The Big Bang theory

Big Bang

The so-called Big Bang theory is the current favoured hypothesis of the formation of the universe according to astronomy.  This asserts that some 12-15 billion years ago there was a suddenly expansion and explosion of all matter and energy out of an original point - out of literally nothing - and that not only space but even time began at this moment.  (So we cannot speak of an explosion in space - because there was no space before, or no time at which this could be measured - space and time being properties of the universe rather than something outside of it).

There used to be some rivalry between the Big Bang and so-called the Steady State theory, but the latter has now been rejected by almost everyone (apart from a few mavericks like Fred Hoyle).  In fact, recent discoveries indicate that the universe is not only expanding, but it's its rate of expansion is increasing!

The strongest evidence for the Big Bang hypothesis is the existence of the microwave background radiation (the temerature everywhere in space is about 3 degrees above absolute zero).   This is thought to be the "echo" of the Big Bang, all that remains of the original fireball.

Earlier versions of the Big Bang theory had the universe originating from a singularity (a point of zero volume and infinite density, where the laws of physics have no meaning).  This has been replaced by the idea that the universe originated from literally nothing at all.  According to quantum theory, matter and antimatter particles are created in pairs all the time out of nothing (i.e. vacuum) and cancel each other out with no effect on the universe.  They are therefore called virtual particles).  At the Big Bang, however, massive amounts of matter and antimatter were created and although much of it was similarly cancelled out with a huge release of energy, matter won the day and spawned the universe as we know it.

A still more recent theory has the universe evolving from a previous universe (perhaps from a black hole in that universe), which in turn developed from a previous universe, and so on.  Similarily our universe may be giving birth to coutless further universes, of which we can (limited as we are to this section of space-time) know nothing.

The Plank Era
The Inflationary Era
The Quark-Lepton Era
The Radiation Era
The Matter Era


the Web Big Bang links the Web


real playerBig Bang - An original song for Science Report. written by Lynda Williams - A description of everything that was made in the Big Bang - all the events and subatomic particles and elements that formed all the chemicals that formed all the planets that formed all life
NASA web pageThe Big Bang Theory

web pageThe big bang hypothesis - at expert central

Davies, Paul. Superforce: The Search for a Grand Unified Theory of Nature (New York: Simon and Schuster,1984). p.243.

Web SiteGod, Genesis and the big bang - a Christian site - pro Big Bang and old universe but favours progressive creationism rather than Darwinian evolution

web pageCosmology and the Big Bang - presents arguments against the Big Bang paradigm

under construction
more links to be added...



Big Bang books

Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris
The Inflationary Universe by Alen Guth 1997
Before the Beginning by Martin Rees
Wrinkles In Time by George Smoot, 1993
The Magnificent Cosmos, Sci. American publishers, by Andrei Linde,1998;
Physics Today Nov. 1997 has a list of Big Bang experiments along with web site info;
Physics Today July 1998 p67-68 has a review of the current status of research into cosmological redshifts written by the pioneer, Geoffrey Burbidge.
At Home in the Universe by Stuart Kauffman
Nature's Destiny by Michael Denton
Fire in the Mind by George Johnson
Scientific American. Jan. 1999

this list is from Graham Kendall's external linkG.L.K file collectionexternal linkmirror



Metaphysical approaches:

Sabbatianism, Tikkun and the Big Bang Theory
Yakov Leib haKohain
The Divinisation Of Matter -
Lurianic Kabbalah, Sri Aurobindo, and the New Physics
M.Alan Kazlev




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page uploaded 29 March 2000