evidence which, contrary to your assertion, is very much in support of the BB. You say BB proponents defend the theory religiously and that we do not behave like scientists. Wrong – we defend it stridently because it has successfully made a number of accurate predictions, and has a huge backing of evidence… Read more »
TedH
Member
February 17, 2011 9:37 PM
Hi Lars Regarding to “Oh silly lars…..” Relax, buddy. This is a human feature, especially seen by so called “scientists”: We know all the answers, we know the truth! I remember some hundred years ago the truth was: the earth is flat, the sun has no spots (because it’s divine), there are no other planets / other lifeforms outside our own system… If you ask WHY the answer would be: show me the planets! It’s not there because we haven’t seen them !!! Some scientists spend most of their lives “locked away” from the world chasing the truth by pushing numbers, facts around in a theory ’till it seems to fit. Then NASA launches a new satellite which… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 17, 2011 11:02 PM
Oh crazy silly boy TedH! Wow. Lots of fabulous rhetoric but really no real substance or logic here. Simple question for you. What have scientists have to hide here, eh?? All the formally publish there work, it is mostly available for all to see and use, and better still, it is openly reviewed by those who are in similar line of science, and openly commented upon by anyone who cares to do so. Also I always thought theories were built upon and not euphemistically “destroyed” by “new data.” Observations far more often either confirm or deny some parts theory, refining it or lead to new more accurate experiments. It is really funny, too, you mention both Galileo and… Read more »
Question
Member
Question
February 18, 2011 12:12 AM

heh heh.. lars , you’re the maverick-pariah of the UT site.

Deon
Member
Deon
February 18, 2011 8:40 PM

Hi Lars
The way you get attacked by comments proof your point. Big bang seems to be a religion and dont you dare to differ. Though it seems whatever theorie they do have seems to change whenever something dont fit or the easy way out is it dissappears.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 10:14 PM
I really pity guys like you who are so easily fooled by the rhetoric. The big bang theory is supported over what these PC/EU guys suggest, mostly as the evidence available points to it being true. Alternative theories are one thing, and no doubt cosmology in the future could change or be refined. However, for some other alternative theory to be accepted, it has to fit the constraints around the available observations. The claims of lars (and other plasma cosmology supporter like iantresman, Mr. Hologram, etc.) have been shown to be wanting, mostly because the observations cannot and does not even come close to support their conclusions. There are so many examples, so often discussed in this blog… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 19, 2011 7:30 PM

Ooops! Slight slip up.
” yet the very clear observation evidence (often across many Disciplines) say the current accepted cosmology is wrong right.”

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 19, 2011 7:32 PM

Damn not being able to see appearance of the posted text… Again;

” yet the very clear observation evidence (often across many Disciplines) say the current accepted cosmology is right.”

A

wlybrand
Member
February 17, 2011 7:46 AM

This is a great post/series. I look forward to following along!

Yumabob
Member
Yumabob
February 17, 2011 11:30 AM

Good article.
What exactly is “Vacuum Energy”

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
February 17, 2011 1:20 PM

When you quantize a standard classical Hamiltonian, or energy operator, there is a residual part left that exists even if no particles or excited quantum states exist. The is the zero point energy or vacuum energy.

LC

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
February 17, 2011 1:31 PM
Good question. I think “vacuum energy” may have been conflated a bit in the text. It is AFAIU believed to be the energy of fields (say particle fields like EM) in the vacuum, i.e. in empty space. Unless you have conditions that makes the field take on higher states, in quantum theory the fields nevertheless have a “zero point” remaining energy. This energy is the simplest explanation for “the cosmological constant”. (If you can explain the low value of the later from the much higher first order theory value of the former.) And in turn these correlate with the inflationary potential when it dominates the vacuum energy AFAIU. (See the link I gave, figure 1.) So perhaps we… Read more »
Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
February 17, 2011 1:12 PM
however, when our universe was born, there was no space. There was no time either. There was no vacuum. There was literally nothing. Not necessarily AFAIU. For example Linde writes in his review that inflation naturally admits semiclassical worldlines: “Similarly, if one concentrates on any particular geodesic in the past time direction, one can prove that it has finite length [59], i.e. inflation in any particular point of the universe should have a beginning at some time ?i. However, there is no reason to expect that there is an upper bound for all ?i on all geodesics. If this upper bound does not exist, then eternal inflation is eternal not only in the future but also in the… Read more »
Aqua4U
Member
February 17, 2011 5:01 PM

Thanks Vanessa! It’s good to have a ‘common ground’ as a place to start infinite discussion…

Aqua4U
Member
February 17, 2011 5:03 PM

…or discuss infinity?

