Where Did the Big Bang Happen?

Article Updated: 27 Feb , 2017

Imagine the Big Bang, and you’re imagining an explosion. There must be come place we could travel in the Universe and see the wreckage left over from the Big Bang. So, where is it?

Close your eyes and imagine the Big Bang. That first moment, where all the energy, matter and light came into existence. It’s an explosion right? Fire, debris, sinks, marmots and anvils flying past the camera in an ever expanding cloud of hot gas.

And like any explosion, there must be an aftermath, right? Some place we could travel in the Universe and see the exact spot that everything began; the exact location where the Big Bang happened and ideally a huge crater in spacetime where the Universe began.

I expect you’re imagining our little scene in your mind. Complete with space-time indentations and orbital detritus. I hope you’re also getting the unsettling feeling of dread that I’m about to smash up beloved sci-fi tropes for my own amusement. And here it is…

There’s no exact spot that the Big Bang happened. In fact, the Big Bang happened everywhere in the Universe. The problem generally comes from the term “Big Bang”. It brings to mind explosions, detonations, balloons being popped, and everything being blown out to chickenbasket hades. It’s too bad for us regular folk, this isn’t a good descriptive term for what the Big Bang was.

So I’m going to propose a new term, and just use it from here on out, and pretend like it was always this way. So, from here on out, I’m going to call it the Big Stretch, and by that I mean I’ve always called it the Big Stretch, and for those of you familiar with this type of retconning, the chocolate ration is being increased from 40 grams to 25 grams.

Imagine a balloon covered in dots, then inflate the balloon. Also, for the purposes of this illustration, you’re a 2-dimensional creature living at one of those dots and watching all the other dots. From your perspective, everything will smell like that weird damp spit and rubber balloon scent.

You’ll also see all other other dots moving away from you. You might even think you’re at the center of the expansion of the balloon. And then if you jumped to any other dot, you’d see the same thing. Just smelly dots, all racing away from you.

Expansion of the Universe. Image credit: Eugenio Bianchi, Carlo Rovelli & Rocky Kolb.

Expansion of the Universe. Image credit: Eugenio Bianchi, Carlo Rovelli & Rocky Kolb.

Now a lesser being would get all caught up thinking about the fact that the balloon is a three-dimensional object, and the center of the expansion is actually at the middle of the balloon. But you’re a 2D creature. You can’t comprehend anything but the surface of the balloon. That and the funky smell.

Now take that concept and scale it up one more dimension. As a three-dimensional creature trapped within a three-dimensional Universe witnessing it stretching out three dimensions. Every galaxy is moving away from you. But if you travel to any other galaxy, it looks like all the other galaxies are moving away from them.

Could a four-dimensional being find the center of the expansion, the place where the Big Bang happened? Probably. 4D beings are cool like that. But then, a 5D being would probably laugh at their simplistic 4D view of the Universe, with their quaint Klein bottles and rustic hypercubes. Suck it 4D jerks, they’d say, and then they’d trap them in their 5D lockers for the entirety of recess until the janitor heard the banging and let them out.

And don’t get me started on those 11D jerks. Those guys are awful, and they really think they’re better than everyone else. They’re like Greg Marmand from Omega House but with 8 more dimensions of nose to look down at you across.

So, where did the Big Bang happen? It happened everywhere. All places formed in the Big Bang – I mean – Big Stretch, and they’ve been moving away from each other for 13.8 billion years. There’s no one place you can point to and say: the Big Bang happened there.But you can be totally obnoxious and point to anywhere, and say the Big Bang happened there. Since the Big Bang happened everywhere, it happened in your hometown. Tell us where you’re from in the comments below.

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25 Responses

    • MrStones says:

      Beat me to it Steven. I read that one too, very interesting.

    • Tom2moro says:

