Category: Science > Astronomy
Asked by: rogatien-ga
List Price: $17.00
28 May 2006 18:23 PDT
Expires: 27 Jun 2006 18:23 PDT
Question ID: 733192
A story in a recent issue of Scientific American (online edition) stated that latest evidence suggests the universe is not just very large (e.g. 14.5 billion light years in radius) but infinite. I conclude from that that the universe must have been infinite at the time of the Big Bang. But I have always understood the BB as a singularity, a space-time point of very infinitesimal smallness. HERES THE QUESTION: Has there been a recent revolution in thinking about the event and circumstances of 14.5 billion years ago? Can the universe be infinite? Or am I just making an error in logic?
Re: Infinite universe?
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 29 May 2006 00:08 PDT
rogatien... You're making a fairly common error in logic, as noted on this page from the BBC: "Because of its name many people think of the Big Bang as a kind of explosion that happened at some specific point in space, but this isn't correct, as the Universe didn't spring from one central ignition point. Instead, during the Big Bang space was first created and then stretched." More on the page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/space/origins/bigbang/index.shtml From Professor Ned Wright's site at the UCLA Division of Astronomy and Astrophysics is a page with the question: 'How can the Universe be infinite if it was all concentrated into a point at the Big Bang?' "The Universe was not concentrated into a point at the time of the Big Bang. But the observable Universe was concentrated into a point." More on the page: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/infpoint.html Professor Wright's Cosmology FAQs page: http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmology_faq.html Last, but far from least, is the extensive and thorough article titled, 'The Big BAng was NOT a Fireworks Display!', Written by Dr. Sten Odenwald, on the Astronomy Cafe, which explains the Big Bang in its proper context, as an outgrowth of understanding the Theory of General Relativity. He points out that the Big Bang was not a point in space, but a point in space-time, which cannot be separated from one another, prior to which neither space or time existed as we now know them. Please read this entire enlightening article: http://www.astronomycafe.net/anthol/bang.html Read more articles by Dr. Odenwald on the same site: http://www.astronomycafe.net/anthol/anthol.html sublime1-ga Additional information may be found from an exploration of the links resulting from the Google searches outlined below. Searches done, via Google: allintext:think "big bang" means point ://www.google.com/search?q=allintext%3Athink+%22big+bang%22+means+point+
rated this answer:
Lots to chew on here. I'm not sure I quite get it yet, but this will help a lot. Thanks very much.
Re: Infinitge universe?
From: i_know_everything-ga on 01 Aug 2006 20:52 PDT
I'm basically saying what Sublime1 is saying but in a simpler (at least to me) way. The Big Bang is NOT a explosion IN spacetime but an explosion OF spacetime. [Right now it helps to visualize the Big Bang happening in the 5th dimension, the 4th beingt ime, even though that the 5th dimension might not exist.] At the Big Bang, 1 light year (5,865,696,000,000 miles ) to something inside the universe might apper to be 1 planck length to an oberver in the 5th dimenssion (I'm not saying hat he exists, but it helps to visulise). If you don't think that this is helpful, then read the following books: 1) A briefer history of time by Stephen Hawking (easy) 2) The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking (easier) 3) Black Holes, Wormholes & Time Machines by Jim Al-Khalili (easiest)
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