Aqua4U
Member
February 17, 2011 5:08 PM

Will you be doing a podcast series Vanessa?

Peter Clemerson
Member
Peter Clemerson
February 17, 2011 4:08 PM
People are jumping into this set of comments with level 301 answers (See the first response from LC). Vanessa D’A is presenting a level 101 article. Like Lars, I also have wondered how it is that black holes that absorb everything within their event horizon are compatible with an initial huge expansion that behaved much like its opposite, effectively as a white hole. An obvious question arises – when the universe was still under a second old, would it not have had an event horizon larger than itself and therefore have behaved as a black hole? And yes, I appreciate that theoretically it might not have been possible for there to be an event horizon in not-yet-existing-space but… Read more »
solarx2
Member
solarx2
February 17, 2011 5:07 PM
is any of this actually confirm-able? can questions like: what was before the universe, is there anything outside of it and what is at the center of a black hole ever really be answered? it seems that dumb, uneducated people like me still have all the same questions we did back in edwin hubble’s day when we first found out it was all expanding. sure, we’ve got a lot of fancy theories and math to explain why it’s expanding, but the fundamental questions remain unanswered. do they not? are the laws of physics explicitly set up to prevent us from knowing things that maybe we have no place knowing at all? im a bit intimidated here, from trying… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
February 18, 2011 2:07 PM

solar2, even the smartes people on this planet cannot grasp this. So it is not your iQ. That is why we rely on maths. The maths lets us surpass the human limitation, but needs to be checked with reality through experiments.

Manu
Member
Manu
February 17, 2011 5:19 PM
Be sure that no one is / will be sneered at for asking questions or clarifications. Some people might be poked fun at now and then because they reject with outright hostility anything that doesn’t conform to their own pet theories. Nuff said. Your question is quite legitimate, I’m sure a lot of people thought about it at some point, because I’m one! I’m not sure but I think one answer (in classical newtonian physics at least) would be that the gravitational field in an homogeneous Universe is zero, just like at the center of a planet or star: attractions are equal in all directions and cancel each other out. During the BB, the Universe was much smaller… Read more »
Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
February 17, 2011 6:19 PM
“but apparent sneering at those of us who are prepared to expose our ignorance and puzzlement in order to further our understanding is a manifest unkindness.” As Manu said, nobody will be sneered at for posing tricky questions, lack of knowledge or general ignorance. By all means GO FOR IT! None of us were born just knowing this stuff – we’ve all had to learn from people or books, and we’ve all asked dumb questions and had misconceptions. And I’m not finished yet – there’s still a great deal that I don’t fully understand. Yet… Generally when people get shouted down here, it is because they relentlessly attempt to ‘sell’ an ill-conceived pet theory that has generally been… Read more »
Question
Member
Question
February 18, 2011 12:26 AM

i could find several examples for you of where posters have been “sneered at” here for asking questions and at no time were attempting to sell any theories. most people here are very helpful however, including you.

Astrofiend
Member
Astrofiend
February 17, 2011 6:24 PM

“(“The solution types for a de Sitter vacuum and a Kerr-Reissnor-Nordstrom spacetime are fundamentally different.”) ”

Oh – and I should say that you’ll rarely get the 101 level from L.B. Crowell – English is his second language. (math being his first) smile

iantresman
Member
February 18, 2011 6:08 AM

Peter Clemerson wrote: “when the universe was still under a second old, would it not have had an event horizon larger than itself ”

I would guess that there was no event horizon, because there was nothing “outside” of the Universe. To think of the Universe as a spherical expanding volume is misleading, as a sphere has a surface, but an expanding Universe does not.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
February 18, 2011 2:04 PM

@Peter Clemerson

You are assuming that space expansion is limited to the light-speed, but space itself can expand faster than light-speed.

Also space can drag out any matter faster than it can be attracted towards each other. Especially when the universe starts.

Peter Clemerson
Member
Peter Clemerson
February 17, 2011 5:49 PM

@ Manu

Yes and thank you.

