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 This has been replaced by the idea that the universe originated from literally nothing at all.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.
|Big Bang links|
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
The Big Bang Theory
The 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.
God, Genesis and the big bang - a Christian site - pro Big Bang and old universe but favours progressive creationism rather than Darwinian evolution
Cosmology and the Big Bang - presents arguments against the Big Bang paradigm
more links to be added...
this list is from Graham Kendall's G.L.K
file collection - mirror
Yakov Leib haKohain
Lurianic Kabbalah, Sri Aurobindo, and the New Physics
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