      Steven and Frazier, please think about the state of modern physics theory today and relate each premise to whether or not they remain true to that which we know as facts. For example, if Dirac, Gamow, and me believe positrons exist, it follows they are negative mass (-mass) particles that could comprise all of space. Space is wherein the universe (U.) exists; it “gives way” to mass and energy.
      The Big Bang Theory (BBT) claims a singularity once existed in a place where nothing -not even space – existed, which place they called “the Great Void.” The human brain is capable of such thinking, but it has not yet evolved to enable us to imagine such a place, although some of my readers have claimed they can too imagine that.
      Gamow and his BBT collaborators created the Great Void because they believed that space did not exist until it came out of the Big Bang (BB). Our desires tend to overcome the rules of logic quite often, I’m afraid.
      In rejecting the Great Void idea, I contend space already existed and thus “hosted” the BB singularity (S) BEFORE it began to expand.
      It is argued today that the BB was not an explosion, but an expansion of space that was in the S that held the contents of the U. then, which for some reason were compressed in the S, which is another idea that is too difficult for the human mind to imagine at its current level of evolutionary development. Assuming, however, that all began at the S, and believing there was a amount of energy released then, it is possible for space to co-exist with energy without creating electrons (e_ s)from the positrons of space. E_ s are matter, but matter did not form until almost 300k years later. There could not have been an explosion of energy and space from the BB S because the positrons comprising space would been instantly changed into electrons, which were created yet, and there would have been nowhere for them to exist without space. Is my logic faulty here? Let me know.
      If the exit of energy from the S did occur, it could only have come out into empty space, which I define as absolute space, devoid of anything in it (except -masses, of course). But then matter should have been created much sooner, so there is a problem there.
      Suppose there was no explosion of energy, but only a slow oozing out of energy, but when matter was created, it accelerated in space as it appears to be doing today by far out galaxies moving outwardly faster than those nearer to us.
      So what I mean to say is that I don’t believe the “quantum equation” is at all viable.

      • tr0623 says:

        One problem. By definition, the singularity is undefined. This means that there is no location and if there was, our mathematics couldn’t find it. Also, matter is not created. Matter and energy are the same by Einstein’s E=mc^2. As the universe cooled, which means the state of the energy slowed down, this allowed the energy to stabilize in a state that we know as matter. If you follow the standard model of particle physics, space is made of fields of which, when these snippets of energy flow through they impart characteristics upon the energy and this defines the particle. This is the reason that the Higg’s boson was such a big deal.

      • Tom2moro says:

        I agree. It is defined in Astronomy as a hypothetical point in space. That doesn’t say much though. The BBT defines it as having once existed before the U. began. Some say the BBT can only go back to the time the expansion began but not before. We need to keep in mind it is an unconfirmed theory that readers agree with or disagree. It is well-defined in saying it existed, then it blew up or expanded.
        The assumption it once existed presupposes it had to exist somewhere. Only if we believe it did not ever exist in fact can we say it had no location.
        E=mc2 does not say mass and energy are equivalent; our teachers and textbooks say that since they do not understand it for what it truly is. The equivalence is valid only if we say the two are PROPORTIONALLY equivalent. Otherwise, why have two names for the same thing. In fact, they are worlds apart and universally distinct and unique.
        The equation is patently false because it uses a false premise: That a mass at rest exists in the U., while we know no object can be at rest w/respect to the U., don we not? In ignoring the mass increase accrued from its motion (which may be unknown), the result is false. The problem is rife in science: Physical reality is too often confused by the mental constructs we invent for use as our tools.
        I contend the belief that the Space-Time Continuum (STC) exists somewhere in the U. is a false premise. I have been writing that a long time, but no one has yet agreed. All who responded to my claim avow it is a real place. Einstein pulled a good one on us by not telling anyone it exists only as a math construction in our minds! Am I the only person in the world who believes that? Again, please correct me if I’m wrong.
        Matter was initially created soon after the BB when the elements combined. Since then, we say, matter cannot be destroyed, but it can be changed a number of ways. That is why I can agree -masses can survive the change from electrons to positrons. They also serve to explain my ideas about what “dark matter” consists of.
        The Standard Model does not claim “space is made of fields….,” from what I’ve read. It says fields exist in space. No one can deny that. The Higgs is another one of those “theories” invented as a last desperate “I give up!” attempt to save the day.
        It became important only because no one understood it. How embarrassing to know the greatest scientists fell for it.

    • Roger_XR says:

      It is stated in this article about how the Universe arose and postulated at the link you shared that stated that “Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning”. A predictions is not a proof. Nor is this article’s statement of fact a proof of that fact.
      I realize that predictions and postulations are fun to think about but I’d still like to see the proof

  1. Exploited says:

    According to the idea:
    First it happened nowhere
    Then it happened everywhere
    Now it happened somewhere

  2. Billsey says:

    That paper is nothing more than a desperate attempt to dodge the real evidence and somehow, by some miracle, avoid the necessity of a creator. It will quietly go away just like the oscillating universe and multiverse nonsense.

    To Frasier, the moment I saw your rhetorical “Where is it?” question, my answer was, “You’re walking around in it!”