Lubo
Member
Lubo
February 17, 2011 7:13 PM
I will avoid hard judgment on the BB model as I have limited theoretical knowledge on the subject, although it looks that many comments are done not from better position. Epicycles and geocentric model were fitting not so bad to the crude observations from rudimentary instruments for centuries. When Tycho Brahe accumulated enough precise data it became obvious that the world is set in quite a different way and new model and laws of physics to explain it were needed. That is how the science works. It is not driven by personal belies or disbelieves. We have to trust experts that BB model is currently the best fit. If in the future the facts fail to fit to… Read more »
Olaf
Member
Olaf
February 18, 2011 2:16 PM

As far as I know models do not get replaced. Models are oversimplified versions representing the reality and can coexist. Newtons models are still very well in use for solar space travel. Einstein ‘s model is used to get more accuracy but is is more difficult to calculate.

The bohr atom model is also used a lot nowadays,even when we have far better models in quantum mechanics.

Older and newer models coexist as long as they exist in reality.

why1
Member
why1
February 17, 2011 8:03 PM

Thank you for the article. One of the things I can’t get my head around is that if there was absolutely nothing at all before the big bang, then what was there? To me there must have been at least a void of some kind?

HeadAroundU
Member
February 18, 2011 12:44 AM

Maybe, void of nothing? grin But, I understand that people are not satisfied with the answer. Not long ago I watched some BBC? document on youtube and they went a bit further. There were 6? scientists with different theories. Some Japanese? guy said, that there are 2 types of nothing. Normal nothing and energy nothing. He had the same kind of thinking as me. That nothing is actually something. When scientists get zero, mathematically, they say it’s nothing, but I think it’s something that actually cancels itself out. Maybe. it’s bullshit, but it’s more satisfying. grin

Alwayslookingup
Member
Alwayslookingup
February 17, 2011 8:16 PM

Dear Mr. Crowell,

I find your opinion to be closest to the fact. I came across this article by Anthony Aguirre, and I am curious as to what you think. http://scipp.ucsc.edu/~aguirre/Publications_files/Where-Did-It-All-Come-From%3F.pdf

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 17, 2011 9:10 PM
One thing has left me a bit perplexed in this introduction, is in that it doesn’t mention anything of the creation of the four fundamental forces; gravity, the electromagnetic force (light), and the atomic strong and weak forces. (though I’d expect this to appear in a future section.) The introduction also utterly fails to explain what the term cosmology actually means; I.e. Cosmology is the scientific study of the Universe, being the place where everything known exists. The Big Bang, a rather ambiguous and in accurate term in fact, is not only the question creation of the physical macro world (stars, planets, galaxies, etc.) but also the creation of the very small (particles, photons, quanta.) The success of… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 17, 2011 9:28 PM
Oh one important point; IMO cosmology is fundamentally the energy history of the Universe, where physical matter (including dark matter?) is really frozen energy! Whilst not absolutely correct, for general educational explanations, the whole evolution of the Universe, especially in the fractions after the initial quantum fluctuation, is much simpler in terms of changes and distillation of various manifested energy states. We have also completely failed to mention too, that the Big Bang also created its evolution in terms of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, entropy and time. Please. The many complainants of the Big Bang are equally trapped somewhere “Maxwell’s demon” and the inevitable universal thermodynamic “Heat Death.” Naysayers should really start praying if that “dragon” were… Read more »
HOLOGRAMUNIVERSE@wordpress.com
Member
The big-bang is a religion with followers like crumb here to support it. The laws of physics are denied by an arrogant belief that “literally nothing” existed and the “entire universe” began. Falsity with age dating the baby universe, is really from the denial of further Larger sized structural formations requiring longer time to form then superclusters, called “Hyperclusters”. Hyperclusters or super-duper-clusters are denied possible existance for the big-bang, which cannot adequately explain the huge supercluster voids as cold spots on the CMB. Proven seen cosmic filaments of hot plasma spanning literally form the real COSMIC WEB where inferred theoretical dark matter is only mapped ! Wikipedia states that the largest known structures are not superclusters, but cosmic… Read more »
fractal
Member
fractal
February 18, 2011 2:36 PM

On your website I saw that you are interested in tibetian yoga and in secret doctrines. Instead of trying to understand the universe, you could spend the next couple of decades inventing a new theory that mixes secret yoga with docters (male doctrines) from tibet.
Did you know that the Centaurus Great Wall is actually an extention of the Great Wall of China, which has many cosmic filaments reaching as far as Tibet? And it conspires with the Sloan great wall in order to make us belief that there was a big bang.
Cosmic Voodoo is the only science that is not religious!

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 7:29 PM

The big-bang is a religion…
Enough said.

Split_Infinity
Member
Split_Infinity
February 18, 2011 10:00 PM

Ad Hominem attacks are a logical fallacy, confront logic with logic not character assassination.

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 10:30 PM

Interesting point. Yet are ad hominem attacks any better than specious arguments like ad ignorantiam?

Plainly someone can be a fool or an out-and-out liar based on the available evidence, which is not at all a fallacy — logic or no logic — but is an obvious and clear matter of fact! Really. Should others sit on the fence and ignore it, or do you expose their deliberate deception?

I’ll tell you straight. After a while the continuous pummelling of nonsense gets a little bit tiresome. “Be nice” is sometimes so fracken boring!

fractal
Member
fractal
February 19, 2011 4:23 AM

Yes confront logic with logic.
In this case I confront fallacy with fallacy.
I don’t feel good about it, I won’t do it again.

But how do you suggest should stubborn fallacy be countered if all the explaining has failed? Ignoring it could lead us back to the middle ages. Or to an overpopulated and overheated planet where people are just waiting for the return of a messiah.

Perhaps it’s too late to fight pseudoscience in this generation.
Something could be done for the future however: teach philosophy of science in every high school. So the next generation will be more able to distinguish crap from useful knowledge. I hope…

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
Member
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 8:16 PM
This is the usual mindless mixed up garbage from you. I have already proven you are an outright fraud, and yet you sillily come back to the exact same diatribe. Let’s see how foolish you are Mr. Hologram (aka. Muppet, Jimhenson, Pat, quantauniverse, etc. etc.) Remember the recent ridiculous claims about WHIM http://www.universetoday.com/83197/chandra-captures-giant-ring-of-black-holes/ and Benjamin Oppenheimer? You actually said of Benjamin Oppenheimer; “…the arrogant view that the entire conceivable universe began in a big explosion will become outdated. see the best scientists website by Benjamin Oppenheimer at Arizona.edu” Yet amazingly, when you read all about Mr. Oppenheimer it seems he is not denying about the Big Bang occurring! He even published paper and spoken on it !! Yet… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
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The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 18, 2011 9:33 PM
Our Mr. Hologram here said; “Larger sized structural formations requiring longer time to form then superclusters, called “Hyperclusters”. Hyperclusters or super-duper-clusters are denied possible existance for the big-bang,…” There are no such things as the term “hyperclusters”, and it is probably just another fiction made up by you to support your own wrong specious arguments. Also there is little evidence to support such a claim, as once openly speculated by Alfven and Peratt. Even they did not use the term hyperclusters! Much of this rubbish has been shown to be complete nonsense, especially the unsupported statement; “The plasma universe maybe eternal and infinite.” “Plasma and the Universe: Large Scale Dynamics, Filamentation, and Radiation” A.&S.S., 227, 97 (1995) [One,… Read more »
Lawrence B. Crowell
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Lawrence B. Crowell
February 18, 2011 1:26 PM

The only think that is clear from what you wrote is that you don’t know what you are talking about.

LC

Olaf
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Olaf
February 18, 2011 7:02 PM

I have a curious question.
Energy is equal to mass, but mass has gravity.
Does energy also have the same gravitational attraction as its equivalence in mass?

Lawrence B. Crowell
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Lawrence B. Crowell
February 19, 2011 5:02 AM
Yes. Think of a spherically symmetric gravitating body of mass M in space, such as a planet or a star or a neutron star. Imagine you put a black shroud over it so the body is completely surrounded by a black sphere of some sort. Now imagine you have the ability to replace that body with an equivalent mass in the form of a black hole. From outside the shroud the gravity field would be the same. Now suppose you replace the body with a gas of photons kept in a spherically symmetric “perfect mirror.” Again the gravitational field would appear equivalent. Release the photons and of course you have one hell of an energy burst. LC
Lawrence B. Crowell
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Lawrence B. Crowell
February 19, 2011 5:04 AM

BTW, what I just outlined is called Birchoff’s theorem.

One problem with these cosmology blog posts is it requires a bit of work here to keep things on the level. All sorts of people with goofy ideas like to prate about their nonsense.

LC

Alwayslookingup
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Alwayslookingup
February 18, 2011 11:18 PM

Energy is not equal to mass. Energy is mass times the speed of light squared. As for the gravity thing… ask Mr. Crowell.