    • tr0623 says:

      There is no “real evidence” for a creator, either. The difference is that a mathematical model is built and then tested against to determine the effects and behavior that we see in nature. If there was a creator, then this creator could be smaller than 1.6 X 10^-35 meters. The beginning of this universe was smaller than this. The size of the observable universe is currently 8.8 X 10^26 meters. This is a growth of 10^61 meters or a 1 followed by 61 zeroes. And all of the energy in our universe was created when it was so small. Try understanding the math and the numbers before claiming a belief overrides facts.

  3. mrphswheels says:

    So what I think their trying to say is the universe started out the size of a single particle with everything that was or will be in it and about 13.8 billion years ago it started getting spaces between the everything that was or will be!

    • tr0623 says:

      The first possible particle didn’t occur until the quark-gluon epoch, which was from 10^-12 to 10^-6 seconds from the beginning expansion. The first atoms didn’t start forming until after 377,000 years after the expansion start. And space is not void of everything, space is a construct of fields within which energy snippets have the attributes and characters exposed, thus light and matter and so forth.

  4. TedH says:

    That means: the more time passes by, the greater the distances become between… me and my beer, say 😉 You laugh, but for a Bavarian this could become a real problem !!!

    • PatrickRB says:

      I wouldn’t worry about that. The way I understand it, the stretching only happens where the cosmological constant beats gravity, so unless you leave our galaxy you and your beer won’t part.

  5. bangman says:

    It happened at Jasmine’s “High-steppin Lounge” on April 7th, 1975 in New York City. Or, at least it seemed like a big bang to me at the time. Maybe it was just the music. Maybe it was just her. It’s all a blur now.

  6. jimhemp says:

    “Where Did the Big Bang Happen?”
    In the mind of GOD!

  7. Vic says:

    In all its efforts, science only assumes a natural origin of the universe, and that’s very limited and maybe why Theoretical Physics don’t hold water.

    How about the universe is expanding/changing because there is a force outside its realm and time acted/acting upon it, and that force is not subject to the realm, time and laws of nature/physics of the universe? In other words, what we have is a finished product from an unnatural origin that made it function the way it does, and that unnatural origin cannot be traced back naturally.

    • bfmorris says:

      How exactly do we define natural and unnatural? Can a creator itself of all of nature, or its actions, be considered to be unnatural? Perhaps ‘unnatural’ only exists in the minds of men; it sometimes seems (as you allude to) that man desires to describe ‘natural’ as anything that does not have a component of intelligence embedded in it. I wonder if such a thing exists at all.

    • Tom2moro says:

      Not so, Vic. Most theories of physics hold water; it is only the scientists who are taught wrong by their “superiors.”

  8. pianogreg says:

    First of all, there is only one dimension and that is the third dimension. Two dimensions only exist as the surface of a three-dimensional object. If something has length and width but no depth, it doesn’t exist. Mathematicians say squares are two dimensional figures. The minute you draw a square you have created a three-dimensional figure. the lead from the pencil or ink from the pen are slightly raised off the surface of the paper, and therefore are three-dimensional. As for the fourth dimension and higher, they don’t exist either, except as a theory. If you could take a three-dimensional cube (Yeah, I know, that’s redundant.) and expand it infinitely in all directions it would continue past all the galaxies and continue to whatever else is out there. In other words, space is three-dimensional. There is no need for any other dimensions. One day, scientists will come to realize this.

    Secondly, the Big Bang never happened. The universe has always existed. Why, in an infinite amount of space, would all matter have been concentrated in one spot? That doesn’t make sense. This also totally negates the need for a god to create anything. The sad part is, when scientists do one day prove beyond any doubt that the universe has indeed existed forever, you will still have people who will refuse to believe it and cling to their silly religious beliefs. Such is life.

    • bfmorris says:

      The steady state theory does not predict the CMB.

    • mewo says:

      If the Universe had existed forever, then there would be no CMB.

      If the Universe had existed forever, the most distant observable galaxies would look just like the ones nearby, but they don’t.

      If the Universe had existed forever, all of the star forming gas would have been exhausted infinitely long ago and there would be nothing left today. Unless you’re going to buy into the stupid idea that matter is being continuously created. But even then you have to explain why the Universe isn’t littered with lots and lots of tremendously old and cold white dwarfs and neutron stars.

      Why has there never been discovered a star definitely older than 13.7 billion years, if the Universe is infinitely old?

      How do you explain the fact that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating?

  9. Cyrus says:

    Nobody told Fraser where they were from.

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