Olaf
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Olaf
February 19, 2011 4:26 AM

Ok lets reformulate. If I concentrate the same energy as on unit of mass it represents, (yes with the squared c) does space bend like that mass?

wjwbudro
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wjwbudro
February 19, 2011 2:31 PM

Good question. What happens to the gravitational force exhibited by a rest mass if it is accelerated to c?

Manu
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Manu
February 19, 2011 9:29 AM

Actually in ‘Relativity-natural’ units of length and time, c=1.
So E=M. Literally.

HOLOGRAMUNIVERSE@wordpress.com
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Believers in the big-bang model are guys still living in their past outdated teachings denying and neglecting new discoveries ! Brent Tully identified the Pisces-Cetus supercluster complex as part of a larger organized state of matter beyond superclusters. In just 2006 the first lyman alpha blob was discovered having 3 aligned filaments. cfA2 was found to align with the Sloan great wall recently discovered in 2005 to have over 1.3 billion light year long connecting filament. There is a wall in the Hubble Deep Field North at z=0.559, and a wall near B3 0003 + 387 at z=1.47. The Grus wall is perpendicular ( all geometric respective to each other) to the Fornax Wall and Sculptor Wall, all… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
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The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 19, 2011 5:39 AM
Again. Our Mr. Hologram here said; “Larger sized structural formations requiring longer time to form then superclusters, called “Hyperclusters”. Hyperclusters or super-duper-clusters are denied possible existance for the big-bang,…” There are no such things as the term “hyperclusters”, and it is probably just another fiction made up by you to support your own wrong specious arguments. Let’s see. Go to the ADS site at http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html , and then type “hyperclusters” in the ‘Title Words’ and ‘Abstract Words’ the you funnily get zippidy do dah. Nothing at all between 1800 and 19th February 2011!! Currently there are 8,795,326 articles in total here and no one solitary mention of hyperclusters. Gosh it must be so absolutely important, eh? Why is… Read more »
The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
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The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 19, 2011 5:56 AM
Mr. Jimhenson “Hologram” quanta universe muppet says; “Believers in the big-bang model are guys still living in their past outdated teachings denying and neglecting new discoveries !” Let’s see. 1) You quote WHIM as being observed when it is actually mostly theoretical. (Worst you can’t even give any actual examples.) 2) You quote Benjamin Oppenheimer as being a supporter and against the Big Bang Theory, but when we look at this in true detail, this same person has published papers and give talks on the Big Bang and the age being about 14 billion years! 3) You talk about mythical hyperclusters, when there is no such thing used by any cosmologists, astronomers or astrophysicists. 4) You say 10… Read more »
Lawrence B. Crowell
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Lawrence B. Crowell
February 19, 2011 3:35 PM

I don’t think H’gram is Henson. The writing style and contents are different. At least Henson can write half way reasonably. This guy’s language abilities are attrocious. Henson at least could write out the boilerplate EU/PC stuff, which is at least something even if it is all wrong, but I can’t figure a clue as to what this guy is even trying to say.

LC

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
February 19, 2011 5:09 AM

Again, none of this makes any sense —- word salad. I wish people who take a couple of physics course in college or who read some popularizations would not get these ideas in their head.

LC

The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
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The Eclectic Exterminator of Stupid Electricians
February 19, 2011 6:16 AM

I’m starting to want to blame Vanessa D’Amico and Nancy for this. They seem to think it is perfectly OK that these crazy personal theories to be acceptable, and us few bunnies here who are doing all the work denying the nonsense, while they expect everyone to behave themselves and “be nice” against the insults of the pseudoscience.

Perhaps it is now about time to apply “the final solution”, and write a formal paper exposing the whole EU/PC fraud and openly denounce both Alfven and Peratt now ancient and completely wrong theories. There is enough evidence scattered through the comment in Universe Today to write a 1000 page thesis.

zeuxis
Member
zeuxis
February 20, 2011 7:00 AM
Vanessa, Your second paragraph begins with the statement, “In the beginning, there was… well, we don’t really know.” But the paragraph ends with “There was literally nothing.” These are not at all the same, and in many senses they are contradictory statements. Physicists (ahem, Hawking) and writers on physics do themselves a disservice with laymen when they use terms like “nothing,” and that is only compounded with phrases like “literally nothing” (with “nothing” italicized at that). It opens the door to the theism debate, as we have seen in these comments, but more egregiously it is an easy escape from admitting that we do not understand well what happens on very small scales approaching the planck length, or… Read more »
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